Category Archives for Value Conversation

Listening, Sales Conversation, Donald Kelly, Listening Skills

TSE 772: How Can I Improve My Listening Skills?

Listening, Sales Conversation, Donald Kelly, Listening Skills

Ideally, as sellers, we should only talk 30% of the time during a sales conversation and let the prospect or customer talk about 60% to 70% of the time. You want to make sales? Then you have to improve your listening skills!

However, in the real world, I find that many salespeople talk and talk without even listening to their prospects.

Without properly listening to your prospects, you might miss on what’s really important for them. And that means missing your sales deal.

Strategies for Improving Your Listening Skills:

1. Know what you’re listening for.

Go into the first conversation and figure out what can make them buy. Identify the top four drivers why people purchase. Listen for those and poke at those. Know what to listen for so you don’t just talk or be random.

2. Ask meaningful questions.

Instead of the yes or no questions, ask the open-ended questions like what, when, where, why, or how.

3. Follow up.

Don’t be afraid to ask a followup question. Try to really dig deeper into uncovering their real pain point. Use Toyota’s five whys where you keep on asking your prospects why until you get to the fifth why and you will notice you’ve uncovered their real problem. Try to do this exercise even in other areas of your life.

Episode Resources:

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Morgan and Michael Lennington

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Facebook group The Sales Evangelizers

Deb Calvert, Stop Selling and Start Leading, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 763: Stop Selling & Start Leading Movement

Are you just selling or are you leading? During this interview, Deb Calvert shares with us why the movement of becoming leaders in the eyes of our prospects is so critical. Listen and learn why and how we should do this.

Deb is an activist in the sales arena, specifically around the idea that we have to stop selling, and start leading. Today, she lays out the blueprint if you want to be successful in selling.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Deb:

What is the Stop Selling and Start Leading Movement?

Leadership behaviors get you in the door. They make you stand out to buyers. They help you close more sales.

Bad Selling Habits:

They tend to adopt behaviors that make them seem pushy and obnoxious. It makes them seem selfish,  greedy, and money-motivated exclusively. It also makes them seem that they don’t listen well.

Leaders influence, inspire, and guide people to an exciting new place full of possibilities.

5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership

1. Model the Way

You set the example. You’re credible.  You know what you’re values are. And you align your actions accordingly with your values. You are consistent and predictable because people know what you stand for and they believe in you.

2. Inspire Shared Vision

Leaders breathe life into a vision. But it’s not only their own vision, it’s shared. It’s something that others have participated in. They struggle to make that vision into a reality because they believe in it so powerfully.

3. Challenge the Process

This means being restless. Leaders always ask what’s new, what’s next. They’re afraid to innovate and experiment and take some risks. They challenge themselves and others to look at things in different ways. They look at the bigger picture and not just getting mired in the status quo.

4. Enable Others to Act

Leaders collaborate with people. They dignify their decisions and listen really well to make sure they’re together and understand what they’re looking to do. Leaders allow people to contribute. They don’t just do work by themselves.

5. Encourage the Heart

Leaders pour courage into someone’s heart. They celebrate and share the victories and values they recognize. And when the going gets tough, they’re right there to support and encourage.

How to Be Credible and Build Trust:

DWYSYWD – Do What You Say You Will Do!

Deb’s DISCOVER Questions:

1. Buyer wants sellers to answer their questions in a timely and relevant manner.

2. Buyers want a two-way dialogue. They want sellers to ask them questions that makes them participate in creating what they want so they can share insights and put their imprint on solutions sellers will later offer.

Deb’s Major Takeaway:

Leadership is not the same as management. It’s not reserved for an exclusive few with certain characteristics.

Leadership is for everybody. It’s nothing more than choosing a certain set of behaviors that help you to be more influential and allows you to guide other people that cause other people to willingly choose to follow you.

Leadership is easy access for anybody who will choose to step into their full potential as a leader and liberate the leader inside themselves.

Episode Resources:

Get to know more about Deb on @PeopleFirstPS and Stop Selling Start

Check out her book, Stop Selling, Start Leading

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Build Up Prospects

TSE 662: Don’t Insult Your Prospects

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Build Up ProspectsBuilding value with a prospect is a common challenge among many salespeople. And at the core of this is showing respect to your customers.

This week, I got the chance to speak at the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council where I spoke about sales, specifically about how we can build value in every single conversation with our prospects.

Show Respect Especially When You’re Told No

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, a lot of trees fell down. Although it didn’t directly hit our area, the winds were so strong that our place got affected significantly. In our backyard, we had a mango tree that gave us good, sweet mangoes. Unfortunately, the tree, being too young, wasn’t able to withstand the hurricane. So it snapped!

At this time, people went around knocking on doors trying to sell their services like tree removal and yard services. Everyone was trying to hustle. And here are two intoxicated guys who asked if I needed some help with our mango tree.

I told one of them that he was clearly intoxicated and wasn’t prepared to have a meaningful business discussion with anyone. And he replied, “Good luck with that. That probably is going to take a long time.”

He just insulted my decision. There was no way he was going to persuade me obviously.

Here are key principles that I’ve learned from this experience that is totally applicable to sales:

  1. Never burn a bridge.

In this case, the guy totally burned the bridge since there’s no way I’m going to refer him to anyone.

  1. You don’t insult buyers.

There’s something about making your buyers feel good that will help you in the long run. Instead of insulting, do it in a more tactful and professional manner. Stop being a jerk.

  1. It’s not only what you said but how you said it.

You also have to remember that it’s not just what you said but also the way you said it. One silly decision could greatly impact your business.

Episode Resources:

Join our online workshop this September 26 and learn the 5 Ways You Can Become a More Persuasive Seller Without Being a Jerk

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

The Three Value Conversations by Erik Peterson, et al.

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, WoW Factor

TSE 560: TSE Hustler’s League-“WOW Factor”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, WoW FactorToday’s snippet from one of our past training sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about what you can do to maximize those major gateway points to help move your deal to the next level.

  1. Get them to get the first appointment with you.
  2. Do the diagnostic test or the apples-to-apples comparison.

The biggest competitor you have is the status quo. Even if it’s bad, you tell yourself lies because you’ve gotten used to it.

  1. Demonstrate the solutions.

Present the solutions with them and get them to understand. That meeting is going to be totally educational and the best way to educate is to ASK questions.

  1. Create some questions that can educate them to go to the next level.

Ask questions that are going to get them to think and propose action.

  1. Think about what you can do to WOW the customer in this process.

Don’t think about the huge stuff as everyone can do the big things. Most people do not do the little things. Take time to listen to them.

  1. Return their calls.

Most leads go bad because people don’t return calls within the first 24 hours of getting the lead.

  1. Follow up.

People love to buy but they hate to be sold. So give that power back to them and think about the little things in that sales process that you can make it easier. Price would no longer matter if they feel the value is there.

  1. If you find a lot of fall-off after the demonstration, educate them.

If there is something that is causing the deal to not move forward, think about what you can do to educate people at that point to help them go further.

  1. Educate before the purchase.

This is another little factor that can separate you from everybody else.

Episode Resources:

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.