Productive Insights

5
Jun

The Good, the Bad, and the ‘Perverse’

Examples of unintended consequences-usually, negative-are common. Environmental regulations on manufacturing reduce pollution in the US, for example, but higher costs drive prices up. Manufacturers without restrictions in other countries receive more orders and increase their production. The net effect is more pollution overall. Sales managers need to weigh unintended consequences as well. They are so common that they constitute an

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3
Oct

Trade Show Success: What’s the Secret?

Why do companies attend trade shows? Answers vary, including the completely unacceptable, “Not sure, but we’ve always done it.” Trade shows aren’t for everyone but if you’re going to go, don’t just attend-participate. After all, you can see as many or more people in two or three days at a show as you might otherwise see in six months. Most business

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17
Aug

Leveraging Time in the Sales Process

What’s your number-one sales challenge? What obstacle, if you overcame it, would most help you increase sales? We ask that question when we survey participants before the first session of our consultative sales training course, FOCIS. The survey helps us understand how to tailor the course to the needs of any given company, class, or business developer. Specifically, the survey helps

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19
Jul

Are You Coachable? Is Your Team?

Over the past 23 years business developers and others participating in our courses on consultative selling, consultative negotiating, and increasing referrals have demonstrated a wide range of coach-ability. Here’s how a few approached coaching, both giving and receiving. We hope you’ll gain some insight about yourself, your team, and using coaching to gain-and keep-an edge. Practicing What You Preach: The coach who

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26
Jun

Do Your Sales Reps Need a Lifeline?

On their way to wealth and security, contestants on the TV game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” face tough questions during their once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sometimes they need the help of a “lifeline”- from the audience or a phone call to a friend-before giving their “final” answer. Your salespeople are under similar pressure every day. Which lifelines make the most

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26
May

Special Ops Selling: One Eye Closed or Two Eyes Open?

Recently, I was fortunate to have a rare opportunity to talk with an active-duty U.S. “special warfare operator.” In other words, a member an elite special operations force. As a result, I learned something I’m now putting to work in my own profession. Our firm helps companies grow their top lines, and one important way is through consultative sales training. The

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21
Apr

How Creating Value Gets You In–and Keeps You There

What would you say is the goal of buyers, purchasing agents, materials managers, or supply chain managers? The typical reply from most salespeople would probably be “to get the cheapest price.” And in many cases that’s true. But we’re finding that, depending on the industry, more and more procurement professionals see their role as getting “the best value.” That’s good

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23
Feb

‘So What?’ or ‘Here’s How’

Team selling with subject matter experts can be the best sales experience you’ll ever have–or the worst. It’s entirely up to you and your SMEs. When subject matter experts (SMEs) and salespeople call on prospects together, things often go swimmingly. In fact, when they’re using a sales process they’ve created together, a skilled consultative sales rep and an SME make up

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31
Jan

3 Hidden Sales Builders You Need to Know

We know that the very best salespeople are skilled at delivering value during the sales process. They know that’s fundamental to being a top producer. They know multiple ways to deliver value and how to use them effectively. We’ve identified 18 different ways. But they also perform three other under-the-radar functions, which they regard as responsibilities, or duties. Top producers hold themselves accountable

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25
Jan

The Best Business Gift Ever?

This time of the year especially, giving and receiving command a lot of attention. In business we all pursue these activities throughout the year, though perhaps more along the lines of “give and get” or “give and take.” Business in general is too often perceived as paying a lot more attention to getting rather than giving. That’s not surprising, but is

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