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10 Essential Selling Principles Most Salespeople Get Wrong

May 6, 2013

By Kathy Caprino

Several months ago, a client of mine who runs a small, profitable business serving other businesses shared with me that she was receiving powerful sales training from Sandler Training, and my ears perked up. Many entrepreneurial women I coach find the sales process extremely challenging and perplexing, and fewer still have had the courage to walk directly into their challenges by signing up for sales training.

I was intrigued by what she shared, so I purchased the book The Sandler Rules: 49 Timeless Selling Principles and How to Apply Them, written by David Mattson, CEO of Sandler Training. I found it to be chock full of integrity-aligned sales principles and strategies that move sales away from a “sleazy” endeavor of trying to pull a fast one over on your would-be client, to a more empowering, empathic, curious and open sharing of your talents and services in a way that creates a win/win relationship for all involved.

I reached out to Dave Mattson to learn more about what Sandler teaches that makes them so effective. Founded in 1967, Sandler Training has helped thousands of companies become more profitable by training sales professionals with a unique selling system of techniques and guiding principles that focuses on asking questions, talking less, educating more, and knowing when to walk away. In many ways, these ideals are fundamentally different from traditional sales techniques, but Sandler is obviously doing something right. Sandler Training is the world’s leader in sales development training programs for salespeople at small, medium and Fortune-sized businesses as well for as solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and independent consultants, delivering an estimated 92,000 training hours per year.

Dave shared that despite Sandler Training’s growing popularity, sales people the world over still continue to commit sales suicide through common blunders and mistakes. While many learn from those mistakes, others fall into the same selling traps continuously.

Below are Dave’s 10 Essential Selling Principles That Most Salespeople Get Wrong. These 10 blunders are addressed through the Sandler Rules, and the solutions to these errors are reinforced regularly at the 225 Sandler Training centers located throughout the world.

1. Assuming the problem that the prospect communicates is the real problem. It’s normal and natural to assume this; however, it’s important to look deeper into each scenario. Like a physician, we must ask ourselves “is this the prospect’s real problem or is it just a symptom?” Before diagnosing and offering how we can address their challenges, we have to ask more questions to make sure we’ll be getting at the root of their problem, and bringing value to the prospect by supporting their true goals. (Sandler Rule #38)

2. Thinking that your sales “presentation” will seal the deal. You should always be helping the prospect discover the best reasons to buy from you – not telling them why they should. The prospect should know that they’ll be buying from you long before you present your final pitch or proposal. (Sandler Rule #15)

3. Talking too much. One of the oldest Sandler philosophies is the 70/30 rule. So often and especially in the beginning of a relationship, salespeople think they need to be doing all the talking, when they should be listening and asking questions. Keep in mind, if a prospect wanted a rundown of your products or services, he or she could just visit your website. The sales process is a conversation, and an honest and open one at that. (Sandler Rule #14)

4. Believing that you can sell anybody anything. People don’t buy simply on your say-so. A prospect must go through a period of self-discovery before making the decision that your product or service is the right solution. Resistance is pre-programmed and people don’t like to be told what to do (or buy). A better approach than “selling by telling” is to ask key questions or relate third-party stories that allow the prospect to discover the benefits and advantages of your product or services. When you ask questions that lead to a discovery, the prospect then “owns” the discovery and the resistance disappears. After all, people don’t tend to argue with their own data. (Sandler Rule #27)

5. Over-educating the prospect when you should be selling. The initial goal in selling is to find out why, and under what circumstances, the prospect will buy from you. Asking questions is first, and sharing your materials and specifics comes next. Sell today, educate tomorrow. (Sandler Rule #21)

6. Failing to remember that salespeople are decision makers, too. Every step of the way through the sales cycle, a salesperson must make critical decision as to whether to continue investing time in the relationship with the prospect. If you as the salesperson are a poor decision-maker, your lack of clarity and decisive action will be mirrored in your prospect’s behavior. Remember, the shorter your selling cycle, the more leads you close over time. (Sandler Rule #36)

7. Reading minds. Always get the facts from your prospect about what they need and why. When your prospect is vague, politely ask for clarity. Veteran sales people are often the culprits of “reading minds” because they think they’ve seen it all. But when they jump to conclusions, they make erroneous assumptions that lead to wasted time at best, lost opportunities at worst. As the old adage goes, “to assume is to make an ass out of you and me.” (Sandler Rule #13)

8. Working as an “unpaid consultant” in an attempt to close a deal. Sandler advises salespeople to play “Let’s Pretend” when a prospect asks for additional work and information before making a buying decision. Ask your prospect to picture a scenario where you complete the additional groundwork and provide a solution that fits everything the prospect needs – then what happens, will they buy from you? If they can’t envision pulling the trigger even after you’ve done the additional work, or if they’d still need another step in the process, it may be time to walk away or you may ask to move directly to this second step. When you want to know the future, bring it back to the present. (Sandler Rule #25)

9. Being your own worst enemy. Never blame the prospect for stalling the process. Instead, look inward. It’s the job of the salespeople to assure the prospect and address detours. The only way to streamline the process is to continue to refine your own sales approach and technique. (Sandler Rule #44)

10. Keeping your fingers crossed that a prospect doesn’t notice a problem. Sandler teaches that the only way to avoid a potential disaster is to address it before it erupts. Always come clean and be open and transparent if something problematic comes up along the selling cycle. The prospect will respect that you “came clean” and shared it, and together you can problem-solve, building a solidifying team approach to the issue. (Sandler Rule #23)
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2013 NAPW Georgia Local Chapters EXPO

April 2, 2013

Registration is now open for our 4th Annual 2013 NAPW Georgia Local Chapters EXPO.

