Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Success So Far this Year!

I am happy to announce that through the first four months of 2008, I have exceeded my quota every time. This is on top of a overall year-to-date performance in 2007 where I exceeded my yearly quota, too. I am very happy as well because these latest achievements came in an economic downturn.

My posts are designed to help other salespeople, and I believe every word that I post. Anyone who works hard and smart can achieve sales success. Good luck to everyone and happy selling.

P.S. I know anyone can be successful in a sales career because I am by no means a "born salesman"!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Why Don't Prospective Customers Trust Us?

We have all had some really good meetings with prospective customers on the first appointment or sales call. Everything sounded great, we got good feedback from the prospect, and we walked out wondering where we were going to spend our commissions.

But in the end, this prospect never returned our calls and the sale disappeared. What happened?

Maybe these prospects were not qualified or decided that they did not want to go with a new vendor after all. This is certainly plausible. I happen to think when this happens the prospect did not trust us. Why is this?

We know we are trustworthy, we know we are excited about our product or services, and we know we could have benefited this prospect by doing business together. While we where sitting back talking a mile a minute thinking this person was ready, they had it in their head they were not going to be doing business with us all along. See, most salespeople out there are not trustworthy. We ended up being thrown in a pile with other untrustworthy salespeople, whether we deserve it or not. Can you blame these prospects, chances are they have been burnt from a salesperson in the past.

What we all need to remember is the following. Even though we consider ourselves trustworthy and great people to do business with, we cannot assume our prospects feel this way about us. After all, they just met us, right? Take the time to show third-party proof to take this trust issue off of the table. In the end, we will all end up with more sales by taking the time to build our credibility before jumping right into proposals with prospects that don't trust us.

"Less" is "More" in Selling

Many times "less" is "more" in selling. This goes back to supply and demand. If you sit by your phone waiting for phone calls and run out to meet every prospect right away, prospective customers will believe (and rightly so) that you have very little business or credibility in your industry. In short, the ample supply of your time signals the demand is low for your services.

This does not mean should not return calls promptly or adequately serve your customers in a timely manner. But remember this, your schedule should be full as you have lots of business to take care of. Prospective customers will understand this and appreciate the fact they have access to a credible expert who is in high demand. Even if you don't have a lot of business, you need to "fake it until you make it". Take time to qualify prospects and don't give in to giving them a meeting on the same day they call you. This is one way that you can talk yourself right out of a sale before the process even begins.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Buying vs Selling

I often find that prospective customers would rather buy than to be put through some sort of sales process. Don't get me wrong, some situations require a little "push" to get the job done and put a sale on the board. A salesperson, however, should not have to continually fight an uphill battle with every prospect on "what's your best price" and "I am happy with my current vendor".

When these questions arise it is obvious that the salesperson has not taken the time make sure he or she is credible in the prospect's eyes. In short, the prospect has no perceived value in dealing with you when these questions come hurling at you like darts.

When selling is done correctly, buying should take place without any push from the salesperson. If the prospect has been qualified, the salesperson has taken the time to show third-party proof to enhance credibility, and the proposal is profit-justified, a sale should take place with no closing skills of any sort. If the prospect is qualified and believes in you, they will certainly believe your proposal and the money, time, or productivity you are putting back in their pocket.

About six months ago, I inherited an existing account that was happy with the products they were buying from my company. I placed a call on the main decision maker shortly after the account was given to me. After I introduced myself, I will never forget what this gentlemen said to me. "Hey, don't feel like you have to come in here and sell something to me." My response, "I don't want to sell to you, I just want you to buy from me.". After that, I shut my mouth and took an order.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Will Fultz's Bio

Will Fultz is the author of Top Sales Blog, a contributing member of the Sales Bloggers Union, an Internet marketer, and a still a practicing salesperson for a Fortune 500 paint & coatings company.

Will is a former Marine who was honorably discharged after serving from 1996-2001. In 2002, he started his outside sales career. Since 2005, Will has worked directly at the manufacturing level in sales.

In his current industry, Will has achieved overwhelming success in both industrial and commercial coatings, becoming a trusted business advocate to his clients. He has received numerous sales awards for high double-digit sales increases annually, triple-digit sales increases on a monthly/quarter basis, and the ability to obtain large volumes of market share from his competitors in record time by providing solid business solutions to his clients that have increased their bottom line.

Will currently works in the industrial coatings industry, but also runs one the most successful sales blogs on the net at Top Sales Blog, where he supplies other sales professionals with sales commentary and insightful articles. In November of 2008, Will accepted an invitation to join the Sales Bloggers Union, which is a group of sales experts who combine forces to post on a different sales topic every two weeks. Will is also a contributor to the top sales community sites such as Sales Management 2.0 and Sales Gravy (where he has attained "sales guru" status).

In May of 2009, Will received a Pinnacle Sales Award & Ring from his company for his 2008 sales performance. Since December of 2009, Will has been working in a marketing and product development role as a Product Manager.

Will Fultz - U.S. Marine Corps Bio 

Will Fultz - LinkedIn Profile

Email Will Fultz: willfultz@gmail.com

First post...What to expect?

I have started this blog to share with other people my experience in outside sales. I will not be mentioning names, the company I work for, or even locations. What you will find is general information on what works in outside sales, what doesn't, and some of the achievements along the way. I hope this helps anyone out there new or old to outside sales in a big way. Good luck and happy selling!