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The Ruby Group | Akron and Columbus, OH

Professional Development

The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.

You’re a salesperson. You’ve just checked the wall calendar. You realize that the third quarter is officially over. A chill runs down your spine, because you know this means that you are 75% through the year and you haven't yet come close to the track you need to be on to achieve your yearly goals.

When you’re growing a small business, it’s important to put an emphasis on best utilizing the tools at your disposal. Regardless of your industry or experience, one of those tools should be social media. While there are endless uses for social media and I have previously discussed social selling tactics, below I have identified five tips that you can bring back to your business and begin to implement today for social media marketing.

The ears have to hear what the mouth is going to say. I believe roleplay is one of the most important things that you could do as a sales leader. Why? It makes you strong, but it also creates muscle memory for your team. Here's what happens when we don't role play. We tell people what to change in their sales process. 

Rodney Dangerfield built his comic career on a signature tagline: “I get no respect.”  Unfortunately, there are far too many salespeople who suffer from the Dangerfield syndrome – either they feel they get no respect or, worse, they act that way.  They walk around with sullen expressions and a woe-is-me outlook.  They are selling sympathy rather than solutions.  If we are describing you, study this carefully.  Hold your head high and reflect the pride of your profession.  Selling is a great field.  It has advantages that few other careers can claim.

Greg Nanigian, Sandler Trainer and Author, wrote his first book, Why People Buy. It’s a must-read for any sales professional in your organization who isn’t in control of the customers’ buying process, is unsure of what motivates clients and prospects, or needs to enhance their chances of closing the deal.

A good business relationship whether it is buyer/seller or manager/employee is based on the assumption that both parties have an interest in doing things to accomplish the same goal.  The first step in persuading someone to do what you want or need them to do is to establish and Adult-to-Adult relationship with the other person. 

The challenge of consistent growth is ever-present for small businesses. It’s difficult for all organizations, but especially for businesses that don’t have as many resources to devote to growth. For this reason, whenever you can develop or implement habits to improve your new business growth, you should do so. Below are six methods that you can deploy while networking to grow your team and its success.

The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.

Traditionally performance evaluations (or reviews) are a “check the box” exercise designed to appease HR. These evaluations typically come down to a “good kid” (you made your number / performed to expectations) or “bad kid” (you didn’t make your number) comment from a manager. 

The FBI distinguish between two different types of situations requiring two different questioning strategies: the interview and the interrogation. The FBI calls the interview, “a conversation with purpose.” On the other hand, an interrogation is defined as “eliciting a confession against self-interest.” Many salespeople approach a sales interview like they would an interrogation—and this is their first mistake. 

Amy Woodall, a Sandler trainer, talks about her best practices for managing expectations. Whether you are setting the first appointment with a prospect, setting clear guidelines for delivery, or just talking with your co-workers or spouse, setting expectations can be the difference between success and failure. Amy shares attitudes, behaviors, and techniques for setting clear up-front agreements with others.

The biggest turning point in my career and in my personal life came when I realized my true value. When I broke through the mental barrier of self-imposed doubt, I truly began to shine. This breakthrough led me down the successful career path I have followed today, and it started with a change in focus.

Sheila Musgrove is the national best-selling author of Hired!: How To Get The Zippy Gig. Insider Secrets From A Top Recruiter. She is also the founder and CEO of TAG Recruitment Group in Canada. She shares some amazing best practices for resumes and job interviews as well as what recruiters and hiring managers are really looking for in top candidates.

Rule #10: Treat the job interview as a sales call, which means it's your job to disqualify.

John Storm, Founder of the Brainstorm Network, joins us to talk about how to get the most out of a brainstorming session. Whether ideation or innovation is your goal, you need to know the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of an effective brainstorming session.

Rule #9: Don't get smoked in the interview. Search for the right candidate. What's don't get smoked in the interview mean? Well, sometimes the best sales call that a salesperson would make is on you, during the interview.   

The challenge of feeling comfortable and in control in your first “real job,” is almost as difficult as getting the job itself. The prospect of integrating yourself into the smoothly-running machine of a corporate workplace can be daunting and intimidating. While there’s nothing that will alleviate these fears and tensions overnight, there are a few ways to combat these feelings of anxiety and worry. Examine the four points enumerated below to gain a better perspective on how to successfully navigate the first stage of your career.

Welcome to the How to Succeed Podcast. The show that helps you get to the top and stay there. This is How To Succeed at Selling Girl Scout Cookies. The show is brought to you by Sandler Training the worldwide leader and sales management and customer service training. For more information on Sandler Training, including white papers, webinars, and more, visit Sandler.com.

You know drama is one of those things that bring TV ratings. Everybody loves drama. Everybody loves to watch reality TV these days cause it's a freight train about to happen but we can't turn it off. People are attracted to drama. Just the natural way it is. But you don't want drama at your workplace. Drama is poison. 

