Archive - September 2015

To Train or Not To Train?


Important vs. Effectiveimages-1

Training is an intrecle and ongoing part of sales force development. Not only initial product training but ongoing sales process training to include; prospecting, calling at the top of an organization, closing and the activities it takes to get there consistently.


“To have growth in products, you need to have growth in people”

  • Reinemund, CEO PepsiCo. Inc.

Training is an interesting subject. Most organizations believe at least at some level, that training is important. And most organizations believe that they have training in place. Typically when they say they have training they are referring to product training. Product training is the training of how the actual product(s) works. Thought it is important to understand this information, we tend to spend lots of time learning the ins and outs of product knowledge but not much time on how to take it successfully to market.

Most executives believe that “presenting” the features and benefits of the product and showing the knowledge of their product will sell it. It is only one part of the process and if I told you it was the less important of the two I am sure you would disagree…but it’s true. The other and most important part of the process is the ability to ask the right questions to get your prospects to “self-realize” that your product or service is a fit for them. This is not a natural way to approach selling; therefore training is an essential part of success in a sales organization.

A majority of sales organizations say they don’t have a sufficient amount of time to train and develop their sales teams. Another “reason” training doesn’t happen is that executives believe the sales manager has the responsibility to train. That is only partly true because training properly takes specific time and energy placed on the training task.

Often organizations overlook their greatest potential source of power-the power to increase sales performance by developing their people.

Executives attempt to solve sales training issues by hiring an ‘experienced’ salesperson. Someone that has been in sales before and just let them ‘do their thing”. This is an issue because we don’t know how successful they really were in the past and no matter how closely aligned your products or service is to what they sold before, it becomes difficult for them to break out of that mold.

If this issue is present it will show itself in many ways; one is each sales person is working as an island, meaning they all have their own way of selling, their own process-or lack there of. The difficulty with that is management can’t appropriately coach each individual without a process. Though each person has their own personality and their own style, a consistent process helps keep the entire sales organization on-track and adds the ability to forecast and coach for continual success. If your team is presently not hitting any of the benchmarks you’ve set look at their process. Is it broken?


Greta Schulz is President of Schulz Business, a Sales Consulting and Training firm. She is a best selling author of “To Sell IS Not To Sell” and has a Second Edition coming out in the fall2015.  She works with fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips go to and sign up for ‘GretaNomics’, a weekly video tip series or email sales questions to

To Train or Not To Train?

Best Selling Author Greta Schulz joins GoDaddy Garage

September 22, 2015

For Immediately Release;


Greta Schulz Joins The “GoDaddy-Garage”

Greta Schulz is now a contributing editor and writer for the “GoDaddy Garage”. “The Garage” is a new blog that GoDaddy is publishing that will have in-depth articles about web site development, online sales, content marketing, and the use of WordPress with GoDaddy along with other helpful information. The articles will be written for newcomers, on line marketing veterans and everyone in between.

Schulz is an experienced marketer and is president and CEO of Schulz Business SELLutions, located in Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to her own business, Schulz is a national columnist and writer of “SELLutions” which can be seen in over thirty business journals across the country. Schulz was also a contributor to the New York Times best selling book entitled “Masters of Sales” along with a bestseller she penned herself called “To Sell is NOT to Sell.” She works with small businesses as well as members of the FORTUNE 1000. “I was very flattered to be asked to join The Garage at GoDaddy,” she said. “GoDaddy is one of the most well recognized brands of any type anywhere, and the leader in the Internet e-commerce business community. I am very excited about writing for them.”

As a nationally recognized expert in sales, Ms. Schulz helps organizations of all types improve sales and build business referrals. She is also in demand as a motivational speaker for companies and organizations around the nation. Ms. Schulz has a business degree from the University of Miami and is the married mother of three.

For more information go to:

Top 5 Things Every Salesperson /Business Developer Should Know!

What’s the new normal when it comes to developing business? This is not the old ‘ask a few questions, give your features and benefits and trial close’. The 70s wants their slick sales guy back. Today you need to be smart, curious and a true consultant to sell. Here are a few things that today are imperative in business growth.

