Changing the Sales Conversation: Connect, Collaborate, and Close

SalesJournal Store: BUY IT NOW! 

Changing the Sales Conversation: Connect, Collaborate, and Close
By Linda Richardson

CREATE BETTER, MORE EFFECTIVE CONVERSATIONS IN TODAY’S HYPER-DIGITAL SJPWORLD

In this era of iPads, iPhones, and apps, sales communications may be growing, but sales conversations are dying–and so are too many sales. Globalization, the explosion in competition, the slow economy, and fast-emerging technologies all have changed buying habits. Salespeople can no longer rely on the traditional sales methodologies. They must change the conversation.

A visionary of the consultative sales movement, Linda Richardson has again moved selling forward by reengineering the sales conversation. Purchasing has become a core competency for clients. They evaluate their options against checklists they carefully develop. Richardson helps you understand what is on their checklists and align your solutions with their business and personal priorities to help you win.

Clients today are focused on business outcomes. They are interested in reducing risk. They turn to peers and social networks to self-educate before turning to salespeople. To engage them you must demonstrate that you know their world and that you are prepared with insights and ideas to add to what they already know. Richardson gives you five clear strategies and tools to help you do just that. You will create and shape opportunities, prepare and probe in an entirely new way, gain client consensus, and use sales process and tools to guide and accelerate closing. You will learn:

  • Futuring to prepare for and anticipate customer needs
  • Heat-mapping to use insights to focus and engage customers
  • Value-tracking to connect your solutions to business outcomes and ROI
  • Phasing to use sales process to forecast accurately and close
  • Linking to reassert heart and trust into your sales conversations

 

Linda Richardson was named Sales Thought Leader for 2013 and this book shows why as she helps you sometimes tweak but more often change how you sell. She builds on your foundation to take your selling to a new elevation and bring your sales results along with it.

[...Buy It Now...]

Why You Must Have More Than One Contact at an Account

By Mark Hunter (The Sales Hunter)

Why do we allow ourselves to risk all of our business with an account based on the relationship of a single person?

It’s sad, but that is what happens with far too many account management/selling relationships. SJP

It starts with the salesperson finding a little bit of success with their contact at the account and it never moves beyond that single contact.

Unfortunately, I’ve watched it too many times with the companies I’ve worked with and yes, I’m occasionally guilty of doing the same thing.

Challenge is in seeing the need to expand the relationships when everything is going good.  Strategy I recommend and the one we use in our own company is making sure that with each account, we have at least two contacts.

[...Continue Reading...]

Too Many Salespeople Are Not Listening

 By : Stu Schlackman (SalesGravy)SJP

The person who talks the most has the least control. Asking questions puts you in control of the conversation because it gives you the opportunity to go to a deeper level and gain better insights into the customer’s situation. Understanding customer needs makes it possible for you to recommend the best solutions and paves the way for them to choose you and your solution.


In Sales, It’s Not About You

Have you ever had a sales call turn out differently than you expected?

Several years ago I was on what I thought was one of the worst sales calls of my life. I walked into the prospects office, introduced myself and before I could sit down, he started to talk. I listened, nodded when I agreed and then listened more. One hour later, I asked my first question, “What is your biggest challenge going into the New Year?” He responded. Forty minutes later the meeting adjourned.

I felt terrible.

I never expressed my thoughts, concerns and ideas on what type of training would be appropriate for his sales team. One week later he called and said he loved our meeting and wanted to book the training for next month. WOW! Are you kidding me? And I thought I hadn’t done anything right in that meeting.

But, maybe I did.

In the book Power Questions by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas, the authors say that in sales, “it’s not about you. If you do all the talking, you learn nothing about the person. If you do all the talking, you’re in the spotlight. If you do all the talking, you don’t empower the other person.” The authors continue by saying, “Your job is not to listen and respond. Your job is to gain information and create a vibrant dialogue. That’s an important distinction. Tell me more is the magic key to open up the next layer of the other person’s thinking and experiences.”

Tell me more is key.

[...Continue Reading...]

