Tuesday, December 21, 2010

3 Best Ways to Say Thank You, the Sales Mentor Way.

The Sales Mentor Thank You

In my years as a sales mentor and a salesperson as well, I have learn that there are really simple things that you can start right away that will help your selling efforts a lot easier than any other day.

This sales mentor technique is called the "genuine thank you".

There are a lot of high-paid sales directors and managers out there that have forgotten the essence of a real thank you. Of course they thank their bosses, like the CEO's or GM's of the company, yet they have trully forgotten how to say thank you.

So here I am again, your sales mentor knocking on your doors, that you allow me to share a little sales mentor lesson to remind you of how important a thank you is.

So first the step of a genuine thank you is be appreciative to everyone rather than being critical.

Most of us know that saying thank you, is a "branch" of gratittude but only a few realize that gratitude is also an accumulated attitude.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Sad Closing to the Vizconde Massacre - Hubert Webb and 6 Others Acquitted.

Acquitted Hubert Webb of Vizconde Massacre
Picture courtesy of Yahoo Philippines
After 15 years of trial, the final decision has been made on the Vizconde Massacre case. One the most in human crimes ever done in the Philippines, the Vizconde Massacre now to a close.

I am not a witness of the entire crime, nor was I there when the entire Vizconde Family was all brutally murdered (except for the father - Lauro Vizconde who went out of town), so I really have no right to judge. But as a sales mentor and as a fellow Filipino, I cannot help but site a few observations.


Is the Philippine justice system really that slow? I mean, whether Hubert Webb was guilty or not, it certainly does not have to reach 15 years for the court to fully on decide whether Mr. Webb is or not. There has to be some kind of way that we can shorten the process for justice. It is both painful and frustrating for both Mr. Vizconde and Mr. Webb.


Sorry if I have to say this, but this is the only I can express my thoughts (through my sales mentor blog). In my opinion the DNA samples that acquitted the accused should have not been given of great value by the court. For the main reason of technology. Certainly, during that time DNA sampling and investigation was still not a part of the SOP of the NBI, so obviously it had been overlooked.


I pity whoever the culprit was. I may have not been Hubert Webb who was the head of the suspects in the Vizconde Massacre, but the one who did is really in trouble. Maybe not on these world, but one day he will pay for his sins. If not to man, then he will have to pay to a higher power.


I hope they both forgive each other. I know it sounds crazy most especially for Lauro Vizconde, but I think it's the only way they can fully attain peace.

Hubert Webb said he has forgiven the people who have done him wrong, and I hope Mr. Vizconde will be able to do likewise.

For whatever reason, I know one thing for sure, God has purpose.

We Filipinos might not understand now but it will all be clear one day.

Among the acquitted-accused of Vizconde Massacre was Antonio Lejano, Micheal Gatchalian, Pyke Fernandez, Miguel Rodriguez and Peter Estrada were also given the freedom.

I do not know what Mr. Lauro feels today, but I can only pray.

God will always bestow His justice in His due time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Learn from The Best SALES Mentor!

As I started my sales career, I really didn't care much about learning from other sales mentors. I felt that reading and attending external sales trainings is only for people who couldn't really sell.

I was very eager to attend trainings about products, but I took for granted other sales trainings that I thought was a waste of time.

I only changed, once I attended a network marketing training. At that time I was not familiar with network marketing and really hated anything that had to do with that kind of business model.
But suddenly, I sat at that training was listening emphatically. And much more, I was near closing and convinced to invest my savings in that network marketing company.

After a weeks with the company, I became friends with that network marketing trainer and found out that he attended many sales trainings (both external and internal). Also that he read many sales training books and audios.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

iCarly Buzz - Sales and Marketing Lesson

There is actually a buzz right now about Nickelodeon's show - iCarly.

To give you a brief background:

iCarly is an American Teen Sitcom that focuses on the life of a girl named Carly Shay who decides to start a web show name iCarly, together with her close buddies Sam and Freddie. The show stars Miranda Cosgrove as Carly, Jenette McCurdy as Sam, Nathan Kress as Freddie, and many teen actors/actress that contributes to the fun and interest to its many viewers. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter 7 - Deathly Hallows Part 1 Review

Yesterday, I really had a great time watching the official opening of Harry Potter 7 - Deathly Hallows. Together with my beautiful wife, we bought two large boxes of popcorn and one go large ice tea to complete our viewing of Harry Potter 7.

Although again, the movie could not compare to the details of the book, it was for me a good enough deal for 160 Pesos of two and half hour movie enjoyment.

Quite frankly, I'm not much of a movie buff and I can't really critic the movie as the "real movie critics" out there. But at least let me give my opinion as Harry Potter fan and as marketer.

First as a fan of Harry Potter, the "Deathly Hallows" book 7 is actually the revealing book of the entire Harry Potter series but I am sad to say that the movie was not able to clearly convey that. I think it had to focus on more situational conversations and flashbacks for movie watcher's better understanding.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is Ms. Mexico Worth Winning The Ms. Universe Crown

Mr. Trumph Greeting the Ms. Universe 2010 Contestants
I know that I promised you a new set of sales mentor lessons for my coming post but I couldn't help but talk about the winner of Ms. Universe 2010 - Ms. Mexico.

While everybody would say that Ms. Mexico won because of her beauty and gorgeous smile (so gorgeous that it makes me melt) but I would disagree.

It would be better to say that Ms. Mexico went there to sell her way to the hearts of the judges and the entire Ms. Universe crowd.

What did Ms. Mexico do? She followed a basic sales process to close the deal with the judges of Ms. Universe 2010.

First, Ms. Mexico went through rigorous training before she could get to the international competition in the Ms. Universe 2010 pageant.

