Productive Insights

5
Jun

How Important Is Differentiation?

Is differentiation a nice-to-have business attribute or a must-have? In other words, is it a luxury or a necessity? Companies in mature markets have always felt the need to impact revenues by developing differentiation that creates unique value for customers and prospects. Today, however, fierce competition, unending channels of communication, and disrupters on all sides from non-traditional competitors affect companies at all stages. So, if developing value-added differentiation used to

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5
Jun

How ‘Flying Blind’ Can Lead to Better Prospecting

Typically, sales people love face-to-face meetings with prospective customers. But prospecting to get those meetings? Not so much. One way to avoid the obstacles that make reluctant prospecting all too common is to replace them with something more positive and powerful. Why are sales people so averse to prospecting? Well, common answers are fear of rejection, feeling “pushy” or “nosy,” or

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5
Jun

Do Your Salespeople ‘Live the Brand’?

A brand can be broadly defined as the “face a company shows to the world.” But it’s much more than that-or, at least, it can be. The question is how do you build and support a company brand to get the most out of it? There are many ways to build, adjust, and sustain a company’s brand. But they can

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5
Jun

Is Your Sales Team Ready for 2017?

Consider these questions about sales growth. Your answers can help you and your team make the most of 2017. Do you think you need to: Question #1 Find more opportunities to quote (more first meetings) or improve the success rate on opportunities you’re already working on? Question #2 Create more value for your prospects and customers, or improve the ability of

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5
Jun

Growth Questions for a New Year

For many of us, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is often one of reflecting on the year about to close and planning for the one about to open. Here are some thought-provoking questions our clients and prospective clients find helpful to make the most of their reflections. We hope you will, too. As always, we are here

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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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