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Ten Things That Require Zero Talent

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching (

Saw this at a client’s office, and had to share…

Ten Things That Require Zero Talent

1.       Being on Time

2.       Work Ethic

3.       Effort

4.       Body Language

5.       Energy

6.       Attitude

7.       Passion

8.       Being Coachable

9.       Doing Extra

10.     Being Prepared

I agree with this list. Some of the items may be redundant, but it stresses how important the things are that we all can easily control when at work. It's also why I'm a proponent of the saying "Hire for attitude and train for skill."

Happy Selling!

Tags:  attitude  hiring  improve sales 

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The Importance of the Fourth Quarter

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Monday, September 25, 2017

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

The Importance of the Fourth Quarter

I believe the most important sales quarter of the calendar year is the fourth quarter.

In football, the fourth quarter is the quarter you need to keep your foot on the accelerator, and not let your competitor get back in the game. In sales, the fourth quarter is the one that may determine if you attain bonus levels of your commission plan as you end the year on a high note. Additionally, successful fourth quarter activities help establish the ground work for a fast start to the new year (in the first quarter).

Q - So what's my second favorite quarter?

A - The first quarter (just by a slim margin).

Start strong, and end stronger!

Happy Selling!

Tags:  improve sales  sales  sales commission  small business 

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Customer Service Etiquette - Addressing Customer Needs

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Sunday, April 16, 2017

Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.  Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.

-Colin Powell

The first step in improving customer service is to determine what customer's value in their interactions with your organization. What do they want? What do they need? The most obvious way to find out what customers want and need is to ask them. Businesses spend lots of time and money surveying customers, and they often come up with valuable feedback. But the people on the front lines of customer service, people who interact with customers on a daily basis, can gain useful insights into what customer's value just by listening to them and observing them.

The next step, once you have identified customer needs, is to commit yourself to meeting them. But you can’t stop there. To provide exceptional service, you need to go the extra mile to show customers how important they are to your organization.

Understanding the Customer’s Situation

Customer needs are usually fairly self-explanatory, at least on a basic level. Judging on the basis of what your business is, there are often only a few things they can possibly be looking for. What is essential, though, is that you allow the customer to communicate their needs to you rather than attempting to tell them what they need. They know what they need, and that’s why they are here. Any attempt by you to project something on to them is simply going to be taken in a bad way, and is as likely to hurt your sales as anything. Where you can help them is in explaining how those needs can best be met.

Customers will come in many different forms, and each of these forms will present certain challenges. There will be some customers who are very clear about what they want and need, and will put up with very little sales patter from a salesperson. There are others who have only the vaguest idea of what they want to buy, and will essentially give you a rundown of their needs and ask you to fill in the blanks. There are some who will have a lot of questions, and others who will simply want you to do what they ask. In the first few sentences a customer says to you, you will be able to identify their needs or situation, and can operate from there.

The more time you spend in a customer facing role, the more you will learn about the kinds of customer, and the different needs that they have. You will become adept at learning what a certain customer wants from you, and will be able to identify the way the situation will go without needing to ask too many questions. The benefit of experience is in how it allows you to make quick decisions and satisfy the customer in an efficient and courteous manner. It is often said that there are no bonuses or statistics for customer service, but it is customer service that will bring the most sales and the most repeat business.

Staying Outside the Box

Many people argue that the quickest way of judging a situation is to pre-judge it. Those who trust their instincts to give them the right steer in a situation may often get it right, and find that there is real benefit in doing so. Certainly, the advantages of having good instincts are clearly evidenced by good results in terms of sales. However, it can also be negative to be too quick off the mark in terms of identifying a customer’s needs. The results of this course of action can be that you appear either presumptuous or incompetent, and you may even insult the customer by being so bold. It is generally worth allowing the customer a chance to let you know what they want. They may well leave some information incomplete, and this is where your sales instincts can be most useful.

