Expert Selling: A Blueprint to Accelerate Sales Excellence

Expert Selling: A Blueprint to Accelerate Sales Excellence

by Sedric Hill


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In today’s business environment, advanced sellers must not only achieve sales quotas, but must also sell more and more complex products and services that drive profitable revenue growth. The road from journeyman to expert is not achieved through traditional behavior-based training that requires large amounts of dedicated time, but instead happens between the ears—through cognitive skill development. Science has proven that experts differ from novices primarily in the speed in which the right knowledge is accessed and through their ability to perform the basics consistently well.

In Expert Selling: A Blueprint to Accelerate Sales Excellence , sales trainer and success coach Sedric Hill unpacks the elusive “windows of expert advantage” and wraps them into the professional selling and persuasive communication domains. He reveals insights to expertise by teaching you to understand and improve the supreme mental skill in selling, connecting, which involves detecting, interpreting, and responding to buyers’ messages. You also discover the six essentials of persuasive communication—a roadmap to building excellent communication fundamentals (becoming brilliant at the basics). Finally, Hill introduces two innovative training approaches designed to accelerate selling expertise without requiring large amounts of dedicated training time.

Expert Selling is not a typical how-to book. It’s more of a blueprint, guiding you like a GPS to the next level of success. As sales quotas and the preponderance of complex offerings continue to rise, a burning platform is created hastening the need for good salespeople to become journeymen and for journeymen to become experts faster than ever before!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630477165
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Sedric Hill is a recognized expert and thought leader in sales training and coaching, with over twenty-five years of experience in sales, senior management, and training and development. He’s written several articles and white papers for national publications in the mailing equipment industry—Mail magazine and Mailing Systems Technology. Currently, Sedric authors articles on LinkedIn’s Publishing platform and for LinkedIn Groups reaching over 300,000 readers. He is an active speaker with several business and community organizations, and is the co-founder and president of Sales Development & Performance, a sales training and consulting firm located in Irvine, California.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction: Expert Selling xiv

