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Customer Relationships

Are “Relationships” really relevant to the sales profession?

 

One of best pieces of advice I ever received about holding on to important clients and customers was this: During times of uncertainty, approach your business contacts from a different perspective than during so-called “normal” times.

 

The global pandemic has highlighted the need for sales teams to focus appropriate amounts of selling time, effort, and energy on client retention.

 

Everyone loves a good quiz and the Sandler Research Center has a tricky question for any business leader responsible for customer success or net revenue retention.

 

Mike Montague interviews Ray Setter on How to Succeed at Customer Service.

 

The value of client retention is significant, especially when compared to the cost of customer acquisition.

Brian Sullivan Interviews Jonathon Farrington on The Critical Elements of Proactive Client Retention.

In order to combat this frustration and fear of product obsolescence, producers offer you over-the-air updates that upgrade your product’s software to perform new tasks and make your user experience, in general, more satisfying.

 

As we progress in the first quarter of 2020, I decided to do my annual review of our current client base to develop a better understanding the people who utilized my professional development services. I’m proud of the fact that our typical client stays with us for an average of 5 years!

It’s that time of year. The holidays loom, there is a chill in the air, and countless articles appear providing guidance to sales representatives about how to close the year strong. The five, ten or twenty best strategies are outlined in checklists to insure end-of-year success. “Contact every client” is an action often recommended, as is “Revisit prospects who have chosen another vendor.”

We’ve all heard the sobering statistics that winning a new major account costs far more than keeping one – depending on the study you read, perhaps twenty times as much. And we’ve all heard how even a small increase in a firm’s overall major client retention rate has an exponentially positive effect on revenues and profits. We also know, of course, that, on the flip side, decreases in retention rates produce similarly negative impacts, often devastating and long-lasting.

We all know the statistics. Most selling organizations derive 80% of their revenues from 20% of their clients. Winning a new major account costs up to 20 times more than keeping a current one. And even a small percentage increase in a firm’s major client retention rate can have an exponentially positive effect on revenues – while similar decreases can produce negative financial impacts, often devastating and long-lasting.

 

Here are five simple ways we can improve the quality of our communication with the people who are currently buying from us and expand and deepen those relationships over time.

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Let’s state the obvious here: Your customer is your business and customer satisfaction is crucial to the success of your business.So how are you measuring customer satisfaction? If you’re like most businesses, you’re using customer feedback surveys. (And if you’re not, you should get on board.)

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Sean Coyle, Sandler trainer, prospecting expert, and David H Sandler Award winner talks about how to lower defensive walls and build rapport quickly in a sales call. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of master salespeople and prospectors who can quickly and easily build trust with their prospects.

Learn how to engage and partner with gatekeepers to get to more decision-makers. Sean Coyle is Sandler's prospecting expert and host of the online course. In this episode, Sean talks about the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top sellers and how they interact with gatekeepers and admins. 

Learn how to do a simple five-part client satisfaction call using the RECON framework. Caroline Robinson, Sandler trainer from the UK, talks about checking in with your clients and getting on the same page.

Customer relationships are the lifeblood of any sellers’ career. The ability to attract clients, build rapport, and start sales conversations ultimately determines the level of success that a salesperson will enjoy. You can be an extreme specialist who knows all the tricks of the trade, but without supplementing your knowledge with interpersonal communication skills, you’ll fail to connect with your clients or prospects on a deeper level. Building rapport is essential to turn yourself from a transactional seller into a trusted partner. Below I’ve outlined four ways to strengthen your bond with clients.

The more opportunities you have to interact with your prospects, the better, and the end of the year is an opportune time to reach out and reconnect with your clients and prospects to get in front of them prior to the new year.

Getting started in sales, or increasing your success once you’ve established yourself, can be a very challenging task. One of the hardest parts of this process is securing leads. What’s even harder is ensuring those leads are qualified.

To grow as a salesperson, mastering this aspect of your career is key. Below I have identified three ways to get qualified referrals. Incorporating these simple tips will help you step up your referral game and uncover a path to new levels of success.

The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.

Welcome to Selling the Sandler Way, with your host Dave Mattson, the president and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler Selling System.

The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.