Picture this; you’re a 22-year-old business school graduate looking for your first job. You know you want to go into sales and have managed to secure an interview with a company high on your “places I want to work” list.  So what do you do next? Below we have identified 6 tips and tricks to help you crush your sales interview as a millennial entering the workforce.  

There are three tools that are particularly effective and easy to use in making people feel good about themselves: stroke, struggle, and validate. You can use one, two, or all three of these tools in interactions with patients—it depends on the situation.

Welcome to the How to Succeed Podcast, the show that helps you get to the top and stay there. This is how to succeed at patient care. The show is brought to you by Sandler, the worldwide leader in sales, management and customer service training. For more information on Sandler, visit Sandler.com. I'm your host, Mike Montague, and my guest this week is Donna Bak. She is a Sandler trainer from Connecticut and brand new author of the new Sandler book, "Patient Care The Sandler Way". We're going to talk to her about how to succeed at patient care. Donna, welcome to the show. Tell me a little bit about patient care and who should be listening today.

As I coach my clients, I often hear them tell me that Sandler training has not only impacted them professionally, but also personally. This got me thinking about the principles of Sandler and how they could impact our parenting effectiveness.

At this point, if you have yet to begin thinking about offering a summer internship, you’re probably behind. That’s okay though, we’re here to help. Below are 5 great ways to maximize the value of a summer internship for both you and those you hire. 

Wow, what an amazing first year for the How to Succeed Podcast! Thank you so much for helping to make it as a success. The podcast was launched last April with 5 episodes and quickly hit the charts in the new and notable section in iTunes. Now, with over 60 shows in the can, we can truly say that we are helping people get to their best and stay there. The show has received over 90,000 total downloads, and it is now averaging over 15,000 per month. We have had listeners in 92 countries.

In 1963, psychologist Bruce Tuckman termed the four primary stages of team development as; forming, storming, norming, and performing. Tuckman deemed that these phases must be traversed naturally for a team to grow, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. While a lot has changed in the world of business and team building over the past 50 years, Tuckman’s model for group development has continued to ring true. To illustrate and modernize the motivation behind each phase, let’s examine both inspiring and unimpressive examples of each as we work our way through Tuckman’s ideology.

Last week, Sandler Training hosted the world’s top leadership, management, and sales professionals at a summit in Orlando Florida. More than 1,200 people joined Sandler in the sun to learn about sales and leadership, share best practices, and further our knowledge of how to succeed.  The conference was incredible. From the opening video eliciting goosebumps to the #SandlerSummit trending nationally on Twitter with over 3.5 Million views, the room was electric. I have come away with so many notes and action items, but I have highlighted the top 3 lessons learned from last week.

While a sales conference can reignite your fire and provide an abundance of new insights and tools, it can also be a chaotic experience. The better prepared you are to hunt for useful insights, information and connections, the more you’ll come away with. Some of the most common frustrations surrounding conferences include coping with speakers and panels who don’t fully cover a topic, finding time to network and even gaining insight from talks that don’t seem immediately relevant.

It’s not uncommon for a new hire to start out strong.  But after the initial excitement and enthusiasm for the new job fades, the behavior, performance, and “numbers” follow suit.

There are only 24 hours (or 1,440 minutes) in a day. What you do with those hours has a direct impact on your overall productivity and your career. From the cold calls you have to make to the internal meetings and client visits, how can you squeeze it all into each day without missing out? The way you schedule your time, the format of your meetings and even your approach to delegation are important. Your overall approach to time management can help you make the most of each day to ensure you have a positive impact on your career.

Role play is one of the best methods for developing your people, but salespeople loath role play and managers shy away from it, because it often becomes an exercise that leaves participants frustrated. Putting role play through the lens of David Sandler’s Success Triangle – attitude, behavior, and technique – both managers and salespeople could role play more effectively and increase both their role performance, outlook, and technique.

You’ve thought it out, gotten motivated and set a lofty goal for your sales and performance this year – so you are all set, right? Not so fast; setting the goals is just the beginning. Careful planning now can help you beat the odds when it comes to your sales goals and ensure you have the successful year you are planning for. Setting the right goals for the New Year is a great start. In a recent post, we covered the best way to set obtainable goals that are SMARTER – using a specific format designed to ensure your goals are measurable and attainable. Whether you use this system or take a different approach, the things you do in the first quarter will have a big impact on your outcome at the end of the year.  

This year's theme is Vision Driven Success. It is two days packed with non-stop training on sales, management or enterprise-level selling. Each trainer will bring real-world tactics, strategies, and ground-level tools that you can immediately implement in your business. 

