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Enhance Your Listening Effectiveness with a Questioning Strategy

In a major study, the top 1% of sales reps were asked to identify what they felt was their most important sales skill. Over 60% of the respondents said listening! And the most effective listeners excel at a related skill: They ask great questions! Importance of a Questioning Strategy If you want to solicit information that will help you win, you need a strategy to take the conversation with your customer where it needs to go. What do you need to learn or validate to advance the sales process? A good questioning strategy combines a logical roadmap for this discussion with specific questions that create a great listening opportunity for you. Diagnostic Questions Every journalist knows they hav

A Dozen Best Practices for Gaining Access to Your Customer Executive

Putting executives first differentiates you and paves the way for a relationship. Demonstrating your understanding of their issues and sharing insight and perspective on their challenges will have them asking for more of your thoughts, earn you their respect, and gain you more access. These 12 best practices share what executives care about…how to gain access to them…and how to prepare for an executive call. 1. Know who to sell to. Many people weigh in on the buying decision. This begs the question, "Which executive is most relevant to each component of your solution?" The answer: The executive who stands to gain or lose the most as a result of buying your product/service associated with th

Sales Coaching for Accelerated Results

A Harvard Business Review article on sales coaching reports that most sales and service organizations are investing more time and effort in improving sales managers' coaching of their salespeople. Research by the Sales Executive Council (SEC) shows that no other productivity investment comes closer to improving salespeople’s performance than coaching. Core salespeople (your middle 60%) who receive great coaching reach an average 102% of goal. This compares to salespeople who report poor coaching who achieve only 83% of goal. Yet salespeople continue to score their managers low in terms of the coaching they provide. Over 65% of the salespeople indicated that their manager does worse at coachi

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