1) Tell the prospect its OK to break up….Rejection is a result of trying to sell someone your product or service as opposed to tell them you what you are calling about, let them know it seems that because of what they do you could potentially work together, but (pull back) you don’t want to assume that you are a good fit. What you’d like to do is ask a few questions to see if the two of you are a fit and if not, we decide it’s a NO then we only wasted a few minutes? Sound OK?

This allows you to give a NO as an option right upfront. Then you have asked for it as opposed to a prospect pushing you away and that is the rejection.

2) Mining for customers is different today. Networking is the true key to finding and keeping customers but most people do it wrong. Networking events ate not for direct prospecting! Recognize this scenario?

“Hey do you guys use promotional products? here’s a sample, we can really help you!!”..” NO! Instead I say go to an event and look for Strategic Alliances, people that you can refer business back and forth to as opposed to hitting your potential prospects so hard. We all know building business on referrals is the best way to do business so lets network for good alliances that you can refer business to and that is a good source for your referrals.

3) Research should be used for credibility. Research is essential today before you pick up the phone and call anyone. No excuses! The most important reason to do your research on their web site, Google etc. is to create good, quality questions to ask them to engage your prospect in conversation and truly understand their needs not to tell them that you’ve researched their company and since they do this, we can sell you that…salesperson

4) If you need to discount to get the business is almost always a result of one of these things. a) The customer doesn’t truly trust you/your product or service so there is only price to use as a differentiator or b) you haven’t truly understood the need for the product. I know need seems simple but it isn’t.What are they trying to say? What impression are they trying to leave, how  do they want to be seen? What are they using it for? There are lots of questions to not only understand what a prospect needs but the true deep-down ‘whys’                                            Asking questions will let you also gain credibility and trust but not Selling and truly asking and listening….


5)  Listen and shut up!! Wow! If I could teach people that are in sales/business development to ask questions and listen there would be a lot more success in business! Telling isn’t selling…but it comes from a good place. We are excited about what we represent and want other to be excited too but excitement doesn’t sell, questions and true engagement does. Long ago we were taught to ask a few questions and when you hear a “ buying signal” jump in and tell them you can help with that and how. NO! When you ask a question, wait for the answer and whatever the answer is, especially if it may be something your product or service can help with, the best next question is, “tell me about that”, then SHUT-UP!!!


Top 5 Sales Hiring Mistakes


“Joanne is leaving and I need someone for that territory! I need help do you know anyone?”

A week doesn’t pass without someone asking about looking for a new sales employee. I hear it all the time. So why is everyone having such a problem? Here are some common hiring mistakes we see and what you should avoid.

1) Looking for new employees when one is leaving. I think we all know the value of a good employee. Make no mistake, if you hire (and manage) right, your organization runs like a well oiled machine and I defy anyone to argue that. “Get the right people on the bus in the    right seats” the famous quote from the top-notch book Good to Great by Jim Collins. That     being said why are we looking for employees only when we “need” one. You always need      them if they are great and greatness doesn’t come along only when you are looking so be  looking all of the time.

Our biggest problem with looking when we “need” someone is the desperation factor. We   often hire to fill a need by hiring “the best of the worst”. When we are feeling pressure    from a department or another employee to lighten their load we often make a decision not    for the “best person” but the “best for right now person”. This will hurt you in the long run every time.


2)Hiring off of a resume’. When I say it is a mistake hiring off of a resume’ I don’t mean to presume you actually hire when a good resume comes in without other important considerations. What I do mean is being impressed by the background they have had; whom they’ve worked for and what they’ve done. Background is less important then things like eagerness to learn, commitment and desire to be successful. Hire for attitude, train for skill.


3)Hiring in your image. Allowing the likeability factor to take over the actual decision of the best candidate. We like people that are like us, that we relate to but in hiring that is not to be used as a gauge. We all make decisions emotionally, meaning we decide on things in our life business and personal by our gut, by what we feel. In some cases it’s enough but in the decision of hiring someone to help you grow your business, there needs to be much more then you like them.


