Lytle Article Archives

Ideas for salespeople and sales managers alike.

I’ve been writing sales and sales management articles for thirty-five years. I decided to go back and re-read some of them. Not all of them were relevant to today’s sales environment. However, the ones on this page contain timeless advice. New salespeople are hearing the same old objections. And sales managers get paid for doing less of what they got promoted for doing more of. Help is a click away.

Sales Articles:

Ideas Sell Better Than Salespeople
Sales skills are fine. But if you have good ideas you will succeed wildly. This is a story about swapping sales success stories one night on the deck after dinner with my friend, Tom. As I recall, cigars and cognac were involved, too.
You Can't Bore People Into Buying From You
A car dealer cancelled his annual contract. Find out what happened when he gave a young advertising rep twenty whole minutes to win back the order. This is a timeless story that emphasizes that advertisers buy the WAY we sell before they buy WHAT we sell.
It Worked for Me (The Strangest Secret)
Even if you got into sales accidentally, you can learn to succeed on purpose. In fact, I learned the secrets of success from “Hall of Fame” broadcaster Early Nightingale at an early age. Seven years later, I hit the road to share my secrets of success.
Local Advertisers Tell You How to Sell Them Better
Here are ten things you can do or quit doing to increase sales and build relationships your competitors can’t steal.
Preparing Like a Pro
You know you have to prepare. But did you know that marketing your preparation is what differentiates you from the competition? If you want to build relationships your competitors can’t steal, then use the “magic phrase” in this article.
How to Talk Price Early
There is no “perfect time” to talk about price. So consider putting the price on the first page of your proposal. You’ll take the pressure off yourself and your customer.
This Word Increases Your Personal Power
In sales, you have to have control over your energy and emotions. Using this word will help you gain control and perspective. It may even lengthen your life. You decide.
I Want to Test Your Station
If you’re advertisers are still saying this, then read this short article. There are at least three good ideas you can use right away. And they’re easy to remember and apply.
"Closing" is a Funny Word for It
You’re not really closing a sale. You’re opening the business relationship. Here are four better ways to think about and talk about closing sales.
The Success Mindset
World-renowned Stanford psychologist Carole Dweck discovered something that successful people have in common. You need to know what it is and how to develop it in yourself. Right now.
Snail Mail (Still) Sells
Never underestimate the power of a personal note. Or a postcard. This quick story may convince you to invest in some stamps.
Blueprint for a Great Voicemail Script
A sales rep left me a voicemail that was so good I transcribed it and broke it down. Use his blueprint and you will sound a lot better than your competitors.
The Science of Persuasion
People tend to buy from people they like. What can you do today to be more likeable? Find out fast in the one-page article.
Would You Do This to be Successful?
This is a story about hanging around with successful people. I haven’t told it very often. But I was reminded of it while listening to the late, great Jim Rohn’s rant: “Walk away from the 97%.”
Don't Wait Until You Feel Like It
Successful salespeople do what’s necessary, not what they feel like doing. How do you get yourself motivated to do what’s necessary? Maybe you don’t have to.
What Are You Afraid Of?
And what’s the worst that can happen if you try and fail? It’s not like you’re Nik Wallenda on a high wire 600 feet about the streets of Chicago.
Quit Interrupting and Start Listening
Get listening advice from a homicide detective. You will discover why you should never interrupt a suspect, prospect or customer ever again.
What Do You Really (Really) Want?
You can get whatever you want if you’re willing to put in the work and overcome the challenges. Read this and see why anything you really desire is within reach.
Presenting Like a Pro
When you make a presentation you need to be “present.” There are three “vibes” that will make you more persuasive. And you’re allowed to comment on the process— the way you and your prospect are working together.
The Best Visual Aid for Salespeople
In this digital age, you’ll never guess what the best visual aid is. So you’d better read this one-page article and start using this idea.
Forget About Cold Calling
Prospecting is not about the temperature of the call. It’s about the salesperson’s willingness to interrupt a prospect. Interrupt them with a valid business reason to meet with you and fill your pipeline.
Watching a Pro Take Charge
I was waiting in a long airport security line. All of a sudden, it wasn’t so long. In fact, I learned a lot. Maybe you will too.
Is Everybody at Your Station in Sales
Giving more people line of site to your advertisers makes people care more about what they do. Learn how this contributes to having a high performance, customer-centric organization.