Selling Is Using The Power Of Words To Touch

Sales Words To Touch, Source : Flickr
As always, I am amazed at the effectiveness of being able to understand the concept of selling and being able to use it in any situation necessary.

Just a while ago, I arrived late for my trip to Cebu City. To top it off, I didn't have a ticket and the boat was full. Actually, there were several of us who was under the same predicament. Most of them gave up and went back to the other ticketing office to buy tickets for the next trip.

Left there alone, I knew I could convince the crew and the guard to sell me an "extra" ticket so that I could go along with the trip. Besides what's the use of being a sales mentor if I couldn't convince a guard to sell me a ticket.

Of course, I was able to get one ticket by using simple sales and negotiation techniques. So here's how I did it.

First, I made casual conversations with the guard: like how hot the weather was, the people in his job, and many other stuff that made him comfortable.

Next, I then proceeded to ask him questions about the trip : why there was only one trip instead of two, why the boat was smaller, and the most important question, what would I need to do to get him to sell me another ticket.

I further explained why I needed to get to Cebu City at a specific time and the consequences. At that, he already showed non-verbal signs of "buying my sales pitch".

He then asked me if I could wait since he will ask for the Coast Guard's approval. I also made my "sales pitch" to the head coast guard and was so happy when he gave me the ticket. I paid for the ticket and gave the first guard a tip and profusely thanked the coast guard.

Actually since the sales process is so inherent in me, it is quite normal for me to sell anything. Specially if it's an idea with a sense of urgency.

Well, you would think that there's not much of a sales mentor lesson here right? WRONG. The story I just told you above shows a brief process of how effective a salesperson can be by using what I call the "Power of Negotiations". This will be our next set of sales mentor lessons for the coming weeks. 

Actually this will be a very long series of lessons but I promise you this will be all worth your patience. This will help you to double your closing success.    

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Most Successful People Also Failed Tremendously

Stand up from your failure, Source : Flickr

The last and probably the most important benefit you get from learning how to sell is, it allows you to fail more.
Although for most people, failing is a negative thing but I believe there is a great benefit from failing. And from my personal experience as a sales mentor, failing has been the main reason I have been successful.

Weird, right? But let me cite a few people who failed tremendously but became one of the most successful and influential people of their times.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sell And Have A Network Of A Prince

The Network Of A Prince
source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/

I remember my first sales call in the main office of a big chain of restaurants that offers ice cream concoctions, ice cream cakes and other kinds of desserts using ice cream as a basic ingredient.

The owner was Mr. Edwin. A young but very stern CEO of the company I was calling to.

I think it was probably the hardest sales call that I have ever done in my entire career as a sales mentor. But after several meetings and tailor fitting of his needs, I was able to close an exclusivity contract with him.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Once You Know How To Sell You Already Have More Options

source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/dnorman/

The next benefit you can get from learning to sell is related to our number two benefit.
Imagine your career as a one big river. It flows steadily and at a very consistent rate. It provides home for all the fishes in it. It waters the trees and plants around it. And provides food for many people. In essence, it carries with security.

But one day, a drought came to your big river. You assume it was just temporary so you stick to your big river. After a while you were proven wrong. The flow of water gets lesser and lesser each day. The fishes start to die. The plants and trees starts to die. And eventually food for the people also begin to disappear and soon everything will perish.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grow Your Income By Learning To Sell

source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/materialboy/

Probably this is one of the most exciting benefits in learning how to sell - it can grow your income.

As a young student at an expensive University in the Philippines, I had to be more creative in my studies wherein I had to earn money and study at the same time. Luckily, I was blessed by the Lord with a great talent of being friendly and being talkative.

During that time, I started to sell mangoes to earn money for my allowance. It was very difficult at the start, and since I did not have any sales mentor at the time, I made many mistakes. After a month, I started to become better at selling and have already started to learn a basic sales theory, "sales is not sales unless paid and collected".

Learn To Sell And Lower Your Invisible-Self-Defenses

 source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/materialboy/

"We can all sell if we choose to, but for most people it is one of the most difficult
things to do because they afraid of loosing their self." - Robert Allen 

Based on our last sales mentor lesson, the first benefit from learning to sell is that it lowers our invisible-self-defenses.

I think most of us will agree that as people, we all have our own invisible walls. No matter how sociable we are, there will always be certain areas in our lives that we prefer to leave it a secret.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Top 5 Benefits You'll Learn From Selling

source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/adriagarcia/

I remember asking my father before a question that changed the course of my life - "Dad, what profession will legally allow me to go out and talk to many people?". My father answered, "Well, when you're a salesperson you are always out on the field and you talk to all sorts of people. I guess that profession would be in a sales or marketing industry."

After that day, I resigned from my job as a process engineer and sought to find a sales job that would provide me the best sales training. (Surprise? Yep I wasn't always a sales mentor or salesperson.) Like most sales professionals, I too wasn't always a sales person. I just loved to talk and never wanted to stay in one place.   

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Train Your Sales People Like Soldiers Going To Iraq

I remember my first day as a salesperson. I was hired by one of the biggest Ice Cream companies in the Philippines as an Account Specialist (AS). I remember being excited for my first ever sales job and anxious at the same time. 

Before we did our selling, we first had a 5-day classroom training, with my very first sales mentor Mr. Rusky. He was a bright person with superb communication skills.

We started with the background of the product lines that we were going to sell. The company's policies and history. The organizational structure and where we were at the structure.

Monday, May 31, 2010

3 Sales Tips To Develop A Long Term Customer-Relationship

I was about to start eating my delicious Pork-Sate meal last night with a nice cold orange juice for my drink to complete my dinner when suddenly someone called out my name.