Cognitive Skills versus Behavioral Skills xvi

Locating the Windows of Expert Advantage xvii

Section 1 Expert Performance Foundations: "How the Sausage Gets Made" 1

Chapter 1 Connecting: Recognition and Situation Awareness in Selling 3

What Is Selling Intuitively? 5

The Science behind Connecting: The RPD Model 5

The Role of Recognition in Expert Sales Performance 7

Experimental Research versus Descriptive Research 8

Learning Implicitly from Experts 9

The Price of Oblivion 12

Situation Awareness 13

Explicit and Implicit Objections (Fears and Concerns) 16

Product or Service Needs 21

Strategies to Master Product Needs Situations 22

Chapter 2 Situation Selling: Leveraging Customer Insights 25

Prospect's Appetite for Change 27

Understanding Customer Types 28

The Buying Process 29

Contact Level (Executive, Mid-Level, and Lower-Level) 34

Creating the Access! Letter (Formatting) 38

Group Dynamics in the Selling Environment 41

Internal Politics and Silos 43

Chapter 3 The Anatomy of Expert Sales Performance 45

Experts, Journeymen, and Novices 45

Capability: (Tacit) Knowledge, Skills, and Actions 47

Deliberate Practice: How Experts Become Experts 50

Effort: We Know a Lot More Than We Do 52

Moving from Effort to Passion 54

Execution 56

Causal Linkage to Results 58

Sales Results and Metrics: Evidencing Expertise 59

Performance Consistency: There Are No Trophies Given Out at Halftime 60

Chapter 4 Expert Attitude and Self-Awareness "You Are Who You Think You Are" 61

Professional Integrity and Ethics 61

Overcoming Communication Apprehension (Sales Anxiety) 65

Strategies for Controlling CA 68

Healthy Living and a Little R&R 70

Confidence: The Power of Believing 73

Commitment to Continuous Learning 76

Experience versus Experiences 78

Performance Goals: You Can't Achieve What You Can't See 79

Summary and Reflections on Section I 81

Section 2 Mastering the Selling Essentials: Becoming Brilliant at the Basics 83

Chapter 5 The Six Essentials of Persuasive Communication 85

Persuasive Skills - From Courtrooms to Boardrooms 86

The Role of Communication in Sales Performance 90

Personality-Style Models 92

Essential #1: Brilliant Planning 94

Visualization and Mental Rehearsal 95

Planning the Sales Meeting Structure 96

Planning the Sales Presentation 99

Essential #2: Brilliant Pause and Silence 102

Essential #3: Brilliant Clarity 106

Talking in Pictures 108

Using Visual Aids 108

Communicating Succinctly 110

Drilling the Central Theme- The Big Sexys 111

Summarizing Your Presentation 112

Chapter 6 Connecting Skills and Nonverbal Communication 116

Essential # 4: Brilliant Attentiveness 117

Genuineness in Communication 118

Showing Empathy 119

Active Listening 120

Additional Thoughts and Ideas to Improve Attentive Skills 122

Summarize the Speaker's Main Points 123

Nonverbal Communication: Listen with Your Eyes 123

Exercise: Detecting Nonverbal Communication 125

Spatial Nonverbal Cues 126

Mirroring 129

Suggestions to Improve Mirroring 129

Mirroring Traps and Behaviors to Avoid 131

Smile … It's Contagious 132

Chapter 7 Perceptiveness and Responsiveness Skills 135

Essential #5: Brilliant Perceptiveness 135

Interpreting the Conversational Goals of Your Prospect 139

Drawing Meaning from Messages 140

Thin-Slicing: Perceptual Speed and Accuracy 141

Discovering Insights 142

Essential #6: Brilliant Responsiveness 143

Adaptive Responses in PC 148

Adaptive Response to Communication Style or Preferences 148

Adaptive Response to Business Culture and Industry Protocols 149

Adaptive Response to the Buying Process 150

Summary and Reflections on Section Two 152

Section 3 Accelerating the Development of Selling Expertise 155

Chapter 8 Performance-Based Learning: Hastening Skills through Routine Work 157

Attentionality as a Foundation for PBL 159

Performance-Based Learning" Activities 160

Task Predicting 161

Task Piloting 162

Piloting as a Structured Activity 164

Call Reflection 164

Notes as Triggers 166

Call Reflection as a Structured Activity 167

Storyboarding 167

Proactive Storyboarding 168

Tools and Tips for Storyboarding 169

Storyboarding as a Structured Activity 170

An Example of Modeling on a Field Ride-along 171

Modeling as a Structured Activity 173

Expert Coaching 173

Self-Coaching 174

Settings for Expert Coaching 177

Expert Coaching as a Structured Activity 177

Chapter 9 Video Interactive Practice: "Anytime" Implicit Learning 178

The Research behind VIP 179

Instructional Methods of VIP 182

Leveraging Video in VIP Training 183

Video Interactive Practice™ 183

VIP Implicit Skill Practice 184

VIP Progressive Difficulty and Gamification Features 186

VIP Explicit Skill Practice 187

Enhancing Whole-Task Training 187

VIP Explicit Learning to Enhance Whole-Task Training 189

VIP Implicit Skill Training to Enhance Whole-Task Training 190

Summary and Reflections on Section Three 191

Chapter 10 The Blueprint: Step-by-Step Plan to Accelerate Selling Expertise 192

Conclusion 193

Steps 197

Acknowledgments 203

Appendix "Honorable Mentions" 204

Appendix A Product Knowledge (PK) 205

Appendix B Business Culture and Industry Knowledge (BIK) 207

Appendix C Ales Activity and Pipeline Management 209

Appendix D Meaningful Sales Leads 212

Appendix E Competitive Support Strategies 214

Appendix F Consultative-solution selling versus insight selling 216

Appendix G Business Acumen (BA) 218

Appendix H Prospecting 220

Appendix I CRMs in Sales, Creating a Win-Win 222

Appendix J Recommended Books 224

Appendix K Useful Tools and Job Aids 226

Agenda for Proposed I Upcoming Meeting 228

Special Memorial Dedication 229

References 230

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