Sales Managment Articles:

Alas, Poor Yorick
“Is your seminar for rookies or veterans?” asked the meeting planner. “Yes,” I answered her. And, then, I shared my Hamlet analogy.
How to Get Your Sales Meetings (and Salespeople) Out of Their Ruts
I wrote this article way back in 1985 and it holds up pretty well. Except for one obvious anachronism. And the picture of a young Chris Lytle.
Managing Your Other Sales Department
That would be the copywriter(s) at your Radio station. This is a rant I wrote in 1983. The magazine I wrote it for no longer exists. But the advice seems almost as fresh as when I wrote it. See if you agree.
Big Brother Better Be Watching
You read the call reports. But do you know what’s really happening when your salespeople are in front of prospects and customers? There’s one easy way to find out. But you might not like what you learn. Which is exactly why you need to implement this idea right away.
Bet on This
Most of your salespeople aren’t going home and reading books and watching videos about how to improve their sales skills. That means you need to make continuous improvement happen on the job.
The Sales Contest: Do You Make This Sales Training Mistake?
Should you hold a sales contest to see who gets to go to a seminar? And should you send the winner or the loser of that sales contest? I answer that question in this one-page article.
What's Easier Than Sales Management
Remember how easy your life was when you were only managing yourself? Here’s why sales management is such a challenge. (The challenge makes it more rewarding, though.)
The Secret of Motivation Motivational Speakers Don’t Mention
Frederick Herzberg’s advice about motivation is my favorite. Ignore it at your own risk.
I Guaranteed My Seminar and Here’s What Happened
One salesperson quit her job on the way home from my one-day seminar. Did we refund her seminar fee?
The Real Job of Sales Management? Getting Into Their Head
If you want your salespeople to grow, you have to coach them. And break my first rule of coaching at your own risk.
Miracle? on the Hudson
I know a pilot who says, “There is no such thing as a water landing. It’s a water crash.” Tom Hanks stars in Sully, who became a hero for landing his plane in the Hudson River. Was it a “miracle” or something different? And what does it mean to you?
Hooked on Hopium
Debriefing a salesperson after a meeting is a good idea. This is a story about one of my salespeople who told me about a “great meeting.” Then, I asked him how he defined “great meeting.” I learned a lot.
The Dreaded "Got a Minute?" Meeting
Any time you meet with one of your salespeople, you can tell them what to do or coach them to come up with the right thing to do. Guess what? People rarely resist their own ideas. Find out my first rule of coaching in this article. And start following my first rule of coaching in your next one-on-one meeting.
Lies, Damned Lies and Projections
Do you believe you can make the number this year? Of course, you can. It’s easy when you get your salespeople to believe they can make their numbers.
The Key Role Managers Play in Making Learning Stick
Sending people to a training session is okay, as long as you’ve been through the same training yourself. Otherwise, you won’t be able to coach and reinforce the new behaviors they’ve learned.
Ask Every Sales Candidate This Provocative Sales Question
If you’ve ever hired somebody who performed better in their interview than they did on the job, start asking this question right away.
The Debrief: Five Questions to Ask at the End of Your Sales Meeting
Find out what each salesperson thought was the highlight of the meeting and what each plans to do about it. Education without action is entertainment.
Short-Attention-Span Training
Sales training should be a process rather than an event. Now, it’s easier than ever to make that happen.
Words of Wisdom for Sales Trainers from My Mentor
Bob Pike has helped shape my philosophy of sales training. I share five of his ideas that have helped my throughout my career as a speaker and sales trainer.
Running Your Sales Meeting Like an Honors Class in Selling
Treat and train your salespeople like pros and not an entry level group of freshmen crammed into a lecture hall.
Try this "Trick" Interview Question
Before the candidate sits down and settles in, ask this question to quickly determine how optimistic and focused they are. And so much more.
This Short (Sales Training) Story Might Ring a Bell
The sales manager had his year-long curriculum laid out. I thought he was missing one important thing. See if you agree.
The Difference Between A Players and B Players in Sales
A Player orchestrate sales, while B Players accommodate buyers. Find out the seven roadblocks to improving you B Players’ performance.
Change Your Agenda. Change Your Results.
Imagine going to meet with a prospect to see if you could understand him rather than sell him. What might happen?