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Paul Sandford

What is polite and what is impolite these days? Does it depend on circumstances? Does it depend on who you're talking to? What is the standard for common courtesy these days? Are they my mothers’ standards, my grandmothers? Or are there new standards today that don’t require the formality found years ago?

Today’s sales professionals find themselves facing unprecedented, and often uncomfortable, change. More and more salespeople have larger territories than they used to have, and are responsible for selling a wider range of products and services than they’ve ever sold. They've got a lot to do, and they usually have less time in which to do it than they had last year.

In our firm, one of the top requests we get is to help write or re-write scripts for companies. Each time we get this request I smile, because we know scripts simply do not work. There are four key reasons why scripts don’t work.

Companies have a systematic approach to complete almost every task; from the production line to accounting and payroll. Companies rely on ........

A sales template is defined as the step by step set of interactions you want your prospect to go through because it will give you a clear competitive advantage or otherwise increase the chances of you winning the business. An efficient sale system enables you to consistently achieve a desired outcome or set of outcomes without wasting time, energy, money etc. The most effective sales templates are basic enough to accommodate for change (focused on each stage of the sales meeting).

According to a survey by Bain & Company, of 365 companies in Europe, Asia and North America, 81 percent believe that brands without a high-performing culture will never get beyond mediocrity. In other words, it is the culture of an organization that helps to drive it forward towards success.

Here are the 21 most important reasons why sales training programs fail to change a salesperson, from the point of view of all the ‘players’ involved: the sales manager, the trainer and the salesperson. The number one reason why sales training fails: No provision was made for follow-up BEFORE the training program was launched.

The business world is not immune to change. Companies grow, and they shrink in size. They expand their market reach, sometimes, and contract it at other times. They introduce new products and services and discontinue products and services. And, they change the ways in which they create, promote, price, and deliver their products and services.

If you don’t start your sales calls with the end in mind, you should not be surprised when it doesn’t end up where you hoped. For example, at the end of a good presentation, your prospect leaves you with a Think-It-Over. After all, you can’t blame a prospect for doing something that you failed to emphasize is unacceptable. If you want to control what happens at the end of a sales call, focus on the beginning.

Ask salespeople to list their least favourite selling activities, and you can count on “prospecting” being at the top of the list. And, the least favorite of all prospecting activities is unquestionably making cold calls.