Category Archives for Questions

Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales Training

TSE 1175: TSE Certified Sales Training “How to Succeed As a BDR”

Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales TrainingWhether you’re learning it for your own work as a BDR or you’re preparing to help another seller, there are five important keys to help you succeed as a BDR.

If you’re looking to move to the next level as a seller, The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program group coaching program allows you to train at your own pace, either alone or as part of a group. The next semester begins this month. 

Drink your own Kool-Aid

Make sure you understand the product or service you’re selling. In fact, I recommend that you actually use it yourself. If it’s an enterprise software SAP or something large like that, you won’t likely buy it for yourself, but you should understand how the system truly operates. Know how it will help the customers you’re pursuing. 

If you’re a BDR, you’re probably not chasing every single customer. You’ll probably have a territory or a certain kind of client. Look at industry reports to understand your customers and how your solution will help. Ask previous clients why they like your solution so much.

It will also help you speak their language and be more confident in your conversations. Know the problem that you’re able to solve for your buyer.

Be intentional

BDRs must make sure to follow their company’s process, and then they have to go a step further. They must know their ratios. 

  • How many conversations does it take to get to a demonstration?
  • How many demonstrations do you typically do before you land a sale?

Keep track of these numbers. Email me and I’ll share my own prospect tracker with you. 

When you have these numbers, sales becomes more of a science. Each day, you can specify how many new opportunities you want so you can get to a demonstration. 

You won’t be as successful if you aren’t intentional. 

Listen

Become an expert at listening. Listen to the things your prospects say as well as the things they don’t say. 

Read case studies, find out what some of your current customers are doing, and understand their problems. If you listen closely, you’ll begin to notice when they aren’t telling you the real issues. Be a silent expert.

Ask tough questions

Sellers sometimes want to appear knowledgeable, so they talk a lot. Instead, focus on the caliber of questions that you’re asking. 

Make a list of these questions you can ask your prospect. Also, prepare a list of follow-up questions. If, for example, your prospect says that he already has a solution in place, you must be prepared to respond to that. Maybe something like this: “I’m not here to break up great relationships. I do, however, know that contracts end and that people typically will look for new vendors. Would you be open to see if we could benefit your organization?” 

Lead with the intro, “Out of curiosity” to soften the edge on a question like, “Why are you waiting until next year to change?”

Make sure you find great opportunities for your team.

Personalize your approach

Take advantage of video to personalize your approach. Depending on the type of business you’re in, use a tool like BombBomb to make a simple video to the prospect and include this in your flow process. 

If you’re sending emails and reaching out on LinkedIn, your personalized videos will help you stand out among the other BDRs. Personalized videos will help you connect with the right clients and produce better results. 

Outwork yourself

Compete against yourself. If you did 15 appointments last week, set a goal for 17 this week. Push yourself. Don’t compete against your teammate’s goals. Constantly seek to improve.

Success will naturally come if you constantly out-hustle your previous performance.

“How To Succeed As A BDR” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Presentation

TSE 1135: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Presenting In Person”

Donald Kelly, PresentationYour closing process will often require you to speak to a board or a group of people about your product or service, and you must provide value to your audience when presenting in person.

The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program provides specific sections for prospecting, building value, and converting to a paying client, and we’ve designed the training to help sellers prepare for presentations and to train their teams to do the same. It’s designed to help sales reps and sales teams improve their skills, find the right customers, adopt the right activities, ask the right questions, build strong value, and close more deals. 

Guessing game

Many situations demand that sellers meet with a team of individuals who will ask a variety of questions about the product or service. You’re wasting your time if you don’t understand the problems they need to solve or the challenges they are facing. It doesn’t make sense to play the guessing game during the limited time you have with this group of people. 

Once you understand the issue, you must also determine who the decision-makers and buyers are. You must understand the timeframe they are working against and their budget for the purchase. 

The company you’re pitching to will also bring in competitors who will pitch as well, but they aren’t your concern. 

Storytelling

John Livesay recently spoke about storytelling and the need to be memorable. It doesn’t matter who presents first or last, but rather who tells a better story. 

Consider having other team members attend the presentation with you and introduce themselves by telling an interesting story. Perhaps your CTO can share how his love of Legos® pushed him to create complex things and find solutions to problems. It inserts personality into the presentation. 

