Personal Selling occurs when a company representative interacts directly with a customer or perspective customer to present information about a product or service; value added.  Personal selling refers to the personal communications of information to persuade unselfishly to someone.  The customer buys something such as a good, service, idea, or something else that satisfies that individual’s needs.  Products encompass information, services, ideas, and issues.  Your product strategy should be tailored to the customers buying needs.

Presentation skills are crucial to keep people involved and listening to what you say.  Visual aids are always the best way to enhance presentations and DON’T ever read off the slides.  Even a pause can best be used when you are making your point, raising eyebrows, and opening faces.  You should make sure you told a story in a personal way to convey your message with strength.  Being conscious when you are presenting your reactions matter.  You need to be seamlessly transitional in creative ways.  Be honest with yourself and the environment.  Complement sandwiches (well, bad, well) show that you work in a cohesive team against negative and positive environmental changes.

Strategic/Consultative Modeling

Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

Successful salespeoplecreate value by quality relationships, identifying customer needs, and presenting best solutions.  They will also understand the Marketing Concept in order to achieve organizational goals that depend on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired products.  They will use tactics such asTechniques, practices, or methods when you are face-to-face with a customer.  You should have a good grasp of the industry, price and promotion, competitors, Company, Service, Technology, Product and your market or customer.

Features of Consultative Selling

Buyer needs are identified through 2-way communication, information giving, and negotiations tactics replace manipulation.  This process is developed from marketing concept, emphasizing need identification.  A consultative sale emphasizes need identification, which is achieved through effective communication and a relationship built upon mutual trust and respect; most important.  Trust in the salesperson.

  1. Customer seen as a person to be served
  2. Buyer’s needs identified through 2-way communication
  3. Emphasizes need, identification, problem solving, and negotiation instead of manipulation
  4. Emphasizes service at every phase of personal selling process
  5. Need Discovery to Selection of Solution to Need-satisfaction Process to Servicing the Sale

Transactional Sellingis the sales process that most effectively matches the needs of the value.  Under this type of selling, one needs to be conscious of the buyer who is primarily interested in price and convenience.  This process surveys the buyer primarily interested in price and convenience.  A Transactional Approachis acustomer strategy would not emphasize need assessment, problem solving, relationship building, and sales follow-up.  In Transactional Sales, relationship strategy is secondary.  Trust in the product.

Transactional Selling tactics that emphasize low Price

  • Quantity Discount: lower price for high quantity or dollar amount
  • Seasonal Discount: Price adjusted by tome of year
  • Promotional Allowance: Price linked to special promotion or advertising campaigner
  • Trade/Functional Discounts: Give to wholesalers for special services
  • Selling is about executing marketing campaign

Strategic Market Plan-Process that matches firm’s resources to its market opportunities; takes into consideration various functional area of business that must be coordinated such as financial assists, workforce, production capabilities, and marketing.  A strategy is aprerequisite to tactical success.

Relationship StrategyA well though-out plan for establishing, building, and maintaining quality relationships.   Adopt a win-win philosophy, maintain high ethical standards, project a professional image, and buyer remorse.  The goal of relationship strategy is to create rapport, trust, and mutual respect, which ensure a long-term partnership.

Customer Strategy-Carefully conceived plan that results in maximum responsiveness to customer’s needs; develop an understanding of customer’s buying process, understand buyer behavior, and develop a prospect base.  Dictated by needs of customers.  Understand the buying process, understand buyer behavior, and develop prospect base.

Presentation Strategy-Well-developed plan that includes preparing the sales presentation objectives, preparing a presentation plan that is needed to meet these objectives, and renewing one’s commitment to provide outstanding customer service

Partnering is a strategically developed, long-term relationship that solves the customer’s problems.  Achieved when salesperson able to skillfully apply 4 major strategies and thus add value in various ways.  Results in repeat sales and referrals that expand the prospect base.  Strength increases each time salesperson uses value-added selling strategies.  A Strategic alliance is the most challenging; salesperson must build a good working relationship with each team member. Trust in other company and its values in strategic alliances.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)-Sales automation, process of building and maintaining strong customer relationships by providing customer value 

Value Creation:

