Your SalesMBA

Welcome! This is the places for fresh insight on the award-winning prospecting, negotiating and closing techniques developed and delivered by M. Jeffrey Hoffman. Jeff presents to thousands of sales professionals around the world, and his methods are used by best-in-class sales teams such as Google, SuccessFactors, Symantec and many more. Bookmark this page and check in often. As always, please comment and share. You may also subscribe to our RSS feed here.

3 Things To Look For In ANY Sales Job

Jeff Hoffman - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I was updating my LinkedIn profile and discovered something interesting about my work experience.  Virtually every job change that I enjoyed happened during the first 3 or 4 months of the calendar year.  I then looked at the profiles of a few of my close friends, and saw that this held true with them as well. 

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Strictly Sales with OpenView Venture Partners

Jen Hoffman - Thursday, February 20, 2014

We are thrilled to partner with our friends at OpenView to share Jeff’s latest insights in the new Strictly Sales series by CeCe Bazar

The Strictly Sales Blog Series takes Jeff’s entertaining style out of the classroom and into the written word, making his stories available to anyone interested in the world of sales. And the much anticipated Strictly Sales Podcast Series is now available on iTunes.

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Sales Housekeeping ‘To Do’s’ for a Successful 2014

Jeff Hoffman - Monday, December 23, 2013

Motivated to work off some extra Thanksgiving pounds, I bounded out my front door for a quick run, only to be met by an unexpected fall off the icy front steps. The result? A weeklong rest on the couch, doctor’s orders. 

Sulking about the uninvited “vacation” I stewed about not being able to make the sales calls and visits that I had planned to wrap up December business. Tired of hearing the rant, my wife turned to me and remarked, “Well at least this happened in December.”

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Client Gifts That Keep On Giving

Jeff Hoffman - Thursday, December 12, 2013

Back when I started selling (when dinosaurs ruled the earth,) we used to thank our customers with an expensive steak dinner or a bottle of single-malt.  But we have matured since then (sniff) and the days of large expense accounts for salespeople have long since been retired.  But with the holidays fast approaching, it’s an easy time to think about playing Santa.  So what do we do?  What’s appropriate?  What’s not?  And how do I not look cheesy?

Let me start by offering some do’s and don’ts – First, DO let your manager, (and your legal/HR contact) know that you are planning on giving some holiday thank yous to selected clients.   Different organizations, industries, and even jurisdictions vary on what is permitted in regards to gifts.  Second, DO make sure that the gift is from you personally – this shouldn’t be reimbursed through an expense report.   And finally, DON’T give gifts to prospects.  This isn’t about buying the business.  It’s about making thoughtful gestures to the business you already won and value.

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Make the Sales Switch: Be A Student, Not A Teacher

Jeff Hoffman - Monday, October 28, 2013

Most of today’s sales professionals understand that knowledge is king. Knowing how company offerings can satisfy customer’s needs is only the beginning.  Sales reps must also be conversant in the latest industry trends, executive leadership changes, market shifts… you name it. 

As a result, we want to share our knowledge. Prove that we are experts and can lead a potential customer to the path of enlightenment. In other words, buy our stuff.  But I’ve found lately that most customers have zero interest in being taught. They already know.

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How to Go For Gold and Beat Your Competition

Jeff Hoffman - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

After weeks of what seemed like endless trials, meetings, sals calls and negotiations, I finally received a return call from my contact. My hope was we would be talking about the next steps to finalize the deal. Unfortunately, he had something else in mind.

“Hi Jeff. This is Tom calling. Hey, before we get started, I wanted you to know that you did a great job. But I’m sorry to say that we have decided to go with your competitor.”

Ouch. Despite having bested most of the other vendors it looked like I was walking away with a consolatory, “Thanks for playing.” Knowing you can’t win every deal every time is part of the game. But I’d rather finish dead last than come in second. There is no silver medal in sales. Second place leaves you with exactly what you get when you bring up the rear: Zilch. Zero. Absolutely nothing.  

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How To Ease Your Sales Team into Social Selling

Jeff Hoffman - Thursday, July 18, 2013

For over 20 years, I have spent most of my career largely in a world filled with sales and marketing professionals, and I am often baffled that one group will often embrace a new technique or method, while the other will completely ignore it. No place is this more apparent than in the world of social media.

Although salespeople have grown comfortable with the use of LinkedIn as a sales tool (more on WHY later), they seem to avoid blogging like the plague. And Twitter? Even poorer adoption. When I ask them why, I commonly hear: “I’m not a writer,” and “Who cares what I think? I’m just a sales rep,” and “Why should I? I’m busy. Besides, how is Twitter going to help me make my number this month?”

Tough objections indeed.

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Exit Criteria: Activities That Predict Buyer Behavior

Jeff Hoffman - Wednesday, June 5, 2013

This dynamic has always been the same: Marketing is frustrated by Sales not following up on their hard-won marketing qualified leads (MQLs), while sales complains that there aren’t enough “good” leads worthy of their attention. Sound familiar? Even the most sophisticated internal systems will often spur this debate.

So where is the problem?  Who is right? And more importantly, how do we fix it?

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The Deal Doctor Recommends Buffer's Leo Widrich on Language

Jeff Hoffman - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Deal Doctor recommends:

Buffer cofounder Leo Widrich’s recent post “The Psychology of Language: Why Are Some Words More Persuasive Than Others?

Those of you familiar with my prospecting technique, Why You? Why You Now?™ (don’t accept substitutions!) are also aware of my insistence on keeping your message brief.  I am excited by the support of the notion that our pitch should be "limited to 30 seconds, and that we should reduce the number of adjectives and adverbs."

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Sales Is Just A "Fantasy"

Jeff Hoffman - Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For many winters I've ventured south, leaving cold and snowy Boston behind for a much-anticipated guys weekend. And where do I go, you ask?  The warm golf courses of sunny Hilton Head, SC?  No thanks.  The sun and fun of Miami’s South Beach?  Pass.  Then surely you must go to that adult playland known as Las Vegas, right?  Nope - Vegas is for suckers. I prefer to do something completely different when I want to escape.  For me, nothing says “spring break” more than going to Atlantic City in the dead of winter.

Yes, many months before extras from the "Jersey Shore" descend on its famed boardwalk, you will find yours truly landing at the Philadelphia airport, driving a rental car to the last stop on the Atlantic City Parkway, passing the Borgata and the Taj Majal, crossing the lonely and shuttered Brigantine highway, and finally rolling up the driveway of the same vacant, summer rental triple-decker that I have enjoyed for many years.  No golf.  No beach. That's right friends, it's my long anticipated, annual Fantasy Baseball draft weekend.

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