All posts by Chris Lytle

Are Any of Your Salespeople Hooked on This?

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

Let politicians deal with the opioid epidemic.

Sales managers need to address this career-threatening addiction:

“Hope-ium.”

Salespeople get hooked on it. This usually happens when a prospect says, “I’m interested, call me next week.”

The salesperson dutifully makes a note to call next week and leaves.

And guess what?

When she calls back her “interested” prospect doesn’t pick up the phone.

Her “interested” prospect doesn’t return her calls or emails either.

What to do?

Make sure to teach your salespeople this magic question to ask every prospect who feigns interest: “Are you willing to work with me on a calendar basis?”

Real prospects put your salespeople on their calendars for a next step.

They engage.

However, information seekers, will blow the smoke of “hope-ium” at your salespeople to mollify them.

Plan an intervention.

Teach them the magic question at your next sales meeting.

And whatever you do, never put information seekers into your company’s sales projections. Because you can’t afford to have your CFO hooked on “hope-ium” too.

Chris Lytle is the author of The Accidental Salesperson: How to Take Control of Your Career and Earn the Respect and Income You Deserve and The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Team to Record Profits. Because sales managers are pulled in so many directions, Chris built this resource for you.

Reprinted by permission

This Close is Shockingly Simple

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

“Send me a proposal.”

I dread hearing those four words.

“Send me a proposal.”

Those four words can add hours of work to your day.

“Send me a proposal.”

Those four words can add days to your sales cycle.

Look, not every sale is an enterprise solution. Not every product can be customized. Sometimes we’re just out there selling stuff that solves a common business problem.

Quick story.

I’m meeting with the CFO of a broadcast company. We’re 90 minutes into the discovery phase.

He’s hesitant to invest in sales training. His sales managers are having trouble finding good candidates to train. There is too much turnover.

I happen to be selling an aptitude test for evaluating potential employees. I steer the conversation toward selecting better salespeople.

“This is exactly what we need,” says the CFO. “Send me a proposal for fifteen of them.”

(The tests cost $100 each.)

“I brought an order form,” I reply.

Silence.

“That will work,” said the CFO.

Done deal.

“I brought an order form” is the shockingly simple close that will work for your salespeople too.

When will you teach it to them?

Chris Lytle is the author of The Accidental Salesperson: How to Take Control of Your Career and Earn the Respect and Income You Deserve and The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Team to Record Profits. Because sales managers are pulled in so many directions, Chris built this resource for you.

Reprinted by permission

Success Secrets from Ancient Greece

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

Special for MAB members:

Chris is giving away his “Supercharged Sales Management” video. An Australian consultancy commissioned it for a video keynote a couple of years ago. Take a look at it here

Around 2,400 years ago, Socrates said, “I can’t teach anybody anything. I can only get them to think.”

Fortunately, I came across his advice early in my professional speaking career. It was an an eye-opening, game-changing revelation for me.

Almost immediately, I started teaching less and getting my audiences to think more.

I added experiential learning exercises and group discussions.

Getting people involved made those six-hour seminars seem to go faster.

It saved a lot of wear and tear on the trainer, too. I no longer had to talk and be the center of attention all day.

Here’s the exercise I have used in hundreds of seminars. It takes about 25-minutes and really energizes the audience.

Try it in an upcoming sales meeting for a change of pace.

You could introduce the exercise by saying, “Let’s spends some time today thinking and talking what selling is like when you’re at your best?”

Then, pose the first question below. Let every person in the meeting get a shot at answering it. Repeat the process with questions 2 and 3.

  1. How do you feel when you’re at your best?
  2. How do you behave when you’re at your best?
  3. How do your prospects and customers react to you when you’re at your best?

You may find that salespeople talk about feeling relaxed, confident, prepared, and totally in the moment when they’re at their best.

They may describe behaviors like making solid eye contact, walking tall, gesturing appropriately, listening better, and using a more confident tone of voice.

You may hear their clients react by giving them more time, sharing real problems, and even buying from them.

You won’t know exactly until you run the meeting.

I do know it will be a positive and motivating meeting for your salespeople. It might even motivate you to do even less teaching get your team to do more thinking.

And, of course, it can give each of your salespeople insights into how to be at their best more often.

If you’re ready to shake things up a bit, then heed Socrates’ timeless advice?

You’ll find more ideas on running better sales meetings at https://InstantSalesTraining.com

Reprinted by permission

The Dreaded “Got-a-minute?” Meeting

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

Special for MAB members:

Chris is giving away his “Supercharged Sales Management” video. An Australian consultancy commissioned it for a video keynote a couple of years ago. Take a look at it here

How long is a “Got-a-minute?” meeting in your office? I’m guessing it’s more than a minute.

Shoot, I remember a “Got-a-second?” meeting that lasted an hour and a half!

Salespeople ask you for a minute whenever they have a fire for you to put out for them.

Could it be that you’ve trained salespeople you’re willing to do their firefighting for them.

Why not? After all, you know more than they do and you’re their boss.

Here’s why not.

Your real job is developing your salespeople so they can do their jobs better.

Yes, developing people takes a lot more time on the front end. As a sales manager, the quick and easy thing for you to do is this:

• Give people the answers to their questions.
• Solve their problems for them.
• Put out the fire.

Then, move on to your next “Got-a-minute?” meeting.

This can go on all day.

And it probably will unless you change your approach.

Developing people starts with your willingness to coach.

Chris Lytle’s Critical Rule of Coaching is to ask at least seven questions before you give an answer.

“But, Chris, I don’t have the time to ask seven questions,” you say. “There are salespeople lined up at my door waiting for me to fix things for them.”

You have to make the time.

Coaching builds loyalty. To ask seven questions, you have to quiet your mind and listen to people.

When people feel listened to and not judged, they become more confident and committed.

Because people rarely resist their own ideas.

And you cannot possibly ask seven questions in a row unless you really are listening.

“You can’t influence someone’s thinking until you know what they’re thinking.” The late Norm Goldsmith said this to our Leadership Institute participants every session.

You won’t know what someone on your sales team is thinking until you ask.

“Got-a-minute?”

That’s your signal that you have an opportunity to develop someone.

Reprinted by permission

40 Years Later Sales Managers Are Still Making This Silly Mistake

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

Special for MAB members:

Chris is giving away his “Supercharged Sales Management” video. An Australian consultancy commissioned it for a video keynote a couple of years ago. Take a look at it here

As a young sales manager, I actually said this in a sales meeting: “We have a new salesperson starting next week. Her name is Andrea. I need all of you to give up five accounts from your lists so I can create a new list for her.”

Nobody complained. They smiled knowingly and gave up the accounts they found impossible to sell:

  • The mean ones
  • The small ones
  • The slow paying ones
  • The ones who’d had a “bad experience” with our station

And our brand new hire began her Radio career with an account list that our veterans couldn’t survive on The Charles Darwin Account List.

In this free Webinar. I describe exactly how I learned to get salespeople to willingly pare down their account lists and thrive.

Plus, I reduced turnover by having accounts with real potential to give to the new salesperson.

This is mission critical “stuff.”

Don’t miss it.

And please let me know what you think: Chris.lytle@InstantSalesTraining.com

Reprinted by permission