Hiring season is here, and it’s you’re chance to show off your skills and really shine. You may be one in a million, but you could be competing with dozens of others to secure the sales job you’ve been dreaming of. The right preparation and an idea of some of the elements that are commonly included in sales interviews can help give you an edge.

Any professional can benefit from a strong LinkedIn profile and plan, but if you are interested in expanding your network or cultivating prospects, a presence on the busy site is a must. This professional network is just too big to ignore. Positioning yourself for success on LinkedIn means starting with a compelling profile, sharing relevant and useful content and joining industry groups and discussions.

It’s that time of year again. During the month of January, we’re likely to make promises to ourselves about how we’re going to do better, how we’re going to shake things up in the year to come, how we’re going to make a positive, lasting change in our lives and our careers.

Today’s career market is not your parent’s version, and it’s light years from what your grandparents probably first faced in the 1950s. That’s because your professional brand image is just as important as your experience, education and your resume feathers. The modern job market is as much about brand development and awareness for the individual as it is the start-up trying to generate name recognition on a viral basis with potential customers.

There is something nearly magical about this time of year.  No, it isn’t the snow globes, the gifts, or the brightly colored lawn ornaments.  It is the changing of the New Year.  One simple turn of the calendar page evokes the mental sensation of a fresh start. 

The transition from employee to manager is tricky in any position, but it can be especially challenging in the sales department. The skill sets are different, and the boundaries can get blurred in sales. Whether you are currently a sales rep looking to advance your career into sales management or a newly minted manager trying to make the transition to leader, there are some important things to keep in mind as you evolve from one role into another. 

These days, salespeople get asked to participate in numerous prospecting activities that include group networking events. Often times, it can be difficult to translate these types of events into actual dollars. Networking can be an effective way to capture business and increase your brand's awareness and should be a part of any salesperson's healthy behaviors.

As organizations grow, they realize that there are numerous different ways to define success. A new business, for example, will be immensely satisfied the first year the operation returns a profit. On the other hand, a more established company may expect to see a specified rate of growth year over year. Defining what success means to you and establishing goals based upon these criteria can be an important step in monitoring your business’s development and making productive decisions based on the criteria that matter the most to you.

Sales success depends on building a solid, growing client base. The first impression you make while prospecting for new clients can make or break your ability to secure new business. You only have seven seconds to make your first impression with a client. Here's how to make those seven seconds count!

Imagine that there are four sales professionals standing in front of you, all of them with records of success. On paper, they all look outstanding. One of them is going to end up closing a six-figure sale with your company today. After watching their body language for a few minutes before presentations start, you can already tell that you're not likely to work with salespersons #1 and #3. These two people won't make eye contact; in fact, they seem to work hard to avoid it.

Words are only a small portion of how we communicate with one another. Yet the value of other forms of communication is often overlooked. Learn more about four different types of communication, and how using them effectively can improve performance, morale, teamwork and success in your business.

Sandler Training released a new public and free podcast last week called, “How to Succeed.” It is an inside look at the attitudes, behavior, and techniques necessary to succeed at anything. Host, Mike Montague interviews Sandler trainers, authors, and experts about how to succeed at absolutely anything. You will learn how to get to the top and stay there!

Most people have one thing in common: the desire to “do better.” Of course, “doing better” means different things to different people. For some salespeople, it means closing more sales. For others, it means closing bigger sales. And there are salespeople for whom it means working less hard…or simply working less. What does it mean for you?

What makes “excellent” salespeople excellent? What differentiates them from “average” salespeople? Is it attitude? Is it skill? Could it simply be luck? Are there identifiable characteristics that define excellent salespeople and set them apart from the rest of the pack?

It's that time of year again when everyone is pondering their New Year's resolutions. Whether you're the type of person to let your resolutions slide after the first week or two of the New Year or the kind who embraces them wholeheartedly, accountability is the key to converting a resolution into an accomplishment. People set and achieve goals in different ways and, as a result, varying types of accountability come into play. One or more of the following might work for you, helping you to achieve a banner sales year.

When someone hands you a business card and says, "you should call this person", it's not really a referral. Without more information, it is more like they're sending you on a cold call. Cold calling is way down the list of favorite prospecting activities for most salespeople, and sometimes that frustration can spill over to referrals.

What does your 30-second commercial sound like? Have you heard your competition’s 30-second commercial? Does it sound the same?

What one new habit would make a big impact on reaching your goals and dreams?

Does your workplace make you happy? Some 52.3% of Americans report feeling unsatisfied with their jobs, while 39.4% of people reported disliking the people that they work alongside. If you find a strong correlation between being unhappy at your job and weak relationships with your coworkers, follow these nine rules to develop interpersonal skills and become well liked by your peers.