Tactical presentation

Make sure you know who will present information on the buyer’s behalf. Have someone from your organization research to determine who will attend.

If possible, learn what those people hope to discover from your presentation. Engage your champion, or the person you’ve been working with to this point, to find out whether you can introduce yourself prior to the presentation. When you do that, ask them what questions they’d like you to address in your presentation and then be prepared to address those specific topics. 

Once you understand who will attend and what information they’ll be seeking, you can build your presentation around those topics. 

Recruit help

If at all possible, take someone else to the presentation with you. Take several people if you can. Assemble a team of people from different departments. 

When you set up in the conference room, don’t divide yourself on opposite sides of the table. Use name cards for both groups to indicate where different people should sit. Also make sure you spell everyone’s names correctly. 

Intersperse the members of your group among the members of the company you’re pitching to. When you have breaks in the action, because the two teams are sitting together, they’ll be able to share conversation instead of squaring off like rival gangs. 

We recently used name cards for a presentation and they were a huge hit. The company was blown away by the preparation and the organization that went into the meeting. They assumed that if we were willing to invest that much preparation in a presentation like this, we’d certainly do it in our efforts to help them solve their problems. 

Control engagement

Develop slides that include imagery rather than a jumble of words. Tell a story about the problem your prospect is facing and how you can help solve it. Demonstrate your solution. 

Assign one member of your team to watch for reactions from the others in the room. Use him as a spotter. If he notices that someone is disengaged or fighting against sleep, he can signal that to you by interjecting or posing a question that will signal to you to adjust your direction. 

Have him watch for body language that indicates interest or to take note of those people who are jotting down things while you’re talking.

If, for example, the IT director takes lots of notes during the presentation, at the break I could suggest to the presenters that we talk a bit about IT and the most common questions we hear. 

Business case

Thank your champion in front of the entire group for making the presentation possible. Make her feel good in front of her colleagues. 

Then begin the work of building a business case for your prospect. Explain that you’ll answer the questions they submitted ahead of time and address the challenges you see based on the lessons you’ve learned. Describe how you’ve solved these problems for others and how you’ll translate that to this organization. 

Talk about how much the problem is likely costing the company and why they need to fix it. Explain how you’ll help, and do it all using stories. 

Virtual meetings

You can apply many of these same concepts to your virtual meetings as well. Although you can’t intersperse the participants, you can consider sending some treats that will arrive prior to the presentation. You can even send treats that somehow tie to the presentation you’ll be making, like Swedish Fish to make the case that you’re going to help them land bigger clients. 

Work to stand out from the pack by being unique and telling an amazing story. 

Action plan

When the meeting is complete, everyone in that room should leave feeling like they participated and like they were fulfilled by what happened. Then provide a specific action plan for what happens next. 

Present a few different options for ways to move forward. Give them time frames and explain the steps required to progress. 

I conduct presentations this way and they work well for me and for the people I’m presenting to. I want you to realize the same benefits in your own presentations.

“Presenting In Person” episode resources

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there. I’m fairly easy to connect with. Just comment on something about my podcast. Send me an email.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audio book, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, Eventbrite, Networking, Sales Outreach

TSE 1117: How To Effectively Use Networking Events In Your Sales Outreach Efforts!

Donald Kelly, Eventbrite, Networking, Sales Outreach

We’ve all encountered the guy who attends events just to see what he can get for himself, but there are ways to effectively use networking events in your sales outreach efforts.

You know the type: his conversations are one-sided because he’s only focused on his next big opportunity, and he has no time to learn about your business. His pitch kicks in when he finds out you’re a business owner.

But he could have fixed his approach. And you can make sure you’re not like him in your outreach.

New clients

No matter what type of sales you’re in, you need to get clients in the hopper. The way you get new leads varies based upon your industry. Some demand door-to-door while others require phone calls. Today, we at The Sales Evangelist use social media and other efforts as well as networking events.

Typically, at networking events, I encounter potential clients or people who can connect me with other people who are potential clients. Outreach done well can be very rewarding. But as we mentioned in the teaser, you can’t become the obnoxious guy that others avoid.

He may not even realize he’s coming across that way. He has likely had just enough random success to believe that he’s effective. But he could perform a lot better and gain more leads and opportunities if he changed his approach.