There are many ways you can fall into the trap of presuming too much. Many people tend to judge customers by appearance, and assume that because a customer of the same age, gender or any other grouping tends to want a specific item, that this will necessarily hold true of any customer in that sector. It helps to allow the customer to say what they are going to say first, and then fill in any blanks that are left. It may seem like a neat trick to “know” what the customer wants before they say anything, but when you get it wrong it seems less like a trick and more like a really stupid thing to do. Appearing competent is what’s essential.

Apart from any other reason to pause and listen, there is the fact that it is just good manners to do so. Appearing impolite and almost trying to give the impression that you know the customer’s needs better than they themselves do, is something that will lose you sales. What you really want to portray is that you have the wisdom to recognize the customer’s needs, and the good grace to let them make things clear themselves. You will benefit a lot more from showing consideration than you will from any party tricks.


Tags:  adrienne barker  business service  customer service  etiquette  Improve Sales 

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4 Tips for 5 Star Customer Service Review

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Tuesday, March 28, 2017

If you are in business, then you are in the business of customer service.   Everyone in a company, even if you are a one-man band, is responsible for providing effective service that will contribute to success and profits for the company.   The differences between effective and ineffective service is a matter of sensitivity, sincerity, attitude and human relations skills.  The good news is that these skills can be learned.  It is important to have the following:  positive attitude, cheerful outlook, enjoy people, enjoy putting customers on center state, high energy, fast pace, flexible and enjoy new demands and experiences and can allow customers to be right even when not.   If you tend to be depressed, angry, like to work alone or with items, need to be center of attention, works at a relaxed pace, no care about the client, likes everything predictable and orderly and you want others to know you are right will lead to service failures.   Let’s talk about how we can turn this around with just a character adjustment.

Customer Service has 2 parts, the procedural and personal.  It is important to have established systems and protocol to deliver the products and service.  On the personal side, it is how your people interact with the customers.   Let’s talk about the person side of customer service.  

First, understand that attitude is a state of mind influenced by feelings, thoughts and actions.  The saying, the attitude you send out is usually the attitude you get back is true.   First step is send a positive attitude to others.  Remember that every time you work with the client, you are on the big stage, and you need to act accordingly just as if you were an actor.   You need to check any poor attitude at the door and work on being positive.  First step is to make sure your appearance matches your positive personality.  You never get a second chance to make a first positive first impression.  Keep in mind your hairstyle, personal cleanliness habits, clothing and jewelry, neatness and general grooming. 

Next is your body language and my advice is to hold your head high and steady, make sure your arms move in a natural and unaffected manner.  Are your facial muscles relaxed and under control and do you find it easy to maintain a natural smile?  How is your eye contact?

Another important part of your attitude is the sound of your voice.  Remember the tone of your voice, or how you say something is more important than the words you use.

When you are using the telephone your positive attitude must come through the phone.  The adage to put a smile on your face is one that works and the client can feel your smile through the phone.

Another important part is to stay energized. The realities of customer service are the exertion of emotional labor.  It does take its toll.  Make sure that you are energized and can charge your batteries when needed.  Never take out the fact you are tired on the client. Also, don’t talk about being tired and working too hard when on the job.

Remember that a positive attitude is nothing more than really liking your job and allowing your actions and words to broadcast this enjoyment to your customers, supervisors and fellow employees.   Make sure you have the right mindset and take this part of customer service important.   This is just step one in customer service.   Even these simple tips will help you score 5 star reviews.


Thank you to Kaylee from the BBB Tucson office for the artwork design.


Tags:  business services  customer service  Improve Sales  small 

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You Can’t Sell Anybody Anything—They Must Discover They Want It

Posted By Mark Kirstein, Sandler Training by Mercury Professional Development, Friday, April 10, 2015

When was the last time you bought something because a salesperson told you to?

Not often.

We’re pretty defensive about salespeople, and letting go of our hard-earned cash.

