Articles by Aaron Prickel

Presentation Before Diagnosis is Sales Malpractice

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Every once in a while we do things that help us learn a lesson or make for a great teaching moment, I am 99% positive my Dad did not have this planned out but it was a great lesson and one I am passing down to others.

I received a call from my Dad a while back. He retired 2 years ago from being an over-the-road Truck Driver. If you don’t know anyone in this profession (in my mind one hardest/most stressful professions) one common thing among Drivers is they are known to have bad backs from sitting in a seat for millions of miles. In the middle of our conversation he proceeds to tell me how his back has been starting to bother him again. I didn’t think twice and I proceeded to tell him to go buy a medicine ball that he could lay on and stretch his back out. He hesitated for a minute then said “ok.”

About one week later I am talking to my Dad and I asked him how his back is doing. He proceeds to tell me that it is actually getting worse since he has been trying to stretch it over the ball. I am starting to really worry about him and told him he needed to call a Chiropractor. He has an appointment with a Chiropractor who finds out the REAL problem. My dad had hurt his knee, and because of that he was favoring the bad knee which was causing the muscles on one side of his back to work harder than the other to compensate for how he was walking. The Chiropractor was able to help relieve some pain but sent him to a knee specialist to fix the REAL problem.

He calls to give me the verdict of the appointment. Tells me how the medicine ball would have never solved his pain and his knee was the real problem. I told him he should have called my sister (she is the smart one….initials after her name, works at IU med center) and I was just in “sales.” Something in my brain then clicked and the lesson learned came. He came to me with a problem, I made a bunch of assumptions and I was excited to tell him about what I could do to help him without understanding the real problem! Sound familiar?? I was talking with my wife about this and she makes this comment “thankfully when you are talking to prospects you don’t treat them like your dad.”

From that time on it has helped reinforce one of our main beliefs. Script before diagnosis is malpractice. I don’t perform malpractice with prospects/clients. I just need to do the same with family members when they come to me with a problem!

Aaron Prickel
Lushin & Associates, Inc.
317-218-1913
aaron@lushin.com

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Salespeople That are Passionate Truly Believe What They Sell Helps

Monday, November 15th, 2010


During a training session with a client the entire sales force was in the room, all from different locations. I noticed two particular individuals who had completely different personalities and located in 2 different states which meant they only spoke when the entire company was together. After a short time frame I finally heard this statement from one of the reps to the other: “Your bubbly-ness is overbearing!” The other rep replied with “I am just an enthusiastic person!”

This led to a nice discussion among the group. How many of us have seen that sales person who is overbearing? The one where everything is always absolutely perfect and your instinct tells you this may not be the case? Enter enthusiasm vs passion. I asked the group what do you think the difference is? The majority of them all agreed on this answer:

Enthusiasm can be forced or fake, Passion is sincere and what drives people to strive for more.

Next time you are in front of a prospect ask yourself: are you enthusiastic about your business or are you passionate? People who are passionate truly believe what they do helps people. They challenge prospects in a nurturing way because they know they are in business for a reason. People who are enthusiastic may find themselves making a lot of friends and NOT making a lot of sales.

Aaron Prickel
Lushin & Associates, Inc.
317-218-1913
aaron@lushin.com

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Non-transferable Skills: Don’t Let them Doom your Company to Mediocrity

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Aaron Prickel BioBy now every business owner has heard the phrase “you should work on the business not in the business,” but this is easier said than done. This philosophy is where a lot of owners get stuck. Typically the owner is the number one salesperson even among sales reps they have hired to generate more business. The owner is left feeling discouraged because the passion that made them successful isn’t visible in their people. This common problem that business owners face is called non-transferable skills. Non-transferable skills occur when the business owner is successful in sales but when they try to ‘transfer’ their sales skills to their salespeople they don’t achieve the same results.