Plan

Before you attend a networking event, do your best to find out who will be there. Will the people there tie in with your demographic? Will they represent your ideal customer?

It may be impossible to find out who will be there, but it’s worth the effort to try. If you know the organizers, ask them about the top companies that will be represented there. If they give you names, research them before the actual event. Use tools like LinkedIn to gather data about those companies.

Plan who you want to connect with at the event. Develop a short list. The spray-and-pray mentality that involves giving out 10,000 business cards doesn’t look good. Instead, be intentional about the cards you give out.

Broaden your reach

Identify people you’d like to do business with as well as those who can become potential partners for you. Then, consider those who may not purchase directly from you but who can introduce you to other complementary partners.

You could even consider connecting with those you consider competition. I’ve had a good working relationship with companies I compete with, and we were able to help each other out. Whether we’re pursuing the same customers or different ones, it doesn’t make sense to burn bridges unnecessarily.

It’s also good to identify people that you could potentially help.

Be genuinely interested

People don’t necessarily care about you but everyone cares about their own problems. We’re all trying to solve problems, so the obnoxious seller might do well to understand our challenges. Perhaps he should have been curious about our business and asked additional questions.

Then ask follow-up questions. We did a great episode with Bob Burg who gave us great insights on this issue.

It’s worth mentioning, too, that we’re having a local sales meetup where Bob will be the guest speaker. We’ll be talking about his book, The Go-Giver.

Bob recommends having a list of questions you can ask.

  • Why did you get involved in this business?
  • What’s the biggest challenge you are seeing?

This leads to deeper discussions that will help you identify issues.

Simple message

Be prepared for their questions. Don’t begin by telling them what you have to offer, but be prepared for them to ask. Give a simple clean message that’s no more than 30 seconds. Let him know what you do.

Consider something like this:

“We help small businesses who are interested in growth, build out a sales process that’s actually going to help them increase revenue. We do this through consulting as well as through sales training.”

This will lead to further discussion and it will open opportunities for you to talk more. It may even provide more time for you to pitch in front of the group.

Jason Lynette, who appeared in episode 1081, gave a masterful message about situations where you have more time to share your message.

Draw in the room

Jason told the story of a murder. A woman came into his office with a horrible fear of bugs. She was a high-powered attorney who backed out of the case of a lifetime because she saw a cockroach in the courtroom. Within 10 days after their first meeting, she killed a housefly with her bare hands.

Draw in the room. While everyone else shares what they have to offer, you demonstrate that you’re a human. Entertain them. Share a story. Prove that you’re someone they could work with.

Connection

Then you can ask whether or not they know others who might benefit from what you offer. Consider, too, whether you might be able to help them by identifying people who can benefit from their product or services.

After the event, connect with all of those same people on LinkedIn. Remind them that you connected and nurture that relationship. Then you can utilize those connections to build your business.

I shared this with you because I want to help. I don’t want you to be that guy at a networking event. I want you to find more ideal customers. I want you to build stronger value. I want you to close more deals, but most importantly, I want to challenge you each and every single day to go out and do big things.

“Effectively Use Networking Events In Your Sales Outreach Efforts” episode resources

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Asking more questions, Listening, Fear

TSE 1047: Start Asking “Stupid Questions”!

Asking more questions, Listening, FearThe more information we have about our clients, the better we’ll be able to serve them, and we can begin by asking “stupid questions.

In 2013, I was working on a speech for Toastmasters and I wanted to talk to everyday people to find out whether or not they think the American Dream is dead.

What better place to find everyday people but on the train?

I was nervous. I didn’t want anyone to yell at me or be rude to me and I certainly didn’t want to get into a political debate.

Eventually, I mustered the courage to ask the guy sitting closest to me for his thoughts. I prepared for the worst but got the exact opposite instead. He answered my question and gave me the insight I needed to put together a great speech.

In today’s episode, I will share ways to overcome the roadblocks we create in our minds so that we can get the information we need to best help our clients.

Dumb, stupid questions

We tell ourselves that our questions are dumb and stupid. When we think that way, we end up with dumb and stupid results. We need to present our questions well so that we can get the right information from our clients.

When we ask only surface-level questions, we get surface-level answers in return.

When we then use those answers to create a quote, we find that the client is not interested or ready.

It is the same situation every time. We worry and feel like we suck at our job. Other people selling the exact same product to the same type of client are performing so much better.

