Are You Still Blaming Price?

By Steve Gielda, Ignite Selling, Inc.SJ Daily Blog Pix

Throughout our careers as sales performance consultants, much has changed in the field of sales. We hear sales people speak today of new challenges, such as very well-informed customers, limited access to decision-makers, and limited life spans of competitive advantages. One element of sales that hasn’t changed is a sales person’s readiness to blame a lost opportunity on price. In our years as sales performance consultants, we have asked sales people the following question countless times – “Why do you think the customer selected your competitor?” By far, the number one response to this question is “Price”. It could be phrased in a number of ways, but the crux of the message is, “I couldn’t create enough value for my customer to select my solution over other less costly alternatives.” In fact, sellers have said this so many times that it has almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The issue with placing all the blame on PRICE, is that the sellers are the only ones doing it. Although price is the single biggest reason sellers give for losing a deal, it is seldom the reason customers give for choosing someone else.

Just recently we were working with the sales team of a large medical device product manufacturer. Part of our project was to evaluate lost opportunities in hopes of finding out what was going wrong. Sales people inside this organization clearly felt the majority of deals lost were because of non-competitive product pricing. In fact, in the evaluation of these lost opportunities, sales people blamed price for the loss in more than 75% of the cases. In post-mortem interviews with clients, we heard a different story. Not only was price not the #1 reason customers chose an alternative solution, price didn’t even make the top three. Instead, customers provided other reasons for selecting alternative solutions, such as not being comfortable with the level of post-sales support, the lack of efficacy data for the product, the ease of use or training curve of implementing the new product, etc. The fact that price was rarely mentioned as a deciding factor came as a surprising to us. However, it was an even bigger surprise to the salespeople who had worked with these customers.

When we presented our finding to this company’s sales force, there was shock and some anger. Customers opted to go with an alternative solution because they felt the alternative solutions were better, not because it was cheaper. The reason this group of sales people were angry was because they felt their customers were wrong. In nearly every aspect, our customer’s solution set was superior to the competition. There were industry reports validating that this company’s products were more effective.  There were customer references willing to verify the reliability and ease of use of our client’s solution.  But the customers chose competitors because they believed the competitors’ solutions were a better match. So what really went wrong?

The sad truth for our client – and for many sellers on the losing side – is that there was little understanding of how the client was going to make a decision, who was going to involved in the decision, and which factors were going to be important when evaluating alternatives. What does one do in the absence of good information?  One makes assumptions about what’s important and why.  In the world of selling, one will approach clients by emphasizing strengths and product attributes that the seller believes are important. Sellers will act on history and anticipate issues and challenges that have presented themselves before. Sometimes the sales person will get lucky and hit his mark, but more often he will not.  And while it might be better to be lucky than good, it makes for a pretty bad sales strategy.

So what is Important?

Consider the most recent major deals which ended up going south on you.  Why did you lose them?  If you think you lost on price, then you might want to reconsider, and this book can help you do that. Reading this book will help you evaluate how customers make decision – and will help you influence that decision more effectively.  We know because this is what we have observed with our clients in our years of consulting with them.

Take your lost opportunity and ask yourself the following questions. Be honest in your assessment, don’t worry, your manager isn’t watching.

  • What was the customer’s decision process?
  • What concerned you most about the decision process? What did you do about it?
  • What aspects of the customer’s decision process were you able to leverage in your favor?
  • What did you do to leverage your Advocates throughout the decision process?
  • What was said or done to make you believe your Advocate was really YOUR Advocate?
  • Who were your Adversaries?  What was your strategy to neutralize them?
  • How did you leverage your Advocate to win over your Adversaries?
  • What were the customer’s stated decision criteria?
  • How did those criteria differ from Influencer to Influencer, from Advocate to Adversary?
  • Of the key decision makers, whose criteria mattered most?
  • What was your customer’s perception of your ability to meet their criteria as opposed to your competitor?
  • Who were your competitors?
  • What did the customer think of your competitors (besides obviously liking one of them better than you)?
  • If you knew the answer to the previous question, how did you try to influence the customer’s thinking about those competitors?

This is just a sample of questions that you need to be able to answer about any sales opportunity. If answers to these questions are hard to come by for your opportunity, we are pretty sure this book will be useful to you.  In fact, we’re certain it will be useful to you

Why should I read this book? 