  1. Understanding Customer’s Value Needs-Establishing a relationship based on trust, carefully identifying needs, and identifying best possible product solution
  2. Creating the Value Proposition-Detailed study of customer’s value needs
  3. Communicating the Value proposition
  4. Delivering the Value Proposition

May require coordination of credit approval, training, installation, service, and other aspects of sale

Relationshipsshow us thatinformation does not have value unless people interact effectively.  People that have a better Emotional Intelligence, have thecapacity for monitoring our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in us and in our relationships.  Self-confidence, trustworthiness, adaptability, initiative, optimism, empathy, and well-developed social skills will make you more successful as a sales person.  Have an empathy and ego Drive.  Have outstanding character and integrity by projecting a professional image.  Maintain high ethical standards to add values to the sale.  This helps high performing salespeople build and maintain win-win relationships with a wide range of key groups: Customers, Secondary Decision Makers, Company Support Staff, and Management personnel.

Sales Process– Initiating Customer Relationships to Developing Customer Relationships, Enhancing Customer Relationships, Adding Value through follow-up, self-leadership, and teamwork

New Paradigm

  • Customer obsession- employee focus
  • Mission values-Management focus
  • Respect-Trust, no blame atmosphere
  • Excellence-Achieved by Continuous Improvement
  • Measurement done by Employees

Selling foundations include being trustworthy, behaving ethical, understanding buyer behavior, and processing excellent communication skills.

Trust Components

  • Compatibility- extent to which a salesperson’s behaviors, actions, and personally are consistent with and/or appropriate by his/her customers, buyer likes doing business with salesperson
  • Expertise- extent to which a salesperson processes relevant knowledge and capability; salesperson knows what he/she needs to know.  Salesperson and his/her company have ability and resources to get job done right.
  • Candor-“extent” is honest and upfront with others, especially with regard to issues/factors that may impact those others; salesperson honest in his/her own words; presentation is fair and balanced
  • Dependability-consistently and predictability follows through on commitments he/she makes to others.  Buyers can rely on salesperson, salesperson keeps promises
  • Customer Orientation- a salesperson values and protects interests of his/her customers.  Salesperson truly cares about partnership.  Salesperson goes to bat for customer.

Ethical Tests

  • Is it right?
  • Who will it hurt?
  • Would you want your decision publicized?
  • Is it fair?
  • What would you tell your child to do?

Character and integrity strongly influence relationships in personal selling.  Your character is based on internal value.  Be a role model provided by top management, following company policies and practices, having personal values as a salesperson, and having ethical conduct.  Values are deep beliefs and preferences, representing the ultimate reasons people have contacting as they do.  Values serve as foundations for our attitudes.  Attitudes serve as foundations for our behavior.


  • Ignore influence of your values and engage in unethical behavior
  • Voice strong opposition to practice that is in conflict with your value system
  • Refuse to compromise your values and be prepared to deal with the consequences

Product configuration software develops customized product solutions quickly and accurately.  Incorporates customer selection criteria.  Identifies options, pricing, and delivery schedules.  Can integrate with Customer Relationship Management Applications.


  • Everyone does it
  • Isn’t hurting anybody
  • I couldn’t help it
  • Nobody Cares
  • What do you want me to do, go out of business?
  • I couldn’t help it
  • I have to get the job done

Frameworks for Viewing Ethical Questions

“Results are what matter…ends over means.”

Consequentialist Questions:

  • Who might be hurt?
  • Who might/should benefit?
  • What is right goal?
  •  What if I get caught?

Duty-based Questions:

  • Contract Orientation…What I owes
  • Is this fair?
  • What and who do I owe?
  • What do others legitimately expect from me?
  • What or are should be my loyalties?
  • What (unspoken/spoken) promises have been made?

Absolutist Questions:

  • Principles based, regardless of consequences
  • What is the right thing here?
  • What is the law?
  • Is this honest?
  • Am I being true to my standards?

Developing a Relationship Strategy

Adopt Thought Processes with a Win-Win Philosophy.

Our self-concept is shaped by the ideas, attitudes, feelings, and thoughts you have about yourself that influence the way you relate to others.  Feelings and behavior are consistent with the self-concept.  These can be changed.  To develop a more positive self-concept: focus on future, not past mistakes, develop expertise in selected areas, and develop a positive mental attitude.