How does this happen?

Clear and meaningful questions

Too often, we are so focused on how we come across to others that we don’t ask the right questions. We don’t want to appear rude or pushy.

Or, we worry that we might embarrass ourselves by asking a question that everyone else already knows the answer to. We also hesitate to “bother” an executive, or challenge the way he already does business even though our suggestions could benefit his organization.

Push the norm

We are afraid to push the norm.

Many executives are surrounded by ‘yes people.’ This creates a void that, as a consultant, you could fill.

To prepare for more clear and meaningful questions, you need to first understand where the questions will lead.

As an example, the brake light on my car went out. I did everything I knew to try to fix it without success. A mechanic, on the other hand, would have the experience and the knowledge to ask me the right questions about my problem in order to isolate the best solution.

I would not assume that any of the questions he asked me were stupid even if I already knew that, of course, I should check the bulb before coming in.

He would be viewed as an expert because he would ask all the necessary questions in order to fix my problem.

The more confident you are on a topic, the less stupid the simple questions will seem in your mind. You will know and understand that people who are not as well-versed on the subject will make mistakes with the small things.

Asking clear and meaningful questions will get you clear and meaningful results.

Know the landscape

Read industry magazines and trade journals of your targeted clients. Know why they need what you are offering.

Study and prepare so that your questions are clear and meaningful. Understand the intricacies of their business. It will make you more effective in presenting your case.

You will be able to ask questions with confidence.

When you know where the questions might lead, and you won’t be afraid to ask them. You will be prepared. Keep the questions simple and clear.

Don’t ever assume that any of them are stupid.

Start Asking “Stupid Questions” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

If you’re not familiar with the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, it’s a program designed to help brand new sales reps, as well as those who have been selling forever. The 12-week module offers videos you can watch at your own pace, as well as the option to join a group discussion. It’s broken into three sections: finding, building value, and closing. It’s amazing and it’s fun!

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

The episode is also brought to you by prospect.io, a sales automation platform that allows you to send cold emails in a personalized manner. To find out more about how it can help you automate your sales process, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never be the same.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

John Barrows, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 818: 10 Effective Qualifying Questions Salespeople Should Ask Each Prospect

John Barrows, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

Qualifying represents a vital piece of the sales process. Qualifying is perhaps the most underserved part of the process, and most of us are doing it wrong.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter how well you close if you don’t have a good pipeline.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk to John Barrows about the important questions you should be asking during qualification, and why being direct with your prospects will save you time.

Quality

Everyone in sales understands that quality is important. We don’t spam. We don’t make generic phone calls. Still, though, we have daily numbers we have to reach like 50 phone calls or 100 emails.

Those are competing agendas.

We want quality, but time is our challenge. Many of us sprinkle phone calls and emails throughout the day, but doing so is a complete waste of time.

Instead, tier your accounts. Organize them by industry and call similar accounts in a single day. Doing so allows you to craft a message specific to that group, find a case study you can refer to if necessary, and prepare a few questions that are relevant to those prospects.

It streamlines the calls and allows you to be more targeted and relevant in your communication.

Realistically, not all of our leads deserve the same amount of our time.

Qualifying Questions

To help sellers, John has identified questions they should ask during the qualification process. (The full list is available in the show notes.)

1.  What are the details of the decision-making process?

Without understanding the full buying process, you won’t know how to proceed.

Ask how these decisions have historically been made, or ask about the next steps in the process.

If you find yourself meeting with someone who isn’t the decision-maker, research to find out who will make the decision. Then matter-of-factly ask, “When does Sarah need to be involved in this process?”

2. Are you ok telling me no? 

Most people are very uncomfortable saying no.

Say something to your prospect like, “As we go through this process, if it’s pretty obvious to you that we aren’t a good fit and I somehow don’t pick up on it, are you ok telling me no?”

Allow silence while you wait for an answer.

If your prospect suddenly goes dark later on, you can remind him in a voicemail or email that he said he was comfortable telling you no, which will usually bring him back to the table.

3. Do you have your calendar in front of you?

This question works well when a prospect asks you to send him information.

Very often, that’s a blow-off move, but you can follow up by asking what information they’d like to see. If your prospect is legitimately interested, the questions will be easy to answer.

