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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

Top 10 Things People in Sales Worry About

Posted on Thu, May 15, 2014

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I am in the throes of a white paper discussing, and addressing the "Top 10 Things Salespeople and Managers Worry About" inside and outside of work.

Here is my list. I would love your thoughts and what additions you might make to this list.

  1. Dealing with Pressure
  2. Making Quota
  3. Differentiating Themselves and Their Offer
  4. Work/Life Balance
  5. Making Money
  6. Being Noticed
  7. Dealing with Rampant Change
  8. Doing More with Less Resource
  9. Job Security
  10. Getting to the Decision Maker

What do you think? What would you add to this list? Email me at

Tags: Sales, Sales, Sales Advice, b2bSales

Thinking is Overrated for Salespeople - Be More Mindful

Posted on Tue, Apr 22, 2014

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Thinking is Overrated

If you think about it (pun intended) we think WAY TOO MUCH. We use our thinking brain for almost everything. That is like the old adage of thinking every problem is a like a nail, so the only tool we need is a hammer (or something like that).

 What we don't use enough, or at all, is awareness or mindfulness, which in many instances is more important and relevant than thinking. Or at a minimum should be as present as thinking is. How can we define thinking vs. awareness? A simple comparison is:

 “Thinking” is when your mind creates thoughts about the situation you are in which are almost always based on past experiences, preconceived notions and our preferences around that situation.

 “Awareness” is being in the present moment with as little or few filters as possible, including thoughts. It is a more direct interaction with what is happening since you are experiencing it more directly. It is like having someone tell you about an experience vs experiencing it yourself.

 Awareness or mindfulness is as important, if not more so than thinking. Why:

  • thinking doesn’t allow us to see situations as clearly as possible since they are always filtered by the past and what we want or don't want
  • thinking limits us to the limits of our knowledge, experience and intelligence
  • thinking is one dimensional (the brain thinking) where awareness or mindfulness can be multi-dimensional

So, lets apply this to some basic sales situations:

  • you meet somebody with a preconceived notion so you ask and hear things based on that vs. what a person is actually saying or experiencing
  • With an overdependence on thinking, or “thinking on your feet” (which is an important skill) you may not be seeing or hearing things that are being said non-verbally (feelings, reactions, etc.)
  • You are thinking one or two steps ahead, anticipating what might happen (again an important skill) vs. what actually is happening and reacting to that, or worse, not seeing or hearing what is actually being said because your brain has taken you somewhere else
  • You are trying to “figure out” where an objection is coming from vs. being present and aware and tuning in to a person’s feelings around what is being said, which is much more important than the words

I hope you can see the importance of being more aware when you sell or being aware and thinking are better together.

Let me know what you think. And/or, if you agree spread the word by tweeting or facebooking, linking this in, carrier pidgeon, smoke signals, etc. You know, the basics.


Tags: Objection Handling, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Productivity, Presentations, b2bSales

Sales Tip - 16 Questions to Ask About Budget

Posted on Tue, Sep 24, 2013

Asking about budget is a very sensitive issue and needs to be done delicately. Below are 16 ways or questions you can ask about a budget. These can be asked at various times in the sales process.

  1. Is there a budget for this project
  2. How much is it
  3. Can you give me a rough idea or estimate or range
  4. Who was involved in setting the budget
  5. What % of the overall project is the budget for what we are discussing
  6. What elements went into the budget
  7. Is the budget approved
  8. Is it an op ex or cap ex
  9. What are the different signatures required to get the budget
  10. Are you competing for this budget or is it a line item for you
  11. What can make this budget disappear
  12. Whose budget/money is it
  13. If not budgeted, how do you get money
  14. Is there a precedent you can use that would be successful
  15. Where is the most perilous path in spending the money
  16. What internal or external obstacles can prevent this budget being allocated

Tags: b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Tips, Sales Productivity, b2bSales

Sales Tips - 7 Items vs Discounting and Negotiation Timing

Posted on Tue, Sep 17, 2013

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Most opportunities have a price sensitivity and also a time sensitivity. Too often the assumption is that the discount (if you are giving one) has to be offered immediately which is never good for the salesperson. It implies a willingness to do so and to do more of it.

A better way of dealing with this issue is to:

  • understand when a decision is going to be made so you don't offer something too early to the prospect
  • understand what the prospect is trying to achieve with your offer
  • in turn, know what has more value than a discount to a prospect and offer them these things instead
  • some of the categories these other items of value might be are:
    1. services
    2. time
    3. additional capabilities
    4. guarantees
    5. set-up
    6. upgrades
    7. flexibility in payment terms

 The other thing to remember is you don't have to give them anything or give them a discount right away. If they are truly interested, you can take your time (being conscious of their decision time frame) whether is an hour, a few hours or a few days before getting back to them.

You should also get their commitment that if you do give them what they are looking for that they will buy from you. It doesn't mean they will say yes, but you should ask anyway.

Tags: Sales Skills, b2b Sales, b2b Sales, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Negotiations, b2bSales

Salespeople, 22 Tips for 2014 -- Another New Year!

Posted on Wed, Jan 02, 2013

 Salespeople, 22 Tips for 2013 -- Another New Year!

If you haven’t started already, now or even this week is a good time to start planning for 2014. Here are some of the ways to do it and questions to ask yourself:


  1. Do I know where my success came from last year? What did I do to make things happen and be a successful salesperson?
  2. Do I know where I want to put my efforts into this year? Are they the same as last year or different?  Have I created smart goals for myself?
  3. Which of my offerings has real advantages that I should take advantage of?
  4. Are there particular vertical markets or segments that I want to focus on?
  5. What people, sales technology and resources will I surround myself with so I can get help when I need it?
  6. What will I:
    1. Continue doing or do more of that is working
    2. Stop doing that is in the way of my success
    3. Start doing that is needed because of market conditions or opportunities
  7. Who at work or home do I need to help me stay disciplined enough to the things that are most important?
  8. What have I been putting off that needs to be done?
  9. Have I targeted the accounts I want to sell?
  10. Do I know the one or two that would really put me over the top?
  11. Am I using social media, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. to keep me in touch with the people and events that are critical to my success?
  12. Am I using free services like Google Alerts to do the same?
  13. What support mechanisms do I have to keep balanced?
  14. What is my quick start program so I have a great quarter and make the rest of the year a “little” easier?
  15. Are my manager and I on the same page so he/she supports me vs. interferes?
  16. Can you tell yourself what you are or are not willing to do so you are happy and successful?
  17. Can you identify what motivates you, or like most about your job so you can spend as much time and do it as often as possible?
  18. If your compensation plan is here, do you know how you will make the most money from it?
  19. Do you know your offering inside and out so you can present it in more ways, with more effect than your competition or co-workers?
  20. Can you be more organized and/or effective by being more focused and wasting less time in a day?
  21. Can you identify the 3 or 4 most important priorities for your success?
  22. Can you create an image for yourself of what short and long term success looks and feels like to keep yourself motivated, positive?


    Please let me know if you would like to talk or I can help in any way. I wish you the best, healthiest, most fulfilling 2014.

    Tags: Sales Cycles, Sales Skills, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, Sales Effectiveness, S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue, Prospecting, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, Coaching, Sales Productivity, LinkedIn, Sales Process, technology enabled selling, b2bSales