About Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson: President and CEO of Richardson, training consultants to corporations, banks, and investment banks globally. Richardson has 110 professionals, 15 regional offices in the United States, and presence in London, Australia, Singapore, Latin America, and Asia. Clients of Richardson include KPMG, Federal Express, General Mills, Tiffany & Co., Dell Computer, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, and Kinko’s. Visit http://www.Richardson.com.

Linda Richardson Answers Sales Questions: Click Here For Free Answers
Questions to Help You Close?

Knowing all you can about the client’s decision process can give you an edge in winning the business. Let’s look at questions to ask.

If You Havent Done So Yet Ask for Feedback

With the new year comes a new page. Before you begin to fill the page, get a sense of what your clients and colleagues see as your strengths and your opportunities for improvement.

Prepare Your Seniors

A painfully uncomfortable sales scenario is the team call with a senior that does not go well. Whether the senior has been blindsided or the salesperson just wasn’t prepared, a bad call with a senior not only hurts the client relationship, but also internal credibility.

Final Presentations, The Finish Line

After days or weeks of preparation, after a strong presentation, don’t drop the ball as you near the finish line. How you follow up after your sales presentation will help you get across the line.

Turning AAs Into a Competitive Advantage

We surveyed 160 Administrative Assistants and Executive Secretaries and asked them to identify the key things salespeople could do to gain their support in reaching their bosses.

Overheard on the Street – On a “Sell” Phone?

A Salesman, traveling on Amtrak, placed a cell phone call to his client to follow up on an opportunity.

Client Demands That Are Tough or Impossible to Meet

In spite of your best efforts to meet client expectations, requests, and demands, there are times when you can’t deliver exactly what the client wants and/or exactly when he or she wants it. When you can’t meet a client demand, meet a time line, or deliver in spite of your best efforts, how you handle the situation can make a tremendous difference in how the client feels about it.

Exercise your Ears

How often have you heard it said “Salespeople don’t listen?” What does it mean not to listen? When clients say salespeople don’t listen, they usually don’t mean that during the sales call salespeople zone out. Few salespeople do that. In fact, most salespeople do try to listen. Yet they are perceived as not listening. So for 2004 let’s start by exercising our listening skills.

Opening the First Face-to-Face Meeting with a Prospect – Average or Exceptional?

What do you think of this opening with a prospect?

“I’m ______ from _____. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. I appreciate your time since I know this is your busy season. On the phone you mentioned you are looking to modify your X system. What I’d like to do today is talk about what we can do to help you meet your objectives.”

Discussing vs. Sending Price

In addition to connecting price to value, to help you justify your pricing there are a few more guidelines to follow when it comes to positioning pricing: don’t just send it, consider how you position it.

Prospecting: Getting through Voice Mail

Reaching a prospect is no easy feat. One salesperson experienced a voice mail obstacle that was more daunting for him than most.

Here is the voice mail message: “If you are calling to sell me X, don’t hold your breath for a return call.”

Clients Who Delay Making a Decision

More and more salespeople are facing sales situations in which clients are delaying the close. To begin to get the sale back on track the salesperson has to first really understand what is causing the delay. Is it really a delay? Does the opportunity exist? If so, what are the best steps to regain momentum? By knowing why the deal is on hold you can plan a strategy that can help remove the obstacle. You also must find a way to create a sense of urgency and remain positive and not show signs of frustration. Let’s look at each of these:

Sales Letters

Although e-mails have taken a front seat in business communications, the business letter remains an important communication medium for salespeople for more formal or complex situations. Also, since the business letter is used less frequently than even a year ago, writing a letter can be a way to differentiate yourself. One client puzzled me when he said he appreciated the handwritten note I sent. When I looked confused, he corrected himself by saying, “It was a real letter.”

Advice For The Shy Salesperson

I am very shy. As a salesperson, what should I do to persuade my customers?

Always Ask about Competitors

Sometimes you can get so caught up in learning about the client’s needs and so excited by your own enthusiasm for your solution, that you can miss asking about the competition even if the client mentions “competitors.” Although you can, you may not want to ask about the competitor the minute the client brings it up, but you must get back to it.

Linda Richardson Answers Sales Questions

Linda Richardson is the founder and president of Richardson, a premier provider of sales training and consulting to the Global 500. Linda is a thought leader in the sales training industry and is credited with the movement to consultative sales selling. Linda began her career in the sales training industry in 1979 as a manager sales training for a regional bank. She consults on enterprise sales solutions and sales force effectiveness in all areas of sales and management.

Tips For Selling In A Highly Competitive Marketplace

I am selling in a highly competitive marketplace. My biggest challenge in prospecting is creating interest and getting the appointment, since we really do not offer anything that is special or more beneficial than our competitors.

Skills + Stories: Two Solutions For Handling Sales Objections

My institution is small and not very well known among customers at this point. How can I handle fundamental objections such as, “We prefer to work with organizations we already have a relationship with,” or “I haven’t heard of you before”?

Strategies For Passing the Gate Keeper

In telemarketing, if a gatekeeper, without transferring me over to the decision maker, says that we should send information across via e-mail and then says that they will get back to us if there is any need, how do we as telemarketers handle it? It just seems to be the best way of avoiding things adopted by assistants or gatekeepers, right?

Negotiating The Final Agreement

When I am negotiating a final agreement, should I do my negotiating by e-mail or over the phone?

Relationships with Inactive Clients

Most salespeople work hard to find business, identify new prospects, and close the deals that are in the pipeline. As much as salespeople truly want to sell, it is surprising how few keep track of inactive and/or former clients.