The Field Guide to Sales Book Club

Have you noticed that many times great sales books sit unread and un-acted on, up there on your shelf?

Have you attended a seminar or training class and left excited, just to find the dust covered workbook in your bottom drawer years later?

You’re NOT alone!

That is why we’ve created The Field Guide to Sales Book Club to give you the accountability and support you need to take action on your career, together with salespeople who are working on the same stuff you are!

The book club will cover all 12 chapters of The Field Guide to Sales in 12 weeks.

PLUS at the end of our 12 weeks there will be a Bonus class with Debbie Mrazek the author! So that is a baker’s dozen!

In the conversation with Debbie you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the book and her theories on being a successful professional salesperson.

Learn more at Events


Sales Dreams & Aspirations

“You can’t go anywhere unless you’re constantly pushing to go farther. If you don’t have dreams and aspirations, then you have nothing except the status quo.” ~ Tom Thrash

I find it interesting that a racecar driver’s quote resonated so much f0r me when it comes to sales. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a gear head and have driven something competitively since I was 8 years old – it is just I had never connected racing and sales before I read Tom’s quote.

It reminded me that, in sales, there is no such thing as standing still. Even when sales production might not show it – there is always the drive and search for new customers, new contacts, new information. A yearning to easily translate product features into problems they solve for prospects.

Why do salespeople do it, continue to push themselves further?

Every successful salesperson I know has dreams and aspirations they are trying to achieve. Some of dreams don’t seem to have anything to do with their sales career – unless you look at what they need to fulfill the dream.  Others are competitive (either with themselves – always trying to do better OR with others – wanting to win) and the aspirations are about success in their career.

What are YOUR dreams & aspirations?

How do they drive you forward beyond the status quo?

Today make sure you do something that you can directly tie into achieving your dreams. Actually – why not do that every day!

Trust a Salesperson?

Last week I responded to a question Building Relationships: What Does That Mean? (I have to share I can’t wait for Doyle Slayton who asked the question, to come back with his perspective).

It has gotten me thinking a lot about trust & sales. Here are my TOP 5 ways to earn your prospects trust and keep your customer’s:

  1. do what you say you’re going to do (sounds simple, yet every little thing is included in this statement – if you say you’ll call back Tuesday at 2, that is as important as product delivery when you promise from a trust building perspective).
  2. listen to what they say, how they say it, and to what they aren’t saying (who are “they” – other people; suspects, prospects, customers, co-workers, etc)
  3. when bad things happen… and they will happen… be available and present to resolve it (to often salespeople are known for sticking their head in the sand an hoping it will go away).
  4. if you know a bad thing has happened BEFORE the customer – call them NOW, don’t wait to see if they notice (‘nuf said).
  5. if your solution isn’t a good fit to solve their problem, tell the prospect upfront. It is better to bail early and gain respect, than win and disappoint them forever.

I’m sure there are lots more tips you can think of, please share them by leaving a comment!

Twitter @UpYourTeleSales

I’ve been reading a lot about twitter (and other social media), attending teleclasses, listening to people, trying to learn what it is all about. I’ve even started to follow some people who’s ideas I find interesting.

And I’m posting (like just now “Friday’s Thought: while other salespeople are waiting for the “right” time to cold call, pick up the phone and start earning new business.”)

The one thing I’ve noticed as I’m exploring is that what I find valuable is a combination of:

  • new information
  • twists on ideas I might have, but with different perspective
  • links to resources
  • people who can create articulate 140 character messages
  • “retweets” showing other peoples ideas

I’m wondering what other people find valuable to make sure my Tweets resonate. I’d love your comments about what is valuable to you on twitter, blogs, or any other social media forums.


Continuing is always easier than change

“Continuing is always easier than change” that is one of the things my coach and I talk about (a lot). In fact it is probably the number 1 reason I have a coach.

The sales habits we have created for ourselves didn’t happen overnight, some of them took years to create. Many of them we do without thinking at all. Of course changing the habits that no longer produce the results we want is difficult.

