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7 Ways to Stay Sharp in Sales ... or how to catch your first monkey

Simple advice on how to "get the peanuts." I wonder if this is the basics of sales success.

sales success, selling skills, peanuts,

One of my very good friends leads a top performing sales organization selling financial services out of Boise Idaho. His team is consistently rated as the top producing office in North America for his company. We are always exchanging ideas on selling, challenging each other on philosophies and suffice it to say, his past performance has always caused me to listen intently to what he has to say.

I have no idea if the story he told me is true or not. He has played a practical joke or two in his day. Short of travelling to Africa, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Even if there is a bit of embellishment to the story, it is a great tell with an insightful message.

In Africa, as Charles tells it, the natives have a clever way to catch monkeys. They take a coconut shell, cut a small hole in one end, and hollow it out. The hole is just big enough to allow a monkey's hand to enter.

Then they attach a string to the other end of the coconut shell, place some peanuts inside, put the shell in the middle of a clearing and hide themselves behind a tree until a monkey comes.

The monkey smells the peanuts inside the shell ... it reaches in to grab the peanuts ... but when it does, its fist, full with peanuts, is too large to pull back through the hole.

The natives start pulling on the string and reel the silly monkey in. Why, because the monkey will not let go of those peanuts to save his life. All the monkey would have to do is let go of the peanuts. He doesn't, as he has to have the peanuts.

I'm thinking there may be some truth to his story. I did a Google search "catch a monkey using a coconut" and found one hit on a bladder cancer website that included an article on relaxation that references an African legend, where they do they catch monkeys using coconuts with a banana inside. Seriously!

So let's assume this monkey catching technique works. Chances are if you're like me, you'll never get a chance to try it out.
I don't recommend you doing this at your local zoo!

So why tell the story? Do you find yourself grasping a fist full of peanuts? Do you ever get hold of something and not let go? Do you want the peanuts so badly that you fail to consider other alternatives to achieve your goal? Are you flexible and effective in your thinking? Are you prepared to try other methodologies and techniques? Do you seek out others for advice?
Do you use your power of observation on those who are successful?

I believe one of Charles' greatest strengths is his ability to make things simple. Once he has done this, he shares the basics for success with his team. He then walks the talk and leads by example. He believes in his people, they believe in him. He's the type of leader that wouldn't use coconuts to capture monkeys, he'd sit down with them, and using his big smile and power of persuasion, have them convinced they should simply follow him home. They probably would!

Charles goes on to offer some simple advice on how to "get the peanuts." I wonder if this is the basics of sales success.

1.Always be prospecting. "Everyone is an opportunity for new business or a referral."
2.Keep the calendar full of appointments. "A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest."
3.Be proficient in your presentation skills. "Confidence sells."
4.Your customers are a gold mine for future business. "Treat them right and they will take care of you."
5.Set stretch goals. "Great things happen to those who make things happen."
6.Hard work is just that. "Honest intelligent effort is always rewarded."
7.Have fun. "Enjoy what you do and you'll be good at it."

Great advice Charles, thanks for sharing. Wishing you continued success!


Automotive Sales Leads - How To Caputure And Generate Leads From Your Own Website

How To Convert The 96.7% Automotive Leads That Leave Your Website Unaccounted For.

automotive marketing, lead generation website, car dealer, auto sales leads

If you are like most car dealers when prospective buyers visit your current website you only have 2 ways to capture their information.

They must either submit a vehicle inquiry (less than 3% will do) or apply for financing (less than 1% will do), that means 96% of your website visitors are leaving your site without you even knowing who or what they were looking for.

Now some car dealers will have savings certificates and free test drive gifts but that still only captures the "in the market right now crowd."

Consumers use the internet for information and most of the time they will look and shop a few months before they are actually ready to buy. With your website only offering 2 ways to capture your visitors information and these two methods being designed for ready to buy now consumers it is totally eliminating your chance to follow up with the "not ready to buy at this exact second" crowd which is over 96% of your website visitors.

Studies have also proven that generating automotive leads from your own website offers the best closing ratios however if you do not have effective ways to capture those "ready to buy now" and "just looking" automotive sales leads you will never see the true success of your Internet Sales Department.

You need to look at your current website capture methods and try to incorporate a system that will be able to capture your visitors information no matter where they are at in their own buying cycle.

By focusing your capture efforts and trying to build a large database of email addresses you will have greater success and sell more vehicles online.

If you would like to see what some of the top automotive groups are doing to build their database visit:


How To Sell More By Getting Motivated Buyers to Call You First

Sales is all about timing - being in front of the right buyer at the right time.

