Friday, December 16, 2011

Looking Ahead To The New Year

We are just weeks away from the end of 2011.  I hope that it's been a productive year for you and that you've met your overall sales goal for the year.  For those of you who are avid readers of the blog, but do not subscribe to my monthly sales newsletter, Self-Taught Sales, I invite you to sign up today.  The January newsletter will focus on the number one question to ask yourself to start of 2012 right.

To sign up, visit  In the middle of the homepage there is a link to sign up.

We'll be back first thing next year with more tips to help you succeed!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

10 Places to Look for Leads in 2012: Part 2

Back today with part 2 of "10 Places to Look for Leads in 2012."

6.  Check out the local business news.
7.  Read the want ads on hiring websites like and Career Builders.
8.  Purchase a list of names.
9.  When you visit customers, determine who else is located in their neighborhood.
10.  Swap leads with co-workers. Buyers who didn't click with a fellow salesperson may click with you, and vice versa.

There are plenty of leads out there, but keep this best practice in mind. Call the leads you have before you spend time collecting more. Who knows? A phone call today might be all it takes to put you in the right place at the right time for a big opportunity.
Good Selling!

Monday, December 12, 2011

10 Places to Look for Leads in 2012: Part 1

In this month's Self-Taught Sales, I shared my thoughts on "10 Places to Look for Leads in 2012."  Knowing is can never hurt to share new ways to find new leads, I thought you'd be interested in these 10 places that I suggest you look next year.

1.  Do a little digging around in the lost business graveyard. Past customers can be great prospects for future business.
2.  Take the "twin" approach. Find enterprises similar to those customers who currently buy. For example, if your best customer is a bank, find other banks to call on.
3.  Use LinkedIn. Keyword search functions allow you to locate companies and decision-makers.
4.  Business intelligence websites like Hoover's, Jigsaw, Manta, and others are excellent lead sources. Some information is free while other data is available for a fee.
5.  The Internet is a gold mine of information. Search for key attributes like "Corporate Headquarters for software companies in Atlanta" and see what pops up.

Check back Wednesday for places 6 - 10.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Avoid Deer In the Headlights Sales Calls

Imagine this. You spend weeks calling, mailing and emailing your perfect prospect. Finally, they agree to see you. You show up at the meeting. The initial pleasantries go well and you start asking questions. Quickly, you discover the prospect is genuinely interested in making a purchase.

They start asking you questions. Smart questions-ones you're not fully prepared to answer.

By the third time you've said, "I'll have to check into that," you're wearing a deer-in-the-
headlights expression. The prospect's enthusiasm is waning and their belief in your competence is gone.

The meeting ends with a whimper. As the buyer gives you a limp handshake, they tell you they'll get in touch if they need to know more. You walk out, kicking yourself for not being better prepared.

Great salespeople win more sales because they're prepared to answer all questions from potential customers. Questions like . . .
* How does this help me?
* What does it cost?
* Who else has purchased this from you?
* Why are you the right choice?
* Why do I need to buy this now?
* Are there any quality problems I should know about?
* What could go wrong?
* How long have you been doing this?
* Who are your competitors?

Knowing how to answer these questions helps you look competent in a sales call. That's important because customers prefer to buy from sales professionals who understand the products or services they're selling.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Online To-Do: December 2011

Ever heard of Paper Because?  If you're in the print industry, you MUST check it out.  I first learned about it via a tweet from CANVAS Publisher Mark Potter. 

Besides all the funny and clever videos like these:

This one, which is different from the others, was really eye-opening:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for employees, co-workers, family or friends? Through the end of the year, TTBooks is offering the opportunity to purchase all three of Linda Bishop's easy-to-read sales guides to build business and increase sales goals for just $25 plus free shipping!
You'll receive:
-Selling in Tough Times
-101 Cold Call Tips
-The Sales Pro's Guide to Using LinkedIn
for only $25 plus free shipping.