Did you know that the maximum amount of time a person can focus intently on a task is 90 minutes? Any longer and your sales productivity starts to spiral downhill, your mind wanders and you lose your edge.

So then you start working on things that are easy to do, but not very important in the overall scheme of things.

It's time to get up and move. Go get some coffee. Take a walk outside. Have a chat with a colleague. Call a friend on the phone. Do some stretching. And, if you work at home, consider doing the laundry or something else that's totally mindless.

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Asking good sales questions is pivotal to your sales success. But, that's not what I'm here to talk about today. Instead, we're going to focus on what happens AFTER you ask these questions.

And, it's no secret that you need to be a good listener. To most people, that's a big duh!

But here's the deal. After asking a sales question, if the prospect hasn't responded in 2-3 seconds, the average seller jumps in to fill the silence.

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Find out how strategically planning for a sales meeting helped Heather land her company's largest contract. 

Heather*, CEO of a small training company, couldn’t believe her luck. Through a referral, she’d secured a meeting with a senior Pentagon leader to talk about her new management development program.

Waiting nervously in the lobby, she felt a bit out of place in her trendy outfit and edgy hairdo. When her name was called, she jumped up. Standing by the door to the hallowed halls was the General, who warmly greeted her. Several feet behind him stood his two aides de camp.

“Card,” the General barked. One stepped forward, handed him his business card and promptly resumed his original position. He handed it to Heather. Reciprocating, she fumbled in her purse till she found one, and then gave it to him.

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Katie was excited. She'd just received a promotion. And, for the very first time ever, she was asked to do a presentation to a client who was in for an all day meeting on Monday.

She'd be doing her part right up front. 10 minutes. That's all she had on the schedule. But she wanted to make a good impression - on both her colleagues and the client.

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So how does your value proposition look? Can you describe what you do in terms of tangible business results? Do you have documented success stories?

Or do you need to do some work to enhance your value proposition? If it’s not strong enough yet, don’t despair. Most people and companies have a much stronger value proposition than they realize.

Here are 3 ways you can unlock the impact your product or service has on on your customers' business objectives:

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I'll never forget the last talent show I was in. We were at a family church camp. My then 8 year old son insisted that I play a couple songs on the guitar. At first, I resisted. You might have too if you'd only taken three lessons, knew two chords and had never sung in public before. I didn't want to look and sound stupid in front of more than 300 campers!

But I finally said yes, after I realized that it was an opportunity to teach a valuable life lesson about taking risks.

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What’s the best way to handle sales rejection? I don’t know about you, but I’ve hated it from the day I got into selling.

Some sales gurus say you need to embrace it because each “No” gets you closer to a “Yes.” Others tell you that it’s not personal – and you need to toughen up. Neither of those approaches worked for me.

But I’d like share what did.

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If you're selling, you're most likely experiencing fear. I say that, because I've dealt with it my entire professional career. I've worried about meeting my quota. Then, when I did, I worried about doing it the next month. I was afraid of losing customers or worse yet, losing opportunities to competitors.

No one really talks about this fear, but it's underneath everything.

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The other day I was at the Olive Garden talking to a prospective client over lunch. He was telling me about all the challenges his sales organization was facing.

Setting up appointments with new prospects was a nightmare. Decisions were taking longer and longer to make. Competition was everywhere, undercutting their proposals.

His reps were frustrated, discouraged.

“If only they could all be like Paula,” he said, shaking his head in frustration. “Can you clone her?

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What if you were at risk of losing your best customer?

It’s time to get your thinking cap out again. I’m here to stretch you out of your comfort zone so you can see things in new ways. Today we’re going to look at your very best customer – the one you love working with and who contributes a fair share to your income. Got it?

Good, because now I want you to put yourself in your competitor’s shoes. You want this account really badly. And you know whose currently got the business.

So as you sit now, in your competitor’s shoes, here’s some questions I want you to think about: 

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