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Telling isn't Selling
All successful sales people in recessions recognise the need to stop talking and apply the laws of persuasion and influence. Most sales people, when they see the first sign of an opening to talk will launch into their standard sales pitch. Most customers will switch off after the first 30 seconds.

The most valuable technique in selling is to ask questions. Find out what the issues, needs and requirements are first before you go into your pitch. The best sales people know when and how to ask the right questions. Simple? Well, of course, you’ve all been taught how to ask open ended questions instead of closed questions. In fact, many courses will spend a day if not two telling you about “who, what, why, when, which, how” and will draw diagrams to remind you of the powerful six openers.

So if it's that simple, we should all be rich, shouldn't we? Without a doubt, open questions are useful. They encourage your customer to talk (and you to listen), but you have to add a bit more substance to the question to make them even more powerful. You need to use your questions to create value in the minds of your customer. These questioning techniques are proven to be more successful, particularly when you're dealing with relationship selling rather than one off.

For more information on this and our sales training programmes, please send an email to enquiries@spokenwordltd.com and ask for a copy of the SpokenWord Ltd newsletter.

Recession Proof Selling Skills
Many sales forces are marginally competent in good times, but fail dismally in bad. It has only recently been discovered that the selling skills which work in a recession are fundamentally different from those which succeed when conditions are easier.

What are the differences that you need to put into practise immediately?

  • Better preparation.
    You can no longer wing it by just doing a quick search on the company name and people. You need to understand the industry, the market sector, the changes that are happening, the issues faced by the industry, their competitors, their strategies.
  • Your competition.
    There is no need to undercut your competitor’s prices. You need to have a clear understanding of your differentiators. What makes you stand out and what makes you better. If these match the customer’s requirements, you know you have a sale and there is no need to discount your price.
  • Think long term.
    You have your targets to meet. However, think long term rather than gaining the quick hits today. Develop relationships for the future and remember to keep in touch. They may not be able to buy today, but tomorrow you want them to think of you first and not one of your competitors.
  • Keep in touch programme. Develop a keep in touch programme with your marketing department. A quick call is good, but you also need other mailshots, newsletters, updates to send by email or post to keep your name in front of the customer. You need to send something out once every two weeks. For more information on this and our sales training programmes, please send an email to enquiries@spokenwordltd.com and ask for a copy of the SpokenWord Ltd newsletter.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Understanding the best negotiation techniques are just part of becoming a skilled negotiator. You also need to recognise the best behaviours used by top negotiators and avoid the worst behaviours used by average negotiators.

The most successful negotiators know how to find out information and also share information in order to develop trust and rapport with the counterparty. It is one of the hardest techniques to learn in negotiation skills. It’s not just about asking questions – it’s about when and how to gather and share information.

We think we know how to ask questions and bombard the poor counterparty with them at the start of the negotiation and we typically hate giving any information away. If fact, we believe information is power and so hold it close to our chests and focus on what we cannot say rather than what we can.

Information gathering can sometimes feel like an interrogation by the counterparty. The counterparty immediately feels defensive and puts up barriers, both physical and mental , against the attack. They are on their guard and less likely to reveal any information to you. You need to think more about trading questions in order to share information.

You need to work out, before you go into the negotiation, what information you can give to the counterparty – information that could be of value to them and doesn’t hurt you to reveal. When you are seen to be open and constructive, the counterparty is more likely to feel less threatened and is able to offer some answers to your questions and maybe some of their own information. By controlling information in this way, you are driving the negotiation forwards. And that’s what we look for in senior negotiators - the ability to develop rapport, pinpoint the key drivers and recognise how and when to put a deal together.

For more information on this and our negotiation skills training programmes, please send an email to enquiries@spokenwordltd.com and ask for a copy of the SpokenWord Ltd newsletter.

Key sessions include:
Personal Impact, Presence and Influence
Professional Negotiating Techniques
Advanced and Basic Selling Skills
Presentation Skills for Quivering Wrecks
Virtual Leadership and Management Skills
Networking Skills - How to “Work a Room”
Sales Management
Exhibition Skills Training
Cold Calling for Chickens

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Telling isn't Selling. All successful sales people in recessions recognise the need to...
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Recession Proof Selling Skills. Many sales forces are marginally competent in...
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