Episode #189 – Anthony Solimini
A Productive Salesperson Must Have Excellent Communication Skills
Anthony Solimini is the CTO and Founder of AGS Training based in Phoenix, Arizona. He has trained thousands of sellers, sales managers, leaders, and professionals across the globe and personally have over 28 years sales experience in Financial Services and sales leadership. He was the Master Franchise owner of Sandler Training in Asia Pacific for over 7 years, and has authored two books on the topic of sales and sales management, both of which deal with the importance of building “Trust, Comfort and Confidence” with your prospects and clients!
Communication skills are necessary across all job fields, but Anthony Solimini adamantly emphasizes its usefulness in sales. You must be able to connect with prospects on a relational level. You need to effectively communicate the desired outcome of meetings. Above all, a salesperson must be able to ask for the sale. The foundation of a sales professional’s job must be excellent communication skills. According to Anthony, it separates the winners from the “averagers”.
Anthony Solimini has worked internationally in London, Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong in banking and sales. He is currently the Business Development Advisor at CSI Financial Group and starting his own training business—AGS training. He is the author of multiple books on sales and enjoys putting his comedic skills to good use on the side. He shares his expertise in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Be sure to listen!According to @AnthonySolimini, a productive salesperson must have excellent #communication skills. Listen to this episode of @SalesReinvented to hear his take on #productivity! #SalesReinvented #Sales #ProductivityTips Click To Tweet
Outline of This Episode
- [1:10] Anthony’s definition of productivity and its importance
- [2:42] Why aren’t salespeople productive?
- [3:57] Steps to improve day to day productivity
- [5:22] Excellent communication skills are an important attribute
- [10:03] Tools you can use to improve productivity
- [14:53] Anthony’s top 3 productivity tips
- [19:17] Stop filling your pipeline with suspects instead of prospects
When salespeople confuse efficiency with effectiveness
When Anthony was in banking in Singapore, he was told by his boss that he needed to double the number of meetings he was having weekly to increase his sales. When he did so, his sales plummeted even more. What he learned was that doing more of the wrong thing makes you less successful—and less productive.
Salespeople are often numbers-focused. They assume that if they schedule more meetings, make more phone calls, and get in front of more people that it equates to more sales. Anthony points out the error in this thinking and iterates that it’s about quality, not quantity. If you have fewer—but more focused—meetings you will have a higher closing percentage.
He also notes that salespeople need to be in front of the right people who have a want, need, or desire for the product or service they’re selling. If they don’t, they are taking advantage of your time and expertise to gain information or knowledge. Don’t fall into this trap.In this episode of @SalesReinvented, @AnthonySolimini shares an example of when salespeople confuse efficiency with effectiveness—and what to do instead. Listen now! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Productivity #Communication Click To Tweet
Salespeople need to have excellent communication skills—and confidence
According to Anthony, salespeople need to be laser-focused on what they want to achieve. They should go into every meeting confidently, with the ability to take control of the situation. A good salesperson should walk into a meeting with an agenda and a specific outcome they’re hoping for and be able to openly communicate that to their prospect.
Anthony points out that most top-performers are great communicators. They have the ability to build a relationship based on trust with their prospects. They show that they aren’t just there to make a sale and move on. A good communicator can present their pitch in a style that makes the other person feel comfortable.
Anthony knows that young up-and-comers in the sales world don’t immediately embody confidence. It takes time to become proficient at what you do. You’ll fail and learn from those failures. He believes that you can rely on the confidence your company has built—that it can come from the organization until you feel confident and prepared.
Set the scene for your meeting
Too often, sales professionals are laser-focused on their presentation and closing the deal that they forget about the human element. Anthony believes it is important to do your research—learn as much as you can about your prospect before you show up to that first meeting. Adding a personal touch is a means of differentiating yourself from everyone else pitching to them.
Go into the meeting and set your agenda: clearly state what you’re going to talk about and what your desired outcome for the meeting is. Anthony believes that “The sales process is 70% setting the scene and 30% closing”. After you set the scene you must adapt to your audience, listen and learn, evaluate and explain—only then do you sign and seal the deal (His SALES acronym).
Anthony shares his basic methodology in this episode, but you can get full details by reading his book that’s listed in the resources below.
Stop filling your pipeline with suspects instead of prospects
Anthony inherited an account from his boss—an account that his boss had been trying to close for 2 long years. His company had been courting this person by taking them golfing, paying for elaborate dinners, and giving away tickets to sporting events. Anthony was fed up with this prospect. He was flying every time he met with him and it had gone on far too long.
He finally switched tactics. The next time he met with the prospect, he prepared a summary of the last two years. At the end of his presentation, he said “I get the feeling you will never do business with us” and succinctly stated it was time to stop wasting each other’s time. The prospect conceded that he wouldn’t be doing business with them.
When asked why he didn’t tell them sooner, his response was a simple shrug—“no one ever asked”. Anthony’s company had wasted years on this prospect when they could’ve spent 20 minutes discovering the reasons they could never do business together. The potential client would never ruin the relationship with all of the FREE stuff he was getting!
From there on out, Anthony adopted a new policy: He would meet with a prospect a maximum of 4 times (if they sale was under a million dollars) and then ask for a yes or a no. Salespeople sometimes forget that even if they get a no, they are still closing the deal and can move on to someone who does want their business.Stop filling your pipeline with suspects instead of prospects! @AnthonySolimini shares an impactful story in this episode of @SalesReinvented. Don’t miss it! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Productivity #Communication #ProductivityTipsClick To Tweet
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Anthony
Connect With Paul Watts
Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
More About Anthony Solimini
What was the last book you read?
I am currently in the middle of Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini. He is, to me, the master of persuasion and influence! This book, Pre-Suasion, to me sums up my lifelong belief about sales and successful communication! In my book S.A.L.E.S.=$OLD!, the first step of my sales process is Set the Scene! Plan, prepare, use a call to action type of communication! It’s an excellent book! And secondly, as in my first book, ALWAYS try to achieve Trust, Comfort and Confidence in people to bond and build a strong rapport! Selling becomes so much easier!
Who / What inspires you?
True leaders! I worked in financial services for over 28 years and have had, at best, three REAL leaders! Leaders who inspired me, made me want to be a better person! That’s why when I train or coach people, I give 100% I want them to be successful! As all true leaders should do!
Are there any aspects of your own productivity skills that you are working on improving at the moment?
Oh, yes! For me, as I get older, it’s discipline and time management! I have so much energy, but at times I can easily get side tracked and lose focus! It’s all about having a plan, and sticking to the plan! For me, I try and set a few major gaols for each day, and when those are done, I can have some fun!
Having lived overseas for 30 years before moving back to the USA, I would have to say traveling! I’ve been to 43 countries, and plan to keep on going! However, my passion, is Stand Up Comedy! I started as a hobby 11 years ago to increase my communication skills, and it truly has become a passion! I have performed all over Asia, here in the USA and will be hosting a monthly sow here in Phoenix starting January 24th! It is the purest form of communication you can get. A microphone and a stage. That’s it! Makes cold calling pretty easy!
How can our listeners connect with you?
Well, my website is www.anthonysolimini.com and my email address is ags(at)anthonysolimini.com