Take Some Advice
What are the top 1-3 keys to successful selling?
Paul Reilly, Founder, Reilly Sales
Training: Focus, simplicity, and progress.
Focusing on the right business, the right
way, and with the right message
provides the foundation for sales success.
Focus is developing a point of concentra-
tion stronger than the natural tendency
to meander. Keep it simple by taking a
customer-focused view of the exchange
and understanding their needs. Simplify your sales pro-
cess by following the customer’s buying process. Finally,
progress the sale forward with a small-wins approach. Sales
success does not happen overnight; it is the result of focus,
simplicity, and creating small wins.
Brent Halverson, President & CEO,
ecmarket inc.: A distributor needs to
understand their customer’s business,
how they do things today, and why it
matters. To be successful at selling, one
has to ask the right questions to uncover
customer’s and prospect’s unmet needs
(pain points) and be able to clearly
articulate not only that you’ve under-
stood their pain, but that you can provide a solution.
What part of the sales process is often taken
for granted, and why?
Paul Reilly: Pre-call planning is the “Rodney
Dangerfield” of the sales process. It gets no respect. Very
few salespeople routinely plan their sales calls. In our
seminars, we conduct a rigorous pre-call planning exercise.
After, salespeople tell us they have never been more con-
When it comes to good sales advice, distributors can’t
ever really have too much. But only if it’s from
reputable sources. ID reached out to sales gurus Paul
Reilly and Brett Halverson to get some of their advice
on simple sales topics. Reilly is the founder of Reilly
Sales Training, and two of his recent articles, The
Biggest Mistake Salespeople Make, and 7 Terrible
Sales Lines That Have To Go, have been two of the
hottest items on www.inddist.com over the last
three months. Halverson is the President and CEO of
ecmarket Inc., a cloud-based solutions developer that
created Conexiom – a sales order automation solution
for wholesale distributors and manufacturers.
fident and prepared for this upcoming sales call. In the exercise, participants ask themselves six questions to prepare.
The first is the most important, “what is the objective of
this call?” A sales call with no objective is defective. A sales
call with no objective is the equivalent of a rudderless ship.
Brent Halverson: All too often, distributors are focused
exclusively on gaining revenue, but this is clearly not
synonymous with becoming more profitable. In fact, sometimes revenue gains can come at the expense of profitability. Focusing on the bigger picture is a good place to start
and ask yourself what it’s going to cost to earn that revenue and to keep it? A key aspect of enhancing profitability
is understanding your transactional costs. We’ve found it’s
commonplace for most distributors to be in the dark when
it comes to knowing their transactional costs and many are
surprised to learn that it’s at least costing $12 per line item
for order entry. Finding ways to lower transactional costs
like sales order automation boosts profitability immediately, as well as providing valuable order data that can be
harnessed to increase wallet share and customer loyalty.
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