The sales manager is the person responsible for leading and coaching a team of salespeople. Her duties in a small company often include assigning sales territories, setting quotas, mentoring the members of her sales team, arranging for sales training, building or helping her team to build a sales plan, and sometimes hiring and firing. In large companies, sales quotas and plans are typically establ [...]

If we choose to, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. Within every failure there is the seed of a lesson well learned, of a solid character trait emerging. It is our failures that contribute most intensely to our development.

How old are you? Don't think of the answer! If you are like most people, by this point the answer has crept into your mind and oozed out into your consciousness. That's the ultimate power of a question. When someone asks a question, you think of the answer. Imagine the power of a more significant question, or better yet, a series of significant questions, to direct and influence the thinking of your customers.

"Great relationships" are used by the salesperson to obscure a deeper issue -- their lack of sales expertise. The existence of the perceived relationship dictates their strategic decisions -- they go where it is easiest, and spend time with those whom they perceive like them. However, complemented with effective sales competencies and implemented strategically, it can be a powerful asset to the salesperson.

In part one of this series, I made the point that thinking better is the ultimate success skill for a sales person, and that good thinking always came from asking yourself the right questions and writing down the answers. In this installment, I'm going to focus on questions to ask to drive your overall improvement as a professional sales person.

Questions to ask prospects and customers; and questions to ask yourself. Questions we ask ourselves are just as important, if not more so, than those we ask our prospects and customer. The reason goes back to the ultimate power of a question -- it directs our thinking.

Knowing how to close a sale is crucial for salespeople. Some prospects require only a slight nudge at the end of the sales process, while others need a little more to break through their inertia.

Traditional sales training has led us to believe that we need to convince or influence prospects to buy our products or services. This only leads to buyer's remorse. It is time for a non-traditional, results oriented approach. We must engage customers in a solution oriented dialogue.

Better salespeople continually imbed best practices into their habits. A good salesperson studies the best practices of his profession, and repeats them in order to improve. Our success is less about the product and service and company that we represent and more about the actions that we take. And a pattern of action is a sequence of actions that are repeated.

The Unique Selling Proposition is a tool salespeople can use to set themselves apart from their competitors. Click here to get more information regarding USP.