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Silicon Valley Sales Group, Inc. | Santa Clara, CA
 

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Hamish Knox

A leader's most important task is to create clarity for themselves and their organization. Without personal clarity life satisfaction decreases and complacency sets in. Without organizational clarity productivity suffers and turnover increases

Think back on your sales appointments over the past two weeks. How often did you use each of the following: "is there anything…" "could you…" "would you…" "can I" "I'll follow up on… does that work for you?" Each of those questions creates an automatic reflexive (Pavlovian) response in our prospects. The response to the first four is typically "no" and to the last one is "sure (but I won't answer)"

Your brain can be an enemy or an ally in achieving your goals, but because of the way we talk about our goals we often turn our brain against us. The average human brain is about 2 percent of our total body weight, yet it consumes 20 percent of the energy we burn daily. Because our brain is such an energy pig, it guards against threats that could reduce the amount of energy available to it

If you are unaware of the relationship between ambiguity, anxiety and fear, then you are probably lengthening your sales cycle and reducing your close rate. When you sit across from a prospect, no matter how long or personal your relationship, you are still a salesperson who your prospect fears will sell them something instead of allowing them to buy

Creating an effective sales pipeline can be a massive headache for sales leaders because reps have been known to stuff the pipeline with opportunities that have zero chance of closing. In a previous life, I took over a product specialist role selling a web-based media monitoring and crisis communications program. My first six weeks in that role was spent culling a $3 million pipeline down to $160,000 of real, qualified opportunities

So when did you start saying, "I'll get to that tomorrow" when it comes to your goals for 2014? January 2? January 10? Did you make it all the way to the Super Bowl before giving up? If you've fallen short of a goal already or are on pace to fall short before the end of the year, you're trapped in the procrastination triangle. What is the procrastination triangle? Draw an equal sided triangle. Label the top "no goals," the bottom left "no plan" and the bottom right "no discipline."

The CEO of an IT services company recently shared his belief with me that every two years for one hour, his prospects are so angry with their existing supplier that his company had a chance to take the business away from his competitor. This is not an unusual belief. He was talking about demand fulfillment, which is safe and easy

As a manager, executive or owner, the only valuable you possess is your time. To successfully manage your time and grow your business, ask yourself the following question daily: "Does 'it' advance my business?" ("It," being whatever activity you are doing or about to start.) Let's take a look at several examples, which might resonate with you. Activity – Understanding your direct reports' personal goals Does it advance my business? Absolutely

I read an article recently that slammed sales people for using the "hard sell" tactic of asking for a decision at the end of a presentation. To paraphrase David Sandler, don't make presentations without a prior commitment to make a "no" or "yes" at the end of the presentation. Two valuables a sales person possesses are information and time. Making presentations without a commitment by a prospect to make a choice between "no" and "yes" at the end is a waste of both. Now, there are two instances when asking for a decision at the end of a presentation is a hard sell tactic

Here's a quick acid test of your hiring-to-turnover ratio. How often are one of these phrases heard in your company? - I'm not a micro-manager. - I hired them to... - They know what they're supposed to do... If our business world was homogenous then those phrases would be correct because every sales job would be exactly like every other sales job. Every expense filing procedure would be exactly the same at every company and every role would have exactly the same weekly behavior expectations