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Learning from Executive Assistants

Multitasking Assistant

Photo Credit: Ryan Ritchie

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

YOU: “Hi, this is David from Kindoo.  May I speak to Susan please.”

TOM (ASSISTANT): “She’s in a meeting, but I can put you through to her voicemail.”

YOU: “Great, thanks.”

Awesome, right?  Wrong!

Susan is most likely not going to return your call.  She’s probably not going to even listen to your message.

You’re no better off.  In fact, you’re even worse off because that time is lost and you didn’t learn anything.

Instead, what if you did this:

YOU: “Hi, this is David from Kindoo.  May I speak to Susan please.”

TOM: “She’s in a meeting, but I can put you through to her voicemail.”

YOU: “Great.  Say, Tom, before you do, I’m just curious, how does your company train salespeople?”

TOM: “Whoa!  I’m soooooo glad you asked.  We spend $250,000 on three, three-day in person sales meetings a year.  Death by Powerpoint (if you know what I mean).  Sometimes we’ll bring in a sales training consultant.  That’s expensive too – and people forget what they learned as soon as they leave.  And we do weekly webinars, but they’re not very well attended because our salespeople are all over the place.”

OK, Tom’s response is my fantasy.  But stay with me.

Sales Prospecting Tip: ALWAYS ask a question before you’re transferred to voicemail.

Ask questions to learn if they:

  • Fit your ideal customer profile: How big is your sales organization? Do you use  Do you have any experience with video?
  • Have problems you can help with: How many reps are you planning on hiring in the next 12 months?  How engaged are your channel partners?

Now you can think on your feet and use this info to leave a better voicemail.  Or you can use it for the next email you’ll send to Susan.

I used this technique just this morning to (a) learn what my prospect is doing for sales and partner training and (b) have a great conversation with the assistant.  She was so interested, she volunteered to personally sponsor me for a meeting with the VP of Sales.

All because I didn’t just leave a message.

Just be honest and nice.  I find that most Executive Assistants will answer because they want to help their organizations too.

Happy Selling!

Posted in Sales

Is This 3 Year-Old the Ultimate Challenger Salesperson?

This kid might be the youngest challenger salesperson out there!

He’s trying to convince his mom to let him have a cupcake for dinner.

Happy Selling

Posted in Sales

17 Sales-Related Videos from Movies and TV

soscarThe Oscars took place this past weekend.  Since this is a sales blog, we’d like to give out some Sales Oscars awards (Soscars) for memorable sales moments in entertainment.

Warning: Some of these clips contain profanity.  

So without further ado, the Soscars go to…

1. Best Product Demonstration

2. Best Upsell

3. Best Cold Call

4. Best Price Negotiation

5. Best Challenger Sale

6. Best Positive Self-Talk

7. Best Objection Handling

8. Best Value Selling

9. Best Positioning

10. Best Questioning

11. Best Motivational Speech

12. Best Product Knowledge

13. Best Use of Own Product

14. Best Negotiation

15. Best After Sale Service

16. Best Customer Discovery

17. Best Client Commitment

I also made this list available as a YouTube Playlist.

I’m sure I also forgot some good ones, so please feel free to suggest your own in the comments.

Happy Selling!

Posted in Sales

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