Category Archives: Sales closing skills

Somebody let the Apple out of the bag!

Apple was founded by a Genius, Steve Jobs, and now has emerged the secrets of how Apple trains employees to serve as geniuses (small g, as opposed to capital G for the late Genius-in-chief.)

Now it seems that Apple's sales training manual has emerged. It makes for interesting Ah-ha! moments if you've ever been to an Apple shop:  you'll be rehearing your conversations with the sales folks there.

But, from the perspective of your humble blogger, who has written a good many sales training and interpersonal skills books and courses, it is (a) well done, and (b) not all that unique in content, though (c) the presentation of the ideas and skills seems well done (from the little you can see in the leaked excerpts.)

The core article is in Gizmodo article: Apple's Secret Employee Training Manual.  I've seen parts of picked up by both Slate and the Washington Post.

But Sam Biddle in Gizmodo is most detailed.  I won't repeat, only this: "Selling is a science, summed up by five cute letters. (A)pproach. (P)robe. (P)resent. (L)isten. (F)ind."  Not all that different than my concept of the Selling Wedge (in  my book, SELLING 101, and others; pardon the shameless plug!)  The basic concept sounds to my ear an adaptation of Consultative Selling, also covered in SELLING 101 and a good many other sales training books and programs.  (Not that Apple uses the term consultative selling . . . at least not in the parts I've managed to see. But it's there, of that you can be sure.)

The Apple books also gets into nonverbals: things to do and avoid with prospects, as well as how to read what the prospect is "telling" you nonverbally. (Just in case you've missed good stuff on nonverbals, you might check out my little book, SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

But to have the APPLE acronym to work with! That made memory easy.

And, oh yes,  Apple has good products!  That makes it even easier.


Objections and questions as buying signals

Objections and questions as buying signals — cues that the prospect is ready to buy, or at the very least, nearly ready.

Sometimes, when you look through a prospect's question, or even what appears to be an objection, you find that they are subconsciously signaling their readiness to buy.

For example, you may encounter the question, "How soon could you install?"

Continue reading Objections and questions as buying signals

Responding to objections and questions: why prospects DO NOT buy, Part #2

"COLD CALL SALES AND PROSPECTING CHECKLIST: 14 PRACTICAL STRATEGIES WHEN COLD-COLD CALLING"  which had been here in four parts is  now  a short E-book,  available via Amazon. 

You can read it on a Kindle, or in various other E-reader formats, including your PC.  Amazon offfers free apps to enable you to do that.

Order e-edition of Overcoming objections: why prospects DO NOT buy

Handling “easy” objections and questions

Some questions and objections are so easy that you can safely respond to them
quickly and directly, and move on.

For our meaning here, that kind of "easy" question or objection is in an area
in which your product or service is strong, or that raise issues that you can
handle quickly without raising secondary concerns.

For example, if the objection relates to a misunderstanding on price that you
can set right by pointing to a catalog, do that and move on:

"The answer is yes, we do guarantee our installations for three years, the
longest in the industry, according to this survey in Industry Times which I'll
leave with you. Now, moving on to the issue of . . ."

But if the objection or question is more complex, then use the Four-Step process for responding to objections. Go to that Four-Step Process for handling objections and questions

Responding to more difficult objections and questions

Responding to an "easy" sales objection or  question? Then handle it directly, get it out of the way quickly, and move on. See the section on handling easy questions and objections. 

When you encounter more difficult objections and questions, it's best to work systematically through this Four-Step Process:

Continue reading Responding to more difficult objections and questions

You’ll find here free sales training articles and tutorials, checklists and sales tips, as well as links to our sales training books — all focused on Selling Face to Face.

The free sales training articles and tutorials here are adapted from the courses and workshops I developed on contract for the “sales universities” of world-class marketing companies such as Xerox in the United States and abroad, Kodak, Motorola, Sylvania, Bank of America, and others . . .  as filtered through my own experience in marketing consulting services.

The aim is to provide practical sales training across the spectrum from beginners (starting up new businesses, or making career changes) to experienced sales people looking for fresh approaches, or hoping to gain the kind of professional selling skills they would have developed as attendees in big company sales training programs.

In the free sales training articles here, and in the related books, we cover topics including,

  • Finding and getting through to sales prospects
  • Telephone etiquette in getting past screens
  • Sales cold calling: when, when not, and how
  • Consultative selling— selling by asking smart questions
  • Helping sales prospects become more aware of the value of filling needs
  • Ways of closing sales
  • Handling objections, questions, and hesitations.
  • The how-to of Sales presentations and demonstrations