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Kelley Robertson

Winners Never Quit

  Life ain’t easy. And sometimes it’s not fair either. If you have been a regular reader of my blog or newsletter, you likely know that last fall my wife suffered from a stroke that left her paralyzed on her | read more…

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A Confession About Confidence

Yesterday, I wrote a post outlining the importance of displaying a confident demeanor when dealing with prospects, especially senior executives. Afterwards, I remembered a situation when I displayed the same timid behaviour as the service advisor I mentioned. Eight years | read more…

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How to Get a Great ROI From Sales Training

In yesterday’s post I highlighted some of the reasons why sales training doesn’t work or help companies get the result they want—or need. Here are some ideas that will help you get a great return on your sales training investment. | read more…

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The Trials and Tribulations of Being an Old Sales Dog

Veteran sales people face numerous sales challenges with the most significant being the recent changes in the business world. Although they bring a substantial amount of experience to the table, the sales world has changed and many “old sales dogs” | read more…

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A Lesson in Professional Persistence

A few years ago my personal trainer was interested in auditioning for a television show that focused on helping people maximize fitness results through the use of food and supplements. Unfortunately, when the auditions were held he was on vacation. | read more…

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7 Lies Sales People Tell Themselves

Do you lie to yourself? You may not think so but I suggest that you probably do. Here’s what I mean… Sales Lie #1: “I could reach my quota if my company lowered their prices.” If I had a nickel | read more…

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Who Would Win the Sales Race: The Tortoise or the Hare?

Many decades ago a fable was written about a race between a tortoise and hare. The hare quickly burned out while the tortoise maintained a slow steady pace and ended up winning the race.   Well, I don’t buy that. | read more…

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Ignore The Pain—Do It Anyway

One of my major goals this year is to improve my physical health. So, I joined a gym and contacted a personal trainer who I knew could help me develop a plan to achieve my goal (BTW: that’s my trainer | read more…

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Rocky First Impressions Can Kill Your Business

“Good afternoon, Bob Smith.” “It’s Lisa Henderson calling.” “Uh, hi. How can I help you?” “I don’t know; you left me a voice mail yesterday and I’m returning your call.” “Oh yeah. Sorry, I called a lot of people yesterday | read more…

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Dealing with the Price Factor

Today’s topic focuses on a sensitive issue but one that causes many sales professionals a world of grief. Price! If you want to increase your sales in the upcoming year you must… Learn how to deal with price issues Price | read more…

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1 Powerful Way to Increase Your Sales in 2012

In the last two days I have posted several ideas about how you can improve your sales results in the upcoming year. Today, I only have one idea but it’s a worthy one… Improve your sales presentations and/or sales proposals | read more…

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2 More Ways to Increase Your Sales in 2012

Yesterday I posted three ideas to help you increase your sales in the upcoming year. After writing that post I decided to post a few ideas every day this week. Here are two more suggestions. Increase your Actual Selling Time | read more…

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3 Ways to Increase Your Sales in 2012

Another year has come and gone. For some sales people 2011 was a great year while others struggled to make ends meet. Like many sales trainers and speakers, I thought it would be appropriate to list a few things that | read more…

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Can We Really Trust Sales Experts?

Last Friday I wrote a post after reading several tweets from a well-known, but “older” sales expert. I took issue with the advice this person dispensed because it was old, tired and definitely outdated in today’s business world.   But…it | read more…

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“I Don’t Have Time for This”

Ever hear those words when contacting a prospect? In today’s fast-paced, hectic business world, more and more decision makers are prone to making that statement. And that makes it more difficult for people like you to connect with them.   | read more…

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Old-School Sales Strategies Will Help You Go Broke

These tweets were posted yesterday by a widely-respected sales speaker and author:   “I don’t want to deal with a professional person, I want to deal with a friendly person.” “Your ability to laugh at yourself, at the world, and | read more…

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The Fear Factor of Selling

I’m a big fan of the television show, Fear Factor and am pleased that it’s back on the air after a 5+ year hiatus. If you have never watched the show, four pairs of contestants compete for $50K by completing | read more…

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Can You Sell Like Megan?

Several months ago I wrote a post that highlighted a young lady (Megan) who worked at a tanning salon. She increased the size and scope of a sale simply by recognizing an opportunity and asking for the sale. Well, I was | read more…

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Are You In Love?

