5 Skills the Most Competitive Sellers Focus on Improving Blog Feature
Steve Bookbinder

By: Steve Bookbinder on February 7th, 2013

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5 Skills the Most Competitive Sellers Focus on Improving

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By Steve Bookbinder


In each industry, the winning seller – that is, the one who consistently reaches sales goals – sometimes has to take market share away from their competitors. To consistently win, sellers need to top their peers. The challenge for most sellers is that within their own industry-vertical their peers share the same “selling” skills.

Here are 5 phases of the sales process that sellers can potentially beat their peers:

1. Prospecting

A. So many sellers are looking for short cuts and efficiencies.  Instead, out-prospect your peers by focusing on:

B. The number of different people you call each month, rather than the total number of dials.
Focus on time it takes to schedule a new sales introduction meeting, rather than simply the number of emails and dials.


2. Leading Great First Meetings

A. Have you ever walked out of a meeting and thought “I wish I had given a better answer…next time…” Well, there is no next time. Selling is a performance art and you need to get it right every time. Train yourself to out-perform your peers in First Meetings by focusing on:

B. Research - Do your research! But go beyond reading the prospect’s corporate website. Consider researching the individual too in order to find commonalities.

C. Be prepared to out-answer the same questions that your peers will be asked:  “So, what do you guys offer?”  “What makes you different?” “What makes you better?”  “What makes your offering worth our budget?”

D. Know, before you walk in, “How you are going to open?”, “What you are going to ask?” and “What you will suggest as a reason to meet again by scheduled appointment soon?”.


3. Presenting the Solution

Even the worst sellers are at their best during presentations; the best sellers know they gain an advantage when they use the presentations as way to gain information not only explain their offering.  The winning sellers understand that each sale involves getting the prospect’s feedback about 3 things (think 3 separate sales):

A. The Time Table for delivery (this is usually the least explored area of the sale but needs to be the first – prospects only make decisions when they have to and therefore are only likely to render a decision if doing so moves them closer to solving their problems/achieving their goals.).

B. The offer (and how it fits the prospects stated needs and the individual buyers goals)

C. The Price (the prospect will eventually be alone with your proposal looking at your price.  Make sure you know their reaction BEFORE you put it in writing in the proposal)

4. Negotiating & Closing

Negotiating isn’t some painful activity you do after you finish selling; it is the culmination of the sales process.  You want to beat your peers? Focus on:

A. Always play from a position of strength.  The moment you can’t walk away – or sound desperate – you are lost.

B. Know what you are up against – anticipate the customer’s ideal deal and walk-away point.


5. Increasing your knowledge of Online Marketing and Online Research tools.  

Obviously if you are a media seller you know the importance of continuing digital education.  For non-media sellers: Get with the game – your customer’s are checking you out online and you need to connect with discussion groups your prospects are reading.  Social media is how you get warmer leads, if you know how to play.


Every one of your competitors will try to take away your business through the combination of those 5 skills. Beat them at their own game!


About Steve Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.

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