Then, ask when he would like to schedule the follow-up call. If he says something general like, “Next week,” you can follow up with, “Great! Do you have your calendar in front of you?”

Again, allow the silence that will likely happen.

Psychology of being direct

There’s a huge difference between being direct and being rude.

Being direct gets you to “no” faster if that’s where you’re ultimately headed anyway. The more direct you are, the more quickly you’ll get them in or out.

It’s a matter of setting expectations and then being accountable to them.

Note, too, that the Rule of Reciprocity says that if we have just spent time on the phone providing value to a prospect, there’s a fleeting moment in which he will feel obligated to do something in return.

Take advantage of that moment.

Episode resources

Here’s John’s full list of 10 Sales Qualification Questions To Always Ask Your Prospect.

  1. What are the details of the decision making process and who is involved?
  2. How have decisions like this been made in the past?
  3. What are your top business priorities for the upcoming year?
  4. What are your top priorities when making this decision?
  5. Are you okay with telling me no?
  6. What’s the best way to communicate with you moving forward?
  7. Will you be my Champion?
  8. What happens if this decision doesn’t get made?
  9. Do you have your calendar in front of you?
  10. Based on today’s conversation, do you think our solution would add value to your business?

Connect with John at his website, where you can find links to his social media as well as his LinkedIn.

Share this podcast with others who want to learn more about qualifying leads. Leave us a review wherever you consume the content, and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to connect with sellers of all levels in a variety of industries.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Asking Questions, TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 665: TSE Hustler’s League-“The Art of Asking Questions”

Asking Questions, TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistToday’s episode is taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League, If you haven’t yet check out our two-tracked training happening this October where we will focus on building value and business development.

Asking Questions

Stop winging it! Ask meaningful questions.  A study that was done on the Journal for Applied Psychology suggests that the likelihood of voting increased if they’re asked the question. Questions generate that mindset for people to give answers when asked.

The Benefits of Asking Good Questions

  • It helps you tailor your presentation.
  • It shows that you’re listening and mindful of the buyer’s needs.
  • It makes you seen as a consultant.

Your buyers’ brains are wired to answer questions whenever asked.

The Start-Stop Question:

The prospect jumps towards the end of your presentation even when you’re still in the middle of it and they ask about the cost, for example. Using this strategy, you start to answer the question. Then you stop to ask them a question.

Example:

  • Client: How much is the system?
  • You: Great question. It’s generally between…(stop here) But first, how many users will use the system?

The Reverse Question

This works by redirecting the person to where you want them to be by asking them a question in return.

Example:

  • Client: What kinds of features does your system have?
  • You: It depends. What kinds of features do you guys want to see?

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Take control of the meeting and the conversation. Don’t jump right into giving them the answers.

Episode Resources:

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 535: TSE Hustler’s League-“Become An Expert In The Details”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Are you keen to details? Or are you just too assuming your prospects will understand? Today’s snippet taken from our past training session over at the TSE Hustler’s League is focused on being expert in the details. Where in your sales process can you better focus on the details?

A few areas where you can focus on details:

  1. Qualifying

Get a better grasp on not only their statistics but really dive more into the challenges they’re facing. This way you can put together an even more compelling solution. You can be technical, but if you’re able to do a better job of getting the details out of them, every account would be a slam dunk for you.

Do a better job on the front end by really uncovering all their pain and most importantly, getting them to feel it. Help draw out emotions from them.

  1. Presentation

Make sure your prospects understand your product and what that means for them, exactly what value you’re bringing to the table. Make it seen in their mind why it’s important for them to have your product or service. Paint a picture by telling a story.

Stop assuming your prospects already know these things and they understand. Go deeper into details and when you do that, you get better results.

The Principle of the 5 Why’s

This was originally conceptualized by Toyota but this principle has been used by a lot of companies today because it’s so effective. The idea behind this is to dig into the details. For each problem, ask why five times so you can go deeper to the core root of the problem until you can offer a solution.

For example:

A person drives into work and gets a flat tire. Most people say you need to get the tire fixed. Instead, ask yourself…

  1. Why did you get a flat tire? (I hit a pothole.)
  1. Why did you hit a pothole? (I was driving fast and I didn’t see the pothole.)
  1. Why were you driving fast and didn’t see it? (I was late for a meeting.)
  1. Why were you late for a meeting? (I didn’t set my alarm clock.)
  1. Why didn’t you set your alarm clock? (Because I was lazy and went to bed early so I didn’t have the time to set it.)

