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Focus Business Development, Inc. | Richmond, VA
 

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Patrick Carroll

Carlos was in a great mood. Forty minutes in, the meeting with his top prospect’s senior staff was going great. He was getting nothing but engagement, smiles, and positive body language from everyone around the table, including the CEO of the company. He knew what that meant. He was about to close his first big deal! The timing couldn’t have been better. Because this was a potentially major account, Carlos’ manager Charlene was in attendance. Today, she would get to see him work his magic first hand.

"The professional does what he did as a dummy...on purpose." - - David Sandler. Once upon a time, there was a young kid who graduated from high school, took a look
at the help wanted ads, went out on a couple of interviews, and, within just a few days, landed his very first job. He was hired as a salesperson by one of those big box stores.

One of David Sandler’s critical selling rules – “Don’t spill your candy in the lobby” – can sound a little confusing to someone who is unfamiliar with the Sandler Selling System®
methodology. What does a spilled box of candy have to do with a sales call? Everything.

Tom’s best customer, Meg, called and asked for a favor: “Can you talk to my new assistant Karen about getting up to speed with your software? She’s got a couple of questions I don’t have time to answer.”

One of the distinguishing characteristics of top performers in sales is the ability to avoid two common, self-imposed mental handicaps: reachback and afterburn.

Reachback is what happens when an impending event begins to have a negative influence on our attitude and behavior. This is most dramatically seen in the salesperson whose whole outlook on life may be disturbed for hours or even days ahead of time at the very thought of going into a fearful situation, such as cold calling.

Jack, a salesperson, was having some challenges. Feedback from multiple sources -- his own clients, prospects, customers, and colleagues -- suggested that his communication skills needed some work.

If you lose a big sale, have a bad month, or don’t make quota, what is your typical first response?
For many salespeople, there is a temptation to externalize. Instead of looking inward for the reasons behind a given outcome, we assign responsibility to someone or something that lies outside of ourselves.

Vincent’s closing numbers were not what he had been hoping for. He asked his manager, Lynnette, what she thought the problem might be. After a little role-playing, Lynnette suggested that Vincent was spending too much time selling “from inside a box.”

 

Stan was frustrated. He kept getting "shot down on price" during discussions with prospective buyers. He knew he was supposed to talk directly about money issues before making a presentation...but somehow he never seemed to iron out the details in a way that gave him a clear sense of whether the buyer felt his pricing was acceptable. Buyers always seemed to play their cards close to the vest. He decided to ask his manager Phil for help.
"Phil, I keep hitting a brick wall when I start asking about budget. How should I handle the price issue?"
Phil looked up from the spreadsheet he was working on and said, "Have you tried bracketing?"

Marina was having some problems with the opening phases of her sales process. Her early discussions with prospects were rarely productive. She sat down with Fred, her manager, and did some role-playing in the hope of improving her interviewing technique. During the role-play session, Fred shared a strategy Marina hadn't heard of. he called it "stripping line."