Changing the Sales Conversation: Connect, Collaborate, and Close

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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.

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Wine at the Business Dinner…

By Ed Cowdrey (The Sales Manager’s Guide to Sanity)

The 7 C’s of Wine at the Business Dinner

Business dinners with co-workers and customers can be a daunting experience. You and your team will be judged on your professionalism, candor, etiquette, and good manners.  The wine list can be even more daunting, but it does not have to be.

Whether you have hosted hundreds of business dinners or never hosted one before, the etiquette, traditions, and other mysteries of the wine list usually divide us into one of two groups: one, pass me the wine list please, or two, please pass the wine list to someone else.

The rules are not as simple as they used to be. Who gets the wine at a business dinner can be based on a number of factors including who is hosting the dinner, who is the “ranking” attendee, or simply who knows about wine.

SJP

If you end up with the wine list or think you might, here are some ways to pull off the experience. These are the basics. If you already know a fair amount about wine, these will be good reminders. If you know a little about wine, these should be of help and may unlock some of the unknowns you have questioned in the past. If you know nothing about wine, the seven C’s should start you on the road to knowledge. Remember, there is nothing wrong with saying to your guests “you know, I really enjoy wine, but would love for someone else to do the honors.” It is almost guaranteed that someone will gladly raise their hand.

Here are The “Seven C’s” to follow.

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.

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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.

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Improve Your Sales With This Change of Habit

By  (Inc.Com)

One Habit That Will Immediately Improve Your Sales

SJPBusinesspeople probably spend more time trying to learn about how to improve their sales performance than they do on any other subject. The reason is clear–if you can’t sell effectively, you won’t stay in business, no matter how well you’re doing in every other area.

Most sales advice out there focuses on how to close deals–what to say, ways to follow up, when to pull back, and so on. But if you look at the best salespeople of the 21st century, you’ll find they have one commonality in their behavior that has nothing to with the techniques they use to get prospects to open their checkbooks.

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SalesJournal.com Store: “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”

By Simon Sinek salesjournal              BUY IT NOW!

“A powerful and penetrating exploration of what separates great  companies and great leaders from the rest.” -Polly LaBarre, coauthor of Mavericks at Work

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more  influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command  greater loyalty?

In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the  world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate  in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone  else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the  Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with  why.

Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together  a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

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