No one trusts a simple handshake anymore. Agreements involve thick stacks of legal documents. Everywhere we look reveals a lack of trust in the world. Trust is important not just in our personal lives, but also in the workplace. Discover these six trust-building results that arise from developing a strong team in the office.

Every person in the workplace has gone through at least one job interview. While preparing for interviews typically leads to Googling common interview questions and answers, do not make the common mistake of using these canned responses. Cliché answers make an interview run smoothly, but they also cause you to blend in with other candidates. Stand out by avoiding these typical responses and creating tailored answers based on your specific past experiences.

For most kids (and their parents), June means no more school, no more waking up at the crack of dawn, no more packing lunches…and most importantly, no more homework!

Summer brings longer days filled with cookouts, beach vacations, and plenty of outdoor fun, but it also tends to bring sales slumps in many industries. Customers hesitate to buy and put off making decisions during summer months, leading to low sales figures. After hearing "no" hundreds of times—or never hearing back at all—sales teams quickly lose motivation to keep selling during this period. Try out these effective ways to keep your sales team motivated during the unavoidable summer sales slump.

The hiring process can be a rocky journey involving dozens of candidates and weeks of interviews. Although a painstaking process, finding the right employee for the job is crucial, and the choice should never be rushed. Carefully studying resumes, checking previous job history, and meeting face-to-face to get to know the contenders takes time. Employees are the ambassadors of your brandMany companies even hold multiple in-person interviews with candidates to decide if they fit the criteria. Once the obvious applicants have been cut because of inexperience or other shortcomings, the hard work starts. Look for these eight red flags to weed out the candidates that may spell trouble for your company

“I just can’t get her to make a decision.” “He’s stuck on price, and I can’t get beyond that.” “She has so much pain, but she doesn’t see the value in our service.” Any of these sound familiar?

Think you can’t compete with the “big guys?” Wondering if you’ll ever push beyond the plateau of being a “small business?” If you’re ready to take your company from where it is to where you want it to be, you have to behave differently. You have to be proactive to make it happen.

Every salesperson needs to learn how to adapt to these changes and continue to grow in their field of knowledge. Here are a few reasons why continuous training and development are the only way to survive the changing landscape of the sales industry.  

Last week, we addressed two mistakes you’re making that are keeping you from a 50 to 80 percent close rate. Today, we’ll continue with three more.

Did you know if you just changed a few things, you could improve close rate in a big way? It’s not rocket science, but it does involve a change in mentality. Since adjusting my own mindset around sales and business in this way, I’ve seen close rates of anywhere from 50 to 80 percent in a given month. In this two-part series, I’ll share five reasons why you didn’t convert more of those prospects into clients…and what you can do to improve.

Sandler Sales Training can only take you so far. There comes a time when you have to make a choice: you can wimp out and fall back into the seller’s system, or you can be brave for five seconds to ask the hard question, tell the prospect he’s not the right fit for you, pick up the phone and dial, say something that’s not in your best interest, or just simply be quiet.

 "Two heads are better than one." We've all heard the old adage encouraging teamwork, but what does working together really do for you? Salesmen thrive off healthy competition, but sometimes the use of teamwork in the workplace is a better answer for winning sales. Here are six ways that teamwork benefits you in the workplace.

Unavoidable conflicts often arise when you work on team projects. Coworker's differences can contrast sharply to your own, creating tension within the group. These differences are not necessarily a bad thing, though. Healthy constructive criticism helps create diverse methods of thinking and solutions to difficult problems.

David Sandler said, "If you live a straight life in an unstraight world you're going to get killed." Yet salespeople get (metaphorically) killed daily by selling in a straight line. Salespeople sell in a straight line when they are attached to the outcome of their interaction with their prospect, typically closing a sale, instead of being attached to the process of (dis)qualifying

Getting the most out of LinkedIn can be a difficult endeavor. To help you succeed in building an informative and powerful profile, we have compiled a list of the 23 most important personal branding tips to use on this social networking website. Follow these helpful rules to stay relevant and create a lasting impression on LinkedIn.

It all starts with the process. If your prospects or customers are bleeding you dry because they’re fulfilling the typical “buyer’s system” of Mislead>Gather Information>Mislead Again>Hide, that’s not building trust and credibility…that’s being an unpaid consultant.

There’s no real “secret” to success; in fact, success is different for everyone, so defining one “secret” would be impossible to do. However, there is a single phrase that can help you find the secret for yourself: Know what your WHY is.