It was Ms. Rizza, one of my closest customers when I was still selling Ice Cream for Magnolia (San Miguel Foods Premium Ice Cream Brand). We haven't really seen each other for quite sometime and yet she was still very fond of me.

I invited her to join me and my wife for a sumptuous meal in one of my favorite restaurants in Cebu. Our "little chat" took almost an hour, and I noticed that my wife is slowly feeling out of place. (There's a sales mentor lesson here, I promise).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Starter's guide to selling - Obtain, Verify, and Transmit!

Based on our previous lesson (if you're new on my sales mentor lessons click here), we already know how important it is for sales people to have enough account knowledge to close a sale. Learning a little bit of the prospect's background will definitely take you a step closer to closing the sale.

And now you ask, how am I supposed to gather account knowledge (customer information)?

Well its easy actually - read a book on basic selling.

Just kidding... It is my commitment to you as your online sales mentor to help you in your selling endeavors.
Here are the basic steps on gathering account knowledge:

1. Ask

Many sales people tend to focus on selling right away, saying that only action can result to a sale. But without any information about your prospect, you are like a soldier going to war without any kind of firearm.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The 3 Important Types of Account Knowledge - It Grows Your Buyers List

As promised, we will now start on the new set of sales mentor lessons to add to your selling skills arsenal. Today, the most important sales technique that everybody knows but is usually taken for granted is - knowing your prospect.

Obviously, the more you know your prospect, the easier it is for you to do the selling since you know his needs, wants, desires, and specially his personal preference. Secondly, once you know enough of the customers' attitude, you can make "custom" sales approach towards selling to a specific prospect.

In formal sales training this approach is called "getting-the-account-knowledge". From the word account knowledge, it means that it tackles on the number of information you as salesperson knows about your existing and future account.

There are many simple ways where we can actually gain  a customer's account knowledge gradually. I stressed the word "gradually" since in selling, time is of the importance. In any sales situation there is always two parties involved, your side (the salesperson) and the prospect's side. So the faster you develop a very good relationship with your customer, the faster you gain account knowledge and trust. Simply put, "gradual" means as you build trust, you gain more account knowledge.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Believe In What You Sell!

This is the start of a new series of sales mentor lessons. Since we already got through the needed mindset and basic definitions, we will now discuss on the actual selling process.

How to start selling.

In a formal sales program, often, the sales training begins directly with the discussion on what is sales flow, persuasive selling, closing techniques, but for me this is all useless unless you start with this mindset - "Believe in what you sell".

Being a sales mentor and a salesperson myself, I've seen many salespeople directly jump start without really understanding their own product and more importantly, believing in their own product.

Believe me, being a "loyal customer" alone of what you sell improves 50% of your average closing. When you believe and also use what you sell, there's no objection strong enough for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Sales Mentor Lesson on INTEGRITY

Based on our last lesson, we talked about Opening an online sales store, and what is needed to succeed in that kind of sales based business.

And that is Integrity....

Integrity to deliver the promises you are making about your product.
Integrity to actually deliver the product on the committed time and date.
Integrity to walk the talk.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Opening an Online Sales Store and Bad Ebay Items

Today's Lesson Involves Products Being sold on Ebay and how it has changed the trend in selling indirectly or in an "automated way".

Since the start of operations of Ebay, there has been a move on the opening of many online stores in the Philippines like Ayosdito, Sulit.com, Istorya.net and Ebay Philippines.

Selling in an "automated way" has really made a distinct change in the market but I have to remind you, it also has many flaws. Although I urge you as your sales mentor to start trying selling online to improve and grow your sales but please also make sure that you do not abuse this kind of advantage in technology.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

From Good to Great - Three Tips to Being a Great Salesperson

From Good to Great - Three Tips to Being a Great Salesperson
1. Consistency/persistence. Be your own lottery. The harder you work the luckier you get!
A few weeks ago I stood in line to buy a lottery ticket. The other folks in line socialized, and joked with each other. It was obvious they'd known one another from past weeks, months, maybe even years of standing in line to buy a lottery ticket.

These lottery hopefuls believe in the power of consistency and persistence. They wouldn't dream of missing their chance at winning and, like clockwork, show up to buy their chance at a better life. They have the right idea but they are in the wrong line.

Sure, once in awhile you meet a smooth talker who has drifted along getting rewarded for little effort but most of the time, this is short lived success. Successful people may make their efforts look easy, but they are often the ones waking up earlier, worker harder, and getting home later.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Selling A Book Will Help Increase Your Market

I don't know who started the concept, but many authors attempt to sell their books by giving away their books. Charles Sheehan Miles did it. Wicked author Gregory Maguire did it. Cory Doctorow did it.

And of course, Seth Godin did it. (Click on their names to find out how you can get your copy!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Sales Person's Life Is Always Closing!

Just a while ago I was at a Jollibee outlet. As usual I had to line up to the counter in order to get what I want to eat.

The young girl (probably in her teens) greeted me with a wonderful smile saying, "hello sir, welcome to Jollibee, can I take your order?". I got a bit startled cause I was currently texting my wife that I am already waiting for her at the store.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do You Inspire Customer Service Tales?

Everyone loves to tell a good story. Stories teach, they inspire laughter and the bring about change. As consumers, we love to tell stories about the people we buy from -- good, bad or ugly.

If I stopped 10 of your clients/customers today and asked them to tell me a story about your company's customer service -- what story would they tell?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kill the Competition - Move to Being Dominant

Kill the competition is the only way to think about your business and especially your competition. Most people do not desire competition in business but then do little or nothing to eliminate it. You wouldn't tolerate fleas on your dog or termites in your house, you would eliminate them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Basic Reasons A Prospect Won't or Don't Buy

In all my years as a salesperson, I have finally heard of all the reasons why a prospect won't buy and it would be safe to say that it can be summarized in five (5) basic reasons, namely:
- No Need
- No Money
- No Hurry
- No Desire
- And No Trust

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Are Salespeople Still Needed?

