Common sales questions: Want to improve your sales? Improve yourself!

I am often approached by my sales reps with sales questions such as:

  • How can I overcome the rebuttal of no money?
  • What is the best way to get past a gatekeeper in a small business where the owner is often out of the office?
  • What question can I ask that will get my prospects to buy?

It’s common to look for that silver bullet, the magic saying that will turn “no” into “yes.” They are so focused on the specific deal, client or prospect that they miss the real lesson or area they need to work on, themselves. I am probably the worst culprit of ignoring the advice I am about to give, but here’s my commitment to you all reading this – I am making it my goal again!

In our “always on” world (typing and sending this for review from 20,000 feet in the air somewhere between BOS and MDW) of numbers, metrics, real time stats and constant need to hit those daily, weekly and monthly goals turning each call into a customer can be a very attractive proposition. But turning that call at 3:45 today into a deal tomorrow may be an impossible proposition. If you are off the phone (or worse, that poor woman is on hold) and asking me a question, it is likely too late. You will not get them back on the phone with the new silver bullet I am sure I can feed you.

So, what is the answer to these sales questions?

What I say may surprise some….

1. Go to the gym, take your wife out to dinner, meet your friends to watch March Madness or go get a massage.

This alone will not get you to close more deals or turn that 3:45 call into a yes. But, it will get you in the right frame of mind and focused so that when you are on that call you can process and respond using all your skill in the moment when you already have their attention (also hard to get as they are probably reading your email, at 20,000 feet passing you in the night headed to BOS from MDW). With all the data and information we face each day, the only way to be primed to process it and put part two below into effect is if you are ready and focused.

2. Don’t wait until someone says no to ask how to overcome it!

Once it happens it is too late and your best bet is to learn from the meeting and make sure it does not happen again. That is what I tell my reps, young and old. My goal is not to help fix the botched sale but to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. That’s where the self-improvement really starts.

3. The most successful sales reps I know are students of their craft.

They read books, they listen to tapes, they read blogs (you are on your way!) and they hang out with the top producers. If you are rep 15 out of 17, stop hanging out with 16 and 17, stop making excuses and stop justifying your #15 position. Own where you are. Go offer to buy #1 lunch. That is a $5 foot long at Subway that I know will pay dividends (we were all #15 at some point so will be happy with a sub). Ask that person how they managed to overcome the same objection, got past a gatekeeper or created a need when the prospect did not think they had one. Talk to your manager about a sales technique that you read about and how they think you could apply parts of it to your sales process.

I know a lot of these sales questions sound familiar and you probably do bits and pieces already today but I would challenge you to try all the pieces. If you just want to turn one “no” into a “yes” feel free to send me your call recording or your sales email, or any of your sales questions and I am confident I will find another question to ask or something you missed. If you are interested in being a student of your craft and a top producer, then don’t lose site of the importance of always investing in yourself. Just be mindful of what could happen, you may find yourself at Subway with someone offering to buy you a foot long turkey sub on wheat.

In conclusion:

  • Spend time on YOU so you can be ready and focused
  • Don’t wait until someone says no to ask how to overcome it
  • Keep on learning and learn from the best – go offer to buy #1 lunch