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The Ruby Group | Akron and Columbus, OH

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Instead of repeating the same customer service behaviors over and over with customers who have their unique characteristics and preferences, every employee must learn how to adjust their customer service style from one customer to the next. If we do not do this, some customers are left disappointed, even when the customer service standards have been met.

A good manager understands that disciplining employees is part of the job, but a great manager recognizes that discipline is not synonymous with punishment. To prevent future problems in the workplace and improve your management skills, implement these respectful employee disciplinary steps.

There's something to be said about children who continue to ask "why" about everything. When they ask and you respond, and they ask "Why?" again, it means they don't have the complete answer to their question. They will continue to ask until they understand the entire concept or until the adult gets frustrated. In business, asking "Why?" five times can produce the same quality understanding to prepare for better results. Common complaints we hear often in business:

Wouldn't it be wonderful for a prospect to accurately and honestly lay out all of their issues for you in your first meeting? This means no more seemingly-perfect deals to disappear, no more "perfect matches" to end with unreciprocated phone calls, and best of all, no more "What went wrong?"

If your sales objective is to make the sale regardless, get the biggest order possible and structure the best deal for your company, then your entire focus is really on you.

Why do people buy milk or bread or cereal or soda at the gas station convenience store when those items are far less expensive at a grocery store? Obviously, they have a need for the items. More importantly, buying at the convenience store is quick, and you guessed it, convenient. And "quick" and "convenient" represent value. They fill up with gas, run in and pick up the items they need, and they're on their way. No hunting for a parking space. No grocery carts to dodge. No long checkout lines.

How would you answer this question: Why does someone or a firm engage you or decide to buy from you? Take a moment and write down the reasons you think people buy. From what I have seen in most professional schools, people compete to have the best grades, the most outstanding ideas and the most highly thought of papers. I have noticed that students who do well often get the most attention from teachers

Twenty years ago, when I was a young salesperson just starting out, I was fortunate enough to get sent to quite a bit of sales training. All of the training programs seemed to center around the "Three Big Steps to Selling." The "Three Big Steps to Selling" are: 1) Prospecting 2) Presenting 3) Closin

Imagine walking into a prospect's office and having him or her say, "I have a problem. There is a monkey on my back and I want to make it yours." Any normal person would know better than to say, "Great, toss that over here and let me add that to the monkeys I am already working with." As a sales coach, I spend time with quite a few people who have big monkey collections. They have accepted that their prospects and clients' problems are actually theirs. Unfortunately, these monkey collections have some predictable consequences

I don't know about you, but I have never liked being told what to do. I don't think I've ever met anybody who did respond well to that kind of instruction, even when the person in charge-a coach at sports, for example-clearly knew what he was doing if the message is delivered wrong. It doesn't matter if what you are saying is true, if it's not delivered properly. You can be the authority, but no one cares if you can't deliver your message in a way that others can accept. The fact that you have good prudent knowledge, the fact that you're correct, doesn't matter if not delivered properly.

If you're like most sales professionals, you work hard to learn as much as you can about your product or service. You take pride in how much you know about your business. When you can answer any technical question that might come up in a call with a prospect, you feel confident. That's only natural. But as important as it is to be knowledgeable, your eagerness to display that knowledge can damage a relationship and cost you sales. To avoid this problem, you need to remember that expertise can be intimidating. It can turn people off

We don't ordinarily think of sales as one of the "helping professions," but maybe we should. People tell their problems to psychologists and clergymen. They pour out their hearts to their neighborhood bartender. But they tell their troubles to sales professionals, too, so we should develop our "helping profession" skills. I have often noticed, when a sales pitch is going well, how the conversation resembles what I understand a therapeutic session to be like. That is the way it should be, if the salesperson knows what he or she is doing

I'm going to let you in on a secret. There are hundreds of consultants out there that will tell you they fully understand Twitter and other trendy "social media" tools. They will also tell you exactly how they can help you use these tools-at a steep price, of course. Well, most of them are blowing smoke. The fact is, we live in a time of rapid technological change and a great deal of confusion. Nobody knows what tomorrow may bring, in terms of technological change, but also in terms of the economy and foreign affairs