Managing Sales Process

Here’s a collection of information-packed, research-based articles we invite you to read and share.

Negotiate Facts First
by Nick Miller

Frame negotiations and avoid power games by negotiating the facts first. An oil field pump manufacturer wanted a five-year term loan of several million dollars to double the size of its manufacturing facility and to provide working capital to expand sales to retain market share.  The company’s performance had been uneven – low profit margins, … Read more »


Mind Reading
by Nick Miller

How can we more accurately ‘read the minds’ of the people with whom we negotiate, to achieve better outcomes? Nicholas Epley, professor of psychology at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, has published a book, Mindwise – How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want. Important stuff if we’re negotiating. When … Read more »


The Most Toys Wins
by Nick Miller

“She (or he) who dies with the most toys, wins!” Have you heard that said, somewhere?  Whether said in fun or seriously, the sentence conveys a delighted “It’s all about satisfying me!” Applying the idea to  negotiations, we might say, “S/he who develops the most options, wins” … … and it’s all about “satisfying US” … Read more »


Sales Negotiation: Open With Our Best Shot
by Nick Miller

Shifting a little, uncomfortably, on the conference room chair, the Relationship Manager swallowed. “And, $7,500,” the RM continued, “is the loan fee.” Looking up from the bank’s commitment letter on the table before him, the borrower’s CEO paused, then said, lightly, “…OK.” As in, “OK, that’s fine,” or “OK, no worries, mate,” or “OK, I’ll … Read more »


Sales Negotiation: We Don’t Have To Open By Dropping Our Prices
by Nick Miller

“Negotiation” is a process we use to close a deal when we haven’t been able to reach agreement through our discussions to a particular point in time. There’s a notion that “negotiations are not predictable” and that we have to be prepared for anything, armed to the teeth with tactics. While we get surprised from … Read more »


The Middle Market: How Banks Can Capture A Major Growth Opportunity
by Nick Miller

by Nick Miller, President, Clarity Advantage & Charles Wendel, President FIC Most middle market banking groups are failing to achieve their potential in the middle market. As banks struggle to generate new revenue and grow, more are increasing their focus on middle market companies (typically $10 million to $100 million in revenues) because they are … Read more »


Bank Sales Strategies – 4 Keys to Retaining Small Business Customers
by Nick Miller

High levels of dissatisfaction with banks—particularly larger banks—hint at an oncoming train of significant customer attrition and churn when the economy improves and business owners feel confident they can get credit or better service at other banks.  How can individual business bankers and branch managers raise the odds of retaining small businesses and their owners … Read more »


Collaborate on Concerns for Winning Negotiations
by Nick Miller

Negotiation and overcoming objections go hand in hand, right?  Not necessarily.  Change your mindset from “overcoming” to “collaborating” and you’ll see that your negotiations lead to relationships, connections, and respect rather than a tug-of-war around your prospects’ points of view. Collaborate on prospects’ concerns rather than overcoming objections for win-win negotiations. Here’s how: Ask questions … Read more »


3 Ways to Increase Negotiation Results
by Nick Miller

Do you view sales and negotiation as separate functions?  All too often sales people do and all too often they are not.  Selling is about assessing and building value; negotiation is about dividing the value – they happen together. Good negotiating outcomes begin with and depend on value-oriented discovery and selling. To increase negotiation results: … Read more »


Questioning: How to Use it to Engage Prospects
by Nick Miller

Business owners think about things like hiring and managing the operations of their business.  Branch managers and business bankers think about profiling business owners’ needs and selling something because they’ve got goals to meet. When branch staff and business bankers engage prospects around the challenges they face, there are three key benefits: The prospect feels … Read more »