The sales industry is fast-paced now and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the clutter of new selling techniques, emerging technologies, and more specialized analytics. Although those components – and some others – can play a major role in your level of success. It would be a mistake to spend too much time on them and ignore the basics. Before you get carried away learning this or that, remember to take it back to your roots and ensure that you are providing optimum customer service. If you have strayed a bit or are just looking for a reminder, below are five imperative tactics to employ in your practice.

In this episode of Selling the Sandler Way, Dave Mattson, the President and CEO of Sandler Training explores the Sandler Selling Philosophies behind the Sandler Selling System with Michael Norton, EVP of Global Accounts at Sandler Trainer.

You’ve closed the deal – but your job isn’t done quite yet. Managing client expectations can help you make the most of your new relationship and ensure you are striking the right balance. By working together to outline goals, define success, and clearly communicating your progress and milestones, you can increase transparency to build the long lasting relationship with your new client.

After months of trying, Milt had finally obtained an appointment with Walt, the CEO of BigCorp. Milt was looking forward to meeting with Walt and asking all the questions he had carefully prepared in order to qualify this opportunity. He arrived at the appointment in time … but before he could even ask his first question, Walt barked: “OK, it’s a busy morning, and we’ve only got ten minutes. Show me whatcha got.”

According to Entrepreneur, we receive 193.3 billion emails every day. On average, that means each person's inbox is hit by about 120 emails a day – with some people receiving less and some receiving many more. Breaking through to your target audience when you're up against such odds can be tough. Even with all the inbox competition, email marketing can be quite lucrative when handled correctly. 

Just like all the other areas of a company—the warehouse, the accounting department, shipping—customer care is a process. In fact, it typically involves a number of processes, such as incoming order processing, returns and re-stocking, setting up new accounts and solving customer problems. If a customer-care candidate does not already have a process orientation, it will be an uphill battle to instill one. Consider the following true story.

Instead of repeating the same customer service behaviors over and over with customers who have their unique characteristics and preferences, every employee must learn how to adjust their customer service style from one customer to the next. If we do not do this, some customers are left disappointed, even when the customer service standards have been met.

Despite what most traditional sales trainers tell us, it's very difficult to convince people that they want or need something that they're not already asking to buy. Our experiences at Sandler Sales Institute have demonstrated that when we try to force-sell our products or services, all we do is evoke feelings of defensiveness in our prospects. Unconsciously, the prospects "defend" whatever it is they already own or use. Under those circumstances, prospects won't make a "new" decision.

Price isn't everything anymore, nor does sales volume guarantee profitability. Marketing and sales have shifted from an emphasis on transactions, sales volume, and competitive pricing to an emphasis on creating and retaining the right customers. The key word is "right." It means that not just any customer will do.

The STORY: The prospect looked up at the ceiling and said to Tim, “I was just trying to figure out how I would best use your product.” With the prospect still staring at the ceiling and “dead air” seemingly stretching for hours, Tim hurriedly decided to make some suggestions.

Spend some time in the psychology or self-help section in any bookstore and you'll find hundreds of books written on transforming troubled relationships. Whether husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend or employer/employee they dominate the shelves promising THE magical solution to resolving any issue imaginable.

Do you sometimes struggle to get your message across to a prospective client? You know that what you have to offer is exactly what the prospect needs, but the more you try to make your point, the more you realize that the prospect is tuned to a different wavelength. You cover the main points…highlight key concepts…point out major advantages, but the prospect just doesn’t seem to get it. Been there? The problem, most likely, isn’t your product or service—it’s your message.

You Don't Have to Look Both Ways...if You Never Cross the Street - What element is essential for obtaining a client What element is essential for retaining a client? What element, when ignored, will facilitate losing a client? The answer to all three questions is

How Do You Establish Rapport? - Salespeople recognize that establishing rapport with a prospect is an essential ingredient for developing a meaningful business relationship. There is an abundance of information available about how to develop rapport. The information covers everything from what to say, the tone of voice to use, and the posture and facial expressions to exhibit, to how to recognize and appropriately respond to various personality styles.

Can you answer the question, "What is rapport?" The French originated the word rapport, meaning "to bring or offer back." However, the French use the word most often in the phrase en rapport avec, meaning "to be in connection with someone."