Books written about selling are legion.  Why?  Because books written about selling tend to sell well.  This is true of books on selling skills and books on selling strategy.  But of all the books written about selling over the years, very few are worth their cover price.  So, you must be asking yourself: Why did I buy this one?  We think the answer is simple.  This book will give you fresh insights in how you approach your customers and will make you think and act differently when pursuing and opportunity. The lessons taught in this book will help you stretch your thinking and force you to look at your customers through a more strategic lens. In the end it’s about aligning your sales process to the customers buying process and ensuring you’re in front of the right people at the right time with the right message.

In our multiple decades of consulting on sales effectiveness, we have seen our clients achieve measurable performance improvement through the diligent application of these principles.  These ideas work.  And because these ideas work, we think reading this book will not only make you approach your opportunities in a different fashion than you might today, but it makes good economic sense because you’ll win more deals.

Order your copy of Premeditated Selling: Tools for Developing the Right Strategy for Every Opportunity ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

Steve Gielda is a managing partner with Ignite Selling, Inc., a leader in the development of custom developed sales simulation training solutions. Ignite is an organization dedicated to partnering with customers to implement highly customized performance change initiatives for building world-class sales teams.  Steve has authored a number of articles focused on creating sales value, developing smart opportunity strategies, sales coaching, and new product launches.  For the past 15 years he has engaged with nearly 50 of the Fortune 500 companies, working in such diverse industries as manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, IT and finance. His clients have recognized Steve for his emphasis on forging strong relationships built on client intimacy and his willingness to work diligently to help achieve business results.

Beginning in 1995, Steve joined Huthwaite, Inc, where he worked closely with Neil Rackham (author of SPIN® Selling and Rethinking the Sales Force) to create unique solutions for his clients. Before joining Huthwaite, Steve enjoyed a successful 10 year career with Lanier Worldwide. Steve rose through the ranks, holding positions of sales representative, District Manager, and Region Director of Lanier Professional Services.

Steve, his wife, Sherry, and his daughter Kayla reside in Clifton, VA.

 

Kevin Jones is a managing partner at Ignite Selling, Inc., a leader in the development of custom developed sales simulation training solutions.

For his entire professional career, Kevin has been a student and a teacher in the art of selling, learning from both his own experiences in direct sales as well as from the experts he has observed in the field. For the last 15 plus years, Kevin has been a Sales Improvement Consultant, taking his knowledge and insights to companies and sales people around the world. Kevin has worked with a variety of training solution providers focusing on sales skills, strategy development, negotiation, and sales management.

Kevin has personally helped develop the skills of thousands of sales people across the globe, and has developed training solutions for companies across a variety of industries. Today, Kevin is a driving force behind the development of Ignite Selling’s simulation-based training programs, and a leader in the firm’s deployment of high-impact client engagements. Kevin has an Undergraduate Degree from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Kevin, his wife Donna, and his two daughters, Aidan and Poppy, currently reside in Asheville, NC.


 

How do you change the behavior of an experienced salesperson?

By Dave Kahle 

Every client I deal with, in one way or another, eventually asks that question. The words may be different, but the question is the same. In this turn-of-the-century economic environment, it’s a universal question. If you haven’t confronted the issue yet, it’s only a matter of time before you will.

Here’s the context in which this question surfaces. The company needs to make some change that impacts the sales force: A new compensation program, a new automation tool, a new sales process, a new way of working with inside salespeople — a new something. Most sales forces are made up of a variety of people, ranging from the inexperienced rookies, to the veterans who have been around for anywhere from five to twenty-five years. The rookies are eager to learn and quick to adapt to the new thing, while most of the veterans are set in their ways and resistant to the new initiative.

The question of how to get the veterans to embrace and implement the new thing always comes up within the framework of a specific change that the company wants to make. From my perspective, however, it is a larger issue.

The veterans may be resistant to the specific change being implemented today. But there will be another change next year, and again the year after that, and the year after that, and so on for the rest of our careers. Today’s issue, whatever it is, is just a symptom of a larger problem. Like an iceberg, the veterans’ resistance to the new initiative is what you see above the surface, but beneath the facade is a much larger force to be reckoned with. It’s not resistance to this particular change; it’s resistance to any change that’s the issue. Ignore it today, and you’re likely to ram up against it again in the near future. So, sooner or later, every principal or sales executive is going to face the challenge of implementing change with experienced salespeople.