Are you in love with your job or the goods and services you sell? I heard an interview on a radio program last week and the host was talking to a band who stated that, aside from natural talent, a | read more…

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

A post in a LinkedIn discussion group recently caught my attention. The author expressed his annoyance when a sales person deliberately lied in order to get him to return a voice mail. I experienced a similar situation when someone left | read more…

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Let’s Be Honest

By and large, sales people have a difficult time being honest. Before you spit out a retort about always being honest hear me out and allow me to explain. I’m not discussing honesty in terms of truthfully representing the merits | read more…

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How to Create a Killer Sales Proposal

The vast majority of sales proposals I have read during my career miss the mark. They either don’t address the key issues that the prospect is facing or they fail to demonstrate how the prospect will benefit from buying the | read more…

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The Best First Sentence in a Sales Call

I was recently asked, “What the best first sentence to say in a sales call?” I found the question intriguing because I’m not sure there is a single BEST sentence in a sales call simply because it depends on the | read more…

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How to Put a Prospect to Sleep in 3 Easy Steps

Getting an appointment with a new prospect has never been more challenging. It takes persistence, dedication and lots of hard work. This means you need to make the most of your time once you are face-to-face with them. The last | read more…

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The Secret to Connecting with Prospects

During a sales training workshop I conducted for a client last week the biggest challenge that the group of sales reps faced was the ability to connect with people in order to schedule an appointment. We brainstormed ideas to connect with people including; the importance of leaving high-value voice mail messages, using multiple mediums (telephone, […]

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The Role of the 21st Century Sales Person

A recent issue of Canadian Business magazine featured an article on the changing face of sales. The article stated that sales people are finding it more and more difficult to connect with busy decision makers and that these individual’s no | read more…

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The Battle of the Taste Testers

Free samples of product can be a great way to get people to try a new product and become regular customers. However, how you execute can make a difference. During a recent visit to a local Starbucks, an employee approached | read more…

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How to Master Trade Show Follow-up

Anyone who has worked a trade show knows they can be a grind. Pre-show set-up, manning the booth, and post-show tear-down is just the start. Then, during the show you talk to dozens of people (prospects and customers alike) and collect | read more…

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A Quick Sales Lesson by Herman Cain

During an interview early this week Herman Cain showed complete ignorance to a sensitive political issue about President Obama’s handling of Libya. Rather than admit he didn’t know anything about the issue he made a few feeble attempts to answer | read more…

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22 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Although I have been blogging for several years now and have written posts about personal interactions with sales people, I have seldom shared many personal details. Therefore, I thought it was time to share some a few things that you | read more…

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The Perils of Speaking in Tongues

“The ALZ Platinum 1700 is an outstanding product. It is equipped with the Xenol Power Booster and Sky-Top Infrared scanning system. Plus, our patented XLT cooling system has also been integrated into the existing refractory circulator.” Huh? Did you understand | read more…

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Are You Guilty of Fire-Hosing People?

In a sales conversation with a prospective client, I offered several solutions to his particular situation. I had asked him several questions, and upon determining his needs, presented a variety of different answers. I told him about the sales training | read more…

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Is Research Overrated?

Countless blog posts and articles have been written about the value of research in sales. And, many sales people spend many hours researching their prospect before they pick up the telephone. Is research dead? Or is it just a panacea | read more…

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The Power of Networking

Sales are developed through the relationships you create and networking functions provide the opportunity to expand your contact list. Every networking function has tremendous potential for new business leads; however, it is not enough to visit a networking group, talk | read more…

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Can I Send You Information?

A little while ago I received a telephone call from a salesperson. He wasted no time launching into his pitch and spent what felt like an eternity telling me about the product he wanted me to consider for my business. When he finally ran out of breath, I told him that his product sounded interesting […]

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The Power of Hot Buttons

Hot buttons are individual and personal motivators. Every person has specific motivators, and it is up to you to determine your customer’s hot buttons in each sales situation. You do this by asking thoughtful questions, listening carefully to the answers and properly positioning your offering. Let’s say you are a landscaper and you are talking to […]

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Would Your Kid Be Proud or Bored?