Key factor that determines sales success is a positive self-concept and the ability to relate to others in effective and productive ways; also the 4-step self-improvement plan

WIN-WIN PHILOSOPHY-first step in developing a relationship strategy; both buyer and seller come out of the sale understanding that their respective best interests have been served; The people help others solve their problems, fix what caused the problem, make life a joyous happening for others and themselves, learn from the past, live in the present, and set goals for the future, and make commitments to themselves and to others and keep them both, built on empathy-the ability to understand what a person is feeling, ego drive-Is an inner force that makes the salesperson need to make the sale, character, and integrity.  Ego-Drive and Determination in same sentence are bound and determined to accomplish their goals.  Nothing will stop you.  Character and Integrity-Character and includes personal standards such as honesty.  Customer Satisfaction primary, Adopting win-win is first step in development of relationship strategy.  Both the buyer and seller come out of the sale with their respective best interests being served.

WIN-LOSE-See a problem in every solution, Fix the blame, let life happen to them, live in the past, and make promises they never keep


First customer contact critical.  Quick, Superficial judgments are then made.  Those impressions can facilitate or distract.  The image a salesperson projects can influence the customer’s feelings about the salesperson.

Verbal Messages voice communication through tone, volume, and speed of delivery.  Nonverbal messages without words or silent messages: facial expressions, handshakes, voice tone, gestures, appearance, and posture, and other nonverbal means.  These convey more.  Verbal Communication

  • Organize Thoughts
  • Paint World Pictures
  • Watch Grammar

Communication Skills

Verbal Communication: Questioning

Salespeople skilled at questioning take a strategic approach to asking questions so that they may control the flow and direction of conversation, uncover important information, demonstrate concern and understanding, and facilitate the customer’s understanding.

Verbal Communication: Strategic Application of Questioning

  • Generate Buyer Involvement-Buyer talking at least  (60%-70%)
  • Provoke Thinking
  • Gather Information
  • Clarification and Emphasis

Need to make sure verbal and nonverbal messages are consistent

Communication styles are patterns of behavior that others observe such as tone of voice patterns, eye movement, facial expression, and posture.  Individual differences exist and are important.  Communication styles are a way of thinking and behaving.  Individual style differences tend to be stable based on hereditary and environmental factors.  There are a finite number of styles.  Most productive relationships, it is necessary to get in sync with the communication style of the people you work with

  • STYLE FLEXING-delivered attempt to adapt one’s communication style to accommodate the needs of another person “people are more apt to buy from you when they perceive you view the world as they view the world”
  • DOMINANCE-can be defined as the tendency to control or prevail over others.  People are competitive, offer opinions readily, are decisive, opinioned, self-assertive, and vocal
  • SOCIABILITY-reflects the amount of control we exert over our emotional expressiveness higher in sociability, express their feelings freely.  Can be defined as the tendency to seek and enjoy reactions with others.
  • BUYING DECISION PROCESS-The role of the salesperson will vary based on where the buyer is in the buying decision process and the role of the salesperson will vary based on the type of buying decision


Sales presentations are made for seasonal buyers usually over 3-6 months in advance.  Buyer’s needs may be a mix of situational, functional, social, psychological and knowledge needs.


Business Markets operate differently than consumer markets and those differently affect the selling process.  There is concentrated demand, derived demand, higher levels of demand fluctuation, purchasing professionals, multiple buying influences, and close buyer-seller relationships.


  • Consumer Markets-People (Personal Use)
  • Business Markets—Firms, Institutions, Governments, Non-Profit Organization
  • Selling to Gov. very profitable but lots of red tap


Base score-Assessment of Product or supplier (P)

P X L=Attribute Score

EX: Compensation, Location, and Training


  1. Straight Rebuy Buying Situation-Routinized Response Behavior
  2. Modified Rebuy Buying Situation-Limited Problem Solving
  3. New Task Buying Situation-Extensive Problem Solving


95% of all business problems stem from miscommunication barriers.  These include speech or hearing impediments, selective perceptions, noise, negative attitudes, vocabulary, status/authority differences, and emotional status

Many clients ask for written proposals and some provide detailed guidelines.  Most include: Budget and Overview, Schedule, Objective, Rationales, and Strategy.