The deeper you go, the better you understand. The root problem here is that this person is unorganized. For sure, there’s going to be another issue other than the pothole.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Dig down into the deepest level of your customer’s whys. Go into the details.

Episode Resources:

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

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Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League

TSE 530: TSE Hustler’s League-“Questions Your Customers Want You to Ask – Part 2”

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League This is Part 2 of the snippet which I’ve pulled out from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League where we talked more about appropriate questions your customers would want you to ask so you can get to the real pain of your prospect and make sure you’re able to bring the best value to the table. (If you haven’t yet, please check out Part 1 of this episode where I already shared some strategies for asking the right questions.)

More strategies for asking the right questions:

  1. Find out the people who are part of the purchasing community.

Most companies have multiple individuals in their buying process. Find out their time frame and their budget.

Example:

Who else is a part of making the decision or selection?

  1. Put on some “softeners” or buffer to your questions.

This means saying a little phrase to serve as a buffer right before asking the question or just to show them you are listening.

Examples:

 

  • It sounds that this has been affecting the business for a while, what is the time frame for implementing the solution?
  • Out of curiosity, what is the time for this project?
  • Off the record, do you guys have a budget for this?
  • Out of curiosity, what is the budget range you’re looking at? I want to make sure we’re a good fit.
  • Besides price, what are the most important criteria when it comes to selecting a company?
  • If you don’t mind me asking, why is that so important?
  • Off the record, why didn’t you select the vendor the last time you did this project?
  1. Talk about the price range.

What is the projected budget for this project?

  1. Ask questions that elicit them to speak to their why.

As mentioned last week, try to dig deeper into their real pain by adding the softeners mentioned above to your “why” questions.

  1. Come prepared to answer them.

Think about the questions your prospects are going to ask. The questions they’re going to ask you are probably the same ones the other prospects are asking you on initial meetings as well. Coming to the meeting with an understanding of those questions makes you look more professional. Practice.

Episode Resources:

Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen

TSE 525: Questions Your Customers Want You to Ask – Part 1

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Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League

TSE 525: TSE Hustler’s League-“Questions Your Customers Want You to Ask – Part I”

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League Today’s snippet taken from one of our past sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is all about asking the appropriate questions to help advance your deal and let you bring more value to the table.

Regardless of what you’re selling or who your selling to, you have to ask the appropriate, value-rich questions. These are questions your prospects would be glad that you asked.  Reduce your talking. Help them feel they’re buying and not you selling. Then price would no longer even be a question.

If you find some of these questions to be missing in your process, then feel free to tweak it and fix it.

Strategies for asking the right questions:

  1. Do your basic research before the call/meeting.

Don’t just wing it. You have to come prepared with information. You can find details about anyone just by going online. Find out about the company in advance and don’t ask questions where the answers are already accessible. Make sure you come as a consultant by showing them you’re bringing intelligence to the table.

  1. Get access to their why.

The more you can get access to what’s really powerful and meaning to them, the more connected you’re going to be. Remember, people do business with people they know, like, and trust.

Bad example:

“How long have you been around?”

Good examples:

  • “I know you’ve been around for 13 years and as an individual solopreneur, why did you decide to get into the x-ray business?”
  • “You mentioned you currently have a system, what would cause you to look at something else?”

Sometimes you may have a solution that they already have. So it’s important to find out what caused the disservice.

  1. If you feel it, say it.

If you feel you have a question you really want to know the answer to, then don’t be too shy to ask it. Ask. Be bold and be open. Remember, you’re here as a consultant. And they will respect you for that.

  1. Acknowledge they’ve also done their research.

Examples:

“I know you’ve done some research already, what are your must-haves in a new system?”

“I know you’ve probably looked at many different services like ours already or done some research on systems like ours, what are some of the must-haves in your service?”

  1. Dig deeper than just the features or benefits they’re looking for.

Asking these type of questions will let you know whether they like the system or it’s just a legacy system that was in place which they wanted to change.

Examples:

“What are some of the criteria you’re looking for when selecting a system? Why is that so important to you?”

“Were you part of the original selecting committee? Who is also part of the selecting committee.”