How do you show your clients all the extra work you've done for them, extras that never show up on their bill? You've done the work to prove you're partner, but if you don't communicate the time and energy expended, don't be surprised when your client doesn't value it.

Prospecting letters can uncover gold-but only if you observe these tried-and-true rules: Personalize. Businesses don't buy from businesses; people buy from people. Address your prospecting letter to people, not to their business-and never to "occupants." Target your letter by using recipients' names and titles-spelled correctly of course.

No matter how much the world of business may change, one factor will never change: Your most valuable sources of information are your customers. They will tell you what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and what you need to change immediately to remain competitive. Customer advisory groups may be the best consultants you'll retain.

In today's environment, the cost of acquiring new accounts has skyrocketed. Studies over the years have shown that selling additional products and services to an existing client base can be more cost effective than spending time in new client development. With existing accounts, we have already absorbed the cost of acquiring the business. Our existing client base would utilize more of our services if only we had the foresight to ask for the business. Yet, we seldom ask.

Can you answer the question, "What is rapport?" The French originated the word rapport, meaning "to bring or offer back." However, the French use the word most often in the phrase en rapport avec, meaning "to be in connection with someone." When you walk into a prospect's office, what do you do to establish rapport? Traditionally, salespeople look for something in the office that begs a question. For example, "Is that your sailfish on the wall?"

Can you answer the question, "What is rapport?" The French originated the word rapport, meaning "to bring or offer back." However, the French use the word most often in the phrase en rapport avec, meaning "to be in connection with someone." When you walk into a prospect's office, what do you do to establish rapport? Traditionally, salespeople look for something in the office that begs a question. For example, "Is that your sailfish on the wall?"

It’s a generally accepted notion that acquiring a new customer is more expensive than retaining an existing customer. Add to that fact a sluggish economy where businesses are scrutinizing budgets and considering alternative suppliers, and it’s easy to understand why it’s important to have a customer retention strategy in place. After all, current customers (as well as past customers) have already demonstrated that they want and are willing to pay for your products and services. It makes good sense to hold on to them. Doing so is crucial to the growth and success of your business.

Seminars are an excellent way to make yourself, your company, and your product or service known to a select group of prospects. You can conduct either customer appreciation seminars or educational/public seminars.

Many salespeople are of the mindset that it’s inappropriate to ask clients for referrals until after the clients had experienced the outcomes promised by the product or service. Their thinking is that if they deliver the intended outcomes…and do so in an exceptional manner, clients will be more willing to provide a name or two when asked.

We already know that our demeanor and our communication style create an image with prospects. In our prospect's mind, that image is a reflection of our company. We don't treat a brand new prospect the same way we would treat a member of the Saturday night bowling team we've been sharing beers and bad jokes with for five years.

Despite what most traditional sales trainers tell us, it's very difficult to convince people that they want or need something that they're not already asking to buy. Our experiences at Sandler Sales Institute have demonstrated that when we try to force-sell our products or services, all we do is evoke feelings of defensiveness in our prospects. Unconsciously, the prospects "defend" whatever it is they already own or use. Under those circumstances, prospects won't make a "new" decision.

As appeared in the Business Ledger, September 2013 - have been writing articles for the Business Ledger for over five years and most of my writing has focused on selling from the perspective of sales professionals and techniques and behavior they can integrate to improve their selling strategies and goals. There is, however, another side to the story and that is the buyer’s point of view on the sales process. The ideas in this article come from over 400 interviews with buyers from a wide range of industries and reflect their thoughts on the way salespeople behave during the buyer/seller dance.

The STORY: The prospect looked up at the ceiling and said to Tim, “I was just trying to figure out how I would best use your product.” With the prospect still staring at the ceiling and “dead air” seemingly stretching for hours, Tim hurriedly decided to make some suggestions.

How good would you say you are at listening to your prospect? Most salespeople we talk to rate themselves pretty highly in this area. Yet most, sad to say, fail the Tooth Fairy Test. Let’s suppose a six-year old child came to you beaming, with a new silver dollar in hand, and said, “Look what the Tooth Fairy left me last night!” And let’s suppose that, when you saw that child smile, you noticed there was a brand-new gap where a tooth used to be.