Be familiar with product history.  Know the stages of product testing.  Link key features of customer needs.  Quality Control involves measuring against standards.  Extensive Sales-force training is key element of quality control

  • Show interest
  • Gain Confirmation
  • Advance the Sale

Types of Questions: Controlling Amount and Specialty of Information

  • Open-ended Questions
  • Closed-end Questions
  • Dichotomous (Stay away from Yes and No)/Multiple Choice Questions
  • Are you a good or bad time Manager-specify resources

Types of Questions

  • Probing Questions-what if?
  • Evaluative Questions-Are you happy?
  • Tactical Questions
  • Reactive Questions-refer to or directly result from information previously provide by the other party
  • That’s interesting…can you tell me how it happened?
  • You mentioned that.  Can you give me an example of that?

The SPIN Questioning Strategy

  • Situation Questions: Achieve fact finding Questions
  • Problem Questions: Achieve Objective of uncovering current satisfaction
  • Implication Questions: Achieve objective of developing and channeling dissatisfaction; Have high selling impact
  • Nee pay-off Questions: Achieve objections of rehearsing and selectivity channeling customer attentions
  • Have High selling impact


Find out facts about the buyers existing situation.  How many people do you employ at this location?  How do you manage your time and contracts?  These are the least powerful of the SPIN questions; Negative relationship to success.  Most people ask too many and Need Balance.  Eliminate unnecessary situation questions by doing your homework in advance.

Implication Questions

Ask about the consequences or effects of a buyer’s problems, difficulties or dissatisfactions.  What effect does that problem have on productivity?  Could that be impeding your ability to develop good relationships with your customers?  Implication questions are the most powerful of all SPIN questions top salespeople ask lots of implication questions.  These questions are also the hardest to ask.  Prepare for these questions by identifying and understanding the implications of various suspected needs prior to the sales call.

Need-Payoff Questions

Ask about the value or usefulness of the proposed solution.  They seek the buyers opinion as to what life would be like if problem was solved.  How would better time and customer management help you?  Would you like to discuss how we could do that for you?  Versatile Questions used a great deal by top salespeople.  These questions help the buyer to understand the benefits of solving the problem.  Use these to tell the benefits.

Funneling sequence of ADAPT

  1. Assessment Questions
  2. Discovery Questions- Questions probing information gained in assessments.  Seeking to uncover problems or dissatisfactions that could lead to suggested buyer needs
  3. Activation Questions- Shows the negative impact of a problem discovered in the discovery sequence.  It is designed to activate buyer’s interest in and desire to solve the problem
  4. Projection Questions- what life would be like without the problem?  The buyer establishes the value of firing and implementing a solution.
  5. Transition Questions-Open-end Questions for maximum information

Nonverbal Communications

  • Facial Expressions
  • Eye Movements
  • Placement and movement of hands, arms, heads, and legs
  • Body posture and orientation
  • Proxemics
  • Variation in Voice Characteristics

Verbal Communications

  • Speaking rate and pause duration
  • Pitch of frequency
  • Intensity and Loudness
  • Positioning and Differentiation

Positioning involves those decisions and activities intended to create and maintain a certain concepts of the firm’s product in the customer’s mind.  Differentiation refers to your ability to separate yourself and your product from that of your competitors.  It is key to building and maintaining a competitive advantage.  A value proposition is the set of benefits and values the company promises to deliver to a customer need that must be satisfied.