This article describes one of the three ways you can get in front of motivated buyers who want what you sell.

sales motivated buyers be first timing Craig Elias Innersell sell training prospect customer differentiate price erosion differentiation rise to #1

How many sales opportunities have you lost to competitors who seemed to have the inside track? It’s likely the buyer purchased from their emotional favorite.

Selling goes beyond communicating the value of your products and services. Selling is about communicating the value of doing business with you. It is about connecting with a buyer and becoming their ‘Emotional Favorite’. Success in sales requires three things:
1) A viable product that addresses a need
2) Credibility
3) Timing.

Some in sales claim in sales timing is everything; experienced sales professionals know timing is the ONLY thing.

There are a plethora of credible businesses with viable products. To be truly successful at selling you need timing - to be the first or second person a motivated buyer talks to when they need something. There are three simple ways to get timing:
1) Sheer numbers – if you contact enough prospects, you’ll eventually find motivated buyers
2) Referrals – someone tells you a motivated buyer has a need for your product or service
3) Become a buyer's ‘Emotional Favorite’ - the motivated buyer calls you first

Value Of Being First
Being one of the first suppliers in front of a buyer at the time they need what you sell is key to getting the business. Once the buyer begins to shape a solution around a vendor’s product or service, they become emotionally tied to that solution. People tend to make decisions and move on to the next problem.

What Is The Emotional Favorite?
Think about the last time you purchased a product or service. When you picked up the phone, did you call the person who helped you in the past? The person who adds value to your business or your career every time you ask for their assistance? Chances are you did. The fact of the matter is most people do.

It used to be that people bought from those they know, like, and trust. To be successful in sales today, you need to go one step further and connect with buyers to become the person buyers know, like, trust…and most importantly want to see succeed!

The emotional favorite is the person a buyer calls first, regardless of what they need.

Becoming The Emotional Favorite
So, if being the emotional favorite means helping buyers fulfill their needs, how do you create this relationship where your buyers think of you as their one-stop resource?

Start by asking questions about the buyer when you meet for the very first time and at the end of EVERY sales call.

Think about the last time you encountered a ‘stereotypical’ sales person, the one who immediately launches into a sales pitch. How did you react? After a minute or two, did your eyes glaze over? As the sales person drones on, you stop listening waiting for an opportunity to end the conversation. Ultimately, that sales person falls to the bottom of the list of people you call when you need something. Not where you want to be if you’re looking to become the Emotional Favorite.

Asking The Right Questions
Obviously, you’re not going to start with ‘Hi, I’m Craig. What’s your greatest challenge?’

Start with open-ended questions: Ask about how the latest government policy changes, or shifts in technology has impacted their business. Relate their business to your other industry contacts and share some of your own insights. Then you can ask about their greatest challenges and you will likely get the answers you are looking for.

Frame your questions outside your existing sales professional to buyer relationship because by default, the buyer will answer in terms of your products or services. Start with “Let’s forget about what I do for ABC Company for a minute” and ask:
• What is the biggest issue you have that you just can’t get to? or,
• What is the one thing you are looking for but can’t seem to find? or,
• What issue have you tried to solve but can’t find a satisfactory solution to?

Now shut up and listen! When the buyer stops talking, wait 6 seconds and listen to what they tell you next. First they’ll tell you about the problem. If you don’t interrupt them, they will tell you how the problem impacts them and the rest of their organization.

Now you have the enough information to connect the buyer with a solution and if it’s not available through you perhaps you know a colleague who can solve the problem.

What Are The Benefits Of Asking The Right Questions?
• You gain a better understanding of buyers and their organization.
• You will improve your relationships during a time when buyers do not need what you sell.
• You will get more face time with prospects and customers.
• You may learn of opportunities to sell.

Most buyers don’t tell you of needs they think are unrelated to what you sell. When you ask the above questions, you will learn of additional needs that may provide you with new opportunities to differentiate yourself and sell your products or services.

Craig Elias is a highly sought after advisor, speaker, trainer, and writer, on proven sales and networking strategies that help sales professionals, consultants and business owners differentiate themselves and become a buyers 'Go To' person. For almost 20 years, Craig Elias has been a top performer at every company that has hired him - including WorldCom where he was named the top sales person within six months of joining the company.

Craig Elias is also the Founder and Chief Strategy officer of InnerSell, an online sales tool used by sales professionals so that no matter what their customer needs they can get it through them. InnerSell has won Tim Draper's “Billion-Dollar Idea” pitch contest, collected a million dollar prize, been featured in International Press (NBC news, Business 2.0, The New York Times, Sales & Marketing management magazine …), and was recently selected by Dow Jones as one of the 50 most promising companies in North America and by the IBD Network as one of the 40 hottest companies in Silicon Valley.

Learn more by contacting Craig by phone (866.744.7904), or email (, or visiting


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