It is important to recognize that there are exceptions to the rule. Some experienced, veteran salespeople openly embrace the next thing and actually lead the way. But that kind of attitude is rare. If you have a veteran with a “change is great, let’s do it” attitude, be thankful. The rest of the world must confront this issue.

The knee-jerk reaction is, of course, to say, “Do it this way, or find another job.” It really would be great if it were that simple. However, many of these veteran sales people have been consistent performers in the past, and many executives feel loyalty to the people who have helped them build their business. Additionally, the veterans are typically storehouses of product knowledge, well-entrenched in their good accounts, and adequate, if not superior, performers. So, while it’s easy to say, “Tell them to change or leave,” the reality is much more complex than that.

Here are seven essentials to changing the behavior of an experienced salesperson.

Seven steps to implementing change

    1. Mandate the change. Too many executives try to bring about serious change without being publicly committed to it themselves. This half-hearted commitment is obvious to the employees, and provides them a mental escape. After all, if senior management isn’t really committed, why should they be? Don’t let that happen. If you want the change to stick, then put your personal power behind it. You announce it to everyone, you explain the rationale, you commit the assets of the company to it, you let everyone know that this change is going to be how your company does business. You’ll see to it.
    1. Communicate clear expectations. OK, you’ve mandated the change. Now you must make sure that those veteran salespeople know specifically what is expected of them personally. For example, you may be implementing a new sales force automation tool. You have mandated it publicly. Now, sit down with each salesperson and say, “Mary, by May 1st, we expect you to be using the customer master screen and call report function. By July 1st, we expect you to utilize the quote system for every quote you do. By September 1st we expect you to be fully functional on all five modules.” Follow it up with a written memo saying exactly the same thing. Now, everybody knows exactly what is expected.
    1. Tie the behavior to some reward. It would be nice if you could make 10% of their paycheck dependent on them meeting the expectations you set out. In most circumstances, the logistics of this is too difficult to pull off. The principle still remains, however. Maybe you can have a big banquet for every salesperson who has achieved the expectations. Include the spouses. Maybe you can all go to a sports event. Let everyone know, including the spouses, that this special occasion is only for those who make the change. Of course, if you could tie part of their paycheck to the change…
    1. Train them. Only the really eager to change will pick up the new behavior on their own. Everyone else, the 95% of the force that is left, will require specific and repetitive training in the thing that you want them to do. Don’t underestimate this. It’s a rule of thumb in sales force automaton projects, for example, that the cost of the training will about as much as the cost of the software and hardware. So, if it cost you $2500 per person for the new system, it will cost you $2500 per person to adequately train them in the new system. If you are not ready to bear this cost, don’t mandate the change to begin with.

      I am continually amazed at the number of companies, who, while in other ways are progressive and well-managed, have never thought to budget for training. It’s as if their need to provide instruction to their people is something they never considered. Don’t fall into the class of companies who don’t realize that training is an on-going investment. Plan to pay to train them.

    2. Support the changed behavior. Just because you’ve trained them doesn’t mean that everyone “got it.” They’ll still need reminders, someone to talk to about specific questions, manuals to look things up in, websites to go to review the change, etc. Set up your infrastructure for supporting the changed behavior before you begin the training.
    1. Manage and monitor the changeIn our Growth Coach - Sales Management System, we institute a formal, highly structured monthly meeting between the sales manager and the sales person. Whether you use our system or not, it is a good idea to meet regularly with each salesperson to monitor their growth and progress in meeting the expectations. Ask questions like, “What progress are you making?” “Are you where you need to be?” “Why or why not?” “What are you going to do now?” “How can I help?”
  1. Be prepared to take action. After you have done all this, you really have invested the company’s assets in a significant effort to help this person make the change. What if he/she still doesn’t?

At this point, you need to make a determination. Is this a “can’t do” issue, or is it a “won’t do” issue? In other words, is the problem that the salesperson just does not have the ability to do what you want him/her to do? If that is the case, then maybe they should be in another job in your company. Their current job may have grown beyond their capabilities. It happens.

On the other hand, the problem may not have anything to do with abilities, but lies in attitude. Is the issue that they won’t do it? If that’s the case, then it may now be time to part company with this individual.

The future of the sales force will be characterized by constant and rapid change. And every salesperson must be expected to be supportive of that change. It’s part of the job description. Resistance to today’s initiative will lead to resistance to tomorrow’s.

The company who can consistently manage that change and systematically bring about behavior will have a serious competitive advantage over those whose sales people are locked in behaviors that used to work.

