Let's Chat | Call us: 212-502-3066

How to Develop Competitive Sales Skills

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Feb 9, 2017 4:22:00 PM

Developing competitive sales skills focuses on being prepared to perform under pressure, in any type of situation or environment.

Sales professionals who have competitive sales skills are the ones who think of sales in the same way professional athletes think of their jobs: with confidence about their own abilities and fear of their equally skilled competitors who may be better at using their abilities.

Confidence, born from focus, attention and ongoing skill development is the chief ingredient for success, no matter what industry you are in.

So, whether you’re training yourself, or your team, it can be challenging to determine specific areas of development that are important to focus on.

 That’s why, in addition to the insights shared by Steve Bookbinder in the video above, there are 4 important lessons that you must also focus on in order to gain a competitive advantage and own your success.

Approach big challenges differently than you do day-to-day challenges

Thinking about the future tends to cause our brains to minimize the obstacles we'll face and instead focus on desired outcomes. We look at goals differently based on whether they are a short-term or long-term goals. For instance, 3-months ago when you booked a trip home to see your family, you were focused on abstract ideas like “quality time with my family and friends” or “downtime.” But I would imagine when it came time to actually leave for your trip, you were more concerned about your immediate needs like: "what should I pack" or “how am I getting to the airport?” It is only when goals get closer and more immediate that people start to think about them more concretely. So, focus on making small, incremental lifestyle changes that may feel less glamorous, but will have a much greater chance of creating real change in your life.

Always be realistic about your starting point when facing a big challenge.

There is no advantage in exaggerating your abilities or skills; it’s more productive when you acknowledge areas in need of development and then set out to improve upon those areas in order to achieve your goals. Asking the right questions will help lead you down the right path. But that requires being honest with yourself, and not coming up with an unrealistic plan that you’re overwhelmed by, instead aim to take stop steps each day. And remember, play within your own abilities, and recognize constraints of your product, your company, and the marketplace.

challenging_challenge_climb_cliff_group_help_together-1.jpg

Focus on identifying everything that can go wrong, rather than blindly trusting optimism.

While it is good to remain positive and confident that you will prevail, that is not the fuel that will help you prepare fully and give you the confidence you will need to overcome your biggest fears. Fear makes most people stop. But we can use our fear and feeling of being uncomfortable to propel us forward. Consider holding yourself accountable by involving a friend, co-worker, or partner to hold your feet to the fire. When we have support as well as keep pushing ourselves forward by stepping out of our comfort-zone, those are times that test our abilities and help us grow and gain a better understanding of our own work styles.

Don’t stop until you reach your goal.

The competitive sales professional will stop at nothing. They are driven, focused, and persistent.

Whatever you’re selling, you’ve got competition. Somebody besides you is selling to your clients and customers on a regular basis.  Assume that it’s a zero sum game, which means that if someone is getting “more”, then someone else is getting “less.” While we can’t control all of the factors involved in making a sale, we can certainly take all the right steps to properly prepare.

In a competitive situation like a playoff game or a race, every player wants to win at the start of the game --- the consistent winner isn’t the person who wants it bad enough at the starting line; it’s the person who was willing to prepare on all of the days leading up to the big game day!

Conclusion

Competitive salespeople beat their competitors as well as their own best records from previous years by focusing on all four of these lessons.

To develop your skills as a sales professional, you must work towards understanding yourself and equally as important, you need to understand your competition.

The best competitive sellers are willing to do whatever it takes and they ask themselves:

  • What are my competitors doing that I should be doing? Or shouldn’t be doing?
  • How many prospecting calls will they make?
  • How will they prepare for their sales meetings? Oh and by the way, these are sales meeting that are with the same type of people you want to meet with.
  • How will they handle objections?
  • How will they answer the tough question: “how are you different from your competitors?” How will they make their offering sound compelling and ROI+?
  • What are they doing to prepare for a successful year that includes beating you at your game?

Unless you consider these questions — even if the answers scare you — you will not as likely prevail like a competitive salesperson. So gather your confidence, skills, and go out there and conquer the sales world!

4 Steps for Improving Your Time Management and Sales Skills - Free eBook

Read More

Topics: training, sales tips, sales training, goal setting, how to be your own coach, Investing in Sales Training, salespeople, high performing salespeople, sales tools, competitive selling, how to, confident, confidence

How to Be Your Own Coach: Uncovering Next Steps (Part 2)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 16, 2013 9:17:00 AM

clipboard_with_a_checkmark_400_clr_8569
Next, find many steps.  Here is the trick: everyday, you want to find as many small steps that you can fit into each new day as you can. That should be the totality of your day - constantly taking the small next steps – and don’t count on any one of them to be the one that gets you to the final success.  You need to know that most of the roads you begin traveling down will not necessarily lead to whatever success you’re looking for right away.  Chances are that the bigger the goal, the longer it’ll take to get there and the greater the number of different routes you can take.  But if 99 won’t work, and you’re only working on 50 of them, something isn’t working.  You want to be on the constant outlook of the little baby steps that need to be taken so that you’ll eventually bump into or cause, by virtue of all the interactions that you’re creating, the success that you’re looking for.
 