This question was asked to me recently in an interview, "with the dominance of the internet is the salesperson even needed anymore?" It might surprise you to hear my answer. Understand I have worked as a 'sales expert' for over twenty years, rewritten sales processes for entire industries, licensed customized sales processes for organizations, and written three books on selling.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sales Training Tips

While it is agreed that training can improve the production results of a company there is no shortage of companies and executives that question the return on investment (ROI). Before you calculate the cost of training you should calculate the cost of mishandling opportunities that result from not training your people. Sales training has failed many companies because it was incorrectly implemented, not measurable, outdate and not relevant and did not actual assist in solving problems and actually improving the sales effectiveness of the organization.

For any training to be effective there are certain criteria that must be adhered to:

1) Must include management and not just the sales team. Not including management suggest that the training is not significant enough for the organization to embrace completely. The content should be so compelling that management can use it to run meetings, solve problems and even used to coach sales people during the day.

2) Expectation of the results should be significant and measurable. Sales training is not something you do because you need to train but something you do in order to win the game and make more sales! Training needs to be approached as valuable and vital ingredient to increased production and THE WAY to increased sales and revenue.

3) Sales training must be delivered in very short segments and interactive. What is short? Two to five minutes and even shorter. Most training fails today just because the segments are too long and loses the attention of the trainee. Our Sales Training Virtual Technology uses interactive engagement and testing forcing interaction and validating duplication with one question for every one minute of training content.

4) Training must be measurable and rewarded. Just like you track someone's production results sales training should be tracked and rewarded. It is proven that consistent training done at regular intervals over extended periods of time will create increased levels of sales production. Training that is not easily measurable, like any process or best practice will fail. We use buit in monitoring system that track everything a user of the program does while on the program, including how long, what they looked at, and whether they passed or failed the testing component.

5) Sales training should be focused on those that have been with the organization not the new people. Most organizations put all their attention and training dollars on the new hires and forget to continue to train the most stable in the organization. Effective sales training programs should focus 80% of the training content, time and energy on the proven sales people in the organization.

6) Sales training should be made part of the culture and delivered continually throughout the day. All staff meetings should include training, with sales people following that up with a minimum of two segments each day on their own, and then supported with sales coaching throughout the day to solve problems. We added this last component via our virtual technology whereby sales people can interctively consult me in real time and I am actually able to coach them through and transaction and improve their chances of closing a transaction. This combination of training throughout the day is similar to how you would correctly hydrate the body with fluids with an IV drip.

For sales training to be effective it must be made the first thing and then a continued activity each day in order to maximize every opportunity and guarantee a ROI. If you think it is expensive to train sales teams try the alternative. Missing sales in this environment is suicidal. Train them daily, demand they train throughout the day and provide soutions during the day and you will increase sales in any economy.

Let me summarize what Mr. Grant is talking about and with a few of my added suggestions for Philippine based companies. 

First. Make Sales Training a "all-company" activity. 

Filipinos are generally hardworking but unlike other countries most of us ended our education after formal school. We tend to take trainings for granted and even make lesser effort on applying the discussions done during the trainings. Hence, this will be management's job to involve everyone in the loop. 

Second. Make training a regular habit.

Set fixed dates for the entire sales training schedules for the year. Management should include this on the one year business plan. 
I remember joining a company wherein the salespeople would get surprised when management suddenly announces a training activity. Instead of getting excited, the sales force will tend to complain that training will only take away their supposed to be productive selling days. 
Third. Immediate measurement of results. 

We all know that procrastination is one of the main reasons for failure. Again, this too has to be included in management's one year business plan. This measurement will also help us gauge the effectiveness and timeliness of our trainings. More importantly, if the kind of training done is cost-efficient for the company. 

Lastly. Choose wisely who will conduct your trainings.    

In my experience this will be the main "argument" of management. Who should conduct the sales training? Should we get our top sales managers to do the training? Or Should we hire well-known third party who has a reputation and track record to show. In my opinion, I follow these three (3) premises in choosing who will conduct the training. 
1. Topic Competency - the one to conduct must have more than sufficient actual results done on the topic
2. Additional Services - often, when getting an external sales training company will give more value and results to the training since they provide extras like worksheets, up-to-date market reviews, measurement tools, and etcetera. 
3. Cost Efficiency - no matter where we look, we have to remember that everything done in business has to have a return-on-investment (ROI). So please include the cost of the sales training in conducting such an activity. 

Before we end this topic I want you to remember this line: "We as salespeople owe it to ourselves to continuously learn to sell"
That being said, no matter what kind of sales training we do, as long as we do not learn from our past mistakes our sales success and productivity will never improve. 

That's it for today, join me again for my next coming post. 
Feel free to contact me at salesmentoronlinephilippines@gmail.com or to get my post updates click the Followers Area on the side. 

Dedicated to your selling success,
Sales Mentor TM

Monday, February 22, 2010

Warren Buffett and Sell to Survive

Super Investor, Billionaire and Master Sales Person Warren Buffett sanely states on his recent CNBC interview, "During times like these the most valuable asset you have is your skills and abilities." If you haven't seen the interview watch it because it will give you a sane approach and solution to how to survive and prosper. 

Mr. Buffett thinks in futures not in the havoc of the moment and takes every opportunity to "sell" the products, services and enhance the value of the companies he owns. He is the perfect example of someone that doesn't see selling as something you do as much as something that has to happen. Watch the interview and you will see what I mean. He is not a frantic, high-pressure fast-talking sales guy, but he does take every opportunity to promote his products and add value to the companies he invests in.

Warren Buffett knows that selling is basic to business and survival. Without selling products and services the company value diminishes and the same holds true for individuals. Whether its American Express, Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, See's Candy, Wal Mart or GE if the company is unable to sell its products and its value it will diminish. Why does a billionaire continue to promote, market and sell the value of the companies he has major stakes in? Because even the richest man in the world knows that the financial solvency of a company or household is dependent upon selling the products, service and value of that company.

Every household in America needs to take heed of Mr. Buffett as he embraces selling as a survival skill for creating the future you want. From my book Sell to Survive, "Selling is as important as water, oxygen and food and is an innate ability to every person. Contrary to popular belief this skill is not limited to just some. This ability has only been lost because of the way we are educated and socialized and it can be easily rehabilitated."

Americans has developed a disdain for selling when this is the one single thing you cannot avoid if you want to have money in the bank! Every major problem people are having; from job loss to bankruptcy can be traced back to the inability to sell yourself, your products and your services. Show me a company or individual failing and I will show you someone having difficulty selling their products and services or their personal value to the marketplace. You cannot manage, organize, save or plan your way out of the current economy, you can only sell to survive this! 

The tighter the economy gets the more this skill is needed. Remember what Buffet said, "During times like these the most valuable asset you have is your skills and abilities." The largest legal firm in the country just laid off 20% of their lawyers and I assure you those that got laid off had one thing in common; the inability to bring in revenue (sell).
Look at Buffett, he isn't sleazy, high pressure or a fast talking sales person, but he knows that selling is a natural action that should not be disdained but embraced in order to survive and prosper. Click here to see a great movie about this topic.

Another great post from Mr. Grant Cardone. 

This time he talks about the greatest investor of all times, Warren Buffett. Apparently Mr. Buffet is not only an investor, he is also one of the greatest salesperson of all times. If a person like Mr. Buffett sees selling as a major tool in a successful business, how can we not?

It doesn't matter if you have a great system, a very organize admin staff, superb products and services, but at the end of the day your salespeople can't sell a single cent, your company will not survive in the long haul. 

My Advice....

Learn the art and science of selling.

In this difficult times, we all have to learn new skills to survive. If in America Warren Buffett is telling his country men to "sell to survive" we to in the Philippines must follow as well. To ultimately improve our business or income, learning to sell will allow us to add-on to our income. 

For example if you have a full-time job, you can join a multi-level marketing (commonly known as networking) company and sell to you warm prospect list. Having a learned ability in selling will definitely change your position in life wherein you will be able to start something in the side. 

That's it for today. For any comments or questions please fill free to contact me at salesmentoronlinephilippines@gmail.com

Dedicated to your selling success.

Sales Mentor TM

Sales Meetings That Motivate

The purpose of a sales meeting is to motivate your people and get them prepared to focus on selling. All too often sales meetings become boring lectures, repetitive messages that really have nothing to do with selling your products, and then becomes a source of de-motivation rather than motivation and increased sales. Sales meetings that are unplanned are punishment for those that have to attend.

Sales meetings should be delivered every day and provide the team with information that gives them new hope and new solutions that will help them in increasing business. Most companies agree with daily sales meetings but then don't have them because they lack fresh and compelling content and soon find the meetings to be a waste of time. For sales meetings to be effective you must invest time and energy in making them interesting over and over again. The purposes of the meeting is not for the sake of a sales meeting but to: (1) Bring the team together and get cohesiveness as a selling team. (2) To motivate and provide the sales and management with hope of what is possible. (3) Prepare individual sales people with new techniques and solutions that will actually increase sales.

These meetings must be kept fresh, motivating, engage the audience and be upbeat. It's important that you don't waste your salespeoples' time, but also avoid overloading them with information that is just information. The meeting should be short, inspiring, provoking, positive and focused on SOLUTIONS! The key to almost any successful meeting is to make it interesting, useful, positive and short. Short means under twenty minutes.

Before you rally the troops for another sales meeting, consider some of the following ways to get the most out of your sales meetings:

a) Get the meeting off to a jump start and surprise your team with visual content that sets the stage and grabs their full attention. Use high impact video to make points, something that can really wake them up and get your team thinking. Here is an example of a wake up video called, You Can't Handle the Truth Sales Meeting. Don't just talk to people get their senses engaged, get them focused, and wakes them up! The major goal of the sales meeting is to offset the massive amounts of negative information your team has received in the last 24 hours from mass media.

b) Once you have their full attention then next focus on 'saving' business that was worked over the last days or weeks. The goal here is to get them thinking how we as a team can piece a transaction together and get the day started on a fast track.

c) Focus on the 'wins not the losses! Take a few minutes at every meeting to congratulate salespeople for any and all completed goals, closed deals, and successes. Praise reinforces positive behavior and encourages everyone to do well. Keep the discussion relevant and don't allow people to present problems unless they also have potential solutions.

Sales meetings should be daily, short, engaging, entertaining and interesting and focused on solutions and the positive not the negative. Your people are being trained whether you train them or not. The question is will you provide them with sales training daily or will you let the media train them. An effective sales meeting will motivate, entertain, engage and get your people focused on how to conquer sales. An effective sales meeting done on a daily basis will prove a great investment of time and energy when done correctly.

By: Grant Cardone (HuffingtonPost)

Friday, February 19, 2010

How Do You Evaluate Your Brand?

When it comes to marketing, maintaining a very good brand always allows a certain product to stand out from the rest. It defines it, and gives it a certain position in the entire pie of the market.

Specifically in the Philippines, "old companies" tend to take for granted the proper branding of their new product releases. In fact without the good product releases they had before, they would not have been taken into consideration by the market.

Relating this to our sales lessons, I want to cite a few but very important issues.

1. You have to know the position of the brand you are selling.

Be familiar with the details of your brand. Your market share, sales trends, your direct competitors, rational of features, and etc.
This will prepare you more in handling possible objections on your sales call with your prospect. With the kind of brand knowledge you have, you are able to add persuasion points on sales negotiation.

2. Having a proper background of your brand will help you see which buttons to push.

Again, this relates to know the needs and wants of your prospect. When you have complete know how of your brand, filling in the needs of your prospect allows you to sell in the most persuasive way possible.
Even to this day, whenever I attend a marketing cascade about a product, I still take note of the important details of a brand. Whether you are a season salesperson or a sales manager knowing your brand is vital to our selling success.

Anyway to learn more on how to evaluate you brand, here's another great post from McLellan Marketing Group.

If you want my views on why branding matters...check out these posts:

But let's assume you agree with me -- branding matters. If you think your company has a brand...how do you evaluate whether or not it's a good one?

Here are some criteria we use with clients when helping them either discover their brand or critique the one they have in place.

  • It's evergreen (this is not something you'll need to change on a regular basis. It will always be true about you.)
  • It's not a duh (if consumers already assume this about everyone in your category -- it can't be your brand.)
  • Memorable (If it doesn't stick, it won't work.)
  • The flag to rally around for your employees (Will they be excited and proud to help you achieve this brand?)
  • True - inside and out (You can't be one company to your customers and another to your employees)
  • A why or a how - not the what (how you create widgets differently or why you do it builds a brand..not that you make widgets. Everyone in your category makes widgets.)
  • Makes you a little nervous (A brand needs to be a bold promise to get noticed and to matter.)
  • Emotion based (We buy everything based on emotions. If your brand doesn't trigger an emotion, it will also not trigger a sale.)
  • Differentiate you (Isn't that what a brand is all about. It sets you apart from everyone else.)
  • Should dovetail with your mission/vision (Your internal goals and your public brand should be aligned or else one of them is off base.)
  • From the consumer's point of view (it's about them after all!)
  • I can tell -- it matters to me (the consumer has to be able to recognize and evaluate your brand promise. If you make the promise but I can't figure out if you kept it or not, we have trouble.)
  • Big enough to trigger a buying decision (your point of difference has to be significant enough that I'd open my wallet)

If you can say "yes, that's my brand" to most of these criteria -- you have a brand that will endure and that your employees, customers and community will embrace and support. But if you can't get a 10 out of 12 on this little test (it requires quite a bit of candor) then you know it's back to the drawing board.

To read more click the source below.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Features and Benefits

Basic Selling Lesson #2

Features and Benefits – What’s the big difference?

I remember my Sales Manager told me this before, “convert our product features into customer benefits and ultimately increase the number of productive calls you make in a day”.

Now I would like to rephrase what my Sales Manager said, “a product’s Feature can only describe or tell what the product is all about, but only custom-fit Benefits can convince the prospect to buy”. Of course, the features can certainly create a buyer’s interest but until a salesperson can convert that interest into custom-fit benefits, the buyer is still considered a prospect because he has not made up his mind into buying the product.

To make it simple, let’s define it this way – “Features only tell and custom-fit Benefits sell”.

Here are some examples


- has vitamins A & B

- automatic timer

- auto lock system

Translating this into benefits:

- Mr. Prospect our product is filled with vitamins A & B which will greatly make your kids stronger and healthier, therefore saving you cost for buying additional benefits (like vitamins or medicines).

- Mr. Prospect with the automatic timer settings in our air conditioner, you have the freedom to turn off the system by itself and then save electricity

- Mr. Prospect with our new auto lock system, you do not have to worry of leaving your car unlocked since you can choose a time delay for the automatic locking

Actually the great sales trainer Dick Gardner said it best, “features cost us money and benefits takes home the money”. While both are crucial for the sales process, the conversion of the features into benefits should be the main focus of a salesperson’s persuasion in the prospect’s mind.

Let me end this lesson by telling you a story.

Back when I was an Account Specialist for one of the biggest ice cream brands in the Philippines, I thought of getting a sideline to increase my monthly net earnings. During that early stage in my career, I already knew that being dependent in one income stream will not give me the kind of life I dreamed of.

On the weekends I joined an insurance company that sell investments, mutual funds, term-life insurance, health care, and death plans. I went there for three consecutive weekends to undergo training for different plan presentations. They taught us how to make a prospect’s list, how to get an appointment and etcetera. After that I was on my own to sell. Since I had a regular list of customers, thanks to my day job, I scheduled for an appointment with one of my closest customers who has an ice-cream shop (in the Philippines we call it a “suki customer”).

In my sales call, my presentation was superb. I was following what my sales insurance mentor taught me. I pushed for the higher benefit plans. I mentioned good examples and situations. I felt I had him in the palm of my hands but suddenly when I tried to close, he would not buy.

I got confused. He told me so many reasons why it was not good to buy, and one big reason he told me was “your products are good but I don’t think it can do anything for me”. When I heard those words, I immediately realized that I was not acting as a co-buyer to the customer.

It dawned on me that I was just presenting to him and mentioned only other people’s stories but I never really converted it to his personal Benefits. I knew then that I have to give him what he needs. Then I remembered this phrase “Features tell, Benefits sell”. So with that in mind, I immediately went back to the first stage of negotiation. I went through all the presentation again and this time I mentioned the features and custom-fit benefits that he would gain from it.

I ended up selling my first insurance sale, and gaining one important lesson that I will never forget.

Again it is this simple, “Features tell, Benefits Sell”.

Well that’s it for today. Join me again for my next coming post.

Dedicated to your selling success,

Sales Mentor TM

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How to turn SOCIAL NETWORKING into sales!

Social networking tools like Face Book, Linked In and Twitter are not just social networking tools but should be used as ways to create relationships and create real sales. This is a whole new world that is exploding with sales opportunities and not just a way to find old college buddies. Social networking is for more than just making connections but for making sales! 

Go into this with the idea that you are going to use social networking to increase your contacts, get them thinking and talking about you and then covert those contacts into contracts! Unfortunately or fortunately depending on who you are, most people are just using this tool to entertain and waste time. 

Getting started is as simple as entering your email address into any of these sites, what you do with after that is what counts. Focus on what image you want to create and how to get people to see your site and the creative ideas of how to stay connected with those people. 

Getting to the right person at the right time with the right presentation is what creates the sale. And that is what these sites can and should do for you. With the economy much tighter it is critical that salespeople increase the number of opportunities they personally create and not wait for something to happen. Social networking tools are transforming the salesperson's sales efforts.

First, understand this is not a place to waste time and meander but to connect with those that can propel your business. When I use social networking I am looking to connect with those that can either promote my business or directly see and buy my products. If my old college mates can help me great then go after them but that should not be your primary purpose when using these tools.

Your Sales Mentor's Opinion:

Hi everyone, I got this post from Technorati. I think this is where the future is going. 
As salespeople we too should be looking to the future and be open to the changes even before it happens, so that we are always a step ahead. Although for now not many Filipinos take advantage of this social media sites (it is still a good site to keep in touch with friends by the way), but we too have to learn how to take advantage of this sites as one of our best selling areas in which we can use even for free. 

We can even open new accounts connected to, or related to the products/services we are selling, and inform a lot of possible prospects just by befriending them and adding getting our accounts added to their list of contacts.

The key here is on how to choose the prospects and to look for groups which you think will be interested in what you are selling. 

To continue reading the Article of Grant Cardone please click here.

Want to learn more about the internet and how to earn from it?
Meet my friend James Parmis and click his written name and subscribe to his blog. He will teach you the step by step process on how to earn online. 
Anyway that's it for our sales lesson update, hope you had fun reading my article.

Dedicated to your selling success,

Sale Mentor TM

Friday, February 12, 2010

Are you playing the competitor's game?

I'm not good at sitting idle.  So if I am stuck waiting for some reason, I get antsy.  To kill that time, I'll fire up my smart phone and play a game (or two) of Hearts.  In the game, by default I am player south.  (4 players sitting around a table, each designated by a direction.)
My arch nemesis is player north.  He is the shrewdest of the computerized players and if anyone is going to beat me, it's him.  (Stay with me, I promise there is a marketing message in here!)

I have played Hearts (usually with real people so don't feel too sorry for me!) for many years and I'm pretty good.  I have a sound strategy that has been time tested so I rarely need to vary from it.  But...the fact that north is good and is my most worthy opponent throws me off that track.

I find that I play differently when I am overly-conscious of trying to beat him in particular.  And in fact, the more I purposely change the way I play to thwart him....the more I lose. If I stay disciplined enough to play my own game my own way -- I rarely lose.
(Did you notice the marketing message I snuck in there?)

We all run the same risk in running our businesses and planning our marketing.  Way too many businesses invest too much time and energy worrying about what their competitor is doing.  Then, they change their own game plan to chase after the other guy -- emulating or trying to outdo.

I found this great site which discusses practical marketing strategies that will definitely help us improve our sales carriers and future business. 
This article is from Drew McLellan a top Dog McLellan Marketing Group. As a salesperson I have long understood that for us to improve we need to be completely open and aware of the new and current ideas that are available for us. Yet with this concept from Drew, we are reminded that we also need to "stick with our own guns" if we want to have our own cut of the total Marketshare
To continue reading Drew's article please click here.
I assure you Drew will give you great advice on your marketing endeavors.

Again see you next time. 

Dedicated to your selling success,

Sales Mentor TM

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekly Philippines Sales Update - Export Sector

Future Plans on the Export Sector - A new IndustryJustify Full
A new export plan that will guide public and private sector efforts to grow the sector will likely focus on maintaining the Philippines’ market share as the global economy exits the downturn, officials yesterday said.

The 2011-2013 Philippine Export Development Plan is up for drafting starting today in a workshop to be led by the Export Development Council (EDC).

"For now we will just have to find programs to continue. It won’t be overly ambitious and will be instead more for market holding," EDC Executive Director Senen M. Perlada said in a telephone interview.

"We will only be drafting the framework and will await the imprimatur of the next administration," Mr. Perlada added, noting that a change of leaders would be due in June following the May national elections.

The 2008-2010 plan, he said, was based on the broad Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan. As there is yet a new medium-term road map in place, the new export industry road map will have to use earlier plans as bases in the meantime.

Sought for comment, EDC Vice-Chairman Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr., who represents the private sector, similarly said the new plan would likely echo the 2008-2010 version.

"It will be more or less the same, focusing on the same markets and winners," Mr. Ortiz-Luis said in a separate telephone interview.

The previous plan aimed to emphasize the country’s competitive advantages, analyze value chains to strengthen production, and bolster public-private sector partnership for export promotion and development activities.

It tagged the following products as the sector’s revenue streams: electronics, textiles and apparel, automotive products and parts, food, home decor, organic products, and construction materials. The export of construction and information-technology enabled services was likewise eyed.

Growth for the sector would have been achieved through product diversification, market expansion and the optimum use of trade agreements, the plan stated.

"We will revise it slightly because of what happened, the crisis. But it is a rolling plan," Mr. Ortiz-Luis said.

Also up on the agenda at the two-day workshop is a review of the EDC’s operations, Mr. Perlada said.

"Part of the workshop will be to revisit the council itself," he said.

Amid the global economic crisis, merchandise export sales fell by a quarter to $35.004 billion from January to November, according to latest official data. This came after sales flattened in 2008 to $46.332 billion.

The EDC has been in charge of vetting export promotion and development project proposals that proponents want funded from a P1-billion facility. The council had released just P11.6 million by end-2009, or roughly 1% of the fund, even as exporters railed for more support amid the economic downturn. - BusinessWorld

Jessica Anne D. Hermosa


My Opinion

Being practical, I think Mr. Ortiz should really take into consideration what products we will get our revenue streams from.
I do not think that the world economy is back on its feet. When we were born we start to crawl, then slowly we walk, then we walk well, then we run, then learn to ride a bike and so on. We should be doing the same thing in our approach to export sector.
As a sales "evangelist", I have always taken in to heart to make realistic goals. We all know that improving the export gross yearly sales, will entail a lot of marketing and promotions. Just like in a sales recovering business, we look to our strengths to get back on our feet which is our cheap and quality labor, abundances in resources, and organic products (which is currently a great trend today in the world market).
EDC (Export Development Council) will not be able to handle this sector alone. With the presidential elections fast approaching, I implore all Filipinos to be vigilant in choosing a well economic oriented new president. Our new president will be one of the biggest keys (in the macroeconomic level) to improve our economy and hence improve the sales that many of us are trying to achieve.

In summary, I believe that the export sector will be the key source in which we will be able to grow the Philippines internal businesses and with no reason that is should be taken for granted. We as salespeople should also be aware of the current new trends in the market, and take advantage of it. As Warren Buffet says it - "the trend is you friend". Hence, it is within us to forecast on what we should improve in the future.

That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed my weekly Philippines sales update.

Dedicated to your selling success.

Sales Mentor TM

Basic Selling Lesson

If you want to sell anything, it has to start with this basic lesson.

“Our prospects will only buy when they believe our product/service can provide for them a need, a desire, or a want that they have.”

If you are serious on earning money from a sales career, whether you are currently an employee for an international company, just starting to sell for a multi-level direct selling or maybe pursuing the entrepreneurial path, this should be the Mindset that you should be following and taking into heart.
I believe that with this guideline alone, you as a salesperson already have a head start among others who just blankly follow what their managers tell them to do, which is just to sell.

Back when I was still a child, I remember I asked my father if he could buy me an acoustic guitar. His simple answer was “show me that you need it, and I will buy you one”. As an eleven year old, that didn’t really make sense to me but since I was really eager to learn to play music, I borrowed my friend's guitar and practice often until I could play a full-length song. Only then did my father surprised me and bought me new acoustic guitar.
With that example alone, we can evaluate that once we have provided the prospects need (in this case my father is the prospect)
, selling is definitely easy.

Like what Robert Kiyosaki said in his book Sales Dogs, “find out what the person needs and getting him to buy will be easier”.

A reminder to the corporate world:

I’ve seen many good companies in the Philippines that had superior products, yet they did not achieve their expectations with it because they were in the “wrong” market. They spend so much in marketing and promotions only to realize after a few years that they are positioning that product in an area where it has a weak affinity or appeal to the target market. Although I know that we learn best from our mistakes, yet corporate management should really take into consideration the feedback from the front liners who are the ones really marketing the product.

Going back with our selling lesson.
You as a salesperson already have an overview and even before approaching a prospect, you should have asked the question "does this prospect have a need, want, desire for my product?".
With that question alone, you can somehow foresee the possible objections that the prospect will throw at you. When we sell it is important that we have already started the selling process in our mind, with this we become persuasive in every level of the sales negotiation.

In a nutshell our job as a salesperson is to provide that need, that want, that desire. Or it can be to help the prospect to realize that they have that need, that want, and that desire. Jim Robbin says it well - "we become as a co-buyer for our prospect".

Now how do we do that? We show them the benefits and the features of what we are selling in which will be fit for their wants and needs.

This is what we will talk about on my next post.

That's it for today. Do not forget to leave your comments below.

Dedicated to you selling success,

Sales Mentor TM.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Who Should Gain the Most?

Before we go to the details on the selling process, I just want to emphasize a very important point that I have observed most Filipino salespeople lack.
“The Winner or the one that should gain the most should always be the customer.”
(I’m obviously assuming that the product you are selling is legitimate, is fairly priced, and will perform as expected).

The customer is KING and he should be treated as one. He is and will always be our number one priority. This has been my guide and the key to my continuous success in selling. Let’s face it my selling friend, our profession would not have survived this long if all Pinoy salespeople only focused on making themselves better.

During my early days as an Account Specialist (my hairline was not receding then and was really “macho”), I’ve seen how my fellow Specialists complain often about how our customers were gaining too much yet our commissions were not that high. We forget that all these years, the Sales Profession has always been booming because of the growing number of prospects we have; the Kings and the Queens. Thankfully, I wasn’t their kind so I was able to progress rather fast than most of my colleagues.

As your sales mentor, I have a responsibility to remind you that we should be giving more value on our customers than the monetary value we are receiving. This and only this will be the ultimate reason that we can build a long lasting relationship with our customers. In fact, we as a Sales Force should consider that our customers are the pillars of our growth and label them as our business-partners.

As the great sales trainer Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough people to get what they want”. In my own words, our initial intention should be to help meet the needs of our customers and not vice versa. We as salespeople must be by nature problem solvers, and thru our product/service, we should be able to provide our customers with what they really need so in return we will then get our desired results.

The customer is always the big winner – He is King!

That's it for today, join me again next time.

Dedicated to you selling success!
Sales Mentor TM

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