Savvy Selling Sales Speaker
Tips, Talks and Tools
to Close More Sales Right NOW!

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Sales Tools

Savvy Selling Columns
BusinessWeek has published 150 + of my Savvy Selling columns. Here are many of them.

You are welcome to read and print copies for your own personal use. They are copyright-protected so you may NOT reprint them without contacting us and getting my written permission FIRST.

For the complete list, go to and in the Search box, type Michelle Nichols.

My last column

Wisdom from 25 Years in Sales

After six wonderful years writing for BusinessWeek, I'm moving on to new challenges. I'll leave you with some important lessons I've learned

Improving Your Selling Skills:

Out of the Corner and On to Your Team
Direct sales is a tough gig for someone with no experience. What should you do when your boss plants a "Dunce" on your sales team?

Use Your Super Selling Skills
If your sales could use a jolt, here are eight techniques to help you identify your superpowers and put them to good use

The Upside of Change: Increased Sales
Seven strategies to help you use changes to your advantage by being a better salesperson and a better sales-team leader

Explaining What You Sell
The products you sell or the company you represent may not be familiar to a prospective client. Consider these tips on how to get your message across

Get Motivated to Do More With Less
A Colin Powell speech got me thinking about force multipliers. Here are five ways to get more done with what you already have

How to Rebound After Losing a Sale
Develop and execute a follow-up plan to evaluate why you didn't get the order. You'll polish your skills and ultimately close more business

Using Fido to Clinch the Sale
Try talking to prospective customers about their pets. It can be a great way to make a quick connection

Using Accessories to Upsell
To boost your sales and profits with existing customers, consider adding a few extras to your product lines or services

Getting Past the Gatekeeper
Barriers to new customers range from wariness of salespeople to workplace restrictions. To reach these potential buyers, prove your relevance

I Repeat: It Pays to Repeat Yourself
Offering your customer the same information in different ways can help get your message across and close the sale

The Pitch for Speed
If "time is the new money," consider these six time-saving benefits you can offer to prospective customers on your next sales call

The Two-by-Four Closing Question
Selling is a series of steps. One way to convince customers to take those steps is to whack them between the eyes with a simple question

Overcoming Clients' Six Biggest Fears
Successful salespeople acknowledge customers' questions and worries, then use the answers to close more sales

Fear of Selling
Don't let it stifle your sales potential. Here's how to keep eight common phobias from holding you back.

Great (Sales) Expectations
What a seller intends to deliver and what a buyer anticipates to receive can vary widely. Here's how to head off potential problems

Company Tours: A Personal Way to Sell
Giving prospects a tour of your business facilities could catapult your sales proposal to the top of the heap and win the order

Spin Control for Salespeople
You can prevent bad buzz and encourage positive word of mouth by following these seven steps when dealing with prospects and customers

Dealing with Sales Disasters
Playing good defense on sales calls means being able to quickly recover from a mistake and close the deal

You're Never Too Young to Sell
Here are 12 ways to develop your skills and overcome prospective customers' concerns when you're starting out in sales

A Cold-Calling Classic: Handling Handouts
Every company needs new customers. Here are 5 tips to be better at cold calling - and what to do when prospects ask for handouts before they buy.

It's Not Just About Sales Goals
Six strategies to help you persevere while you're working to achieve a Big Hairy Goal

Listen Up for Better Sales
To improve your selling, improve your listening skills.

Softening Them Up (Overcoming the Price Objection)
Nine fresh ideas to overcome the price objection.

Five Ways to Build Customer Trust
Building trust builds sales. Here are 5 paths to more customer trust.

Classic Selling Mistakes
A refresher course on some basic sales techniques like don't push or insult your customer.

The Case of the Reluctant Customer
If you sell any type of professional services, here are ideas to overcome the objection "I think I should do it myself."

Dreaming Up the Perfect Sales Pitch
How well do your sales presentations compare to this perfect sales pitch?

Lose Customers the Easy Way
A funny sales adaptation of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" to remind you how easy it is to lose your best customers.

How to Increase Your Customer Base
Successful sales programs require strong referral systems AND continuous marketing. Learn how and why.

The First Task - Respect Yourself
If you want your customers to respect you, teach them.

From Tales to Sales
To improve your selling, use more stories along with the necessary facts. Stories are more believable, memorable, visual, portable, attention-getting and more!

Prioritize! It's a Matter of Urgency
To sell more, analyze all your selling duties by how urgent and important they are and focus on those that are urgent AND important.

From the Mouths of Babes

Getting Prospects to Say "I Do"

Anatomy of a Sales Strikeout

Cultivating Your Turf

A Hands-on Guide to Staying in Touch

Giving it Your Personal Best

The Holy Grail of Sales

Face-to-Face with a VITO

Nervous Before Your Presentation?

When Customers Want Kickbacks

The Art of Managing Expectations

David vs. Goliath, the Rematch

Laugh All the Way to the Bank

What Counts: Need, Money, Urgency

When Value Means More Than Cost

Networking With a Laser Focus

Snooze Your Way to Success

The Goldilocks Strategy

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Word

Balancing Family and Work

Relationship Rules for Salespeople
To improve your relationships with both customers and family members, maintain a balance by sticking to one set of standards

Keep the Big Picture in Mind - and Heart
Six simple lessons for all working parents to help balance selling and family, learned the hard way.

Creating a Legacy to Treasure -


Growing Your Business

Selling Deep vs. Selling Wide
Do you want to sell to more customers or sell more within your current accounts? Both approaches have advantages

Keeping the Chorus in Tune
If different departments are pushing different messages, customer confusion will result. Here's how to build harmonious teams

Four Reasons to Thank the Competition
It can you help you better define your product or service, improve on it, energize you, and educate potential customers

Selling Strong in the New Year
You can align your annual sales goals with your personal goals to sell more effectively using this six-step planning guide

Sales Incentive Plans: 10 Essentials
How to create a plan that works for both sellers interested in earning more and business owners and managers pushing for profits

Eight Career Paths for Salespeople
Solid sales skills can translate to success in eight different career paths. Here they are.

Selling in a New Place
Once you've decided to move your business to a new locale, here are ideas on how to resume profitability as quickly as possible.

Great Employees Make a Great Business
To increase sales, you must first attract, hire and retain great employees.

A Primer in CRM
There are several considerations in choosing a CRM but don't forget your customers while doing so.

Finding Your Way on the Web

Keeping Customers Reliably Satisfied

The Recipe for Sales Success

Click Your Way to a Sale

Holiday Gifts That Score with Clients


Building Connections with Your Customers and Employees

Connections that Close Deals
Two new books on building connections with customers.

Pull Together -- Or Fall Apart

Why Connections Trump Contacts

The Write Stuff for Selling -

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