Has this ever happened to you? You had an initial meeting with a prospect. You asked that prospect what seemed to be all the right questions. You had what felt to you like a good conversation, and based on that conversation, you scheduled the next meeting. You sat down at your computer. You prepared a proposal...

How many times has this happened to you? You got a promising referral, or scheduled a conference call, or showed up at an initial meeting with someone who seemed like a perfect fit for your product, service, or solution. Then, about five minutes into the discussion, you found yourself experiencing a “disconnect” of some kind with that seemingly perfect customer. And the relationship died.

When Under Attack, Fall Back Has this ever happened to you? You're in the middle of a discussion with a prospect, and suddenly you're caught flat-footed by what seems like an attack.

Can you answer the question, "What is rapport?" The French originated the word rapport, meaning "to bring or offer back." However, the French use the word most often in the phrase en rapport avec, meaning "to be in connection with someone."

Have you ever seen a prospect’s eyes glaze over? Most professional salespeople have had this experience. Maybe you have, too.

Prospecting letters can uncover gold-but only if you observe these tried-and-true rules: Personalize. Businesses don't buy from businesses; people buy from people. Address your prospecting letter to people, not to their business-and never to "occupants." Target your letter by using recipients' names and titles-spelled correctly of course.

How do you show your clients all the extra work you've done for them, extras that never show up on their bill? You've done the work to prove you're partner, but if you don't communicate the time and energy expended, don't be surprised when your client doesn't value it.

Did you ever have a conversation with a prospect who suddenly, and for no apparent reason, became unreceptive to perfectly good advice?

When someone hands you a business card and says, "you should call this person", it's not really a referral. Without more information, it is more like they're sending you on a cold call. Cold calling is way down the list of favorite prospecting activities for most salespeople, and sometimes that frustration can spill over to referrals.

All salespeople with a small amount of experience have a 30-second commercial (a.k.a elevator pitch, popcorn introduction, etc.) down pat. And that's the problem.

I spend about 80% of my time working with sales professionals to perfect their ability to structure the questions that need to be asked. They all understand the importance of asking questions but need some assistance in creating their own tailored versions. Salesmen often enjoy the exercise of deciphering which questions uncover the compelling reasons the prospect should do business with them. 

You know good customer service when you experience it. It's hard to explain at times when it's not so great, but it's easy to recognize when a customer service agent has gone above and beyond to make sure you're satisfied. At some point, every day, everyone is a customer. A good customer service experience is something that everyone can relate to - so what is it that makes for an exquisite customer service touchpoint

There's something to be said about children who continue to ask "why" about everything. When they ask and you respond, and they ask "Why?" again, it means they don't have the complete answer to their question. They will continue to ask until they understand the entire concept or until the adult gets frustrated. In business, asking "Why?" five times can produce the same quality understanding to prepare for better results. Common complaints we hear often in business:

Nothing lasts forever, right? While it may seem pessimistic, having a plan for dealing with a client's departure is sound advice when it comes to maintaining business and clients. We spend so much time building solid, trusting relationships with clients that it can come as quite a blow when news hits that your client contact announces they're leaving their current position.

Like it or not, times have changed and the usefulness of a voicemail is up for debate. With email, text messages and Caller ID, some people find it irritating to see that they have a blinking red light or a notification alerting them to check their voicemail. And as sales professionals, the last thing we're trying to do is annoy a prospect or current client.

A mistake too many salespeople make is not keeping in touch with former clients. It's not uncommon for past clients to come to a point where they need your product or service again but don't remember how to get in touch with you. They are more likely to have your competitors' information handy. (Your competitors are still calling on your client even though you are not).

The good and bad of relationship-based sales. The Good Relationship-based sales methods are ideal. Most of the time those relationships are the only thing protecting you from competing solely on price. In sales training, we have a saying: "All things being equal, people buy from people they like. All things being unequal, people still buy from people they like."e

Attending a networking event? WHY?? That may seem like a strange question, but time is one of our most limited resources! Taking a few minutes to evaluate why you should attend THIS particular networking event may save you hours of unproductive time and energy.Often, sales professionals tell me that they make their decision to attend an event based on the location of the event and their calendar availability. Instead, base your decision to attend an event based on: Will your ideal target market likely be there? If not

Aberdeen's research shows that the best sales training companies, like Sandler Training, integrate sales training and customer relationship management.