When David Sandler created the Sandler Selling System he was looking to help guide salespeople to sales success. His techniques are effective and timeless – and since 1967 salespeople have been referring to them. If you've been Sandler trained, then you've probably also connected with a certain Sandler Rule. Each of the Sandler Rules provide helpful insight and guidance related to business and sales that help professionals navigate a meeting, adjust their outlook or test techniques that lead to profitable returns

There's no denying that finding a job in this market can be tough. In fact, an average of 118 people apply for any given job opening and only 20% of those applicants are offered an interview. If you are struggling to make your resume stand out or to shine in an interview, you may be falling victim to some of the common job hunting mistakes. When it comes to tips and techniques to sell yourself in an interview, many of the tips and techniques taught by Sandler can be applied to a job search. Making a few tweaks to your process could help you land the job of your dreams

There's a popular, albeit unfounded, belief that summers are slow for business. Sandler Training disagrees, and dares to say that professionals create a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling themselves that despite great efforts, their summer will be tough. Sandler trained professionals believe that outreach and other activity might need to be increased in the summer, there's no need to succumb to the idea that you won't find new business, close deals and meet new and promising business connections. Below are five myths to dismiss this summer when it comes to your work productivity

I still hate sales in the traditional sense of the word. But, what I love is helping – and what I’ve found is that when you’re there to sell, people put up walls, barriers, fronts, etc. But, when you’re there to help, they open up and allow you to understand their situation and you can both decide whether or not there’s a fit.

It's a fast-paced world and today's salesperson needs to be one step ahead of the prospect and working as efficiently as possible. In addition, we're more connected than ever and clients and prospects expect quick turnaround times and faster response rates. While it may seem like there aren't enough hours in the day, there are more than enough apps available to us to help us manage our time, stay on task and find even greater success. Here are a few free apps that Sandler Training's associates and clients use often in their everyday life

Every profession has its own lineup of myths that need busting. Those who have spent the majority of their career in a sales role have heard them all. The fact is that sales is an exciting, sometimes grueling and often rewarding profession. We're the frontline of an organization and vital to its growth. However, like it or not, many myths exist about who the "ideal" salesperson is and what a career in sales is like. The following four myths are among some of the most popular assumptions about the sales profession. Can you think of any other myths that need busting

When it comes to networking, the key takeaway for me has been that one simple question to overcome my fear. Once I’ve taken that step, it’s my responsibility to have my own story to tell.

Congratulations, you're now a college graduate! You spent four years getting to know the lay of the land and at the start of every semester a syllabus told you what to expect in the coming weeks. Your path to success was carefully mapped out and only you could derail that plan. Life was good.

Your brain can be an enemy or an ally in achieving your goals, but because of the way we talk about our goals we often turn our brain against us. The average human brain is about 2 percent of our total body weight, yet it consumes 20 percent of the energy we burn daily. Because our brain is such an energy pig, it guards against threats that could reduce the amount of energy available to it

Growing up, how many times did we all hear, "You'll thank me when you're older?" At the time, we didn't believe her and we certainly didn't understand her, but all these years later it's clear. Mom really did know best. The lessons a mom teaches are endless. From how to treat others to how to stand up for ourselves, we carried those lessons with us right to the office. In honor of Mother's Day, here are a few lessons we learned from the women who helped shape us and prepare us for our careers

Some people think of discipline as a burden, but smart salespeople see it as a tool that keeps them from sabotaging their future achievements. Discipline frees salespeople from mistakes that can cripple their best efforts. It liberates them from wasting time on useless endeavors and failing to close sales. Best of all, discipline removes the blinders of self-delusion we use to kid ourselves into being more productive than we really are. Nothing is more uplifting than being free to do what we're called to do—to close more and better sales

A recent Sandler Training survey revealed that nearly 70% of working Americans agree that the key to getting ahead in life is to learn how to sell yourself. What does that mean for recent graduates? Learn how to sell yourself early in your career to stay ahead and put yourself on the right career path. And there's no better time to start selling yourself then during your first professional, post-college interviews

What do successful professionals do that amateurs don't? Certainly there are many that could fall into this category, but right now we'll focus on four habits that could make the greatest impact on your career

The 2014 Sandler Client Summit was another huge success, especially on social media. Attendees were quick to post insights learned from the speakers, share photos, retweet, favorite, "like" and expand their current list of LinkedIn connections through new contacts made at the #SandlerSummit. 

Going against the grain, Sandler Training switched up the agenda from previous years and started Day 2 with separate breakout sessions for clients and trainers. And despite the packed agenda from Day 1 and continued fun out on the town, the energy was palpable early Friday morning.

Eager to learn and ready to network, clients and trainers attending the 2014 Sandler Summit were blown away by the sales training insights, tips, stats and best practices shared throughout the sessions. Read to see a few of our favorite moments... 

