Surviving the First 90 Days of Selling: Critical Questions that Need Answering

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The first 90 days of selling are critical. I don't know how many people I've encountered who wanted to have their own business, or took on a new sales role, but didn't last. Why not?

Their expectations are poor or very fuzzy. Any training they may get, and it's probable they won't get any, is focused on the best possible results. Struggles or negative possibilities are ignored. They are simply not prepared to handle what is actually going to happen out there.

How to Survive the First 90 Days of Selling

Sales force developer Dave Kurlan shared an article he wrote awhile back that continues to be relevant today. It's a series of questions you need to answer so that you or your salespeople will persist through the first 90 days. Here are some of the most important:
  • What are all of the problems we solve?
  • How do we position ourselves in the marketplace?
  • Who are our customers?
  • How do we get to them?
  • What does the first call sound like?
  • What is our sales process?
  • What kind of objections will I hear?
  • How do I handle those objections?
  • How do you want me presenting our solutions?
  • How do we justify our prices?
  • What are the expectations for me during the first week, month, quarter, year?
  • Who can I go to for help?
  • What kind of help can I expect?

For the complete list, go here

If you don't know the answers, you'll stumble, get confused, become frustrated and give up.

What Can We Change to Help New Salespeople Continue Beyond the First 90 Days of Selling?

Seeing these questions today really made me think about my own training process. I do this for a living. And the list made me question more deeply: How can I make my training process even better, so that new salespeople are totally assured that they have the answers? That they have someone to go to for help? That they know what to expect beyond positive generalities as they step out of the classroom and into the outside world?

I may think they have been given those things--but have I asked them whether they believe it? Do they know they have the answers? What they can do to get help?

This is far more important than me, as the trainer, knowing.

Have you answered these questions for your business?

Other posts with interviews and info with Dave Kurlan:
#answering #critical #days #questions #selling #surviving
  • Profile picture of the author AntonioSeegars1
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    • Profile picture of the author Underground
      I would give up after a month (possibly 2 weeks), not 3 months, if no sales were forthcoming. Something obviously would be wrong and need to be fixed.

      Who would want to cold call for three months before getting any results?

      You should get enough leads and sales in the first few weeks with an optimized sales process to keep you motivated and in motion going forward, no? I think so, so anyone who get to 90 days and is not motivated enough to persist with that route is being sensible.

      Thanks for the share Jason. You've been dropping some super powerful stuff lately.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        When I first started selling vacuum cleaners in people's homes (in the dim past)...I went almost 3 months without my first sale.

        But I knew several things.
        I bought one, and I'm not a fool.
        I knew other guys that were making a living doing this. So it was doable.
        I knew the problem was me, not the product, not the

        I just had to figure it out...and I did.

        I had no real training, and my manager was a week longer in the business than I was. But I knew that I wasn't going to quit. I just had to figure out what I was doing wrong. The list was long.

        Man, what I would have given to have a Jason Kanigan to lead the way...or a Claude Whitacre.
        One Call Closing book

        What if they're not stars? What if they are holes poked in the top of a container so we can breath?
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        • Profile picture of the author mojo1
          If new companies would be willing to take the time to answer even half of these
          questions, the failure rate for new businesses probably wouldn't be as high.

          This was an awesome share that would also serve as great questions for a job candidate
          seeking a sales or consultant position to pose directly to the hiring manager/company during the interview process as well. The look on the hiring manager's face would be positively dumbfounded, I'm sure.
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