The Cluster of Satisfaction Concern

  • Products are problem-solving tools
  • People buy products if they fulfill a problem-solving need
  • Today’s better educated and more demanding customers are seeking a cluster of satisfactions
  • Product Selling Model Figure 7.1

Product Positioning Options

  • Applies to both new and existing products
  • May be necessary to reposition products several times
  • Salespeople have an important and expanding role in differentiating products
  • Direct and personalized form of communication must be used
  • Mass Advertising often fails to position a complex product
  • Position new versus established products
  • Position with price strategies
  • Position with value added

New Product Development (50/50 chance of success failure)

Sales become key and distribution crucial.  A price class defines a Market

Value-added product-selling strategy is enhanced when based on a comprehensive analysis of the competitive situation including product, its attributes, and the benefits it offers.  Ideal Inventory turn is 52 times a year-once a week.  26 times a year is good

Product Life Cycle Stages

Target Rated Points (T.R.P.) are how many times targeted market sees various ads and promotions.  Anything over a 100 week is pretty good.  Every company that has a product or service

Every market has a product life cycle and category development

New Emerging Products

  • Develop new levels of expectations
  • Change habits
  • Establish new standards
  • Build desire for product
  • Focus on creating new markets

Mature and Well-established Products

  • Emphasize Brand Superiority
  • Emphasize Company Superiority
  • Point out unique features
  • Provide Outstanding customer service
  • Focus on sustaining existing market share

Selling Products with a Price Strategy

  • Pricing decisions must be made at each stage of the life cycle
  • Setting price can be a complex process
  • First step is to determine pricing objectives
  • Some firms set prices to maximize profits
  • Others set a market share objective
  • Pricing strategies reflect a products position in the market place
  • Price according to market and Franchise

Consequences of Low Price Tactics

  • High/low involvement buyers?
  • High emotional involvement with brand: New Task and Modified Re-buy
  • Low-involvement buyers focus on price: Rebuy
  • Importance of quality?
  • Role of price-quality relationship in sale
  • Importance of service?
  • Many buyers particularly b2b, ranks service above absolute price
  • C.L.V.-Customer Lifetime Value

How do we add value? Information sharing and Guarantee Warranty

Value Creation Investments for….

  • Transactional Buyers-involves emphasis on eliminating costs, avoiding delays
  • Consultative Buyers-Involves custom-tailored solutions to deliver more real benefits
  • Strategic Alliance Buyers-requires leveraging the full assets of the company; investments go well beyond the sales force

Customer Strategy is defined as a carefully conceived plans that results in maximum customer responsiveness.  One major dimension of this strategy is to achieve a better understanding of the customer’s buying needs and motives

Develop a customer strategy by understanding the buying process, understanding buyer behavior, and developing a prospect base.

Organizational Buying

  • New Task Buy: Salespeople rely on consultative selling skills
  • Straight Rebuy: Salespeople constantly

Consumer Buying

  • Habitual buying situations
  • Variety-seeking buying situations
  • Complex buying situations

Achieving Alignment

  • Buying process is a systematic series of actions, or a series of defined repeatable steps intended, to achieve a result
  • Salespeople need to be clean on how decisions are being made
  • Acquire specific information rather

Buyer Resolution Theory

Why should I buy?

What should I buy?

Where should I buy?

What is a fair price?

When should I buy?

Customer Strategy Model Figure 8.5

Basic Needs Maslow

  • Physiological: food, shelter
  • Security: free from danger
  • Social: Identification with social groups, friendship
  • Esteem: Desire to feel worthy in eyes of others
  • Self-Actualization: Need for mastery, self-fulfillment

Group Influences Figure 8.7

Buying Motives

  • A buying motive is an aroused need, drive, or desire that stimulates behavior to satisfy the aroused need
  • It’s helpful to discover the DMB (Dominant Buying Motive)
  • Four basic motive types-emotional, rational, patronage, and product

Emotional Motives are acts due to passion or sentiment.  Emotional appeals are common too.  If two products are identical, the salesperson that “connects” has the advantage.

Rational Motives are acts on reason or judgment.  It is relatively free or emotion.  Salespeople gather, interpret, and disseminate customer-specific information

Patronage and Product Motives


  • Buy from a particular firm
  • Past experience positive
  • Relevant elements superior service, product selection, competent sales stuff


Buyer believes one product is superior to others.  Preferences for specific brands, quality, price, design engineering

Prospect, Prosperity, and Prospect Base

A prospect is a potential customer that meets the qualification criteria established by your company.  Prospecting is identifying potential customers.  A Prospect Base is made up of current customers and potential customers.  Use the What if? Analysis and 20:80 Rule.  Always have a group of people that can be promoting the importance of prospecting.  Every Salesperson must cope with customer attrition:

  • Customer may have a one-time need
  • Customer may move outside the salesperson’s territory
  • Firm may go out of business or merge
  • Sales may be lost to the competition

Grad’s Ferris Wheel-Supply

Prospecting Requires Planning

  • Increase number of people who board Ferris Wheel
  • Improves the quality of prospects
  • Shorten sales cycle by determining which prospects are “qualified”
  • Prospecting plans must be monitored continuously for effectiveness


  • Prospect recommend by current satisfied customer or one familiar with product or service
  • Endless chain: ask contact who else could benefit from product
  • Referral Organizations: Facilitate networking
  • Friends, family members, centers of influence: A person who may influence on opinion leaders

Lead Generation, Decreased Directories, Trade Shows/Publications, Telemarketing, Direct Response and letter, website, cold calling, networking, computerized databases

Qualifying Prospects

  • Does prospect need my product?
  • Does the prospect have the authority to buy my product?
  • Does the prospect have the financial resources to buy my product?
  • Does the prospect have the willingness to buy my product?

Collecting and Organizing Prosper Information

Sales Data Can be collected and organized into C.R.M. systems such as, Oracle, NetSuite, and Microsoft.

Prospecting and Sales Forecasting Plans

Important to balance time and organize contacts:

  • Prepare a list of prospects
  • Forecast Potential Sales Volume for each new account, by product
  • Carefully plan the sales route to minimize time and cost


Common Types of Sales Goals

  • Financial-Current Compensation
  • Career Advancement
  • Personal Developments-MBA
  • Sales Volume
  • Sales Call Activity
  • Sales Call Expense and ethics
  • Profitability

Market Share

Share of Account

  • Ancillary Activity-community
  • Customer Retention (70:80)
  • New Account Generation
  • Customer Service-Complaints
  • Conversion

Pricing-Elasticity (Change in Market to Market)

Consumer Products: Hormel, P.G., E.J. Gallo, Pharmacist=at execution end of manifesto plan

Retail Price Point.  Always protect price point

Strategic Planning Sets The Stage

Benefits of Demonstration

  • Improved Communication and retention
  • Proof of Buyer Benefits-Proof Devices
  • Feeling of Ownership
  • Quantifying the Solution
  • Value Proposition Revisal

Creative Demonstrators

  • Make features and Benefits Appealing
  • Must gain attention and increase desire for product
  • Create different ways at looking at problems and solve

Customize the Demonstration

  • Use custom-fitted demonstrations
  • Relate to specific customer needs

Choose Right Setting

  • Demonstration location makes difference
  • Control Environments free from distraction
  • Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
  • If you don’t rehearse you cant succeed

Decision Analysis Process


The current article addresses the fallacy of salespeople’s unethical practices of lying to clients.  In the SMM survey, about half of all salespeople lie to clients.  One such New York-based start up sold multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns to some of the world’s largest companies.  Yet, the sales force lived by such mottos as “If you didn’t lie you were fired” or “It always came down to careful wording and fudging numbers.”  Salespeople are driven to lie in order to achieve sales targets instead of focusing on what the customer really needs because companies demand that reps make quota or be fired.   “Some companies do whatever it takes to make money.”  These lay than affect many aspects of client relationships.  One such employee, Matt Cooper, received death threats from a client that didn’t get what his salesperson had promised to the client.  Dishonesty of a customer relationship eventually ensures a company will have zero customer loyalty.  So cooper decided to sell only what he knew worked, because he couldn’t lie anymore.  A manager can tell if a salesperson is lying by getting calls from customers, repeat business being down, salespeople being motivated by fear, recognition and rewards being based solely on numbers, and managers/executives lying too.  Cooper was being poorly managed.  Yet, sometimes it is the executives themselves that promote deception.  The SMM survey showed that respondents believe salespeople who are caught lying should be disciplined, but 51 percent have never actually punished anybody.  Another way to safeguard managing your team is by making smarter hiring decisions.  “The best predictor of future behavior is looking at past behavior.”  Finally, Cooper found that building relationships with clients is a better long-term strategy in both terms of financial well being and financial health of the company.