Visit: to register to attend or exhibit today!

For Sponsorship Opportunities, email:

NAPW Atlanta, Georgia EXPO

Huffington on Sandberg: To Lean In, First Lean Back

March 25, 2013

This article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal on March 11, 2013.

ariannaAn enormous amount of ink and pixels have already been devoted to Sheryl Sandberg‘s important new book,Lean In,” some of it claiming that Sandberg exhorts women to relentlessly drive themselves to the top.

But that’s not at all what Sandberg is saying. What she’s saying is that as well as institutional barriers to success, women face a lot of inner barriers—voices that, as she puts it, urge you to “leave before you leave.”

“Lean Inhas unleashed multiple conversations. For me, the most interesting is the one about the nature of the world women are leaning into. This is a great moment for all of us—women and men—to acknowledge that the current male-dominated model of success isn’t working for women, and it’s not working for men, either.

For everybody, stress has gone up—in the last 30 years, self-reported stress has gone up 25% for men and 18% for women. And we’re surrounded by stressed-out leaders—in politics, in business, in media—making terrible decisions. What they lack is not smarts but wisdom. And it’s much harder to tap into your wisdom, recognizing the icebergs before they hit the Titanic—a big part of leadership—when you’re running on empty.

As women scale new heights in the workplace, they pay a heavy price: women in stressful jobs have a nearly 40% increased risk of heart disease and a 60% increased risk of diabetes than their less-stressed colleagues. According to the latest study from the American Psychological Association, women are more likely than their male colleagues to feel stressed during a typical workday, due to many factors, including feeling underappreciated in the workplace.

There’s a French expression, “reculer pour mieux sauter,” which, loosely translated, means leaning back in order to jump higher. That’s what cats do. And by leaning back, we become much better at leaning in.

That means acknowledging the value of caring for our human capital — getting enough sleep and rejecting the culture of “time macho,” which Anne-Marie Slaughter describes as “a relentless competition to work harder, stay later, pull more all-nighters, travel around the world and bill the extra hours that the International Date Line affords you.” And it means acknowledging that family can actually be a great thing for our career, by putting everything at work in perspective.

The world needs women to redefine success beyond money and power. We need a third metric, based on our well-being, our health, our ability to unplug and recharge and renew ourselves, and to find joy in both our job and the rest of our life. Ultimately, success is not about money or position, but about living the life you want, not just the life you settle for.

Some companies get it. Already, twenty-five percent of large American corporations have some kind of stress reduction program — yoga, meditation, or some way for workers to lean back — during the workday. Not just Google GOOG -0.08% and Silicon Valley startups, but General Mills GIS +0.33%, Target Aetna AET -0.82%, etc. The realization is spreading that this is not just good for the employees’ health but for the company’s bottom line. Mounting evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, confirms that the practices that make us less stressed also make us more productive. (We at HuffPost launched a free app, GPS for the Soul, to track your stress level through your heart-rate variability; it also includes a personalized guide of pictures, music and poetry that helps you course-correct.)

For far too long, men have equated success with working around the clock, driving yourself into the ground, sleep deprivation and burnout. Women need to lead the way to change that — both for their sake and for the sake of successful men who desperately need to learn how to lean back.

NAPW Georgia Local Chapter EXPO – Early Bird Registration is now open!

March 22, 2013


Two Easy Steps To Get More Done In A Short Time

March 11, 2013


kim garstDo you want to manage your time better? The little things add up! That’s good news because small steps are non-overwhelming and easy to start.

When you find yourself with an unexpected pocket of time it’s all too easy to fritter it away by checking email or playing the latest mindless game on your phone. Sitting in a parking lot or waiting for someone who is late to an appointment can turn into an opportunity for productivity if you’re ready for it.

Of course checking email and popping in on Social Media can be productive and help you knock some things off the to-do list. But let’s face it, sometimes email or Facebook is a convenient excuse to avoid doing other things that would move you towards your goals.

To take advantage of those small segments of time, get prepared ahead of time. Here is an idea to help you get started:

1)  Make a list of things that take less than 15 minutes to do. You can probably come up with twenty or thirty items for this list.

What sorts of things should you put on this list? Here are some examples:

·  Brainstorm blog post ideas

·  Call a hotel to make reservations for an upcoming trip

·  Listen to voicemail

·  Write a thank you note

Put “Read” on your list, too. Whether you’re reading a physical book or a digital book on your reading device, you can take advantage of the minutes. Fifteen minutes here, ten minutes there, and before you know it, you’ll have read a whole book. I seldom have time to sit down and read for hours—most of my reading is done in small snatches of time. Audiobooks and audio training count here, too.

