Four Questions That Will Boost Your Sales

July 29th, 2014

4 Questions that will boost your salesWhat’s the biggest key to increasing your sales? Asking the right questions. Although not necessarily the questions you think!

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this seven-minute segment, I share four powerful questions that you need to be asking. Whether you’re a salesperson, sales manager, business owner or CEO, these questions will enable you to dramatically boost your sales.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Four Questions That Will Boost Your Sales: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I highly recommend), check out

How Do Prospects (And Others) See You?

July 22nd, 2014

When we look in a mirror, we see ourselves one way. But others see us differently. Which is why so many of us think we photograph terribly. We don’t normally see ourselves the way others see us.

Yet understanding how prospects, bosses, employees and others see us is vital for achieving success in sales, business and other areas of our lives. As Sally Hogshead writes in her new book, How the World Sees You:

“Just because you perceive yourself a certain way doesn’t mean that your team or customers necessarily see you the same way (both positively and negatively). In a connected workplace, your success relies on understanding the impressions you create. It matters less how you see the world. It matters more how the world sees you. If you fail to understand what your audience truly values, then you can’t communicate yourself in a way that makes people want to listen and remember.”

That’s the goal of this tremendous book: to help you determine what others value about you, so you can leverage that uniqueness:

“People can outdo your strengths. But nobody can outdo who you are. Your personality is the only aspect of your work that nobody can copy. People can copy your product, your pricing, your actions, your recipe or program or formula. But they can never replicate who you are. Who you are is the greatest differentiator you’ve ever had.”

So who are you, in the eyes of others?

Drawing on her decade of research with 250,000 people, Hogshead delineates seven communication styles, which she terms “Advantages”: Power, Passion, Mystique, Prestige, Alert, Innovation and Trust.

Each of us has a primary and secondary Advantage. Combine those two and you discover your personality “Archetype.”

How the World Sees You describes each Advantage and Archetype in detail. But you don’t have to spend hours reading through every single description to try to figure out which ones fit you. The book includes a code you can use to take a free online assessment that removes all the guesswork. You get a custom, 16-page report that spells out:

• Your top two Advantages
• Which Archetype you are
• How the world sees that Archetype
• The top five words that describe your strengths
• The other Archetypes you need on your team to maximize your success
• A one-minute coaching tip for your Archetype
• And a sample “Anthem” (explained in detail elsewhere in the book)

For example, my primary Advantage is Prestige and my secondary Advantage is Innovation, which means my Archetype is the “Avant-Garde.” Here’s how the world sees me:

“Your mind works quickly to develop unconventional solutions. You are a prolific idea generator. You bring fresh interpretations of the same old thing. You tweak the game. You change the rules. You bring new ideas and execute them to a high standard.”

My top five adjectives are:
1. Original
2. Enterprising
3. Forward-thinking
4. Dashing
5. Commendable

The sample anthem suggested to me is “Forward-thinking creativity.”

As you can see at the top of this page, the tagline I created for myself several years ago is “Original thinking for boosting your sales.” So I’d say this assessment is dead-on.

What’s the value in this knowledge? As Hogshead points out:

“When you clearly understand your differences, you can escape the gloomy, gray world of the lowest common denominator and start to shine. And outshine the competition. The more you can amplify your innate Advantages, the less likely you are to be a commodity, and the more likely you are to be heard and remembered.”

That’s a huge key to boosting your sales and your overall success.

How the World Sees You is a must-read for salespeople, mangers, CEO’s, heck, just about anybody in business. Think of it as another mirror—one that can give you a more detailed and accurate view of who you are and the value you have to offer to the world.

14 Sales Tips from NSA ‘14

July 9th, 2014

As a professional speaker and sales trainer, I am—as you might expect—a member of the National Speakers Association. Which means that last week I was in San Diego for the 2014 NSA Annual Convention.

More than a 1400 of the world’s best professional speakers gathered for four days to learn from each other. The result was a tremendous outpouring of business ideas and insights.

Here, in no particular order, are fourteen of the best:

1. “If you want to sell fire extinguishers, first you have to show the fire.”—David Newman (@dnewman)
People don’t buy products and services. They buy solutions to problems and tools to help them achieve their goals. What’s the problem your product solves? Or what’s the goal your service helps people achieve?