Yesterday was “bring-your-kid-to-work” day in Ontario. My youngest daughter works in an accounting office and a few parents brought their teenage children to work. Shannon laughed as she told how bored the kids looked especially when the VP of Sales subjected them to a lengthy PowerPoint presentation. If your children attended one of your sales […]

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How to Tell if You Are a Sales Zombie

Since it is Halloween I thought it was appropriate to write a related post. Here are a few clues that might indicate you are selling like a zombie. You ask weak, feeble questions. “What needs do you have?” “Would you like to know the difference between these products?” “What do you know about us?” These […]

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The Silver Lining in a Dark Cloud

This post is a dramatic step away from my usual sales advice; hopefully you will still find it useful. Most people take everything in their life for granted. Or, they don’t stop to consider how fortunate they are. It is certainly difficult to see this if you are experiencing a significant transition or major problem […]

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A Different Perspective Can Do You Good

When my first daughter was two or three years old, I remember taking the time to watch a caterpillar crawl along a sidewalk. We studied that bug for an eternity until she stepped on it and killed it (just kidding!). Several years later my second daughter and I lay down on the grass behind our […]

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Showing Up Isn’t Enough

In recent weeks my wife and I have visited a variety of open houses and the lack of salesmanship we have encountered has been disturbing. Here are a few examples… During a conversation with one real estate agent my wife described our criteria—the house we were looking at didn’t meet our needs—and the agent suggested […]

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6 Ways to Impress a Prospect

In today’s ultra-competitive business world it is becoming more difficult to stand out from the crowd and impress new prospects. However, there are a few things you can do to achieve this and start increasing your sales. 1 – Do your homework Before you pick up the telephone and dial for dollars invest a few […]

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How Well Do You Adjust?

Sales lessons can be found practically everywhere you look. Last week I joined a 10-pin bowling league and aside from my first ball rolling directly into the gutter, I was satisfied with my results. Well, at least for the first game! I managed to get a few strikes and several spares and ended up scoring […]

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Avoid the “Cooked Spaghetti” Sales Approach

When I was a kid I remember hearing someone say that the best way to tell if spaghetti was cooked was to throw a piece on the wall, and if it stuck, the pasta was cooked. Some sales people use this approach when they sell. They take their product catalogue, plunk it down in front […]

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Business Rapport is Not Social

I can honestly say that no topic has generated more feedback, emails and comments than my recent posts about establishing rapport. Several people vehemently disagreed with me and emailed their comments, often without reading the article(s). They said that building rapport with people and developing relationships were factors that were instrumental in helping them achieve […]

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Is it Rapport or Relationship?

Yesterday’s post and email newsletter outlined my rationale of NOT making small talk during an initial meeting with a prospect or B2B decision maker simply because this sales strategy is outdated and is no longer relevant in today’s business world. Not surprisingly, many newsletter subscribers emailed their disagreement and they suggested that developing a relationship with […]

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The Misguided Myth of Establishing Rapport

Sales experts have long touted the value of establishing rapport with prospects before moving into the sales conversation. This exercise includes looking around a prospect’s office to determine points of conversation and perhaps even areas of commonality and then making small talk. In a post I wrote last week, I suggested that sales people should not […]

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The Magic Potion That Will Cure Your Sales Problems

In today’s quick-fix, get-rich-quick world, many people are looking for the magic answer that will help them achieve their sales goals and targets. Sales gurus make claims that their books, audio programs, workshops, and boot camps will magically cure all of your sales woes and problems and that you can achieve the same success they […]

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What Steve Jobs Taught the World

It’s not often that the passing of a corporate executive shakes the entire world but Steve Jobs untimely death is one of the few exceptions. Just like he was. His life was short but Steve Jobs made a tremendous impact on the world. Here are just a few lessons I believe he taught the world […]

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How to Stand Out in 60 Seconds or Less

In recent months, I have worked with a variety of companies and their sales people still start their sales meetings, appointments and presentations with a corporate monologue. They discuss “who we are” “what we do” and “who we serve”. They talk about the awards they have won, the clients they have worked with, how long […]

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One Simple Sales Mistake That is Costing You Money

During my tenure as a sales trainer, I have seen sales people make countless mistakes. In fact, I have written articles and blog posts, conducted webinars and talked about these mistakes in my speeches and training workshops. But many salespeople still make one simple mistake that costs them money. Money lost because a competitor avoids […]

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Get Rid of “Hi, How Are You?”

In my recent post, 21 Things I Would Like to Fix About Sales, I stated that sales people should not open sales calls with, “Hi, how are you today?” That prompted one person to ask what they can say instead. Here are my thoughts… First, it depends on the type of sales environment you work […]

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I Don’t Want Your Business

Do you have the courage to turn away business? If you want to succeed—in the long term—you need to walk away from potential sales opportunities. I know this may run against your natural instinct so give me a moment and hear me out. Not every prospect or sales lead is a good one. That means […]

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Are You Presenting To Win?

