Wow. Fantastic read that is completely applicable to sales and ALL interactions. Chris was head FBI hostage negotiator and takes us through the psychology of the bad guys. But it is the empathy and understanding of the other sides perspective that is important here. It is the same in sales. Chris gives a ton of practical tips and tricks. THIS IS A MUST READ

A few key takeaways:

  • Listening. It must be active. Mirror: Reflect back on what you hear. Use Silence as a tool.

  • Summarize regularly. Say “that’s right”, not “yes”.

  • Forget getting to Yes.Focus on NO. That is where negotiation starts.

  • Form your questions around “HOW” and “WHAT” questions.These open-ended questions force the other side to think, reflect.

  • Identify the three to five key pieces of information that the client mentions. There is a Black Swan in there.

Please feel free to comment on any of these recommendations and suggest other sources that might be helpful.

Updated: May 20

Authors Frank Cespedes and Tracy DeCicco bring us a look at the difference between selling to a lower level manager and a senior level manager. Each level has a different concern and a different objective in the sales process, and it is important to know who you are talking to.

The authors site research that shows at the C-Suite level you want to keep your discovery questions to around 4, with unsuccessful meetings having an average of 8 questions. This does not stay true when speaking with lower level managers, with those successful meetings coming in around 11-14 questions.

Understanding who your audience is is important, but almost equally important is understanding where you are in the sales cycle. In the earlier stage of a sale with Senior level management, it is important to demonstrate an understanding of their company's market and what strategic goals you will be able to help them with. At a later stage they are looking for how they will justify the decisions to the rest of their company.

Read the article here for further insights from the authors.

Do you have any thoughts on these topics? Please leave a comment below

The Fine Art of Small Talk: How To Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills -- and Leave a Positive Impression!

The author sets out to help people with the way they can initiate and exit a conversation. This is extremely useful for those annoying industry events when you have to meet new people. Here are some of my favorite tips:

  • You must initiate the conversation. Get over your shyness. Introducing yourself is appreciated.

  • Avoid banal questions: Not, What do you do? Get more personal….how did you get started or join this company? Frame questions that show a real interest in the answer.

  • Don’t ask a child “how was school today” , ask about specific emotional responses to events.

  • Pay attention to body language.

  • If at a loss for a topic , the author suggests remembering FORM (Family/Occupation/Recreation and Miscellaneous). I personally recommend the Vacation question. (What have you done about vacation? .. it always works. )

  • Follow up on any next steps.

Please feel free to comment on any of these recommendations and suggest other sources that might be helpful.