Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan’s Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. You can find Dave’s blog articles here.

  • Putting Some Hollywood into Your Sales Presentations
    by Dave Kurlan on June 18, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Last week I wrote about First Impressions and today's topic is presentations.  That's quite the change in direction from Consultative Selling, Sales Process, Assessments, and Performance. What do Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocket Man, Miracle and Argo have in common and what do they have to do with selling? What do Unbroken, Hunt for Red October, and A Few Good Men have in common and what is their relation to selling? Let's tackle the issue of presenting your solutions to two different audiences: Those who are very familiar with what you have, what you do and how it works; Those who are unfamiliar with what you have, what you do and how it works. […]

  • Your Last Chance to Make a Good First Impression
    by Dave Kurlan on June 14, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Most salespeople don't take first impressions seriously enough. If they did, their first impressions would be much more favorable. […]

  • Win a Free Coaching Call with Dave Kurlan and 4 More Prizes
    by Dave Kurlan on June 12, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    By the middle of June each year, we tend to know who the best of the best are.  Super Bowl Champion, NBA Champion, Stanley Cup Winner, Masters Winner, and in baseball, MLB all-stars are being selected.  It's as good a time as any to recognize the best readers of Understanding the Sales Force! […]

  • How to Raise the Incomes of Minimum Wage Workers Without Wealth Distribution or Socialism
    by Dave Kurlan on June 5, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Hang in there - this will be an article on sales - but you need to get through the big set up. Bernie Sanders spoke at a Walmart shareholders meeting and criticized the company for not paying higher wages.  He said that a company owned by the wealthiest family in the USA, should be able to pay $15/hour.  Bernie and some of his colleagues believe in wealth redistribution, conjuring up images of Robin Hood stealing from the wealthy and giving it to the poor.  Walmart says the average wage of their hourly workers is $17.50. Bernie and his pro socialism friends believe that people who have built successful business enterprises should be penalized for their success while capitalists believe that their success allows them to reinvest in their businesses and create new jobs and great new products and services.  Wages will rise as a result of supply and demand and right now, demand outweighs supply. Ask anyone who is hiring salespeople or computer software engineers and they'll tell you how much wages are increasing! Not stated, but implied, is that minimum wage employees are forced into those low paying jobs and the wealthiest Americans are to blame.  Why can't low hourly wage workers seek and earn better paying jobs?  Is it lack of skills?  Lack of motivation?  Lack of commitment?  Lack of education? Lack of opportunity?  Lack of training? Why not sales?  Selling is a profession that employs 16 million in the US alone and for most sales jobs, especially with today's lack of candidates, there is a laundry list of qualifications that are NOT required: […]

  • How to Know if You Are You Really Selling Consultatively
    by Dave Kurlan on June 4, 2019 at 12:07 am

    Most of the CEOs and sales leaders I speak with agree that their sales organizations need to be more effective at taking a consultative approach to selling. At the same time, they insist that they talk about it often and that their salespeople are doing OK with a consultative approach.  OMG's Sales Force Evaluation usually reveals that they aren't doing much more than talking about it, as their scores for the Consultative Seller competency are quite low. […]

  • How Top Salespeople Anticipate and Manage Resistance
    by Dave Kurlan on May 29, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Last week Tom Hopkins shared a post on LinkedIn that resembled what I have said so many times.  He said, "The art of selling involves two jobs: Job One is to reduce sales resistance and the other is to increase sales acceptance." Many readers left comments about the importance of relationships as a means to preventing resistance from going up. I left a comment that said, "Thanks Tom.  Most salespeople fail to lower resistance because they lack the self-awareness to understand what it is that they might say or do, or how they might act that would raise resistance in the first place.  When salespeople can anticipate and manage resistance, they won't have to work so hard to reduce it so frequently.  All of the comments about the importance of developing relationships to lower resistance and increase acceptance are misguided.  Just look inside your own family dynamics to recognize that relationships don't eliminate or lower resistance.  It might be quite the opposite." One reader asked me a great question, "How do you anticipate resistance?"  I thought that was such a great question that we should discuss the topic more fully in this article. Are you familiar with the Carly Simon song from the 70's?  It was even more popular as the theme song for the Heinz Ketchup ads.  Ready? […]

  • The New Salesenomics
    by Dave Kurlan on May 24, 2019 at 1:02 am

      Back in the 1960's it made sense for gasoline prices to be discounted down to the nearest 9/10 of a cent because gas prices ranged between 17.9 to 18.9 cents.  But when gas prices are around $3.00 per gallon, how does 9/10 cent continue to make sense?  Some habits die really hard. I don't know about you but some things just don't make sense to me.  I loved the Leavitt/Dubner series of books on Freakonomics and thought I could share some interesting sales and sales management data that make little sense. Nearly 50% of salespeople are willing to work on straight commission but only 7% of companies offer such a compensation plan. […]

  • The 14 Lies Preventing Salespeople From Getting Their Prospects into a Buying State of Mind
    by Dave Kurlan on May 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Most lies are truths to the people who state them.  Take climate change for example.  Climate change is clearly a real thing. The planet has been warming exponentially since the ice age!  But to think that humans are responsible, that humans can stop it, or else we'll be dead in 12 years, seems ludicrous to me.  My statement is a lie to every reader that doesn't agree with it, but rings true to those who agree.   Lies are in the minds of the beholders. Let's cover some of the lies being told to companies with sales organizations and how those lies prevent sales organizations from being their best.  Over the past 10-20 years, we have seen and heard the following proclamations (and you can find most of them with this Google search link: […]

  • 10 Reasons Why Salespeople Hallucinate
    by Dave Kurlan on May 15, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    I was in the basement of our home looking for something when I saw it.  It moved left to right, low, between the stored Christmas trees.  I took another look and this time it moved right to left.  Each time I moved, it moved.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized it wasn't a critter but a shadow that I was casting. I saw something that simply wasn't there.  A figment of my imagination.  You could even call it a hallucination. Salespeople frequently have hallucinations where they think there is something there, like a great opportunity, and in reality, there isn't anything there.  Not even close.  And then there are the salespeople who don't see an opportunity when there is actually a great one hiding in plain site. Let's talk about the many reasons that these scenarios occur. […]

  • Dave Kurlan's 23 Steps to Improved Channel Sales
    by Dave Kurlan on May 8, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    When you purchase a car, do you consider yourself a customer of the dealer you bought or leased it from, the auto maker, or both? &nbs […]