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This Question is Great. And Horrible. It Just Depends »

“Can you help me?”
It’s a great technique.
It’s a horrible technique.
The difference is, with the right person, at the right time, it can be an extremely productive question. And that right person is anyone other than your decision maker.
With decision makers, asking that question at the beginning of a call–namely an initial call–creates resistance. [...]

Don’t Sell Needs, Give Them What They WANT »

Do you,
* drive a 1995 Taurus,
* live in a pop-up trailer at a campground,
* wear clothes purchased exclusively from thrift stores, and,
* eat only Ramen noodles?
Didn’t think so.
When you have a few extra fun bucks (or room on your credit card) do you run down to Wal-Mart and stock up on hand soap, toothbrushes, or [...]

How to Avoid Sounding Like a Babbling Fool »

I was on a sales call, talking with a sales manager at a high-tech firm that sold a highly specialized, niched product. Things were progressing smoothly, I seemed to have exactly what he was looking for regarding a telephone prospecting training workshop that he wanted, then he asked,
"Now, who else have you worked with that [...]

Listen for the “Problem-Trigger” Words »

Quiz time. Here’s a situation. Think of the very next thing to leave your mouth in response:
On a call with a prospect, someone who has contacted you after visiting your website says, "Our issue is that we need to_____."
And then let’s assume she mentions a problem that your product or service helps solve.
Ok. Did you [...]

How Many Questions Should You Ask at a Time? »

At a social function I was talking to a guy who asked five questions in a row, didn’t listen to any of the answers, and only used his questions as a springboard to talk about himself.
Since I didn’t take much interest in what he was pitching (he shoved his business card into my hand) I [...]

Help Them Tell You What They Want »

If you handle incoming telephone inquiries or follow-up on mail-in or web business leads by phone, keep one thing in mind about these people: Even though they took the initiative to contact you, they might not know what they want, or even which questions to ask you.
It’s frustrating when an inquirer tells me, "Uhh, we’re [...]

Art’s Reality Sales Show »

For the past 10 years or so, there have been plenty of reality TV shows. They’re cheaper to produce for networks, and attract big audiences. Most are horrible, but that’s another story.
If I were doing a reality show for salespeople, I would loosely base it on one that was very popular and aired in 2003:  [...]

Stealing Business From the Competition »

If you place prospecting calls (hopefully Smart Calls) you probably often hear, "I already buy from X-Company," or, "We’re happy with who we’re using."
I know, at this point you feel like saying,
"X Company! What a bunch of losers. How can you be so dumb?"
Almost as bad–and what many salespeople actually do–is data-dumping a pitch explaining [...]

Five Dumb Sales Questions to Avoid »

I was interviewed by Phil Dobbie on his BTalk podcast on BNet Australia and shared my Five Dumb Sales questions that you need to avoid. Listen to find out if any of these sound familiar. You can listen here.

Sales Success is Similar to Liking Soccer, for Non-Fans of Soccer »

I’m really jazzed about the major sporting events going on this weekend. I’ll be attending the start of the NCAA men’s baseball College World Series here in Omaha, and closely following the U.S. Open golf tournament however and whenever I can.
What’s that…there’s another major sporting event going on? Oh yeah, that World Cup soccer thing.
Calm [...]