4) Selling the candidate on the job. We are passionate about our organization and all of the good things that we offer. Because of that, we sell the candidate on how great the job is instead of really qualifying them first. One of the most important things we need to do in an interview is to ask good questions and listen for the answers. It is called an interview for a reason. Do not get caught up in telling the candidate all about the job, what it takes, the duties the company benefits etc. Do not get caught up in this sale. You may find out too late the things you could have found out upfront.


5) Overlooking a teachable, trainable candidate for one with “experience”. The idea of hiring someone with experience is sales is understandable. It seems like a good idea for someone who can just fit right into a job and start off fast and furious. This is often not the case. Though it takes more work and effort to train someone it often proves to be much more lucrative in the end because you have taught them in your way. Unfortunately sales people seem to have more bad habits then good ones when they leave a job. Though this can be an overstatement it is more often true then not.


The key is to be looking for someone better then your best person, all of the time. If one of your salespeople said to you that they were going to look for new business only when they lose existing business, you would probably fire them. Then don’t do the same thing. As an executive, your prospecting responsibility is looking for top-level salespeople all of the time. Not just when you lose one.


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What is REALLY in your Sales Funnel?

Sales Funnel

The sales funnel has become very interesting because it is very loosely defined. I have clients that tell me that have “about 20 people in their funnel” which to them means they have tried to reach them. I have others that put someone in their funnel when they have spoken to them once and have gotten the dreaded, “Ill Think It over” (which basically is a blow off), “Send Me something and Ill review it” Same thing, and others that have given a proposal and are doing the waiting game.

None are really correct.


The funnel truly had only a few true entrances;

1) Have you spoken to the prospect and have they AGREED to a next step of some kind? IF so, they go into the funnel.

2) You have set an appointment with them, in person, on the phone, Skype etc. That you have BOTH agreed on.

3) You are scheduled for a demo or a proposal etc and YOU KNOW the outcome if they like the recommendation.


That’s it. Truly.

The biggest danger in sales is, FOLLOW UP.. This is a bad word in sales because all of the work is on the sales person. there is no mutual understanding of next steps. Should this person be in your funnel, not a chance. Only when 2 people have agreed to move through it together.

What is REALLYsales-funnel-copy-300x292

What is Value?

Business people standing with question mark on boards

Business people standing with question mark on boards

You know when I ask that question in a group of people, I get lots of different answers. Most of the people in the room tell me things like ‘we give great customer service; we give people a very competitive price; we have knowledge that others don’t; we’ve been in the industry for a long time; we’ve always been rated number 1 or number 2 in our industry rating.’

It’s disturbing to me when a sales person says to a prospect, ‘we work with lots of clients like you’ or ‘we’ve worked in your industry for a long time and we’re specialists in that industry, so we know what you need.’ That is extremely presumptuous. And I think when you say that to someone, you are immediately putting him in the category of ‘there’s nothing special about you and your business is just like everyone else’s.’ The fact is that maybe that is true, but as soon as you make someone feel that way, it changes the consultation and immediately turns you into ‘just another sales person’.

There is actually only one answer to the question, ‘what value do you bring?’ And the answer is very simple – it depends. It depends on the perception of value from person that you are speaking to because value does not come from you. Value comes from the other person that you’re speaking to. This is why features and benefits selling doesn’t work anymore, because the benefit of a particular feature that you have may have nothing to do with what your prospect believes the benefit or value is to them. The receiver of the benefit will perceive it’s value. They will decide if it’s a benefit or not.


How do you get value? How do you understand what is valuable to another person?

You have to ask them some really good questions. For example, one question you might ask is, ‘what is your biggest challenge when it comes to ________? If you have success with a new product or service in that area, what would that success look like?

What would be the advantage if you could utilize a product or service that would allow you to ________?

The questions that we ask, number one, allow people to talk about what they deem is most important to them. Number two once they are telling you the points of importance you can then give back to them a “customized” solution that is based upon what they said they wanted. So what have you done here. Well not only have you truly listended to the prospects issues and concerns, you have come up with a solution based on those paerticluar needs as THEY see them, not you. So when someone asks what your ‘value’ is, or what makes you better then the next guy, don’t answer that question until you fully understand what they want. And even if you do understand, don’t answer it anyway, the information they tell you will deem much more valuable if they have told it to you and then from that information, you come up with a forgone conclusion.

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