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Mike Brooks's Articles

  • Whatever You're Thinking, Think Bigger
    You've probably heard the expression that "Life is a self-fulfilling prophesy." Nowhere is that more immediately apparent than in the world of commission sales. As you look around the company or industry you work in, I'll bet it's true that some reps, the top producers, are making two, three or even four times more than other reps selling the exact same product or service? Have you ever asked yourself why that is?
  • Hard Work Pays Off: I'm So Annoyed My Father Was Right
    This quote sure struck a chord with me. I can still hear my own father telling me how important hard work was. He used to say, "There's no substitute for hard work, Michael." And he used to practice what he preached. He was always the first one up in the morning, around 5am, and he wouldn't return until after 7:30pm. He would spend an hour or so chatting with my mom after dinner, and then it was time for bed.
  • General Patton On Singleness Of Focus
    When I get in each morning, I look at my calendar of to do's, and as soon as I get started on one task, my email beeps, and I take on something else. Next, my assistant reminds me of an article or email I need to write, so I start that as well. The next thing I know, it's 5 P.M., and I haven't done any of my follow up calls, let alone prospecting. If you're like many other professionals I know, you can probably relate.
  • A Kick In The Teeth May Be Good For You
    When I read this quote, I immediately resonated with it. The kick in the teeth came for me when I lost one of the most important sales in my young sales career. While we never like losing a sale, sometimes when we do there can be some good that comes from it. There sure was the case for me. Here's what happened.
  • Managing Millennials
    Sales management has always been a balancing act between supporting people to achieve more, and pushing them to go beyond what they think they are capable of. In today's environment of motivating, encouraging and driving performance from the "so-called" millennial generation, there is even more to balance.
  • The Five Second Rule
    Thoughts are things. As true as the law of gravity, this is one of the fundamental laws in the universe. Whatever you believe with feeling, you bring into your life. And like gravity, you don't have to believe in it for it to always be working in your life.
  • Why The 'Will To Win' Isn't Enough...
    Today, I find that I can do just about anything if I'm willing to put in the time to prepare to win. You can too - if you're willing to put in the time. The question is, are you?
  • You Can Do It
    Can you become a top sales producer? We all know who the top sales producers are. Every company has them. If you look at all the producers in your company, I'm sure they are ranked in production from top to bottom. If your company is like most, there are probably even monthly or quarterly bonuses for the top revenue earners.
  • We Can Do It!
    The exciting thing, though, is that a "can do" attitude is contagious. When you infect a whole team, a whole company, a whole family with a "can do" attitude, a lot of exciting things begin to happen. I always think of the impact one runner had on the world's performance once he changed everyone's attitude with his own accomplishment.
  • Tom Brady and Lessons for Sales
    Whether you're a fan of Tom Brady or not, you've got to agree he's a winner. In fact, if he and the Patriots win this week's Super Bowl, he will break the tie with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana of winning four Super Bowls. Tom Brady will have five, and he will be the best of the best. The article I read last week, yet again, provides a big lesson for all of us in sales.
  • Avoid This "Ghost" Of Christmas Future
    For December, I'm reading the classic tale: "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens. Oddly, I can't remember ever reading it, though I've seen countless versions made for TV and movies. It's fantastic, just like most books are that have been made into movies. Dickens is a superb writer, and there is a reason this is a "classic."
  • How to Write a Killer Resume (Part Four)
    As you will see, by following just a few rules you will be able to craft a compelling resume that instantly sets you up as the perfect candidate for any job you choose to apply for. Moreover, by taking just a little bit of time to customize your resume to the specific company you are applying to (it's easy once you know how), you will make the hiring manager feel like your resume was written just for him/her.
  • The Four Errors to Avoid when Putting Together Your Resume (Part Three)
    How many resumes do you think an HR Director or hiring manager receives for each job posting they advertise for? Would you guess twenty? Thirty? I hate to break it to you, but if it is a sales position you had better revise your estimate way up. Try over seventy or eighty - and that is just in the first couple of days of posting the job!
  • Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Nine)
    Top Characteristic Part Nine: In order to develop and protect your positive attitude, the first thing you need to do is resign from the company club. What I mean by this is that you have to stay away from the group of sales people in your office who do nothing but grumble about how bad or unfair things are in your company or about how bad the economy or industry is.
  • How to Apply For and Get a Better Paying Job (Part One)
    How do top earners go about applying for, interviewing at and landing these better jobs? The good news is that, as always, success leaves clues, and by simply following some of their tried and true strategies, you, too, can begin applying for and landing not only better paying jobs, but also better positions at those jobs.
