Selling may be a science, but not because there's a specific, repeatable process that will always result in predictable success, writes David Brock. Instead, selling is like science in that it requires participants to constantly ask questions and display "incessant, sometimes obsessive, curiosity," Brock writes.
Customers who behave in a difficult manner do so because they think it will work to their favor, so sales representatives must control their emotions when dealing with such buyers, writes Sean McPheat. Instead of taking it personally, sales reps should simply gather all the relevant facts and explain what can and can't be done to meet the customers' demands.
Customer relationship management software is likely to shift toward a focus on consistent customer experiences, writes Patricia Jones. Future CRM platforms should be able to use data from web browsing, social media interactions and other areas to provide new customer insights that can benefit sellers and marketers.
Home purchases have traditionally spurred economic recoveries, but the housing market today remains lackluster, reports Justin Lahart. Millennials are not buying homes in large numbers, keeping the home ownership rate among households headed by someone under 35 below historic levels.
Leaders have a number of ways to become more empathetic, including appreciating the perspectives of others, expanding their own horizons and listening deeply without getting overwhelmed, writes Pamela McLean. "Whether we over-empathize and care too much, or completely miss the opportunity to connect with empathy, the result is similar -- we miss the opportunity to build a working relationship," she writes.
Compensation is important when trying to attract and retain talented sales personnel, but the right sales culture can be an even bigger factor, writes Troy Harrison. He recommends that companies begin by hiring "good company citizens" and creating sales competitions that are team-oriented.
The trade war between the US and China increasingly poses a threat to the global economy, experts said. Malaysia, Mexico, Japan and Singapore are among the countries that could be most affected because they depend heavily on trade.
Enterprise resource planning software can help companies improve collaboration as they develop business processes, but ERP isn't helpful when it comes to maintaining customer relationships or turning leads into buyers, writes Workbooks CEO John Cheney. To shore up these weaknesses, companies should consider integrating customer relationship management platforms with ERP systems to "draw on the best of both systems and produce an efficient and cost-effective way of working," Cheney writes.
Tariffs on Chinese goods are squeezing some small businesses and forcing them to re-evaluate their operations. Companies may pass on the costs to consumers or attempt to adjust their supply chains, but there are drawbacks to each approach.
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