A client recently told me about a sales presentation she was subjected to. It was obvious that the seller was flying by the seat of his pants and winging the presentation because he rambled off topic, discussed things that were unrelated to his proposal, and in general, he lacked focus. He obviously showed up to […]

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Look for the Lesson and Increase Your Sales

Everyday life presents lessons that can be applied to virtually any sales role. From the way a person in a call center manages your concern, to the people you encounter when you make a purchase, to situations that are discussed in the media. Here are a couple of examples that stood out for me in […]

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21 Things I Would Like to Fix in the Selling Profession

I have long believed that sales is an honorable profession, at least for those individuals who “get it” and do it right. Unfortunately, there are many people who give sales a bad name and reputation. If someone gave me a magic wand and I could “fix” the sales profession, here’s what I would do… 1. […]

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A Pathetic Response to a Sales Enquiry

A friend sent me an email exchange he recently had with a sales rep.   We are planning to build a new house in 2012. The goal is to make it as energy efficient as possible. The back roof is unobstructed, and would be dedicated to solar. Not interested in Micro-fit, and I don’t think […]

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Excuse Me But I Don’t Care

After speaking at a conference recently, I ended up talking to a sales person who quickly launched into a pitch about his product. He told me how long the company had been in business, what their annual revenues were, and how unique the product was. Oh, he also went on to describe his product in […]

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How to Recover From Defeat

Everyone who sells for a living loses a deal… • That was important to them • They were sure they had secured • To a competitor with an inferior product • Due to circumstances beyond their control  It’s a fact of life and it’s part of selling.  But let’s face it…  No one likes to […]

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How I Blew an Easy Sale

Todays’ blog post is a personal confession… It took me a while to prepare the words and face the music. But, here we go… I recently blew a sale I thought was in the bag. This is a difficult admission considering that I write, teach, train and speak on the subject of sales. However, no one […]

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Are You Thinking Big Enough?

In recent months I have had the good fortune of working with two people who think big. In both cases, their father started the company and created a mid-size business from scratch. However, both of these individuals have bigger goals. One wants to double the company’s revenues in the next few years and the other […]

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How to Become a Freakishly Great Salesperson

Last week I stumbled across a YouTube video of an incredibly fast guitar player. This guy was freakishly fast. He played “Flight of the Bumblebee” and started at 170 bpm. He played it flawlessly which was impressive by itself but then he increased his speed to 210, 230, and finally 270 bpm. It was insane […]

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Don’t Get Chopped!

One of my favorite television shows is Chopped. Four “chefs” compete for a $10K prize by preparing meals using a basket of mystery items. They are given strict time lines to create the plate and one chef is eliminated during each round (appetizer, entrée, and dessert). I love watching each contestant’s reaction when they open […]

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Dude, Change Your Presentation!

Thursday September 8th 12:32 PM. I’m sitting on a plane and the man next to me is creating a PowerPoint presentation. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of his presentation is but the slides look dull and boring and laden with details and information. Sure, he’s using bullet points and the occasional graphic but […]

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Never Let Them See You Sweat

In 1984 Gillette launched a series of television commercials for their Dry Idea antiperspirant. The tag line for these ads was “Never let them see you sweat.” This is wise advice for sales people. Many sales people enter a sales conversation “needing” that particular sale. And any time this happens it dramatically reduces your leverage. […]

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9 Easy Ways to Blow a Great Sales Opportunity

In the 16 plus years I have worked with sales people, I have learned that there are many ways to blow a great sales opportunity. Here are nine things that can derail a sale. #1 Arrive late I have often heard sales people complain when they arrive several minutes for an appointment. It doesn’t matter […]

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11 Little Things That Make a BIG Difference in Sales

Many people in sales look for that one BIG opportunity or SECRET ingredient that will separate them from the competition or help them close a deal. However, the most successful sales people know that it is usually the little things that make the final difference. Here are 11 little things to consider. Say please and […]

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How Critical Thinkers Can Improve Their Sales Results

During a recent sales training workshop I conducted, we discussed the various personality styles and how they affected a person’s sales efforts. One style that is common in sales that require technical expertise is that of the critical thinker. These analytical individuals love data and details and usually prepare extensively for important sales calls and […]

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Lost in Translation

Last Friday I had the good fortune of speaking at a conference in Puerto Vallarta. As it turned out there were only two English speaking presenters at the entire conference so our speeches were translated via simultaneous interpretation. This meant that we needed to ensure our presentations could be easily translated and understood by the […]

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Are You Overwhelming Your Customer?

Yesterday I spent the bulk of the day flying from Toronto to Puerto Vallarta so I can deliver a speech at a conference on Friday. After making my way through customs I was quickly greeted by an employee of the company hosting the conference. He then introduced me to five other people in rapid-fire procession […]

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