Vickie Sullivan

Market Strategy for Thought Leaders

Vickie Sullivan’s RainToday.com Articles

Since 2007, Vickie Sullivan has been a contributing editor at RainToday, the largest online community of professional service firms. Here are her columns about marketing, branding, and selling your expertise.

How Front-Runners Lose the Deal

October 19, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

This summer was spent under construction as hubby and I destroyed and redesigned our entire backyard. The first of many surprises: our favorite landscaper lost the bid to someone we didn’t even know. How we chose the underdog for this expensive project can provide lessons for all of us in the sales business.

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When a Buyers Says ‘We’ve Gone in a Different Direction’

September 14, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

When I work with thought leaders on their sales approach, a conversation about the dreaded “we’ve gone in a different direction” decision eventually comes up. Based on those conversations (and the times I’ve used this excuse myself), here are the most common (and hidden) scenarios behind that statement and how you can best respond.

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3 Sales Messages Only Strategic Stories Can Communicate

August 12, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

Unless you’ve just splashed down from another planet, you know about the power of stories. They provide the proof and emotional context that can help buyers understand what you offer.

Unfortunately, this great tool is underused. It’s time to change that. Here are three strategic (and critical) messages that can be communicated only through stories and examples of the kinds of tales you can tell.

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Two Buyers Who Will Hear Your Pitch — and the One Who Won’t

July 8, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published on RainToday.com

Conventional wisdom says to keep your pipeline filled with prospects. But generating leads and selling can be all-consuming, infringing on your work with clients. If, however, you focus on who will give you a fair hearing instead of trying to win business from everyone you come across, you can decrease your sales time, increase your close rates, and give your clients high-quality work.

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3 Curveballs Buyers Throw That Can Kill a Sale

May 28, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

Most sales processes involve doing your homework and learning about the organization you are calling on. Sometimes, however, the best groundwork doesn’t prepare you for those out-of-the-blue developments that can kill a deal in an instant. Below are three of the most common head-scratching curveballs buyers frequently throw, what causes their behavior, and how to respond to them.

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3 Reasons Prospects Don’t Call You Back

April 16, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

It happens to all of us. You have a great conversation with a possible client. They are indeed the “economic buyer” and are in the market for your solution. They say all the right things to make you believe they see your value clearly and are excited to work with you. You both agree to follow up at a specific time. Then…crickets. No response to your emails and voice messages.

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Why Referrals Fall Through

March 11, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

Good news: you get plenty of referrals. Bad news: many of these sales conversations start out strong but then fizzle out. Here are three reasons why even the best referrals don’t become clients and how you can prevent these dynamics from stalling your sales.

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3 Ways to Handle Misunderstandings — and Save the Client Relationship

February 2, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published on RainToday.com

There’s a lot of advice on how to prevent scope creep and project mistakes. It mostly depends on preplanning. But how we handle misunderstandings in real time can be the difference between having a raving fan and a client whose story is “well, they were OK, but…” Here are three ways to handle the situation when you, the client, or both of you make a mistake.

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How to Communicate Your ROI in Sales Conversations

January 6, 2015 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

Talking about return on investment (ROI) is one of the biggest balancing acts in sales conversations.  Buyers want proof that you are for real, but then they disregard or dispute the proof you provide.  Maddening isn’t it?  Here are three steps to discuss ROI without sounding like you are lying or desperate.

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3 Things to Give Away In Every Sales Conversation

November 12, 2014 | By Vickie Sullivan

Originally published by RainToday.com

Between social media and content marketing, help and advice are free and flowing.  So, how do you demonstrate your value in sales conversations without giving away what others charge for?  Here are three areas I focus on that help potential clients, demonstrate my value, and pave the way for getting clients.

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