A prospect has agreed to meet with you and indicated they are genuinely interested in your product or service. You arrive at the meeting and spend 40 minutes with the prospect sharing how your product can solve their problems, which they've just shared with you. They are very impressed with you and all the features and benefits that you've shared... They're happy with the delivery timelines, the after sales service that will be provided and once you send the proposal with the price they're sure they can get the rest of the committee to agree to move forward

I had an interesting conversation at a social event that made me recognize that I, along with people in general, seem to want to make decisions for other people. This is an interesting observation from a sales perspective and it's also applicable in our everyday lives. Let me share the story

Why do we think that by asking a question we'll hurt the prospect's feelings? What you need to remember is that that you are not responsible for how a prospect reacts to a question that you ask. Clients share with me daily the questions they've avoided asking for fear of upsetting the prospect. Sometimes they get frustrated with themselves because they feel they lost a sale or an opportunity of a sale because they lacked the guts to ask questions. They would rather bite their tongue than ask a question that they think might make the prospect uncomfortable

Spend some time in the psychology or self-help section in any bookstore and you'll find hundreds of books written on transforming troubled relationships. Whether husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend or employer/employee, they dominate the shelves promising THE magical solution to resolving any issue imaginable. If you're in sales, what about the buyer/seller relationship? The same elements that make any relationship thrive also apply to developing and strengthening bonds with our prospects and customers

Sales isn't for the faint of heart. You don't just encounter negativity on a fairly frequent basis. In many cases, it is your job to sniff it out and address it immediately. Sandler Rule #3: "No Mutual Mystification," deals with an issue that often plagues sales professionals –  "happy ears."

You may not recall the first time you heard the word NO; however, that first time and the many times you heard it after all happened when you were a toddler. You continued to hear the word NO through your childhood years and eventually it became ingrained in your psyche.

Wednesday mornings are tough enough without our most annoying client calling in with the usual simple problem that he is over-reacting to. We sigh and answer the phone - all while making the facial gestures of a person eating oysters for the first time in their life. WHY does that client seem to be determined to drive you insane? It's your fault ... Every morning the manager from the operations department stops in to tell you how your team messed up his operations this weekend. She is soooo abrasive. You answer in abrupt sentences and quite rudely push her out the door

That's a headline straight out of sales training boot camp, but it's true. There is a question most people want answered when they go to a sales training program or read one of the many sales how-to books; that question sounds like this, "Is there really one secret weapon or magic formula to make me better and increase my sales?" Wouldn't it be wonderful to find one ... so would winning the lottery, but not many do it

Countless people go through sales training seminars every year only to emerge with slick tricks, a few doses of confidence and a belief that they'll be able to bully any prospect they meet into signing on the dotted line. While this may do just fine for the quick, lucky payday, it is not a system that builds long-term, profitable relationships.

No, we're not advocating neglect. Just understand that the salesperson should be looking for neither approval nor acceptance from his or her prospect. Learn how you can leave your emotions out of the equation.

I've spent a lot of time considering why the occupation of selling has been given such a low approval rating over the past 40 years. It wasn't always that way. Here's a story that got me thinking about this again. A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him

Recently I was working with a company's executive team in reviewing the progress we had made together in solving a longstanding, difficult problem that had stunted their growth for years and slowed their momentum. It was rewarding to see their excitement as we reviewed the results of our efforts together. It was a good team meeting and an encouraging feeling to share our successes. I should have left well enough alone, yet I recognized that the true learning and best growth had not gone far enough. I posed three follow-up questions:

I don't like emails! Thought I'd get that out on the front end so there's no mystery as to where I am heading. Now you're wondering what in the world has happened. What did he do wrong? What caused such a negative reaction to something as simple, routine and harmless as email

I have been doing a lot of traveling during the last two months. In spite of Chicago's brutal weather and some minor inconveniences, my flights and hotel reservations have gone remarkably smoothly and I have experienced a high level of customer service.

If your sales objective is to make the sale regardless, get the biggest order possible and structure the best deal for your company, then your entire focus is really on you.

