Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sales Scene Investigation

Last week, I had asked for you feedback on two new launches I’m involved in.
2 New Launches and Dale Haeuser responded with the following:

One of the things that I would love to see on a sales blog like this is open discussion about real life selling situations that we find ourselves needing feedback on. I think we all talk about ideas and general practices which is great but what about talking about how to handle our actual sales situations. Now you are probably saying "Hey guy with all the spelling errors and bad grammar. Give me an example." Well here is goes. I was in a meeting last week in which I was supposed to pitch to 1 person, but when I got there 6 more people had been included in the meeting. I didn't do my best because I was caught a little of guard. Does anyone have any ideas of how to not only work it out, but to also thrive in that situation?This sort of thing I think would really help me to better my skills and try some new approaches. Think outside the circle if you will.
Dale Haeuser

Ok, Dale its time for SSI . . . Sales Scene Investigation where we tackle your challenge with the best freakin ideas in all the blogosphere!

Let’s back up to the point when you set the appointment. From now on ask “Who else besides yourself should join us?” This is also a tactful way to get decision makers in the room without making your contact feel like skippy in the mail room.

From now on figure this could happen at any time. Be mentally prepared.
The minute it happens (and we now know it will) change your thinking from “Oh Shit” to looking at it as a sign of interest.

Consider an icebreaker like a sing along, or burp the alphabet contest (wanted to see if you were paying attention) A legitimate icebreaker would be saying something like this. “If you don’t mind, just so I have a clear understanding of what you are each responsible for, could we each introduce ourselves with a quick sentence or two about what we do here at ABC Industries?”

Buy yourself time by utilizing an agenda statement breaking down what you would like to accomplish. While you are going through the agenda statement you can mentally recalibrate.

Take control by asking this question: “Granted I called you, what prompted you to take the meeting with me?”

Take charge by asking questions
Get them talking . . . they’ll think you are a great conversationalist!

Facilitate. When points are brought up by the others, get them to continue or expand by asking them to elaborate, tell me more, can you give me an example. Joe what’s your spin on that?

Make sure you address each one of them. The quietest ones might be the real decision maker.

Remember, there will be appointments where we belt it out of the ball park and others where we strike out. The most important part Dale is The Lesson.

Here’s to you for having the cohones to ask for help!

OK team, what are your thoughts? What suggestions do you have for Dale?


  1. Dale, congratulations on seeing through the rest of the meeting once encountered with an unexpected change. Being a graduate and survivor of the Paul Castain Sales Training Boot Camp, the 1st thought that popped in my head was the key question in advance: "Who else will be at the meeting? or who else should we invite?" Preparation and pre-work is the key to a successful sales meeting. If you're still surprised with another unexpected curve ball, take control immediately by asking questions, just like Paul says and as you listen to their introductions take notes so you can quickly create pertinent questions that connect your product/service to your win/win sale (you want to make them feel like they walk away winning by buying from you, depending on the length of the sales cycle). Also, know that some clients will tell you no one else needs to be there and you get there and find the whole squad there - all to test you. I believe this to be one of typical scenarios all salespeople encounter sooner or later. I was pulled by your request and Paul's "right on the money as usual" advice because it happened to me. I was blessed enough to have Paul there guiding me. We managed the meeting the same way he recommends to you and he let me soar right through it. Continued Success! Paul, love the flashbacks. Awesome! You Rock!!!

  2. I thought your advice was right on, but his situation brought to mind one that happened to me recently and I was totally caught off guard. I handled it but I'm sure it could have been handled better. I had a lunchtime (I was delivering pizza) to a IT managaer and his group that we provide staff augmentation to. It was my first meeting with the group, basically the meeting was for us to get to know each other. First, when I got there, everyone was sitting down, no extra chairs and when I walked in no one said anything, I introduced myself, said hi to the manager, and then basically again no one said anything. Everytime I tried to get things going, they basically gave one or a few word answers. It came across as they were expecting me to just drop off the pizza and leave. Even though I had meant the manager in person previously and had spoken to him on the phone, he was just as hard as the rest to get talking. I usually don't have a hard time getting people to respond but this time it just didn't happen. What would have you done?

  3. Dale,
    I am also one of Paul's clones. I agree with everything that was proposed to you above. One thing I might ask at the start of the meeting during the introductions is what do each of you want to get out of thes meeting.
    Good Luck,

  4. I have had this happen to me before. I have this line I use to get everyone to listen to start - " I want to thank you all for coming to this meeting, and for your commitment to giving your next three weekend to ( plant flowers for the "beautify ABC garden, or to help Paul sell raffle tickets for........"
    From there I follow with " here is my planned agenda, does anyone have something else they would like me to touch on?"

  5. great ideas thanks for the help

  6. Some fantastic ideas from the group!

    Thank you all for reading and participating!


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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