  • The Proper Way to Set a Call Back
    Not all sales close on the first - or even second or third, etc. - closing call. Because of that, it's often necessary to set a call back to continue the conversation. Like most parts of a sale, the call back is one of those recurring situations that you, or your sales team, will find yourself in countless times a day or week. Because of this, it's important that you develop and then script out a best practice approach to handle it effectively.
  • How To Write A Simple Yet Powerful Cover Letter (Part Two)
    By taking just a few minutes to customize a carefully worded cover litter like this, you will instantly become one of candidate that gets a call back. You will be very much in demand and soon you will have your pick of which opportunities to pursue. And having many companies who are interested in hiring you gives you the leverage to ask for and get things like a higher salary, a better commission structure and even a possible hiring bonus.
  • How To Turn Cold Leads Into Warm Leads
    Staring at a list of cold names you have to call can be discouraging. Calling those names and leaving voice mails that never get returned is also discouraging. And finally reaching someone only to be quickly blown off can be downright heart breaking! Don't you wish there was a way to turn cold names into warm leads? There is!
  • Top Characteristic Part Ten: Invest Daily in Your Attitude
    Now that you have resigned from the company club, you can use that time and energy to do the one thing that will have the most impact on your performance and your life: Find ways to build up your attitude on daily basis. Before we get in to some ways to do that, let me emphasize the importance of investing time and energy every day to improving, strengthening and elevating your attitude. The "every day" part is the key.
  • Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Six)
    In conclusion, building rapport seems to be a lost art for many sales people. This is why most people (yourself included) hate getting calls from sales reps. But top producers know the value in treating people with respect and with genuine interest. By doing so, you can not only develop a long and loyal customer base, but you can begin to enjoy what you do more as well. Sounds like a win/win to me.
  • Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Four)
    Top Characteristic Part Four: Thoroughly qualify each and every prospect and client before you set up your close or demo or run your appointment.
  • Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Five)
    Take some time this week to restructure the opening of your presentation or demo and put some of the requalifying questions you've read above. Or, adapt some of your own. The more you ask these kinds of questions, the stronger of a closer you'll become.
  • Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Seven)
    How many times do you ask for the sale during a close? Once? Twice? The number of times you should be asking might surprise you... Top Characteristic Part Seven: Be prepared to ask for the sale five times - or more!
  • Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Two)
    Last week, I wrote an article on the first characteristic of making a commitment to do whatever it takes to be a top sales producer. For those of you who are committed, you'll find your sales and confidence will instantly go up when you practice the next characteristic:
  • Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Three)
    As soon as you can, find a way to record and download your recordings for playback and critique. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll leapfrog over your competition!
  • The Top Characteristic of Top Sales Producers (Part One)
    If you will commit this one characteristic, then you will be able to live, have, enjoy and do the things that most sales people will never be able to have, enjoy and do.
  • Voice Mail: 5 Proven Techniques That Get Your Calls Returned! (Part One)
    If you're struggling to get your voice mails returned, then you're not alone. Industry stats show that less than 10% of voice mails to new prospects are returned. Because of this, finding the right voice mail message, and knowing a few proven techniques, can be the key to not only making contact with those hard to reach sales leads, but also in developing relationships and getting new accounts.
  • The Three Times to Handle an Objection
    Try using the techniques and scripts above during your upcoming week of pitching your product or sale. You'll be amazed by how much easier your sale becomes - and how many more deals you'll get.
  • Voice Mail: 5 Proven Techniques That Get Your Calls Returned! (Part Two)
    Last week I gave you the first Three Proven Techniques to help you increase your chances of getting your calls returned. Now let's look at the final two:
  • In Sales The Most Important Thing to Say is....
    Everyone loves to be heard; loves to be listened to. Most sales people are distrusted and disliked because they are pushy and make it seem as if it's all about them. You can immediately reverse this by becoming a great listener.
  • 5 Ways to Get Better at Handling Objections
    If you're truly committed to becoming one of the best producers in your company or industry, then commit to using the secrets listed. I guarantee that if you do, your career and your life will change in exciting and fulfilling ways.
  • How to Requalify Existing Prospects and Clients
    Just because you think you know something about someone, you can still learn more. Think about it: When was the last time you were able to thoroughly qualify someone on the very first call? It probably took a few, didn't it? When you use these kinds of requalifying questions, you'll be in a much better position to completely qualify an opportunity. And that can only lead to more business.
  • Ten Ways to Soften the Price Objection and Keep Pitching
    The point here is not to get thrown off early in your pitch just because a prospect objects to the price. Instead, you want to maintain control, build value and get buy in during the close. And you can do this by using one of the rebuttals in this article to soften the objection.