The other day, people in the training center were discussing how they go about building trust. The group shared lots of ideas, and every idea they shared would probably do the trick. When all was said and done, we had a list of about twenty things people could do to build trust.

Today's business is focusing on something that champion athletes have always known: the right combination of training and coaching will help achieve greatness. It's not enough to have a superior product or service. You must have the skills to get that message across to your prospects. Training imparts the knowledge critical for success in today's competitive economy.

How would you answer this question: Why does someone or a firm engage you or decide to buy from you? Take a moment and write down the reasons you think people buy. From what I have seen in most professional schools, people compete to have the best grades, the most outstanding ideas and the most highly thought of papers. I have noticed that students who do well often get the most attention from teachers

As a salesperson, I seem to take quite a few lessons from movies and some of the best lessons are in some of the worst movies. Most people think Burt Reynolds played only tough guy roles and the occasional slapstick comedy role. But one of the best sales lessons I have ever learned was from the movie "The End." If you have not seen "The End," do not rush out to rent it. I am about to spoil the plot for you. This is kind of a cute movie starring Dom DeLuise and Burt Reynolds.

As a sales trainer with Sandler Training, I spend a lot of time talking to my clients and I get paid to work with them in four areas of their business: Strategy, Structure, Staff and Skills. Because I spend hours talking to them, I learn quite a bit. And despite that fact, they still manage to surprise me with the questions they ask me.

Twenty years ago, when I was a young salesperson just starting out, I was fortunate enough to get sent to quite a bit of sales training. All of the training programs seemed to center around the "Three Big Steps to Selling." The "Three Big Steps to Selling" are: 1) Prospecting 2) Presenting 3) Closin

Imagine walking into a prospect's office and having him or her say, "I have a problem. There is a monkey on my back and I want to make it yours." Any normal person would know better than to say, "Great, toss that over here and let me add that to the monkeys I am already working with." As a sales coach, I spend time with quite a few people who have big monkey collections. They have accepted that their prospects and clients' problems are actually theirs. Unfortunately, these monkey collections have some predictable consequences

Recently, I found myself absorbed with the notion of influence. I wondered aloud who the great influencers of our time are, then wondered further how each had reached their influential positions. A voice in the room, that of a top trusted advisor, shot back, "The number-one salesman in the world is a kid who wants ice cream!" We laughed.. Yet buried in that answer was delicious truth.

Whoever said talk is cheap didn't know much about sales. Talk-too much talk, that is-can cost a lot. This is a difficult lesson for many sales professionals to learn, and that's understandable. People in sales tend to have outgoing personalities. They enjoy good conversation, and the longer they are in sales, the better they get at making small talk, establishing an emotional connection with the prospect, and driving a conversation toward the specific end of closing a sale

I don't know about you, but I have never liked being told what to do. I don't think I've ever met anybody who did respond well to that kind of instruction, even when the person in charge-a coach at sports, for example-clearly knew what he was doing if the message is delivered wrong. It doesn't matter if what you are saying is true, if it's not delivered properly. You can be the authority, but no one cares if you can't deliver your message in a way that others can accept. The fact that you have good prudent knowledge, the fact that you're correct, doesn't matter if not delivered properly.

It's March Madness time, which I enjoy, but not always for the same reasons my friends do. Because I'm in sales, it's fun just to watch the teams execute their strategies and then try to figure out how these strategies apply to my own profession. And what stands out, season after season, is how predictable the plays have become and how easily they can be countered

If you're like most sales professionals, you work hard to learn as much as you can about your product or service. You take pride in how much you know about your business. When you can answer any technical question that might come up in a call with a prospect, you feel confident. That's only natural. But as important as it is to be knowledgeable, your eagerness to display that knowledge can damage a relationship and cost you sales. To avoid this problem, you need to remember that expertise can be intimidating. It can turn people off

Hidden in the uproar over Mark McGwire's admission that he used steroids was a lesson for sales professionals. You might remember the moment, which has been replayed over and over: When McGwire hit his record-breaking homerun, Sammy Sosa-one of the Cardinal slugger's opponents-raced in from the outfield to hug him. It "looked great on TV," one of Sosa's Cubs teammates said recently, but the other Chicago players "didn't appreciate it." Sosa forgot an important rule of sports, of sales and of business generally: Your meter's always running.