But, how often do you buy something because you think you need or want it? All the time! You the buyer, are the one who discovers, and develops a want for the product or service to fill some void for you or your company.

And, great salespeople can help this process by guiding prospects to discover, explore and dream of their wants. Use questions…

  • If you could drive 10% more leads through content marketing, how would that impact your business?
  • If you got 11% more efficiency from your process…what would that mean to your business unit?
  • If your close rate on proposals increased 20%, how much revenue impact would that be?
  • What would it mean to the company, if you were to handle this product line?
  • What would that mean to you?

When your prospect identifies her or her own reasons to buy—more often than not—there’s no stopping them.


Tags:  ales tips  ales training  improve sales 

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Close the Sale or Close the File

Posted By Mark Kirstein, Sandler Training by Mercury Professional Development, Thursday, March 5, 2015

For many salespeople, having a full pipeline not only helps their self-confidence, but helps their sales manager have confidence that they are on track to stay on quota.   However, it’s critical that opportunities in the pipeline are qualified and real.  Prospects that don’t progress or close can be real time sinks. 

Once an opportunity is identified, activities should be directed to the objective of either closing the sale or closing the file. Anything in between those two outcomes is likely to be a time-waster even though, on the surface, it appears as if you’re working.

What are some of these time-wasters?

  • Arranging meetings with prospects without a clear-cut, mutually acceptable agenda established for the meeting.
  • Sending literature or letters to marginally qualified prospects instead making new prospecting phone calls.
  • Updating your contact management software, or revising your prospecting letter.
  • “Following up” with prospects when no clear-cut business opportunity has been established.
  • Creating and delivering presentations to prospects who have not been thoroughly qualified and/or have not made a commitment to give a decision.
  • “Keeping in touch” with prospects who said “no” rather than investing the time to contact prospects who may be able to say “yes.”

Focus your efforts on prospects that are fully qualified, or on finding new prospects.  In other words, close the sale or close the file.


Mark Kirstein, CEO

Sandler Training


Tags:  close the sale  improve sales  sales  sales tips  tips 

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The happiness advantage: the secret to better work

Posted By Carine Dieude, Biostress Imagery LLC, Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Overloaded by constant negatives news on TV, Internet, Social Medias, your brain actually thinks this is the average proportion of positives and negatives in your life. It is time to move this average up!

After spending twelve years at Harvard University, Shawn Achor has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success (Ted Talks, Shawn Achor, The happy secret to better work). He says that “the length through which we see the world shapes our reality.” If we can change the lens then we can change not only our level of happiness but all of our outcomes.

We spend so much time ‘fixing’ the outside: better school, better job, better car, better house, better spouse as the mean to our happiness, confusing our brain by consistently changing the target for success for each goal achieved. Actually, your external world is predictive of only 10% of your happiness; the other 90% comes from the way your brain processes the world.

Achor’s studies, which made the cover of the Harvard Business Review, show that 25% of job success is due to your IQ and 75% to your optimism level, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of a threat. When you have a more positive attitude in the moment, all of your business outcomes improve: 31% increase in productivity, 37% increase in sales, 19% increase in accuracy, less burnout, etc.

Your brain ‘on positive’ is flooded by dopamine that not only raise your happiness level but fire up all your learning channels. You can train your brain to scan for the positive through small daily practices like gratitude, journaling, exercise, meditation, random act of kindness (Emmons & McCullough 2003, Dweck 2007, Lyubomirsky 2005). After 21 days, it starts retaining the pattern and creating ripples of positivity.

Practicing this positive psychology doesn’t mean suppressing any of the negative emotions you may experience – that’s avoidance - but appreciating the challenge and opportunity to learn a great deal about yourself in any situation. And that’s a simple mathematic formula:


No investment in yourself = no dividends


Author: Carine Dieudé, C.Ht., Biostress Imagery LLC

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Tags:  business  happiness  improve sales 

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