  • Handling Objections When Requalifying
    Doing this will make you a more successful closer - and a more confident one as well.
  • How to Handle the "Status Quo" Objection
    The point of these rebuttals is to bypass this resistance so you can get in front of a qualified lead and pitch your product or service. Obviously, once they agree to do a demo with you, you'll want to ask other qualifying questions.
  • Ten New Ways to Handle ... We're All Set
    Your goal isn't to try to overcome this - rather, it's to sidestep this resistance statement and get information you can use to create value and continue the conversation.
  • Ask for the Sale Five Times - At Least!
    If you've done your job and properly qualified your prospect, then chances are they actually want to buy from you. So make it easy on them by asking for the sales at least five times. Remember, the magic happens around the seventh close.
  • How to Handle the Wife Stall
    Adjust any of these scripts as necessary, but then commit to using them - they'll work for you as long as you're willing to use them!
  • Softening Statements to Get Prospects Talking
    Many of these responses are down to earth and real world responses - something you might say to a friend or family member. The more real you are, the more your prospects will feel it - and the more they'll be honest with you and reveal what it might take for them to move forward with you.
  • The Proper Way to Handle a Call in Lead
    Just remember that when you receive a call in lead, you need to still qualify and close. And if you forget or get rushed off the phone, the key is to call back within a day or two. And when you do, take the call as far as you can using the scripts above.
  • Boost Your Sales by Using This One Word
    You will make more sales faster and with less struggle if you set the proper expectation on the front call and confirm it by opening your closing call using this magic word.
  • "I Want to Think About It" - Ten New Ways to Handle it!
    The bottom line is that when someone says they want to think about it, it means they aren't sold yet. And it could very easily mean that they aren't sold on your solution, and they never will be because they have something else in mind. And that's why you must get your prospect talking.
  • How to Get Your Prospect Talking
    As you can see, these scripts are designed to get someone who is noncommittal to begin opening up and to tell you where they stand - both positively and negatively. Once you know where someone is emotionally and logically with your product or service, you'll have the leverage to adjust your close and get closer to a sale.
  • 15 Ways to Handle the Competition Objection
    Remember, competition will always exist, but you can beat it and win business if you're prepared with proven and effective scripts like those above. Pick your favorite ones and tailor them to your particular sale.
  • Seven Things to Say when Prospects Don't Have the Time for Your Presentation
    The responses here are all aimed at getting your prospect to reveal to you both their level of interest and what it is going to take to sell them - or whether or not they are still a good prospect for you.
  • How to Stay Organized (and Efficient!)
    If you're struggling to take back control of your day, then pull out a piece of paper and start writing down your "Top Three Priorities" right now.
  • Five New Ways to Handle the "We're Currently Working With Someone."
    Being prepared with a few good scripts will allow you to get past this objection, and will allow you to qualify an opportunity where most other people will miss it. With the following scripts, I advise you to customize them to fit your personality, product or service, and then to practice them over and over again until they become automatic.
  • Five New Ways to Handle, "I'm Too Busy"
    Remember that your job is to earn the right to ask a few qualifying questions to see if your prospect is even worth putting on your call back list. And by using these scripts above, you'll be able to do just that.
  • Don't Say That, Say This!
    Sales is set of skills that anyone can learn. If you learn and then practice the right skills, then things will be easier for you, and you'll have more success. But if you don't learn and use the right skills, then you'll tend to wing it and make it up as you go along. This strategy is proven to lead to more frustration and less sales.
  • The Three Most Important Metrics to Measure
    I always like to talk metrics with managers to see if they are measuring this very important component. Bottom line is if your reps aren't using the best approach and handling objections and sales situations effectively, then the other metrics won't improve much. If you ask them to make more calls, all you will get is more bad calls.
  • Three Ways to Get Better at Listening
    Don't take my word for this, instead, try it yourself and see. I guarantee that once you get good at listening, you'll get better at qualifying and closing. And if you don't improve your listening skills, you won't improve in those areas very much or very quickly. Remember, the most important skill of a Top Producer is the ability to truly listen.
  • Six Ways to Handle the "I'm Not Interested" Blow Off
    Today you're going to get six ways to handle the "I'm not interested" blow off. Did you notice that I didn't call that an objection, but rather a "blow off"? The first thing you must recognize about blow off statements - things like "Just send me information" or "We don't have the budget" or "I'm not interested" etc., is that these are not objections. Instead they are simply resistance statements meant to blow you off.

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