Dave kicked off the Sandler Summit, bright and early, to an eager crowd waiting to hear what's in store for Sandler this year, ranging from enhanced sales training programs to book launches. He quizzed the group on sales statistics, shared tips to improve behaviors, told stories about how his attitudes about motivation were formed and then focused on techniques and tactics. Here are a few highlights from Sandler's top leader's opening remarks: •Three things you need to do today to become a "Behaviorist": clarity, frequency and consistency

So when did you start saying, "I'll get to that tomorrow" when it comes to your goals for 2014? January 2? January 10? Did you make it all the way to the Super Bowl before giving up? If you've fallen short of a goal already or are on pace to fall short before the end of the year, you're trapped in the procrastination triangle. What is the procrastination triangle? Draw an equal sided triangle. Label the top "no goals," the bottom left "no plan" and the bottom right "no discipline."

A few years ago Sandler Training made the decision to host an annual event that brings together trainers and clients from around the world for two days of intensive training. With high-energy keynote speakers, wisdom from Sandler leaders and the option to attend breakout sessions of your choice, the 2014 Sandler Client Summit is looking to be another successful and insightful professional getaway.

Sandler Training spends more than 92,000 hours per year training companies and individuals how to strengthen sales, leadership and management skills.

"A person's burning desire to achieve something must come from within." You've set lofty goals for 2014 but have you also built the plan to achieve them? Often we fall into the trap of setting goals without 'building a plan' to achieve them. If you decide to make one change this year – 'build the plan and then implement it'

Thinking back to the fifth grade, I wonder how many of you dreamed of becoming a salesperson when you grew up? How many people do you think asked for sales training for Christmas this year? How many kids dressed up salespeople during Halloween? The unfortunate fact is that no one wants to be a salesperson.

This is the time of year that a lot of people start talking about setting goals. In reality, goal-setting and goal evaluation should be an ongoing process, a process that takes place all year long. But it is true that the end of one year and the beginning of another offers a good opportunity for salespeople to take stock, evaluate what has just happened over the past twelve months, and start planning for what needs to happen next. There's more to goal-setting than just accepting quotas!

Around this time of year, just about everyone is talking about brackets. It’s NCAA Basketball time, and March Madness is in full swing. Brackets are everywhere…online, hanging on refrigerators, posted on bulletin boards – you name it. But, did you know there’s a much more important bracket when it comes to sales?

Many salespeople are too eager to make presentations – are you? They view them as opportunities to establish the value of their products or services by demonstrating their unique aspects. You can't establish value, however, until you have determined which aspects, if any, are relevant to the prospects' situations.

Recently, you probably invested a lot of time and energy putting together a presentation of your product or service. You crafted your presentation, dotted all the "i"s, crossed all the "t"s, covered all the bases, and answered all of the prospect's questions. But, instead of a buying decision, you only received a stall, a put-off, or a request for some concession. At whom do you point the finger of blame?

Salespeople invest time developing their pitch, formulating questions, and preparing responses to expected questions and objections from the prospect. They rehearse, refine, and rehearse some more.

Imagine if there was no order. No procedures, no systems, no processes and no checks and balances. Chaos!? More than likely. People would be playing by their own rules and would be unpredictable at best. Without systems and processes we would be flying by the seat of our pants, with no clue as to what's going to happen next or how to figure out when things go wrong.

A recent study by the Aberdeen Group showed that Best-In-Class companies, who used Sandler Training, had almost 50% more salespeople hitting quota than those companies who did not. When I meet with owners, CEOs, and sales managers, they often ask me why Sandler Training is different from the sales training they have seen or invested in before.

Step 1- Have a goal. Sounds silly, but most people do not have a clearly defined objective for what they want to accomplish.

Are lawyers also salespeople? If you asked one of them directly, they'd likely scrunch up their face as if they'd just heard an awful verdict from the bench. But the truth is in this day and age the legal profession is as competitive as any other (if not more so) for new business. Why do you think that every non-profit board contains at least one lawyer. It's likely just not out of the goodness of their collective hearts

Quick poll: When was the last time you stepped foot in your bank? From drive-through bank windows to more recent banking amenities like online banking and mobile apps, banks have practically been encouraging customers to stay away for years. Along with the conveniences for the customers, banks benefitted from less overhead and an increased focus on compliance. So after years of being told there's no need to come inside, it was as if everyone saw the light and stopped entering their bricks-and-mortar bank. Problem solved, right? Not so fast

If you could boil down sales success to just one thing, what would it be?

Most salespeople hate role play even though it is one of the best tools to help them grow. Unfortunately, traditional role plays set up a salesperson to feel bad about themselves instead of learn. We strongly suggest that managers be the salesperson when role playing, especially when working with new reps, for two reasons. First, playing salesperson allows a manager to demonstrate the behavior they expect of their reps in front of a prospect. Second, a manager shows their team that they've still got the skills to sell in the field

Sandler Training has many novel approaches to selling. But back in 2000 when I started my sales training business, there was one topic in particular that I wasn't expecting in a sales training curriculum. There was an entire section dedicated to insuring that salespeople's self-identity was separate and distinct from their sales role. I figured that since salespeople get rejected a lot, this chapter was there to ensure salespeople had methods to deal with rejection and not take it all too personally.

