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Sales Success Factors & Trust and Authenticity [Episode 678]

John Asher, CEO of Asher Strategies, keynote speaker and best-selling author and Bridget Gleason, VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner, join me on this episode.


First guest: John Asher

  • The five factors for success in sales are product knowledge, sales aptitude, sales skills, motivation, and sales process. Out of 25 million salespeople selling B2B or B2G in the U.S., five million are elite and they master these factors.
  • Most buyers want to deal with a subject matter expert with deep product knowledge. Product knowledge gives power to sales reps and value to buyers. A sales engineer may accompany a rep to provide depth.
  • The closest thing to a human is a video. People would rather see a video or hear a podcast than read a website. Our brain comprehends video 60,000 times faster than reading, John says. Books are best for deep knowledge.
  • Sales aptitude is natural sales talent. Aptitude accounts for 50% of sales results. The other four factors account for the other 50%. John notes there are 21 professional aptitude assessments and he has taken them all.
  • John covers a few sales skills: focus on a few top opportunities; do great research on the buyer, the company and industry; get yourself an inside coach; build rapport; ask questions and listen to understand.
  • A forum between neuroscientists from 70 countries developed insights into human relations, including building rapport. Asher Strategies has applied this knowledge to techniques for closing sales faster.
  • There are six stimuli affecting buyer decision-making. There are about 50 cognitive biases that apply to sales. Know the stimuli and the biases. The first stimulus is personal needs. Have buyers talk about themselves.
  • Asher Strategies provides training to teach these techniques. One bias is to start by complimenting the buyer on their company, product, or service.
  • John discusses the reciprocity bias as applied to sales. Buyers usually respond to a compliment with value. At a trade show, if you take the ‘prop’ at a booth, your probability of listening to their pitch goes way up.
  • The sales process is up to the company. John gives an example of a misstep that hinders rather than helps. Andy talks about metrics that force all reps into the same mold. The best reps break the rules.
  • Asher Strategies teaches ten skills that form the start of a process. There is a science and an art to sales. Andy would like managers to be better with people than with metrics. Elite sales reps have one metric — results.