And finally, understand the shape of the road.  Everyone runs into obstacles.  What’s interesting is that if you break that down into their core, you’ll reflect on your personal methods of dealing with challenges. What is your reaction to an obstacle?  Would you stop while some people keep going?
 
Think of it this way: There is no such thing as an obstacle.  To use the term "obstacle" means to see the thing in front of you that might look like a big rock or a high wall, where there’s nothing to hold onto, and say, “Oh, my goodness.” 
 
By saying it this way, what you’re really thinking is this: The road was nice, flat, smooth, consistent, and safe.  As you were walking down the road, there would be nice signs pointing ahead saying, “Success just 500 yards ahead.  Just keep strolling down this solid clean road.” We think it’s supposed to look like that, and when it doesn’t, we think there’s an obstacle.  When we see an obstacle, we treat ourselves very differently. If there’s a road, we keep walking, and if there’s a sudden high wall, we suddenly stop in our tracks.
 
Some of us are conditioned to stop when we see an obstacle.  Think of it this way:  There are no such things as obstacles. What there is, however, is the road taking on the shape of a wall sometimes.  The road can even take on the shape of a high tree that you must climb if you want to continue on that road to success.  That’s what the road looks like.  Treat the obstacle as you would any other road. You just have to adjust to it and perhaps even slow down.  Maybe you can’t keep running.  Just keep walking.  You can even crawl, but don’t stop advancing on that road.  Keep finding the small steps that you can take that will move you forward.
success_failure_choose_roads-1
Remember to uncover your next steps by focusing on these 4 concepts:
1. Find the smallest step
2. Enjoy the moment
3. Locate many steps
4. The Shape of the Road

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: training, tips, value, skills, life lessons, setting goals, goal setting, how to be your own coach, strategy

How to Be Your Own Coach: Uncovering Next Steps

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 15, 2013 8:05:00 AM

This is part 1 of 2 installments. Hopefully, you have now decided on what your number one desired outcome in life is. The very next thing to think about is the next step. Think about the steps, the series of individual steps, that will eventually get you to your goal.
 These are four aspects that you need to focus on:
1. Find the smallest step
2. Let yourself enjoy the moment
3. Find many steps
4. The shape of the road.
First, find the smallest step.  Very often, we’re daunted by the challenge. We want to get to the top of the mountain. 

leap_of_faith

Right now, we’re at the bottom of the mountain, and it just seems like it’ll take forever to climb up.  But of course, the very first step is the most important one.  In fact, when most people don’t accomplish their goals, it can be attributed to two main causes: getting started and maintaining the momentum.  Generally, getting started is the most difficult aspect. What I want you to do is make that easy for yourself.  If you were to begin an exercise program that involved getting up early and doing a series of activities, what would be the hardest challenge?  Well, if you could just learn to get up early, then you will find that the first small step you take is the most essential step that will eventually get you to all the other steps.
 
And in this way, you want to break down your big goals, and start saying to yourself, “What’s the very next thing?” Most business or social goals have to do with either being introduced to someone (sometimes it’s not who you know, but who knows you) or getting someone’s permission.  If I’m an actor, I want to get the director’s permission to be casted.  If I’m a professional salesperson, I need to get the decision-maker’s permission so that the company will buy from me.  Generally, it boils down to these 2 things.
 
What do you need to do to break it down?   You need to make a phone call, send an email, and get a name.  You must meet someone who could eventually introduce you to your target person. Where do you need to go? 
 excellent_speedometer_gauge
This is the kind of reverse engineering and granular thinking needed to come up with an easy-to-take, can’t-miss next step.
Second, let yourself enjoy the moment.  After you have achieved in taking even the smallest step, actually enjoy it for a moment.  Allow yourself to feel good because you’re realizing that the only difference between where you are and where you want to be is that you haven’t finished taking all the steps to get there.  You deserve to enjoy it, so take a moment to fully realize it. 

 

 In tomorrow's post, we will cover the 3rd and 4th aspects.

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

Read More

Topics: training, tips, value, skills, managing, life lessons, goal setting, how to be your own coach, business