Suppose you're a consultant looking to sell your expertise as a trainer in a certain field--- perhaps how to comply with new federal regulations, or how to improve the effectiveness of customer care departments. Since it's about training, you might think that the training department is the place to make your first contact.
You’ll find here free sales training articles and tutorials, checklists and sales tips, as well as links to our sales training books --- all focused on Selling Face to Face.
The free sales training articles and tutorials here are adapted from the courses and workshops I developed on contract for the “sales universities” of world-class marketing companies such as Xerox in the United States and abroad, Kodak, Motorola, Sylvania, Bank of America, and others . . . as filtered through my own experience in marketing consulting services.
The aim is to provide practical sales training across the spectrum from beginners (starting up new businesses, or making career changes) to experienced sales people looking for fresh approaches, or hoping to gain the kind of professional selling skills they would have developed as attendees in big company sales training programs.
In the free sales training articles here, and in the related books, we cover topics including,
Finding and getting through to sales prospects
Telephone etiquette in getting past screens
Sales cold calling: when, when not, and how
Consultative selling— selling by asking smart questions
Helping sales prospects become more aware of the value of filling needs
Ways of closing sales
Handling objections, questions, and hesitations.
The how-to of Sales presentations and demonstrations
On the topics of consulting, contract work, and independent contracting, did you see Paul Davidson's article in USA Today (Dec 7, 2009), "Contract workers swelling ranks"? Go to article Some interesting points:
-- About 8% of the US workforce consists of contract employees, most of whom are independent contractors.
-- One person interviewed, a member of an employment law firm, predicts that half the jobs created in the recovery "will be filled by contractors, consultants, and other temps."
-- More than half of all of these temporary slots are now "filled by professionals such as engineers and physicians."
-- One of the key benefits for contractors like that is freedom: freedom to choose opportunities, and freedom to move on.
-- From the perspective of an employer, one of the key benefits is flexibility: for example, firms can pull in specialists for product launches and new ventures without having to undertake the front-end costs in time and dollars of a permanent staffing-up.
All of this, need I point out, ties in with our overall theme: by learning to sell yourself (or your skills or whatever) face to face, you can help fill those needs.
This item is used with permission from the newsletter of Rick Frishman, a publishing guru. Though he's speaking here of contacts within the media industry, it struck me as equally relevant to any kind of marketing. (Particularly as it echoes what I preach in the books about follow-up, thank-you contacts, and other kinds of post-sale customer care.)
Here's Rick on turning contacts into partners:
"After you've made an interesting new
contact that you would like to know better...how do you capitalize on that
contact and make that person a member of your network? The answer is by
following up. Most adults find it hard to follow up. Some are shy, are afraid to
be a nuisance, or appear to be groveling. They see networking as selling and
although all of us sell something, they don't want to be perceived as
salespersons. Following up promptly isn't just good business, it's smart
business. The big surprise is that following up can be fun and it can produce
rewards beyond your expectations.
"Create a System: First of all, you
really must save business cards, contact information and other contact
literature. Treat them like receipts you might need for an IRS audit. Then buy
or create a system to prioritize and file contact information.
to Prioritize: Ideally, it's best to enter contact information in your files as
close to the initial meeting as possible. Then communicate with your contact
within two or three days to follow up. If you have collected a bunch of business
cards, prioritize them to determine whom you want to call first. Move first to
"1. Those you promised to call or
e-mail. "2. Contacts who could be important to you.
Your Move: Send a handwritten note or an e-mail including where you met, and a
reference that will make the connection closer and more personal. Attach
articles, cartoons or information that might interest your contact. Make sure
what you send is relevant; otherwise you'll be sending irritating
"Always Say "Thanks": Whenever someone introduces you, recommends
you, endorses you, speaks well of you, or helps you in any way, quickly and
clearly express your gratitude. People remember your gratitude; it makes them
feel happy that they helped you. The best way is by writing a handwritten note.
Phone calls can also be effective and personal. E-mail is les personal than
notes and phone calls, but is quick. Remember, the method you choose is
secondary to saying thank you
Me again. Rick's newsletter isn't all work; there's some fun stuff, too. Like this:
Facts •Ten percent of the Russian
government's income comes from the sale of vodka. •On average, 100 people
choke to death on ball-point pens every year. •Only one person in two billion
will live to be 116 or older. •In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch mice
without a hunting license. •Thirty-five percent of the people who use
personal ads for dating are already married. •The world's termites outweigh
the world's humans 10 to 1. •The 3 most valuable brand names on earth:
Marlboro, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser, in that order. •In 10 minutes, a
hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons
combined. •"Minding your p's and q's" comes from early typesetting. The
letters are in reverse making it very easy to confuse the two. •Many
years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle
of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle
to get some service. "Wet your whistle," is the phrase inspired by this
Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Author 101 Newsletter" Subscribe at
http://www.author101.com and receive Rick's "Million Dollar Rolodex"
Buying signals are clues that the mood has shifted and the other
person is now ready to agree . . . or at least to be open to what you
To clarify, a "buying signal" doesn't just mean
readiness to purchase; it also includes readiness or openness to take
interim steps along the way---such as to hear you out, to hear more, or
to take the next step.
Buying signals from the gatekeeper or screen: What kinds of cues should you be alert for? (For the records, gatekeeper and screen are usually interchangeable terms, and may apply to anyone from the guard at the gate to the secretary to the personal assistant to the Decision Maker.)
Be attuned for the subtle clues, or buying signals, gatekeepers may send that indicate that this secretary or other screen is becoming interested, and hence relaxing the barrier.
25 tutorials, plus checklists and worksheets. A larger, more detailed how-to guide that covers all aspects from defining the product in terms that will click with prospects' needs; through finding and getting through to key prospects with buying authority; using a consultative selling approach to develop awareness of needs; closing for the order; responding to objections and questions; when and how to provide proof such as demonstrations, formal presentations, and free trials.
Designed for use both individually as well as in classroom/ sales team settings. An accompanying Sales Manager/Instructor Guide will be available soon.