The article is applicable to what we have been talking about in class about developing a long-term customer relationship and creating a sales strategy.  The key driver of a sound sales strategy is that the leaders of the organization exhibit the values that they want employees to follow.  Effective salespeople are communicable, honest, and maintain customer follow-up to build customer rapport.  Salespersons need to be customer-based instead of company-oriented ultimately to achieve desired long-term customer relationships.  Trust components that we have also discussed in class factor into the ethical questions of this article.

I Personally feel that lying to customers is unethical.  If a salesperson really wants to develop a good relationship with someone, they need to instill trust by not lying.  People that I personally talk to as salespersons in the real world that lie make me want to have no relationship with them/do business.  I also agree with the argument that managers need to instill a sense of honesty in their team.  People follow by example and teaching good business practices leads to good business actions.

“Secrets of Question Based Selling”

The current article addresses how to effectively sell to different needs, biases, and experiences.  Question Based Selling (QBS) is a systematic approach used to your increase your profitability of success and decrease your risk of failure.  This executive summary divides the system into two parts.  First, the risk of rejection and learning how to disarm mismatching is always a major concern in the sales process.  One way to reduce the risk of rejection is to use the “Single Ping” Theory, or sending out feelers and seeing what kind of response you get in return.  It helps to send out signals and see what kind of response you receive.   The Single Ping Theory uses questions to advance the sales process while reducing the risk of failure.  The risk of mismatching, or the automatic tendency of people to counter what someone says, can be controlled by asking more questions and making fewer statements, building your credibility, and leveraging curiosity.  The second part introduces conversational layering by using questions to spark prospect’s curiosity in your product/service, earning credibility, building relationships, uncovering needs, make effective sales presentations, and securing a commitment to buy.  The article then breaks down each of these categories further.  You can create curiosity with QBS by asking provocative questions, giving partial information, giving glimpses of value, showing newness and exclusivity, and leveraging momentum.  Giving effective voice-mail messages can also be important in developing a customer’s curiosity.  One should leave voice-mail messages that have a question only the seller can answer, contain associative references, or have an example of something that made the seller think of the buyer.  The next step in conversational layering is to establish credibility; or to convey a favorable impression to the prospect about your trustworthiness, believability, and competence.  To help establish credibility, a seller should start with a more narrow scope and ask diagnostic questions first.  Once the seller has built some rapport with the customer, the seller can uncover the buyer’s needs with the SPIN model.  This will lead the buyer from basic information to more specific solutions by correctly identifying status, issue, and implication questions.  By using the SPIN Model in a correct disposition, a seller can ultimately uncover latent needs and transform them into active needs creating a sense of urgency for the buyer to buy.   After the seller has identified the solutions to the buyer, they must present the solutions.  A seller can use such presentation strategies such as divide and conquer, using stories, discussing gold medal versus German Shepherd buyers, using confirmation questions, and further explaining statements.  Finally, the seller must make a commitment to close the sale.  The seller can again use a variety of strategies for closing as well.  A seller should know the status of the opportunity of the sale, have a sale that is tit-for-tat with the buyer, reiterate the value of the sale, and give emotional reassurance.

The article is applicable to what we have been talking about in class on the material covered in Chapters 7 and 8 of our book, specifically the SPIN Model.  The SPIN Model consists of Situation questions, Problem Questions, Implication Questions, and Need-Payoff Questions to show benefits to the buyer.  Situation questions establish a context leading to problem questions so that the buyer reveals implied needs.  These implied needs are developed by implication questions, which make the buyer feel the problem more clearly, and acutely to lead to Need-Payoff questions.  Finally, the buyer states explicit needs allowing the seller to state benefits, which are strongly related to sales success.

I Personally feel that the QBS system discussed in this article does work.  When I asked more questions during my individual sales presentation, it was easier for me to transition the buyer’s needs into my solution selling points.  I do feel that by asking the right questions at the right time, you can control the sales process from beginning to end.  I also feel that by asking questions you also show the buyer that you are empathetic and ultimately care about their business.  Different personal selling techniques can be used to close a sale, but QBS selling seems to be a more personable approach.  Through my experiences, negotiations are becoming more face-to-face then just the numbers.  It is important to develop a solid customer relationship with the seller because who wants to buy from someone who they can’t trust?  Not me!

