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5 Rules for Asking Effective Sales Questions

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jul 21, 2016 4:00:00 PM

sales-questions.jpgFor as long as people have been training others to sell, one precept of effective selling has stood out as an inviolate principle: questions are the key to success for salespeople. I don’t think I’ve ever attended a sales training workshop or read a book addressing sales that didn’t put the ability to ask effective questions at (or at least near) the top of the keys to success.

This post is certainly not going to take issue with the principle of effective questions, but rather the nature of, and the definition of what effective questions are. Even more directly, I’m going to take issue with another precept I hear often (and even used to teach). That precept is, can you ask too many questions?

I recently came across a post on LinkedIn, Why Asking Lots of Questions Is Good for My Customer, that got me thinking about this. While I don’t take issue with anything the author shares in the post, the title combined with a conversation I had with a client’s sales team leader inspired me to update some rules for asking questions in the sales process.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

Business Acumen: Five Financial Metrics Every Salesperson Needs to Know

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 9, 2013 9:42:00 AM

business-acumen.jpgAnyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge believer that business acumen is both lacking in salespeople, and is the number one criteria for success today.  Increasingly, businesses are becoming aware that salespeople are not enough to cut it.  We must transform the sales force into businesspeople-who-sell.

While there are many attributes that contribute to building business acumen for salespeople, understanding financial statements is certainly at the top of the list.  Understanding the financial implication of their value proposition is critical for salespeople to be able to effectively lead customers and prospects to making decisions that are mutually beneficial. Here are five key metrics every person involved in sales should understand and master.
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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

A Must Have Tool For Anyone In Sales

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 4, 2013 10:19:00 AM

Selling is hard work, and it’s only getting harder.  For more than 20 years I’ve been writing and teaching about the fundamental shifts that have taken place with the flow of information in the buyer-seller paradigm.

Frankly, up until about 1997 sellers had the advantage, and buyers were forced to play by the seller’s rules.  As Daniel Pink shares in his latest book To Sell Is Human, this information asymmetry has, at best, become an information balance, and in many ways has swayed to the benefit of the buyer.  Sellers today must increasingly play by the buyer’s rules.

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Topics: Sales Training/Coaching

The Five Critical Attributes to Sales Success

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jun 26, 2013 4:43:00 AM

Success-Failure

After 25 years, working with more than 1,500 companies, nearly 10,000 salespeople and witnessing almost 100,000 sales calls and interactions, I’m finally able to answer the most important question about successful salespeople (what can I tell you, I’m a little slow).  That question is:

What are the most important attributes that must be present to ensure the success of a salesperson?

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

The Fastest Test to Determine If You’re A Peddler

Posted by Doug Davidoff

May 9, 2013 4:57:00 AM

create-value-and-profit-will-followEver since I wrote my post about Pests, Peddlers and Demand Creators, the most common question I’m asked is, “How can you tell if you’re being a Peddler or Commoditizer?”

Here’s the simplest and fastest way to determine if you’re peddling:

Look at how you approach your prospects and customers early in the sales cycle.  Consider the questions you ask, the material you share and the possible presentations you make.  Now answer this question:  Who learns about the prospect/customer’s company?

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching, Demand Generation

Solving The Seller's Paradox

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 21, 2013 3:06:00 AM

Growth-steps-7As I shared in my post last Monday:  Stop Selling!  If you’re selling you’re doing something wrong.

Whenever I share this insight, it’s always greeted with agreement…and frustration.  People shrug their shoulders and ask, “I get that I shouldn’t do this, but what should I do?”

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching, Demand Generation

The Seller's Paradox

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 15, 2013 4:00:00 AM

 

Growth-steps-7

When I conduct sales training for executives and sales teams, I typically finish with the valuable thought:

"Stop Selling! If you feel like you're selling, you're doing something wrong."


I call it The Seller's Paradox. 
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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

How To Stop Overcoming Objections & Double Your Results

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Dec 10, 2012 2:53:00 AM

Walk into any bookstore, or read any sales oriented magazine and you'll see the primary focus on strategy and skills is the ability to overcome objections.  Last week, I was talking with a fellow executive that I’ve known since I began advising sales teams more than 20 years ago.  I was sharing with him how the discoveries we’ve made in developing The 7 Steps to Achieving Effortless Growth have impacted the sales teams we work with.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

What Is A Strong Pipeline?

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 14, 2012 8:07:00 AM

One of the toughest behaviors to change when salespeople are working to transform from being peddler to becoming Demand Creator, is the relationship they have with their pipeline.

Having been taught (consciously or otherwise) that sales is a numbers game, peddlers always feel better when the pipeline has more opportunities in it.  As salespeople move up the value chain, they gain an understanding that the quality of an opportunity is far more important than the quantity.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching, Demand Generation

How to Get Access To Any Decision Maker

Posted by Nicole Babka

Aug 28, 2012 9:58:00 AM

One of the consequences of the economic downturn, and the reductions in workforce over the last several years is a greater gap between executives with the authority and the people who are responsible for implementing and overseeing solutions.

When I work with salespeople, the most common challenge they have is getting access to authority.  To get the access you desire, the first, most important thing you must do is to have something worth talking about.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching