When it comes to hiring staff it is important to remember that the people that you surround yourself with have the ability to bring you up or break you down.  What you should be looking for in a teammate is somebody that will support you and hold you to high standards. 

The ability to question your decisions objectively is a great quality in a staff member, but too much negativity or resistance to conform to your organization's processes is a detriment to your business.

Here are six qualities to look for in current or prospective employees that will indicate whether or not your employee is, or will be, a valuable part of your team.

1.  Energy.  Our motto at SalesPartners is, "Highest energy wins."  Energy is contagious, it makes people gravitate to you.  Are your staff members inquisitive, engaging, positive, always looking to help?

2.  Insatiable Desire to Win.  Are your staff always looking to be the best, or are they just waiting for the day's end to pick up their paycheck?

3.  Willingness to Let A Teammate Win.  Are your star players willing to sit the bench and cheer on another if it's best for the team?

4.  Personal Responsibility.  Are your staff members able to own up their mistakes without blaming others or justifying their actions.

5.  Submission to the Code.  Does your staff member follow, and agree with, the rules?

6.  Unique Talent or Ability.  When you assemble your team make sure that you put them in their proper role.  You want each staff member to be focused on what they do best.

If your team members, or perspective members, don't posses all of these qualities then maybe they are just not a good fit for your company.

If you are having problems with a team member you'd be well advised to meet with them and discuss their goals to assure that everybody is on the same page.

For more information on the six qualities of a great team player please refer to Blair Singer's book The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins.
The skill:  Objection handling.  The process:  Ask an open ended question.  That's it, it's just that simple.  If you use this method instead of walking away from the first "no" that you get you will vastly improve your sales numbers.  

When you approach your customer with a sales proposition the first response is rarely the full truth.  The skill is to be able to move the customer to another level where he or she will provide the real truth.  

Only then does your opportunity to close the sale become real.  Once you have mastered this skill, your results will skyrocket!  You will sell more than you ever have, faster and with much, much less work.  

So, how do you respond to a "no"?  Do you get frustrated and storm away or try to argue your case with the customer?  

Blair Singer says that, "when your emotions are high your intelligence is low."  

When a customer throws an objection your way just remember to stay calm.  Then start by acknowledging the objection and be sympathetic to their problems.  Say something like, "I understand," or "I'm sorry to hear that."  

Then follow the acknowledgement with an open ended question designed to get them to the real reason they said no.  

The following is an example of how to handle a common objection using this method:  


"We have already decided on another supplier."  


"Thank you for letting me know that.  What caused you to make that decision?"  

"I understand.  What was it about the competitor/other option that you liked?"  

"I'm sorry to hear that.  What was it about my product/service that you didn't like?"  

These questions will keep them talking to you.  Remember you want to gather as much information about them as you can.  Keep asking questions, the person asking questions is the one in control of the conversation.  

You want to try and help them solve their problems.  If you can solve their problems at a reasonable price you will make a sale.  

For more on this sales process please contact your local SalesPartner today, or refer to our SalesDogs Training School Kit (featuring flash cards containing preferred responses to the most common objections in sales.)
We often address the topics of objection handling, and finding your target market in order to increase your success in first-time sales, however, repeat customers should be a huge priority for your business especially in a recession.

The trick to creating repeat customers is simply:  keeping your promises, or following up.

If you look at the sales process as a whole the first step is to make a promise to a customer.  In order to close a sale you have to promise that your product or service will improve the quality of your customer's life.

The reason that sales has such a bad name is that, though some greatly exaggerate the results of their product or service, many times salespeople do and say what is necessary to get the sale and forget to follow through with their client.

If the product or service doesn't live up to the client's expectations (expectations that you built during the sale) then they will perceive you as a liar and will probably speak ill of you and your company.

If you follow up with your clients on a regular basis, by phone or in person is preferable, you will be able to handle complaints that they may not be comfortable bringing to you.  Thus giving you the chance to keep disgruntled customers in your favor.

Believe it or not, by inviting a client to complain you may even have the opportunity to up-sale them.  Often times customers, in attempt to be frugal, will go for a less expensive item that isn't what they really needed or wanted.

If you follow up and find out about their disappointment you will have the opportunity to improve their situation and make an additional sale.  It's a win-win.

Needless to say the follow-up should be an integral part of your business system.  Your employees should have regular obligations to ask your customers:

"Are you happy with your experience so far?"

Or something of the sort.  If the answer is yes, great!  If no, then invite them to complain and handle their objections accordingly.

For more information on how to handle objections please refer to our SalesDogs Training School Kit.
Code of Honor Training Kit  

Once a group decides that it wants to really operate as a tight high performance team, it must set the operating tolerances at varying degrees of tightness depending on how high performance they want to be.  Most organizations have operational standards for producing and delivering their goods or services, but have no behavioral standards that govern the conduct between team members or clients. 

Standards must be created by the team itself and should be created based upon the specific behavioral upsets and or problems that are unique to that team.  Standards must also be policed by the team itself.  In other words if a standard is breached any or all team members are obligated to "call it."    

There is an appropriate time, place and way to call it that does not humiliate the offending individual.  Remember that public criticism is very difficult for most people to take well. 
Here are some hints on "calling it":

1.      Use non-threatening language and tonality.  Cool off if necessary first.  

2.      Use the word "we" and appeal to the benefit of the team rather than making it a personal issue.

3.      Best to call another person on something in private, one-to-one.

4.      Qualify your concern about their reaction if necessary and your true intent in improving life for everyone concerned... not about 'blazing' anyone.  Lead with personal fears, emotions and considerations in the beginning of the conversation (i.e.  "I have been a bit afraid to communicate this to you for fear of...") 

For more on teamwork, employee conduct and the five remaining tips on "calling it" please refer to our Code of Honor Training Kit.