The Art of Pitching

– They explain how the new business will make a difference to customers and provide a compelling alternative to competitors. This means showing a new way of doing things to shake up the market, and explaining it in short, sharp, entertaining fashion.

– They are grounded in expert knowledge of the industry. If you are going to launch anything – a new social network, a new bank, a new fashion line – you need to demonstrate a solid understanding of the market and how you can disrupt it.

– They have a realistic plan. While high concepts are fine, pitches need to illustrate how a company could work practically. This means legal, financial and operational plans. It’s tough to include details in a short presentation, but the most engaging pitches manage to combine passion with pragmatism.

– They are in it for the long haul. Nothing stays the same, and business changes faster than most things. Pitches latching on to the flavour of the month are all well and good, but they need to communicate how the business could grow sustainably and develop in the future.

– They show their strongest hand. Pitching is all about selling your idea and your business as an exciting place to be. Highlight the strengths – especially the talented people who are working on the project – and don’t be afraid to talk up your prospects.


Inbound Sales-giving them that relevant personal delightful experience that is driven by their needs and happens on their timeline is what an inbound approach to sales ia ll about.


  1. Company information-company size, annual revenue, what they sell, who they slle fot. Role of lead within company, key players
  2. Read About Their Industry-company news, new funding, are they hiring, territory expansion, upcoming events, LinkedIn profiles, shared contacts, shared groups
  3. Check Social Media-What networks are they on?
  4. Lead Intelligence-what did they download, what pages did they look at, what emails are they read, what is resonating with them

Techniques for establishing commonality: sports, family/dogs, education, and cities

  1. What are you looking for help with?
  2. I’ve researched your company and have a few tips and suggestions for you , but first wanted to understand what you were looking to learn more about, and how I can be a great resource to you.

Positioning statement-an expression of how a give product, service, or brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that its competitor’s don’t.

Voicemail, then Email Sales Strategy

Hi Benjamin,



You’ve been to our website and utilized our researchers. I’ve researched your company and have couple suggestions on how social media marketing can help your website.

I though you might enjoy a free social media analysis of your website where we can review more tips and suggestions that you can implement today.

Please let me know wehn you have a few minutes to speak.  My name is Benjamin, and I’m calling rom Global Social Media Marketing.



Hi Benjamin, per my message today-

You’ve been to our website and utilized our resources. Ive researched your company and have suggestions on how social media marketing can drive more traffic to your webiste. For example, you can hlep increase traffic to your weibsite by including relevant keywords on your blgos that you want to get ranked for on the search engoines.

Global Social Media Marketing offers a free social media analysis where we can reveiw more tips and suggestions that you can implement today.

When is the best time to connect?






Your Marketing Pipeline and Sales Quota are one in the same. You must understand the different stages of sales and marketing funnel, sales-ready lead, handoff, and buyer personas. Closed-loop reporting allows you to pass more intel to and get feedback from Sales. Marketing gets up to date contact information and status updates, learns which marketing programs are working, and increases marketing ROI. Benefits for sales include de-duplicate leads, helps prioritize leads, helps make sales people make warmer calls, and increase close rate and Sales ROI. You can calculate the SLA (Service line agreement) two ways:



How many leads of a certain quality does a sales rep need to make quota?

  • Quota (revenue) / avg. revenue per customer = # customers needed
  • Customers / avg. lead to customer close % = #leads needed
  • May vary by type (quality) of lea

Learn how to calculate an SLA. Here are some critical marketing and sales metrics you better be tracking. Closed-Loop Marketing will allow you to know how to calculate your leads goal for Sales & Marketing alignment. Determine Your Marketing Goals by working backwards from sales. Start with a shared goal of revenue. Know your average sale by current revenue. You need to be able to Sell More, Better, and Faster in 2014 with Inbound Sales. What Sales winners do differently is use Inbound Sales scripts. Socially Selling is also currently taking way and you can learn how to use social media to close more sales.


CRM tool that allows existing customers to pull tweets from their Twitter account into the tool making it possible to assign leads and monitor activity as you would other contacts in a database.

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