There is no money inside your company. If you want to close deals and grow sales, you have to engage with customers. Essentially, you have to learn to talk to strangers. Talking to people that you do not know can be difficult, but you have to do it. Your future is in the hands (and bank accounts) of these people. Top sellers build relationships with customers. They know that customer problems equal opportunities and opportunities equal revenue. Waiting for customers to come to you is what victims do. Learn to talk to strangers and make them your friend.
Josh Lowry2nd Watch
0 comments 192 readsPosted on 2013-06-18
0 comments 288 readsPosted on 2013-06-18
People rise and fall to the level of expectations set for them. Case-in-point: Today, I had two new hires start at 2nd Watch. I spent the entire day on-boarding them, which included thoroughly reviewing our first call deck. I then asked myself, should I give them until the end of the week to present the deck back to me or should I ask them to do it tomorrow? I opted for tomorrow. The expectation was clear: Study tonight and have the pitch down by your second day on the job. People rise and fall to the level of expectations set for them. Set the bar high and performance follows.
0 comments 356 readsPosted on 2013-06-16
Michael Bosworth, the author of Solution Selling, says, all salespeople are guilty by association of the sins that other sellers have previously committed on buyers. Consequently, most buyers initially distrust salespeople. When a lack of trust exists, any information communicated by the salesperson to the buyer will the challenged, minimized or shopped. A lack of trust then can cause both delayed and lost sales. The best salespeople understand the initial trust issue and do not take it personally. They instead work to proactively address it.
In general, people believe what they see, not what they hear. Thus, the best salespeople use written material to support their presentations and proposals. Written material includes case studies, use cases and other evidence-based information. The best salespeople also write down what they have offered, proposed or said to instill confidence and credibility with the buyer. Informed, trusting buyers make...
0 comments 384 readsPosted on 2013-06-16
If you answered anything other than the people business, you failed. Companies do not buy products, people do. Salespeople regularly make the mistake of leading with their product before they understand the customer’s business issue. Salespeople often think that if they know their products inside and out, they can persuade customers to buy them. However, this is often not the case. Why? Customers buy products for many reasons, including perceptions, relationships, etc. Salespeople must understand them. People first, product second.
For example, my wife and I recently visited a car dealership. We were approached by a salesperson while we were standing next to a particular vehicle. The salesperson immediately started listing all of the car’s features, functions and specifications without first understanding what we were looking for and why. That is, who would be the primary driver? What would we be using the car for? Do we have kids? If so,...
0 comments 291 readsPosted on 2013-06-15
If you are in field sales or regularly visit customers onsite, chances are you have had to sign-in at the front desk for security purposes. When you sign-in, you are asked to list your name and company. You are also asked to list the person you are there to see, as well as when you arrive and when you leave. Most salespeople treat the sign-in process as part of the job and routine. What most salespeople, including senior salespeople, do not regularly practice or do not know is that the sign-in process is a great source of information to be leveraged.
When you sign-in, always scan the log to see who has been there that day. What companies and people are calling on the customer and who are they meeting with there? Are they competitors? Are they partners? Do you know them? If not, look them up on LinkedIn when you get back to the office. If you see that one of your competitors met with your contact previously in the day, use that information to your advantage during your...
0 comments 368 readsPosted on 2013-06-13
Kris Bliesner, the CEO of 2nd Watch, accurately describes the company as a “dog year company.” What he means is that one day at 2nd Watch is equivalent to seven days in the “real world” – that is, the world outside of a ventured-backed, technology startup. In the startup world, companies move at lightning speed to win customers, grow market share and generate revenue. Believe it or not, the speed of a technology startup is applicable to how you should be thinking about and serving your customers and partners each and every day.
We live in an instant gratification, right now world. The days of following up or responding to customers in two or three days are over. In today’s world, you must think in terms of dog years. One year equals seven years, so one day equals seven days. The longer you wait to follow up or respond, the more you exposure yourself to competitive and satisfaction issues. Should you rush and risk being incomplete or wrong? No. You should condition yourself...
0 comments 394 readsPosted on 2013-06-12
Earlier this week, I heard the following from a senior salesperson within the technology industry. “If [the company] is not going to pay me for my efforts, I am going to leave.” Hearing this, my first question to them was, “How is your performance?” They responded, “I am tracking at 88% with three weeks to go … BUT I have a very tough territory.”
The bottom line is that no one cares that you think you have a tough territory. In fact, having a tough territory is actually an opportunity to demonstrate to your company the considerable skill and value that you bring to the table. If you can deliver your number in a tough territory, you will differentiate yourself as irreplaceable.
The truth is that you are paid and evaluated on your results, not your efforts. Commit to overcoming obstacles and pushing through resistance by increasing your activity level. NEVER lower your expectations or targets. ALWAYS take ultimate...
0 comments 300 readsPosted on 2013-06-11
There is an old saying that “the customer is always right.” Are customers always right? No, but that does not mean you should disagree with them. When you disagree with them, you fight the selling and closing process. Whether they are right or wrong, always agree with the customer. If you want agreement, you must be agreeable. You cannot expect customers to agree with you if you disagree with them. People who agree move toward each other; e.g., “I like you because you agree with me.” People who disagree move away from each other.
Salespeople need agreement to move through the sales process and ultimately close the deal. To get agreement from the customer, they must first give agreement. It only takes one person to create agreement because once one person agrees, there is no longer disagreement between the two people. Note that agreeing with customers, even if you disagree with them, is not manipulation. You are agreeing with their reality...
0 comments 283 readsPosted on 2013-06-10
Experienced salespeople love to sell and close business, but in general, do not like to prospect. In fact, when they uncover an opportunity, they usually start working on it and stop prospecting altogether. They end up basing their sales success on a few deals closing versus having multiple qualified opportunities in the pipeline. What are the primary risks of this behavior? When appointments get cancelled, deals get stalled or prospects say “no,” they are stuck. They do not have enough other deals in the pipeline to fill the gap and take their place.
Unless you schedule time for prospecting, you will never have time to do it. There will always be something more pressing. Even if you have an inside sales team dedicated to prospecting, you should make time to prospect every day in both your existing and new accounts. You never want to be dependent on the success of one deal or a few deals. When you only have a few deals in the pipeline you can/will become desperate and easily...
0 comments 312 readsPosted on 2013-06-08
Are you sold on your company and product? Only to the degree you are sold can you sell. If you want to command high prices and win deals, you must be fully committed. Having a strong conviction is more important than competitive facts and figures. If your results become unpredictable or start to decline, examination your conviction level. Eliminate any negativity and doubt by reviewing and re-conditioning yourself on the superiority and benefits of your offering. Should you lie to yourself? No. You should identify your advantages and completely sell yourself on them.