Have you ever been stuck in the car heading to where ever your going with three kids in the back seat whining, “Are we there yet? When are we going to get there? Why is it taking so long?”

Learn how to use LinkedIn to stop making cold calls and start making referral calls.

Your meeting date and time has been established.  You're confident your product or service is superior to your competitors.  Your goal for the meeting is to convince the prospect. You've planned to be there for 45 minutes.

People from all walks of life can be technically brilliant and do a great job if someone would "just give them the project." Many consultants become consultants because they believe they can provide a better product or service and make more money than if they stayed working for a company.  It's great to dream big and recognize your aspirations however I run into more and more of these "technically brilliant" people who look me in the face and tell me they do not sell, so why would they need sales training? This leads to an interesting discussion as to where they get their business from.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." -Ambrose Redmoon

A few weeks ago my three-year-old daughter was attempting to pet a small dog andthe dog turned around and bit her as hard as he could. There are a few important things Ilearned from this experience. First, my daughter was not hurt, but she was scared. Second, mydaughter is the sweetest, kindest calmest little girl, but that did not matter. Finally, thebiting incident has changed the way my daughter looks at dogs of all sizes and she will probablynever change back. So how did this happen, you ask? Well it turns out that this is Horace's fault

I used to be an engineer before I transferred into sales in 1988. I'm guessing you've heard jokes about engineers in sales. Accountants, contractors, PhD's, and lawyers don't have stellar reputations in sales, either. Yet these professions generally are an intelligent lot. They are quite skilled at what they do, since our daily lives may depend on their specific calculations and recommendations. Here's how I used to sell: Research the prospect and prepare a powerful presentation that applied specifically to them

Have you ever given thought to how people decide to buy a product or service? Consider yourself in this analogy - do you employ any of these strategies? We believe we have a need or we determine that we have a need for a product or service. With the Internet at our fingertips we immediately do some research on whatever we are in the market for. This process may take minutes or it may take hours depending on whether you are a detail person or just want a quick overview. In addition to our Internet search, we may also ask family and friends for their recommendations.

In regards to your business, the expertise you have gained over the years is completely worthless... until someone gives you money for it. If you have a medical doctorate, all you really have is a bunch of student loans until you have patients, and get paid for your knowledge.

Here is the problem: 99% of people out there are already doing what they think is in their best interest. Of course, there's the 1% who hate themselves and are self-sabotaging, but for the most part, you are probably doing right now, what you think is best. But why is that a problem? Well, if you want to achieve a higher level of success or happiness, no matter your current level, you are going to run into a problem. David Sandler found three areas where people get stuck in their growth and development: Attitude Behavior Techniqu

When the calendar turns to July and August, most people struggle to prospect because they believe that all of their prospects are on vacation. Often summer is a great time to reach decision makers. They are in the office while their staff is away. As, David Sandler said, "you can't manage anything you can't control," so worrying about the time of year isn't going to help you hit your Q3 quota. Instead, do something about what you can control: your behavior

Prospects like to play games with salespeople. The purpose of games prospects play is to make a salesperson feel not-OK. When a salesperson feels not-OK in front of a prospect, they are more likely to give up their time and information in the hope that their prospect will make them feel OK again. Some of the games prospects play with salespeople are: Why Don't You, Yes But - your prospect rejects every one of your suggestions with some version of "yes, but" (e.g. "we'd love to implement option A, but our budget was cut last week.")

Over time, every successful salesperson comes to the conclusion that having the proper selling posture during the sales interview is critical. Many sales people are still struggling to understand this concept. When we talk about posture, we are talking about the attitude reflected in the communication of the salesperson. We know that the message we send in our communication is made up of our body language, our tonality, and our words. However, how we mix those three elements creates a particular attitude that is palpable to our receiver. There are three primary language postures

I am fascinated by the way clients, prospects and salespeople, in general, define success. It is usually very personaland intimate, and reflects their perspective on their own life. Some define it in terms of income as in "he who dieswith the most money" is deemed successful. Others use the importance of their job to determinewhetheror not theyare successful. A third group speaks of balance, though it is rarely achieved.

Do you "sell to live" or "live to sell"? I have been training sales people for over 16 years and have found a common trait in the highest performers: they "live to sell". They love prospecting for new business opportunities. They love being in the role of "closer". Their sales quota is a benchmark that they regularly exceed because just hitting quota makes them "average". They don't hide from the fact that they sell by putting words like "account manager" or "territory manager" on their business cards.

