Are You Pushing Prospects or Leading Them?

March 25th, 2015

Lead Sales ProspectsAikido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on redirecting an attacker’s energy and using it against them. Instead of meeting force with force (i.e. kicking and punching), the idea is to blend with the assailant’s movements to either throw them or pin them to the ground. Aikido makes use of momentum, balance and gravity, rather than speed or strength.

In fact, strength can work against you. A common mistake students make—and I’m guilty of it myself all too often—is trying to push or pull their training partner to make a technique work. That typically results in failure, because pushing and pulling gives the other person energy that they can use, resulting in them pushing or pulling back. Instead, we’re taught to lead our partners. Leading involves subtle body movements that cause an attacker to change their attack slightly and lose their balance.

In other words, pushing and pulling can generate resistance. But leading takes advantage of the attacker’s natural momentum enabling us to be successful in executing the technique.

The same principle is true in sales. Pushing generates resistance.

Have you ever noticed that the harder you push a prospect to take the next step in the sales process, the more they resist?

So don’t push them. Lead them instead. How?

Ask questions.

Most people don’t like being told what to do. But they love to be asked their thoughts and opinions. So rather than dictate to your prospects, engage them Ask questions like:

“What if…?”

“How about…”

“Would it make sense to…?”

“What do you think about…?”

“Would you like to…?”

“What would you say…?”

“Do you think…?”

“Would you prefer…?”

“What else…?”

This approach allows your prospects to continue moving through the buying process without feeling pressured. No pressure, no resistance.

And you can use this technique at any point in the sales cycle: prospecting, needs analysis, overcoming objections, upselling, closing, even follow up after the sale.

So if you’re frustrated because prospects resist when you try to get them to take the next step, stop pushing. Try leading them instead. Because the best way to eliminate sales resistance is not to cause it in the first place.

16 Words (and Phrases) That Undermine Your Credibility

March 11th, 2015

Words That Undermine Your Credibility In SalesOur words can either help or hinder our sales efforts. The right words can ease our buyer’s fears, stoke their excitement, and move them to action. The wrong words can annoy prospects, insult them, and even scare them off.

Some of the most dangerous words, though, are words we’re not even aware we’re using. They’re called “crutch words.”

Crutch words are words we consistently use to
• fill space
• begin sentences
• end sentences
• add emphasis

They’re verbal tics we pick up at a young age and use so often we don’t even realize it.

And they’re hurting your credibility every time one comes out of your mouth.

What exactly are they? Here are 16 of the most common:

1. Right
2. You know
3. Like
4. So
5. Honestly (along with frankly, truthfully, to tell you the truth, to be completely honest with you)
6. Um
7. Uh
8. Okay
9. Well
10. Just
11. Basically
12. Literally
13. Really
14. Very
15. Anyway
16. Know what I mean

Because these are weak words and phrases, every one of them causes you to sound less credible, especially when you use them frequently, as most of us do. And the damage gets compounded when using them in combination: “Okay, well, basically….”

As you read this list, you probably thought of various people in your life who use these words constantly: The person who starts every sentence with “So” or “Well.” The person who ends every sentence with “right?” or “you know?” The person who uses the word “literally” in literally every sentence.

You also probably thought to yourself, “Ha! I don’t use any of those words.” Except that you do. You simply don’t realize it, because we all hear what we think we say, not what we actually say.

Record yourself delivering a sales presentation. Or ask someone to record you in conversation when not aware of it. Or ask people who know you well if you use any crutch words. I guarantee you’ll be astonished by what you hear.

Once you’re aware of your crutch words, you can work on eliminating them. Be cognizant of the words you’re using as you’re speaking. Start your sentences with a real word, not filler. End your sentences with confidence, not by trailing off (so….) or seeking confirmation (“know what I mean?”). Pause instead of saying “um” or “uh.”

Strong communication skills are vital to success in sales, as well as in customer service, leadership, and other areas of business. Make sure the words you use in conversations and presentations enhance your credibility, not sabotage it.

© Feedough | Dreamstime.comBusiness Man Making The Speak No Evil Gesture Photo

Why Being Great Isn’t Good Enough

March 4th, 2015

Why Being Great Isn't Good Enough for Your SalesYou have a great product or service. In fact, it’s better than great—it’s fantastic! It’s awesome! It’s world-class!

Guess what? It doesn’t matter. And if you’re laboring under the belief that it does, then you’re losing sales.

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Radio with Michele Price. In this 6½ -minute segment, I explain why this is and what you can do about it. These critical insights will transform how you think about your business and 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…”

Why Being Great Isn’t Good Enough: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Radio (mp3)

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