2. “When people meet you, they’re wondering ‘Do I like them? Do I trust them?’”—Christine Cashen (@christinecashen)
Before people will buy from you, they need to feel comfortable with you. That means building rapport. Smile, shake their hand, treat them with respect, ask questions, and—most importantly—listen to the answers.

3. “Building interactivity into your presentation makes it more memorable.”—Judson Laipply (@JudsonLaipply)
The more your sales presentation resembles a lecture, the more boring it is and the more quickly it’s forgotten. Make your presentation interactive by engaging your prospect in conversation and asking them questions. Make it tactile by allowing your prospect to touch your product or materials. Make it an experience by providing food and drink to incorporate smell and taste.

4. “Forget your limiting beliefs.”—Jim Kwik (@jimkwik)
We all are hampered by limiting beliefs, whether they’re about our prospects (“They can’t afford this.” “They aren’t serious buyers.”), our products (“This is too expensive.” “Nobody will like this color.”), or ourselves (“I can’t close.” “I’ll never win a sales contest.”) The key is to recognize them when they run through our head and realize what they really are: negative beliefs that have no basis in reality. Then we can move past them.

5. “It’s not enough to be different. You have to be different in a way that creates, demonstrates & delivers value.”—Toni Newman (@toni_newman)
Your product or service may be different from your competition. It may even be better than your competition. But what does that difference mean for your buyer? How does it benefit them?

6. “Make your message as simple as possible. The more elements there are, the harder your message is to comprehend.”—Bill Bachrach (@billbachrach)
Too many salespeople load their presentations up with every piece of information possible about their product or service. This results in bloated, boring presentations that cause prospects to tune out. Aim for shorter, more focused presentations. What are the key points? What’s most important to communicate?

7. “Write music you can’t play.”—Mike Rayburn (@mikerayburn)
If you want to grow, personally and professionally, you need to create stretch goals. Big goals. Outrageous goals. Goals that both scare and inspire you. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you challenge yourself.

8. “There’s no point sending information until you know what the prospect’s budget is.”—Katrina Smith (@KeynoteTalent)
I’m constantly amazed how few salespeople ask prospects what their budget is. If you don’t know this critical piece of information, you’re wasting your time.

9. “Scarcity and exclusivity are powerful psychological motivators.”—Jay Baer (@jaybaer)
People fear missing out, so if your product or service is in short supply, prospects feel more incentive to act now. Also, scarcity and exclusivity imply high demand, which bolsters buyer confidence.

10. “Great today doesn’t mean you’ll be great tomorrow.”—Scott McKain (@scottmckain)
Markets change. Technologies change. Competitors change. If you aren’t constantly changing, adapting and improving, you won’t continue to be successful.

11. “Just because things could be worse doesn’t mean you don’t deserve better.”—Kat Cole (@KatColeATL)
There’s a fine line between being grateful for what you have and settling for less than you deserve. Don’t get trapped into excusing those things, circumstances and people that aren’t good enough. That goes for clients, employees, bosses and everything else in your business and personal life.

12. “There are more than 300 million executives around the globe with LinkedIn profiles and a new profile is added every second of every day.”—Sam Richter (@SamRichter)
If you sell B2B, LinkedIn is a powerful source of sales intelligence. It’s also a fantastic resource for getting introductions to the people you want to meet.

13. “People will not be moved unless your words touch something inside them.”—Nancy Duarte (@nancyduarte)
All buying is emotional. All. Even B2B and B2G. You may have facts and logic on your side, but if you want to move your prospect to action, you need to tap into their emotions.

14. “How much time are you investing each day getting better at your craft?”—Eric Chester (@eric_chester)
Whether you’re a salesperson, a professional, a manager or an executive, you need to be constantly improving your skills and adding new ones. How much time are you allocating to do that?

For more ideas and insights from these great speakers, click on their names to visit their web sites or click on their handles to follow them on Twitter. (Click here to follow me.)

Need an exceptional speaker for your next event? Check out the NSA website or your favorite speakers bureau. (Or just click here.)