 

Some Kinds of Sales Motivation are Better Than Others

By Charles H. Green 

The late comedian Chris Farley had a Saturday Night Live routine in which he declaimed, “I’m a motivational speaker—I live in a trailer down by the river.” For the SNL audience—which sees itself as hip, skeptical, and not totally pro-Big Business—it was a shared conceit, condescension about a certain approach to sales.

I once had a client who asked if I was a motivational speaker. I’d never heard that one before, and said, “well, I hope what I have to say is motivating to people, but that’s not what I’m setting out to do.” That client heard nothing after my first clause; I lost the job on the spot. Probably an SNL fan.

At the same time, there are hundreds of motivational speakers out there who are proud of that term, and plenty of clients who are proud to hire them. And many of those clients are sales organizations.

So—as comedian Jerry Seinfeld might say, ‘What is it with motivation and sales meetings?’

I think there are three answers: and one is better than the other two.

Three Kinds of Motivation

One type of motivation people seek is defensive. A pep talk fits in this category. Someone who speaks about overcoming tremendous odds. The amputee who learned to throw a football with the other hand. The war prisoner who endured, even learned.

This kind of motivation is an antidote to salespeople who are tired—tired of rejection, tired of not making quota, of being turned away. It gives them hope that their turn is just around the corner, and the energy to keep on keepin’ on. Don’t give up hope. Your dream will come true, just hold onto it. I did. You can too. If I can do it, so can you.

Another type of motivation is aggressive. Get out there and win one for the team. Yay for us, we’re gonna win this battle, then the rest of the war. The underdog team plays big in this type of motivation. Only the lead dog has a change of scenery. No one remembers who got second place. You are part of a winning team. We’re number one.

Those kinds of motivation have their place, but they have their limits. Both of them set up “us against them” mentalities. Defensive motivation is us against our customers—I’m not gonna let them wear me down! I’ll just keep banging on the door until they have to let me in.
Aggressive motivation is about competitors, not customers. Customers are simply the chips in a competitive poker game, the means by which we score the contest.

But there is a third kind of motivation: call it relationship motivation. It is about reminding us that we can accomplish great things for our clients. And it is inherently positive.

Relationship motivation is about reminding ourselves that we can improve our clients’ lives and their businesses; that we are in fact uniquely suited to do so.

The mantra of defensive motivation is “the clients can’t hurt me.” The mantra of aggressive motivation is “I can beat the competition.” But the mantra of relationship motivation is, “I can help my clients—and I can’t wait to start doing so.”

Both defensive and aggressive are primarily zero-sum games. Winning a job just means you finally won, and someone else lost. Beating a competitor doesn’t add value, it just picks a winner.

But relationship motivation is open-ended. By focusing on how to improve the client’s lot, we are open to value-adding ideas which are uniquely the province of joint, collaborative thinking. Relationship thinking is inherently better economics than is me-vs.-you economics.

Generating Relationship Motivation

There are, of course, motivational speakers, and they cover all three types of motivation. All have their place, but if your business and your sale are complex; if you think of your business as relationship-driven in large part; and if your sales process is high ticket and takes time, then you should over-emphasize relationship motivation in the speakers you invite.

Of course, motivation is hardly limited to inviting speakers to events. A major area you can influence is in your choice of motivational rewards.

Over the past few decades, we have seen a movement towards thinking of “motivation and rewards” as largely a function of monetary incentives. Sales people will always pay great attention to sales numbers—as they should. But there are important cautions.

First, monetary incentives are entirely about extrinsic rewards. If your entire motivational system is based on extrinsic rewards, you will reduce the importance of intrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards include pride, professionalism, peer respect, and client focus.

Alfie Kohn has written extensively about the negative consequences of overly focusing on extrinsic rewards. It has precisely the same corrosive effect as does focusing on aggressive or defensive motivation in speeches. It separates us from our clients, making client service only a means to a monetary end, rather than ends in themselves.

Secondly, the factor of time is important in extrinsic motivations. If your business development efforts are all aimed at this quarter’s numbers; if your metrics are primarily short-term, and tracking inputs rather than results, then you are suborning a non-relationship kind of motivation. Longer-term metrics and rewards more genuinely link client and professional, and better align the greater rewards that can come with collaboration.