What happens when Joshua Bell, one of the world's finest musicians goes incognito in a busy subway in Washington's business district? What happens when a musician who can command $1,000 per minute, takes his priceless Stradivari, dons a baseball cap, occupies a corner in a busy Washington subway, and puts on a virtuoso performance for people who would normally think nothing of paying $150 a ticket to see him perform in a tuxedo.

Aberdeen Group developed an online assessment tool, enabling users to find out exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are in their sales training efforts.

I didn't begin my business life with a burning desire to become a career salesman. As shocking as it is now, I actually thought that I might become a dentist until it registered that I would really have to put my hands in some other person's mouth.

A client recently shared about a road trip he and his boss had taken to do walk-in calls. The salesperson was being encouraged to start going further afield to look for new business opportunities so he created a list of potential companies and off they went. The boss was essentially going for the ride to be of support so he allowed things to unfold as they did.

There are a lot of great movies that have been written about selling. In fact, Amazon lists the topten sales movies when you search the site, and, unfortunately, none of them present the sales profession is a very favorable light. Movies like Boiler Room, Used Cars, Tommy Boy, Wall Street, Tin Men and even The Godfather come to my mind when I do a quick scan. Yes, The Godfather! Who can forget the memorable sales pitch from the movie, "I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse."

What do all of the world's greatest athletes, politicians and business leaders have in common? They didn't get to be the best on their own. They all had guidance from coaches and mentors, and that guidance is what brought out their endless potential in their field.

The prospect said no. That's the end of the sales process, and you've somewhat succeeded in a sense that you at least got an answer. It's not a "yes," but your job is technically done now, right? According to Sandler Rule #39, you should think again.

Over the last eight years I have done hundreds of one-on-one performance coaching sessions with salespeople, and the single most frequent question I hear is, "How do I get better?" It's a meaningful question and almost always asked with a genuineness that signifies the person speaking really wants help. I usually respond to that question with a question of my own that goes like this, "Do you really want to know?" You see, at these moments I'm always reminded of a statement by Dr. Lee Thayer, "Most people prefer the problem they have to a solution they don't like."e

If you simply differentiate yourself as saying you're "the best" sales professional out there, then you can look forward to clients and prospects who will wander around to see if one of the millions of other "bests" out there are cheaper. This rule is simple. See what your competition does, and then make sure that what you do is incomparable. Having a unique game plan will help set you on the path to one-of-a-kind success.

To really sell, you've got to step out onto that stage, choose the right performance for the right audience and be prepared to analyze their reactions. Do everything right, and you may just get asked for an encore.

Many salespeople bail out long before they get thrown out. Do you ever wonder why so many salespeople leave a sales opportunity too early?

In the theater, the "fourth wall" is the wall between the actors and the audience. Behind this wall, the world of the actors is exactly as the audience imagines it. The good guys and the bad guysall fit within the story being told. If the fourth wall is "broken" the audience is directly acknowledged-the spell is broken. Once broken, the fourth wall is hard to reconstruct and the audience may not be happy. Think of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables during first act, turning to the audience and speaking in a normal, loud Brooklyn accent, "Yo, couldja get off the cell phone?

In today's environment we have to stop acting and looking like beggars with briefcases and begin to recognize that the name of the game in 2010 is taking business away from our competitors. Let the others wrestle it out at the procurement department and with the low-level influencers.

What happens the first time you try a new selling or management technique? It's usually uncomfortable and doesn't go as smoothly as it did in the class/coaching session or how you imagined it would go. Often you come away feeling bad. There are physiological reasons for this discomfort and awkwardness.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If a company has a great product or service but no one buys it, is it really great?

Last week, my clients and I were talking about how to respond to adversity. If you made it through that message and you still have your head up high and your eyes forward, you might be asking the question: "What do I do now?" When we say something like: "There are people who say there is a recession, I decided not to participate," we are not being cute and we are not putting our head in the sand.

I like to golf but I am not a good golfer. About a month ago, I got out to play my first round of the season with a golf pro buddy of mine named Scott. As I hacked my way out of a sand trap and then putted for a 6 on a picturesque par 3, Scott asked me a good question, "When was the last time you actually practiced your short game? And by practice I mean, really worked to systematically improve your technique through repetition and measurement of results?"

The rotten economy, if you haven't noticed, may be taking a toll on your health. "Today's economy is stressing people out, and stress has been linked to a number of illnesses-such as heart disease, high blood pressure and increased risk for cancer," according to a new study in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. A lot of this stress is understandable-but also unnecessary. If you are in sales, a sales system can help you reduce that pressure you are under in a big way. You will be as productive as ever, which should mean less anxiety

We hear about malpractice all the time: “Dr. So-and-so was charged with medical malpractice.” And, to be honest, I’ve never thought of malpractice outside of the medical industry. I’m guessing you haven’t either. But, I’d be willing to bet you’re guilty of committing malpractice yourself…SALES MALPRACTICE!