  1. Bring up their band-aids that would reaffirm to them that they need to do some changes.

Example:

“What do you do to fix this challenge? What are the band-aids you’re doing? Is that something you’re going to keep doing? How long can you keep doing that band-aid before it becomes ineffective to you?”

  1.   Delve down to their true pain that’s affecting them.

Emphasize how it affects their business by asking, for instance, the 5 why’s. Ask with a why and keep following it up with a why. By the time you get down to the fifth why, you usually get to the true issues.

Example:

“How does that affect your business? How much is that costing you?”

Episode Resources:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

TSE 500: The Sales Evangelist 500th Episode-“I Can’t Believe We Are Here!”

The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

Today marks our 500th episode! And to celebrate this marvelous milestone, we’re having this fun Q&A session where I pulled out some questions sent to me through email or from the Facebook group.

 

Q: How do I get current customers and referral partners to write recommendations about me on LinkedIn aside from skills endorsements? How can I help influence them?

A: The best way to get something is to GIVE something. Give them something of value. There’s a feature on LinkedIn that allows you to write a recommendation and you’re asked if you want to write a recommendation in return. These people are already your partners so they’re willing to do this but people are usually afraid to initiate the process. So try writing them recommendations first.

Q: What comes to mind when you hear $8,500?

A: When I began doing speaking engagements, I was practically taking opportunities to speak for free and getting paid $500 blew me away. Fast forward to now, I’m closing deals to speak for over $500. One of the highest I’ve had is $8,500 for a speaking opportunity and I am now on the $10,000 range.

This is HUGE! The point here is to not undervalue yourself and to not be afraid of asking for more. Don’t hold yourself back. So when I hear $8,500, I think about the idea that the sky’s the limit. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you can’t let yourself hold you back.

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Q: How would you coach someone who has recently been hired to do outbound sales for a company who has not had anyone in this role before?

A: Understand the ideal client for the organization. Go into the CRM. Look at the top deals closed in the past 2-3 year and look at client demographics. Then figure out how long does it take to close the deal and what products/services you have to offer to your ideal customer.

Find out why they went with you and what issues did you solve for them which you can use as a talking point to other customers. Then outline your sales process. How do you find your ideal customers? (Outbound and inbound strategies). Set a discovery meeting to see if you’re a great fit. Have the right people on board. Then bring value. Make sure to have a standard operating procedure and qualifying metrics before going to the next stage.

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Q: When you recorded Episode 1, what did you hope to be getting out of podcasting and 499 episodes later, can you say that you’ve achieved your goal?

A: I was excited to create a community of people that I could help overcome the pitfalls that I also went through when I started off. That was the dream. 500 episodes later, I did accomplish that. I’ve seen so many individuals whose lives have changed because of the things our guests have shared or the lessons they’ve picked up from the podcast.

Q: How do you hustle to get promoted?

A: Just give value and go above and beyond your call of duty. Bring value to the table. Find the challenges and offer solutions. Work early and stay late. Bring something to the table to help you get noticed. Act rather than be acted upon. Also help other departments.

Q: How did you go from working a full-time sales job to creating 500 episodes and give time to your wife, church, community, traveling, and taking time to take care of yourself?

A: I found the most important elements in my life and I made sure I put time in for those. I have always loved planning and was always writing things out and making goals. I put the big things in place. So put the times in for the things that matter the most. Then I started delegating other tasks to my team members (ex. writing the show notes, audio editing, etc.)

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Q: How did you make yourself productive without losing sleep?

A: Just put the most important things first. Don’t jeopardize your family or friendship for your career. Make sure you give them your time. Sometimes you have to work early too.

Q: From the time your dream hit you, how long did it take before launching? What steps did you take to help others achieve big things as well?

A: I got introduced to listening to podcasts by my friend Jared Easley and so I started listening to Seth Godin’s Startup School Podcast and got hooked on podcasting since then. I listened to Pat Flynn and I was thinking about how this stuff could work and how I can talk about sales and sales challenges. So it took me around 3-4 months from the time the idea was conceived to the actual execution.

My key takeaways:

  • Strike while the iron is out so you won’t talk yourself out of things. Keep that dream alive and keep going.
  • Start small. Big things will come when you start small but you have to start in order to get there.

Do you have any questions? Email me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com and I’d love to hear from you.