Anticipatory Selling: Tips to Stay One Step Ahead of Your Buyer

By  (KITEDESK INSIGHTS)

(This post originally appeared on www.customerthink.com)

These days it appears that B2B buyers are firmly in the driver’s seat. Equipped with Google search, online forums and easy access to trusted thought leaders and peers, they favor discovering answers themselves, completing some 60 to 70 percent of their decision process before contacting a single vendor.

Sales leaders are being held back by the belief that they have to react to technological change in order to keep up with the buyer. But it’s not about reacting– it’s about anticipating. To take a page from Wayne Gretzky’s playbook: good salespeople meet their buyers where they are; great salespeople meet their buyers where they are going to be.SJP

Salespeople must have better data about their buyer than their buyer has about them. This enables a seller to anticipate a buyer’s next move, and engage that buyer around value-added data or content that will influence their decision making process as they move forward.

Prospects in the very early stages tend not to respond well to a sales offer, but as Heinz Marketing president Matt Heinz explains, “They will respond to advice. Help. A link to a best practice article. Someone who helps them discover and self-educate. The source of that information has a leg-up in a sales process that hasn’t begun, but where the prospect is already becoming qualified and establishing solution preferences.”

I call this anticipatory selling.

[...Continue Reading...]

Ways To Be Highly Organized In Sales

By (Tactical Sales Training Blog)

How do you become incredibly successful in Sales? You get highly organized to the point you are obsessed with it. Being organized means you know where you are going, how you’re getting there and when you plan to do it. Are you organized?

Endless scribbles and note taking mixed in with an “I’ll update the CRM later” attitude and you’ve got a recipe for Sales disaster. The last thing you need is your Sales Team being clueless as to who they’re speaking with or why they are speaking to them.

If you’re a Sales Manager, emphasize the need to be highly organized, even paranoid of failure if it means everyone adopts the need to be organized.

Play out the worst case scenario to the team and see who starts to question or double check their approach, chances are most will but it’ll save a lot of embarrassment and wasted time with the customer.

SJP

Here are 12 ways to become highly organized

Deepak Chopra Shares 7 Insights to Double Sales Productivity

By  (Salesforce Blog)

Perhaps, you start early, work late, and check email on weekends – but still don’t have the level of results you planned to achieve.  It may not be your work ethic that’s holding you back. It could be your state of well-being.

SJPAt last year’s DreamforceDeepak Chopra revealed key insights on the past, present and future of well-being and its relationship to performance.

Here are seven teachings from the talk and his books plus ways to leverage these learnings to increase sales productivity.

 

Is it Ever “The Right Time” for Your Buyer ?

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca (Renbor Sales Solutions Inc.)

SJP

If you prospect regularly, a common push back you get from potential buyers is “it’s not a good time”, or “the timing is wrong”, or any variations on that theme.  In some instances it makes sense, calling an accounting firm in the March April timeframe, or a school supply company in August; these are times those companies are busy executing, having made purchase decisions much earlier in the cycle.

With only 15% or so of your market being in play, that is actively out there “buying”, and 70% being in what is commonly called Status Quo, ostensibly not looking, it is a safe bet that 70% of the “time” the timing is not right.  I say ostensibly, because there is a lot of opportunity and buyers to be found in that large group called Status Quo, the fact that they are satisfied with their current state, does not mean they won’t buy, no matter what some pundits tell you.  Satisfied is a long way away from ecstatic; there is a lot of room for improvement and your offering between those two points, don’t settle for satisfied.  The problem is that too many sales people allow the statement about timing to throw them off or give up on an opportunity, not just for themselves, but for the buyer, and by extension the buyer’s company and objectives.

“75% of customers who leave or switch vendors for a competitor, when asked, say they were ‘satisfied or completely satisfied’ with the vendor they left, at the time they switched.”  ‘Customer Loyalty Guaranteed’ Bell & Patterson

What the Status Quo prospect is saying is that they don’t have time to waste on another value proposition, or you history of accomplishments.  They want to know how to move past satisfied, which you could do if you could surface their objectives, and what they feel is in the way.

[...Continue Reading...]