Relationship motivation produces the best economics. Intrinsic rewards do the best job of encouraging relationship motivation. When extrinsic rewards are used as well, it is best to make them long term. There’s nothing wrong with measuring short-term results—the problem comes from managing short-term. The best short-term results come about from executing a long-term strategy, driven by a relationship motivation.

To answer Seinfeld’s question about motivation: it depends on which motives you’re talking about. And some are better than others.

Selling To Corporate Executives

By The Brooks Group

How well do you understand the challenges that your prospect faces?  Do you present your product or service differently based on the unique perspective of your prospect? 

Here are the five strategies to help you sell more effectively to corporate buyers:

  1. Building Rapport

    It’s important to realize that in some respects, many corporate executives have a perspective that is almost the exact opposite of the typical entrepreneur. An entrepreneur’s success often hinges on their ability to forge their own path, try new ideas and implement change quickly. By contrast, many organizations look to their executives to help maintain the status quo. Corporate executives are often paid to ensure that the organization doesn’t deviate from its present course. Their role in many organizations is actually to vet new ideas and slow the pace of change in order to keep the organization from making chaotic changes in direction and focus.

    Executives, unlike entrepreneurs, must be also answerable for their actions and decisions. In fact, many executives feel they are constantly trying to balance the interests of four different constituencies – their superiors, their peers, their team and their customers. This perspective illustrates why “teamwork” and “consensus” are so appealing to this type of prospect. Their success depends on their ability to gain approval from peers and superiors and to get “buy in” from the rank-and-file employees as well.

    Because they often feel “squeezed from all four sides,” many executives seek ways to strike a balance between their leadership role and keeping a comfortable sense of anonymity. It’s important for them to be involved in major decisions, but they don’t necessarily want to “stick their necks out.” It’s often more prudent for the executive to make decisions by committee so that they aren’t in the position of taking an unpopular stand, or worse yet, taking the full blame for a decision that turns out to be a mistake.

    What this means is that while the corporate executive may be charged with the responsibility of finding a product or service that fulfills certain needs for their organization, they’re also going to be looking to satisfy some of their more personal wants. Their position in the company often dictates a personal buying agenda that favors solutions that:

    * Promote teamwork
    * Are mainstream and widely accepted
    * Help them avoid “sticking their necks out
    * ”Are “sensible” or “mainstream”
    * Help the organization “advance steadily”
    * Keep everything on a “safe course”
    * Are predictable and reliable
    * Support and validate their previous decisions

    For example, if a corporate executive is purchasing phone service for their organization, they are likely to stick with more conventional and predictable options. Unlike the entrepreneur who might be willing to try a completely new, innovative, internet-enabled phone system in the hope of gaining more efficiency or substantial savings, the corporate executive is more likely to opt for something that offers a few relatively minor upgrades to the existing system. This is simply because the corporate executive’s best interests are served by making buying decisions that reinforce the path the company is on – not ones that launch the organization on a completely different course. With this perspective in mind, a good bonding statement to use with a corporate executive might be something along the lines of: “My sense is that making the right decision – one that will work for the entire group – is important to you. You may want to get “buy-in” from all the key players and keep your organization advancing steadily. To see if we can help you achieve that, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

  2. Positioning your product or service

    Before you start describing your product or service, you’ll need to “set the stage” or introduce your product by positioning it as the perfect solution for your individual prospect. The vastly different perspectives that your prospects have often means that you’ll need to develop different strategies for positioning your product. When you’re selling to a corporate executive, be aware that unlike the entrepreneur, radical shifts in direction are not part of this prospect’s universe, because shifts invalidate whatever the executive has worked so hard to sustain. Instead, every new purchase must be justified as one more complemen-tary step, another building block that fits in neatly with all the previous steps and blocks.

    With this in mind, you’ll want to position your product or service using phrases similar to these:

    * “Supports what you have already accomplished”
    * “Is not a departure from what you’re doing”
    * “Right in line with the direction you are taking”

    An example of a product or service positioning statement: “Our products and services will support what you have al-ready accomplished. These solutions are right in line with the direction your organization is already taking.”

  3. Positioning your organization

    In order to position your organization as the ideal provider for your corporate prospects, you’ll need to understand that unlike the entrepreneur who answers to no one, the corporate executive feels pressure to choose providers that are acceptable to superiors, peers and subordinates.