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Episode Resources:

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross

Asana project management tool

Seth Godin’s Startup School podcast

Let’s go down memory lane and listen to the very first episode of The Sales Evangelist

Join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers

Say goodbye to long, boring proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. It integrates well with other CRMs such as Salesforce. Pipedrive, and HubSpot. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.
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Dave, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 369: Sales From The Street-“Ask The Right Questions”

Dave, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Best Sales Podcast Asking questions is an integral piece of sales in order for you to uncover your prospect’s true challenges. But how much of your time do you actually spend on developing questions that will allow you to move forward along your sales process? We have an interesting topic on today’s Sales from the Street as Dave Specht shares with us value-packed insights on the power of asking great questions.

Dave is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and creator of some awesome mobile applications such as Inspired Questions for Family, Inspired Questions for Farmers, and Inspired Questions for Family Business..

Dave is also the Founder of Advising Generations, a consulting practice that works with multi-generational family businesses looking to transition their ownership and management to the next generation.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Dave:

Dave Specht, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

 

Dave’s biggest challenges:

  • Thinking highly of himself and telling clients what to do
  • People didn’t want to be told what to do

Strategies Dave employed to overcome this challenge:

  • Developing questions
  • Focus on questions instead of having all the answers and being the smartest guy in the room
  • Focus more on providing the right questions so you can get to the heart of what their challenge really is

How to develop questions:

  1. Identify pain points and challenging spots.
  2. Start going backwards and develop questions to help them solve those problems.

What are the questions that can unlock this person to be able to allow them to move forward for their benefit?

  1. Questions have to be genuine to help them figure out and clarify what’s important to them. You become their ally and resource beyond the product you sell then you get the opportunity to implement the solution.

Dave’s Major Takeaway:

Spend an equal amount of time working on and writing down questions as you do learning and understanding your own product.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Dave Specht through email at dave@advisinggenerations.com or go to www.inspired-questions.com to check out the mobile apps he created with all different sets of inspired questions.

Check out our Indiegogo campaign by visiting www.DoBigThings.net

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Join TSE Hustler’s League for $1.00

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Prospecting, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 267: Tough Questions Salespeople Should Be Asking

Prospecting, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast What happens when a prospect tells you they don’t have the budget for it? What…cat got your tongue? Well, I’ve been down that road before and getting derailed from how you wanted your conversation to ideally flow can seem pretty daunting.

So I’ve listed some tough questions that you can load in your arsenal so the next time a prospect throws some tough objections at you, you’re always ready to navigate your course towards success. Ask them appropriate questions that will get them to think.

11 Tough Questions to Ask Your Prospects

  1. If you had a termite issue with your house, would you throw a coat of paint on it?
  2. If there was one thing you could do to grow your company that you’re not doing today, what would it be?
  3. When somebody tells you they don’t have the money right now but you know that if they do this, it can change their life and business, here’s what you can say:

That is exactly why you need to borrow, beg, or do whatever needs to be done to get the money so you can get this particular product.

  1. What is impossible to do right now, but if you could do it or get it done, would it fundamentally change your business for good?
  2. Let’s say you want to raise the productivity level of your team by 15%, what would they need to do today that they’re not currently doing?

Possible follow up question: What impact would that have on your bottom line?

  1. If you really feel that this could change your business, could you find a budget for it? (Go quiet and usually they will figure out an answer.)

Possible follow up questions:

  • Have you calculated the cost of doing business with the lowest bidder? (If the prospect selects the lowest bidder)
  • What about the cost of their service department? How is it if you calculated that into your business?

Help them understand all those other costs. Point those things out to make them think a little more.

  1. Do I really have a shot at this or is XYZ a sacred cow?

Possible follow up question:

What do you like so much about them if you don’t mind me asking?

(Understanding why they’re the sacred cow will help you find a weak spot in their armor and capitalize on that)

  1. Do you really want to think it over? Or is it safe to say that it is over?

Usually people know what they want to get. You can’t just be pushed around. You have more prospects to go after so cut it clean.

  1. You mentioned you’ve not had a good experience with your current provider. If you would have worked with us, what are you hoping would be different?
  2. Given all we talked about, what do you see as being different if you were to move forward with our company?
  3. If we were to work together, what does success look like for you? Or what does it look like for your project?

20 Tough Sales Questions

 

20 Tough Sales Question Every Salesperson Should Ask

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly