Streetfighter Selling

for Sales Professionals

  • Sep

    Uh oh…you know that feeling you get when you’re about to make a well-prepared proposal and the prospect says they only have a couple of minutes? The first time it happened to me, I condensed a 20 minute presentation into five. Well I just put my motor-mouth in gear and let ‘em have it…..I rattled off my facts and benefits and made it to the price with time to spare.

    Of course, I did NOT make the sale.
    Whenever possible, reschedule. But, for ideas on how to make your point when you have to press on, read Short and Sweet: Mastering Quick Presentations , a terrific article from Inc magazine.

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  • May

    I was not in on the Linkedin IPO. In the coming months, I might be kicking myself. We’ll see.

    You might have heard, Linkedin (you know what it is) went public this past week, and Wall Street went gaga. There are lots of reasons, from the 100 million worldwide users of Linkedin to investors appetite for the next big dot-com success. While I’ll make no speculation on the short or long term share value, I always look for the ‘sales spin,’ and here it is:

    Social media networking is an incredibly powerful tool. Did I say incredibly? That’s an understatement. Eminently powerful. Astonishingly powerful. While it is NOT the end-all-and-be-all conduit of contact, it is a place you need to be. Your presence on Linkedin is a start, but membership in groups that are niche to you business or customers (and active participation in those groups) is essential.

    Like Wall Street, I hope you’re bought in.

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  • Mar


    Filed under: Uncategorized;

    Are you a confident person? I don’t mean I’ve-got-a-big-ego-let-me-slam-dunk-the-ball confident, but a real sense of knowing that you’re in control of your sales, regardless of economic ups and downs. Are you confident that you are the right person to handle the sale and close it?

    Confidence is more than a firm handshake. It can be the difference between struggling to make quota and having a clear plan of action. And today, after a few years of a rough economy, a lot of people have lost theirs…or at least had it slip. Too bad, too, because even a slight drop can affect one’s performance, and next year’s success. There’s an old saying: “confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.”

    Confidence is the ultimate intangible. A customer can often read more about you from the signals you send than from the words you say. It has a direct correlation to job satisfaction, too. I’ve spent time at both ends of the confidence spectrum, riding the highs fueled by (and creating more) success, as well as the lows of lack of confidence and the subsequent mediocre performance.

    So where do we get this confidence? Most people already have it, but it may be undeveloped. It’s tough to give one of those three-steps-to-the solution answers here. I believe that everyone, confident or not, should conduct a personal SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis. Doing so brings focus to the abilities you have, and those you want to increase. It’s can be a great confidence booster. Here’s a terrific template

    Those confident researchers at Ohio State University found that simple things, like posture, play a big role. Remember how Mom always told you to sit up straight? She was right. They found that good posture projected confidence while the lack of it…well, lacked it. And further evidence shows that people who project confidence connect better with others, are more persuasive, and actually feel better about themselves.

    You can (and should) “fake it until you make it” by thinking, talking and acting with confidence (even if you’re not there yet). But avoid an air of over-confidence.
    Remember, perception is reality, and you don’t want to turn customers off, either.

    So start by asking yourself these questions:
    1) How do I feel about my chances for success next year?
    2) What can I do to make them even better?

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  • Dec

    “The Economy” should not be a one-size-fits-all excuse for poor performance. Still, in the words of the immortal Al McGuire, it’s not “all seashells and balloons” yet. That’s nothing to get down about. It’s the ebb and flow of the overall economy and something salespeople need to learn to deal with.

    When it comes to our customers’ mindset, however, that’s another matter.

    Do you find yourself getting caught up in any ‘aint it awful’ conversations? These encounters start with one of you commenting on a tough situation or experience and disintegrates into an all-out sob-session about how bad things are. There’s one outcome: you lose and they lose. Sure, you can’t go all Pollyanna on them, either, pretending that it’s just great, but you can (and should) be the bearer of solutions.

    Come bearing solutions, not a shoulder to cry on. Having those ‘aint it awful’ conversations might feel like bonding moments, but they’ll do more to harm your long-term prospects that being solution-minded will.

    Talking to or seeing more prospective customers. That might mean more networking, appointments or cold calls. True statement: “someone is always buying” Our job in sales is to find them. . If you’ve been to one of my Streetfighter Selling workshops, you know the power of using a mix of old school strategies with new technologies to maximize your time…and productivity,

    You can’t make it all “seashells and balloons,” but it will help get customers thinking and acting more positively,

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  • Dec

    I used to be a ‘by the book’ kind of guy. I kept my shoes shined, car cleaned and plenty of Juicy Fruit in the glove compartment. If the sales manual said ‘do it’, I did it. But, like positive campaign ads, those days are gone.

    Consider this a rule book addendum.

    Over the years, we all followed certain ‘rules of engagement.’ I’m not referring to the core competencies (which include getting organized, making contact, closing, etc.). Those are timeless and won’t soon change. The ‘rules’ I’m talking about here are practices we’ve come to use because, well, because that was the way we always did it. Rules like calling up cold to make appointments, getting prospective customers to like us, asking the simple, easy-to-answer questions and, one of my favorites, shut up and wait for the sale to close.

    Good luck with all of that now. So let’s change the rules.

    Here’s the first one:
    In pursuit of new business: you’re going to get voice mail, and your message won’t be returned. Now I’m sure that there are some of you reading this who have found people in your business/market area often return calls. I know it happens and think it’s great. But for most, time and technology have done away with the businessperson answering an anonymous call, or returning a call when it pertains to something that’s not hot on their agenda at the moment.

    Replacing cold phone calls with hot calls that focus on current issues or changes that the company is going through. Hook up with decision-makers through networking and social media contacts.

    If you sell business to business, you’ve got to do your homework. Know their business model and trends, new products or service and top personnel. Pour over their website, research their industry trade magazines online, look up local business news and Google news items on the company. It’s all about making better use of technology, although not in a Brett Favre sort of way. (Quick tip: this is done evenings and weekends, not during prime selling hours.)

    Get to know specifics about the company, your contact, recent changes and industry trends through online research and face to face brainstorming. Think like a detective. Look for things others miss. And ask questions that others won’t ask. Knowledge is power, my friend, more now than ever.

    Gain critical knowledge on their ‘value definitions,’ internal power centers and purchasing procedures and timelines.

    More ‘New Rules’ to come.

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  • Oct

    The least favorite word among sales people has to be “NO.”
    “NO, we’re buying from a competitor,”
    “NO, your prices were just too high,”
    “NO, we’ve cut our budget.”

    NO-body wants to hear ‘no’, so it’s actually human nature to steer clear of situations where one might hear it. When a I was a green, novice sales rep, and one of the veteran salespeople on our staff stopped at my cubicle one morning and said “Joe…get as many “no’s” as you can today,” I dismissed it as old-school drivel…but it wasn’t.

    When I made more calls, I heard “no” more often, but made more sales, too. So, go and get as many “no’s” as you can today.

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  • Oct

    In ‘Sales 101,’ we’re taught that, if a prospect doesn’t buy, we haven’t convinced them yet. Good advice. But sometimes they are convinced (fact and benefit-wise), but still won’t say yes. What gives? Is all this sales advice a bunch of hooey? Not quite. Reasons prospects pause also include:

    Comfort Zone Comfort Zone Comfort Zone.
    People will gravitate toward those actions with a predictable outcome. And amazingly, even if they’re not satisfied with that outcome. It’s got to really HURT before they’ll move out of that zone, especially in difficult times. Accountability to others comes into play, too. Rather than explain changes, they might avoid changes.

    But don;t give up easily. Find their concerns, then start to assure them that you’ll be reliable, and that you’ll go the extra miles to make any internal changes or transitions smooth.

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  • May


    The “Optimism Barometer” is looked at regularly by the folks at Northwestern Mutual Life. Right now, it’s indicating “a distinct upward trend in positive outlooks among Americans” despite the near-term challenges of the current economic climate.

    This suggests that “Americans are, in increasing numbers, accepting the reality of the ‘new normal’ while also being able to see beyond the immediate challenges of the current economic cycle and remain optimistic about their long-term prospects,” said Greg Oberland, EVP at NML.

    In spite of daily negative news, people believe in themselves…and their collective ability to succeed.

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  • Mar

    Just when you think you’ve heard the word CHANGE for the umpteenth time….something else changes!

    It happens so fast that the very strategies you’re using today, even reading here, may be obsolete a year from now. Just look at how e-mail has changed over the past few years.
    When it comes to human reactions to change, especially work-related, we all react to it in one of four ways:
    -We’ll question it,
    -We’ll run from it,
    -We’ll sabotage it or
    -We’ll embrace it!

    There’s nothing wrong with questioning workplace change…that can actually help to shape it and make it more productive. But, too often, people gravitate toward that security blanket of stability and sameness, and that restricts change.

    The demands in sales are always changing. Our job, today, is to question, then embrace change,…and, when possible, be change agents and help our customers do the same.

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  • Mar


    Some days, we feel like geniuses. Others days, not so much. I’ve usually got the right answers to selling issues, it’s just that sometimes I need a little extra time to let my brain sort them out. Then, someone showed me this test at It’s called “Are You Smart, or Stoopid?” It’s a quick quiz that makes you think fast…if you can! Try it!

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