Recently I had a conversation with a new client who made the comment that I hear too often in my line of work, “Aaron, I told my sales rep what I would say and how I would handle the situation but the deal fell through anyway.” After I explained the definition of non-transferable skills, I informed him this common problem happens for a few key reasons. First as a business owner there is a different mentality and level of passion that comes with growing something of your own. Second, everyone is unique, using the same techniques and messages as the business owner won’t translate the same through everyone. Salespeople have to be authentic to their prospects to be successful; if they don’t come off genuine the prospect will pick that up. Finally, the business owner could be a wing-it star. This term describes a salesperson that is good at what they do but don’t have a strategy or process that they consistently follow. This type of salesperson will give multiple ways of handling the same sales situation which leads to confusion for the sales reps asking for assistance.
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Don’t Put Your Business into the Commodity Box

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Aaron Prickel Bio 

 

 

The most common issue business owners have been expressing to me is that their business is becoming a commodity. When salespeople make it all about a low price to separate your business from your competition, they are making your company’s product or service a commodity. When your salespeople start selling this way they put your business inside what I like to call the commodity box. From inside the box you are not competing on quality, service or the key indicator that separates you from your competitor. Instead you find yourself competing on price which puts the prospect in control and makes you look like everyone else!

 

There are two main reasons dragging businesses into the commodity box.  The first one is your salespeople may be in a scarcity mindset, meaning they feel like they must win every opportunity no matter what since there are not a lot of potential jobs out there. In this mindset they will chase any prospect and do what ever it takes to get the prospects business. Your sales people might even start the sales call off with “I can save you money” which automatically, your business has become commoditized and the two areas that you as a business owner have worked hardest on in building your brand, your quality and service, is now measured in how much money your sales people can save your prospects. 

 

The second main reason is due to your salespeople not differentiating themselves from the competition. Because of this your prospect has a difficult time understanding what is truly different when it comes to quality and service (since everyone says they have great quality and service) which makes price a logical and easy way to develop a decision. This puts the prospect in complete control and now you and your competition are negotiating price and driving down your already thin bottom line.

 

Selling this way causes the business to suffer. Its quality and service that the business was built on is questioned. Prospects will now know that your price is negotiable and can work your salespeople. Your business is grouped with everyone else and your ability to stand out among the crowd is lost.

 

There are four key components to help keep your business from becoming a commodity.

 

  1. Have an abundance mentality, not a scarcity mentality.  Act as if your pipeline was jammed full, I will guarantee you will be selling different.  Truly understand who your ideal prospect is and look for them.  No need to waste time with prospects that don’t meet your standards, focus on prospects you can truly help and they will compensate you accordingly for it.

 

  1. Don’t jump off the starting line immediately talking about price.  If you set this expectation early the prospect will use this as a key factor in their decision.  Help set the stage you may not be the cheapest person out there and help them discover why they would be willing to pay more.

 

  1. Dig deep and get to the true compelling reason why the prospect wants your service. Once you help a prospect realize why they need you and why they truly want to fix their problem you will be seen as an advisor instead of a vendor.

 

 

  1. The last and most important is to ask good hard hitting questions. One of Sandler’s cardinal rules is; “You build more credibility by the questions you ask versus the statements you make.” The easiest way to quickly build credibility is by asking questions your prospect does not hear from your competition.

 

 

Don’t allow your salespeople and your prospects to put your business in the commodity box. Your business was built on the quality and service that has gotten it to where it is now. Don’t stoop down to the level of playing the price game.  If you do you will find your margins becoming thinner, profits decreasing and your perceived value from prospects diminishing.  If you are seen as a vendor, you will be treated like a commodity. If you take an abundance mentality, set the stage that you might not be the cheapest, find the compelling reason why the prospect wants your help, and ask questions to build your credibility, you will be seen as an advisor to your prospect and be treated like a partner.

 

 

Aaron Prickel

Lushin & Associates, Inc.

317-218-1913

aaron@lushin.com

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