2)  Gather the supplies or information you would need to get these tasks done. Have them close at hand in your office, and make them portable when you leave to go somewhere. Fill a folder or pouch to stick in your bag, lay the book on top of your purse, have everything ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Here are the supplies you’d need for the sample tasks:

·  Blog post:  pen and paper

·  Hotel reservation:  hotel phone number, credit card, pen and paper

·  Voicemail:  pen and paper

·  Thank you note:  pen, thank you card with envelope, stamp, address

See how simple this is? But if you’re not prepared, those tasks go undone until later.

Rather than scraps of paper, you’ll want a small notebook to keep it all in one place and avoid “now where is that receipt with the confirmation number on the back?” You can transfer the information to your phone or another notebook later, just use this as your thought capture tool.

Personally I find it difficult to listen on the phone and type into my phone at the same time, even using earphones. Old-fashioned pen and paper help me process and take quick notes, then I can decide what to do with the information after the call.

A simple list and some easy preparation can multiply what you’re able to get done in the small spaces in your day. Those successes will encourage you and start the momentum to work on the bigger things when you get back to the office.

Original Source

** Kim Garst has just been added to “The Power of Networking” expert panel at NAPW’s 2013 National Networking Conference! Click HERE to get your tickets

How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive

March 6, 2013


image credit: Shutterstock

As an entrepreneur, conquering challenge and failure is essential to the success of your business. You can learn to cultivate that resilience by training your brain to stay positive when times are tough.

“People tend to have a cognitive bias toward their failures, and toward negativity,” says Matthew Della Porta, a positive psychologist and organizational consultant. Our brains are more likely to seek out negative information and store it more quickly to memory.

Of course, that bias is not always bad. Acknowledging problems and facing failures can lead us to better solutions. But too often, we go overboard, and beat ourselves up for our failures or let ourselves dwell in the negative.

By consciously increasing our focus on the positive, we start to even the balance. We find a happy medium where we can address failures and challenges without letting them get us down, leaving us more motivated, productive, and likely to succeed.

Try these three tips to help you train your brain to stay positive:

1. Express gratitude. Negative events loom large unless you consciously balance them out. “When you’re faced with challenges, it’s important to take stock of what’s going well,” Della Porta says. Thinking about the good in your life can help balance that bias, giving your brain the extra time it needs to register and remember a positive event.

To help your brain store positive events, reflect on what you’re grateful for and why at least once a week. Write down your blessings, such as the opportunity to pursue a career you love or a family that supports you. If you prefer a daily habit, then keep a nightly log of good things that happened that day. “Just keep it very short,” Della Porta says. “If you try to hammer [gratitude] home, then it becomes mundane.” Day One, a journaling app for Apple devices ($4.99), or OhLife, a free email-based journal, can to help you do this.

2. Repeat positive affirmations. As any politician or advertiser knows, the more often you hear a message, the more likely you are to believe it. The same goes for messages about who you are and what you are capable of doing. By repeating positive affirmations with conviction several times each morning, you are training your brain to believe them. “Over time, you’ll start to internalize them,” Della Porta says. Repeat your affirmations silently if you feel self-conscious.

Choose two to three affirmations that represent your values and goals, such as ‘I can handle whatever comes my way,’ ‘There is plenty of time,’ or ‘I’m getting better every day.’ The repetition will influence the way you interpret negative events, making you more resilient. “Especially if you’re predisposed to negative thinking, this can be extremely effective,” Della Porta says.

3. Challenge negative thoughts. Each time a negative thought arises, we choose how to respond. If left to our own devices, we tend to dwell. Our brains home in on negative events so they seem much bigger and more significant than they are. To combat that, start by imagining the thought as separate from yourself, as something you can observe and deconstruct. “Get in the habit of distancing yourself instead of dwelling,” Della Porta says.

Next, challenge negative thoughts that are unfairly self-deprecating. For example, if your startup doesn’t get the traction you hoped, you might think, “I’m a failure.” That’s untrue and unproductive. Instead, practice interpreting the same event differently. You might say, I worked really hard but I didn’t account for a quirk of the market, so I’m disappointed, but now I’m going to try again with new information. That interpretation is gentler, truer, and more proactive. “At first, [this strategy will] be hard and you’ll think it doesn’t work,” Della Porta says. “But over time, it’ll become automatic and negative thoughts will be less likely to come up. No one does this naturally; you have to learn and practice.”

Original Source

2013 NAPW National Networking Conference

February 6, 2013

2013 NAPW National Conference

It’s time to mark your calendars! Plans for the 2013 NAPW National Networking Conference are well underway— and you won’t want to miss this year’s event. Come for the day, or spend the weekend in New York City this spring. For all those who attended last year, you know what all the excitement’s about.

Be empowered and connect with hundreds of professional women from all across America, from virtually every industry and profession.

The annual Conference is FREE to Members — one of the many benefits of membership. Our line-up of distinguished Speakers, expert Panelists, and many surprises will be announced soon!

You won’t want to miss this exciting event!