October 18, 2013
Interesting situation with a sales team I am coaching at the moment. They have been taught to find the technical, business and personal pain - exactly the right thing to do. Recently on a particular campaign they were finding the people they were approaching had "no pain".
When we dug down into what their solution actually did we found they delivered benefits that could be "of gain" - not just "address a pain". So when their prospects were saying everything is great we don't have any problems our client was able to put forward arguments to make them "even more productive", "even more efficient", "free up even more staff".
Sounds obvious but with careful positioning and good questioning skills "the pain" became not taking advantage of "the gain".
August 16, 2013
Getting the "Go To" people on your side
When the decision maker does not understand something they are buying who do they ask? Their "Go To" people - the decision influencers. Typically we do not spend enough time seeking out these particular decision influencers, we are too busy trying to sell the decision maker something he or she does not understand!
We need to spend more time finding the "Go To" people and then getting them on our side. Ronald Reagan once [allegedly] said "there is no limit to how successful you can be if you are prepared to let someone else take the credit".
< ..... read more
July 25, 2012
BIG, BIG debate on LinkedIn prompted this one! It is very easy to pitch products and services too early - before we have sufficient information or have built any real rapport. How do you avoid this trap? Use this structure - get the prospect talking about 1) themselves, 2) their organization, 3) their present application / useage, 4) their technology / method. Dont forget - use open questions HOW WHAT WHY WHERE WHEN WHO. Make it a conversation not an interrogation.
Whatever you are selling this works but if you want a variation on this technique for selling professional services, consultancy, legal services or accountancy, rather than products, read more
July 12, 2012
We all know about prospect qualification - Need, Timescales, BUDGET, Decision Maker - but we get fooled into thinking we have all four boxes ticked. We think we are dealing with the "budget holder" when in reality we are dealing with the "budget caretaker". Let's take the example of Purchasing Managers, unless they are buying something for the purchasing department, they are not the budget holder - they are spending someone else's money, they are the budget caretaker. So ask yourself, ..... read more
January 6, 2010
YOUR PROSPECT SAYS THEY WANT A PARTNERSHIP DO THEY MEAN A DISCOUNT?
How often do you hear "we want a partnership not just a supplier customer relationship". This is frequently code for "we want a discount"? When the customer says the magic word "partnership" ask them what they mean, then tell them what you mean! In partnerships both parties share rewards, risks, accountability and philosophy. Develop a short pitch about what you mean by a partnership ..... read more
October 8, 2009
HOW SAFE IS YOUR YEAR END QUOTA?
Many sales and business development people are looking at how they are going to finish the year and bring in their outstanding deals to hit quota so here is a closing checklist to help you. 1) Are you really dealing with ALL the decision makers? 2) Is your proposition a "nice to have" or a "necessity" what urgency to buy have you created? 3) Have you submitted a quote or proposal? 4) Does your proposal show hard cash savings or revenue gains ..... read more
August 11, 2009
If you have to telephone for appointments for business development or account management here are two simple techniques to save you time and effort getting through to decision makers. 1) With your words and tone sound and act as if the decision maker knows you and is even expecting your call, ask for them by their first and last name, use your first name, don't volunteer any other information, if you don't have the contact's full name make a separate call to get it. 2) Establish if the ..... read more
July 20, 2009
As money gets tight, decision making authority gets moved higher. Past decision makers, the people who previously have given you orders, suddenly move from being decision makers to [albeit significant] decision influencers, the problem is they don't tell you something stops them. So here is the acid test are you dealing with the "budget holder" or the "budget caretaker", find out who REALLY owns the business problem, who REALLY holds the budget and THIS is your decision maker. read more
June 29, 2009
Lowering the price does not lower the cost! Cheap products don't usually last as long, lower price means poorer service, save money at the outset (cheap car) pay later (service bills). If your prospect or client wants to buy cheap then get them talking about life cycle costs, total cost of ownership and the cost in time to them of purchasing again because they made a wrong decision (this works for professional services or where no product is invloved). Get the topic on the table by asking ..... read more
June 2, 2009
Who is the most important person on the sales call the client or prospect of course. So why do we so often see salespeople start a "capability" or "solution" presentation with information about their own company? If you want your audience sitting up and listening make the first slide (after the title slide) about them. Our favourite heading for this slide is "issues you probably face" or "challenges in your business". Watch the difference in how they respond and open up to you when they see ..... read more