  • At some point, the behavior got us the result we were looking for
  • We are comfortable in the behavior even if we don’t like the result
  • It is scary to think that the change might be even worse than what we have now

Instead of focusing on the long term result, it helps to pick a way to make the act of doing the new “thing” what you track. Create a game out of it and reward yourself for the doing.

Like what? 

Trying to build relationships at the “C level”?

make phone calls to 10 each day this week.

reward = have coffee with a friend on Saturday

Need to have more contacts within each account?

today, before calling your contact, dial the main # AND ask for someone on “the team”

reward = ice cream at 3:00 if you do it every time

Make the joy in the change outweigh the difficulty of doing it. Look at the little steps instead of focusing on the long term result. Find a way to make it fun, you can even harness your competitive spirit and challenge someone on your team to a little contest so you have company.

What can you do today to make a change you want in your career?


Five Strategies To Minimize Risk

Here is an article by Tesa Stowe which resonated so much with me and my philosophies on why people are AND aren’t buying today that I wanted you to have the opportunity to read it as well.

Lynn’s Philosophy? Today prospects and customers are asking themselves:

Is the risk of doing something (anything) greater than the risk of doing nothing


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©Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2009

Is it risky to buy from you? This is the question your prospects will be asking themselves before they buy from you.

They want to know that you are capable of delivering the results they want and that you will actually deliver them. No matter how good your product is, if you are perceived as risky, your prospect will not buy from you.

Conversely, people will knowingly buy inferior products if they perceive the risk is less and that there is more of a guarantee they will get the outcome they are looking for.

Risk is a huge deciding factor, so how do you convey that you are the lowest-risk solution? Here are five strategies:

Strategy #1: Brainstorm all the reasons why you are the lowest-risk solution for your prospect.

Why are your prospects assured of getting the outcomes they want from your solution? What specific features of your product assure them they will get that outcome? What support do you offer that ensures they will get that outcome? Why should they feel assured you will be around next year to support them? You must be crystal-clear in your own mind about why you are the lowest-risk solution before you can explain it to your prospect.

Strategy #2: Brainstorm all the reasons why your prospects might perceive you as a risky solution.

Put yourself in their shoes. Be honest with yourself. If you were your competition, what would you say about the risk of your solution?

Now reframe that risk so it is not a risk. Turn it completely around to something positive. De-risk the risk!

In 2002 I was selling a billing solution to a telecommunications company. We were perceived by the prospect as high-risk as we had no references and we were using new, very advanced, technology.

I reframed that risk and told my prospect that we were actually the lowest-risk solution because we had the advanced technology that no one else had implemented. I went on to explain that, because this new technology would help them get ahead of their competition, it represented the lowest risk because it minimized the risk of competition in the future. They saw my point, and this was a major reason for their decision to buy the solution . . . for several million dollars, I might add.

You must name the elephant in the room, so to speak. Turn the perceived risk around to your advantage.

Strategy #3: Be prepared with customer testimonials and case studies that talk about specific results.

The more customer testimonials and case studies you have, the more comfortable your prospect will feel and the less risky you will be perceived. Even if you have only one or two, they can be powerful risk- minimizers.

Strategy #4: Make sure your true intent is to help your prospects get what they want, not to sell them something.

Always – and I mean always – act in alignment with this intent. If you do, your prospects will trust you. When your prospects trust you, they will perceive you as less risky.

Strategy #5: Have a very open conversation with your prospect and tell them you are the lowest- risk solution and why.

Tell your prospects all the reasons why you are the lowest-risk solution, including those risks you have turned around in Strategy #2.

Go into as much detail and depth on each point as you need to in order to make them feel comfortable. Ask them if they are confident in the reasons you have mentioned or if they still have questions. If you have built rapport and trust, they will tell you in what areas they still perceive you are risky. This conversation can be a very revealing – and rewarding – one.

Implement these five strategies and your prospects will see you as the lowest-risk solution- and maybe even the no-risk solution. More sales are sure to follow.

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at