    Every provider they bring in represents a visible decision on their part that reflects either negatively or positively on them personally. That’s why salespeople who represent small and/or less well-known companies are so frequently disappointed when corporate executives decide to go with “old tried and true” providers with the big names and fabled reputations – the “least risk” vendor scenario. Even if their solutions are sub-par, ineffectual or over-priced, at least they appear to be safe and easily defensible. (This is also one of the reasons that strong brands can breed poor sales skills.)

    Despite what you might believe, these decisions often have little to do with features, benefits, price, or any of the other conventional issues. Sometimes, it’s strictly a matter of which provider has the best chance of being the most acceptable to everyone involved.

    Since it’s rarely prudent for this type of prospect to take an approach that defies consensus, an objection from any direction – peers, superiors or subordinates – can kill your potential sale.

    When talking to a corporate executive you’ll want to use phrases like these to describe your organization:

    * “Team players”
    * “Widely accepted”
    * “Mainstream, balanced”
    * “Committed to a team-oriented approach”

    For example, here’s a provider positioning statement that you might use when speaking to a corporate executive:

    “Let me tell you a little about our company. We are widely accepted within all of our clients’ organizations because we pride ourselves on being team players with a balanced and mainstream approach.”

  4. Describing your benefits

    The chief benefit that a corporate executive may be looking for is the ability to avoid close scrutiny. Since taking the heat for a bad decision could mean “career suicide,” the corporate executive is likely to want a solution that they won’t have to defend or explain later.

    With this in mind, you might want to position the benefits of your product or service in the following terms:

    * “Nothing you have to defend or explain”
    * “Nothing you have to apologize for”
    * “Results everyone accepts”
    * “Outcomes that are widely approved”

    Here’s an example of a benefit positioning statement that might appeal to a corporate buyer: “Our product is designed to deliver results and outcomes that everyone in your company can accept – it’s nothing that you will have to defend or explain.”

  5. Positioning your price as a true bargain

    We mentioned last month that your entrepreneurial prospect wants a price that makes sense in relation to the kind of return they can expect because the money is “coming out of his or her pocket.” The corporate executive doesn’t want to overpay either – but for different reasons.

    For your corporate prospect, it’s more a matter of personal credibility. This prospect needs to be seen as a sensible steward of company resources. They need to demonstrate to everyone at the organization that they are conscientious about adhering to the approved budget and that they are making purchases priced within a standard and reasonable range.

    Your corporate prospect is likely to be seeking products and services with prices that could be described in terms like these:

    * “Priced within the mainstream”
    * “In line with the industry”

    For a corporate buyer, you might position the price of your product or service by saying something like: “Let me stress that it is absolutely in line with the industry and is certainly priced within the mainstream. I’d also like to be sure you know everything it includes…”

How Do You Deal With A Rejection Email?

By Michael Pedone

“How do you deal with getting a rejection email (Such as: Thank you for presenting the benefits of your program. After careful consideration we do not feel that this is the right time for us to be pursuing your offerings) after giving a presentation a few days earlier?”

 Answer:

When this happens there are usually several steps that are missed within the sales process prior to giving your presentation. They could be any (or multiple) of the following:

1) Failed to get problem recognition. The majority of sales people, even experienced ones, follow something similar to: Make contact w/prospect, ask if they are the person responsible for XYZ, followed by a probing question or two and then do a data dump of what it is that they offer. This is not a winning sales formula in an economy with a tight belt.

2) Failed to get commitment to wanting the problem solved. Hard to get commitment that they want a problem solved if you don’t get them to agree that there’s a problem to begin with. You’re not asking the right sales questions!

3) Offered a solution before understanding their purchasing process. Asking “are you the person in charge of XYZ” fails to fully qualify the prospect in their role as a decision maker. Also, knowing their purchasing process before doing a presentation allows you the opportunity to know what happens next if they like your solution.

4) Presented without knowing what type of solution they would prefer. You’d be amazed at how much business you’d close once you learn how to get the prospect to share their thoughts / ideas with you on how they would like to see the problem solved.

QUESTIONS ARE THE ANSWER!

When someone asks me “what’s the best way to deal with scenario X” my answer is usually going to be “stop doing what you are doing that causes that scenario!” And it almost always comes down to knowing – or not knowing:

  • Which sales questions to ask;
  • When to ask them;
  • Why to ask them;
  • Who to ask them to and
  • How to respond to the answers given.
  • Better sales questions will almost always generate a higher win rate.

But you’re going to have to be willing to learn from your mistakes and make adjustments if you want to accelerate your growth.