Archives for April 2012

3 Tips That Will Help Your Prospects Tame Their Beast

Connecting with one of our customers larger prospects back in October is now beginning to pay off. Timing, and nurturing the process around their priorities is working in our favor. Let’s refer to this prospect as “ABC, Inc.”

From day one in each exchange with ABC, Inc. the cliche’ after listening to each challenge was ‘That is the nature of the beast’. But did it have to be that way? Of course not. Our success was going to rest upon finding a solution. Helping them “Tame their Beast”.

Making significant progress

In the final moments of our follow up conference call on Wednesday with ABC Inc. the V.P. of Global Supply Chain Management stated upfront “We are interested in moving further in the process because you are helping me Tame the Beast”.

The “beast” in this case was gaining clarity and creating a solution around one of his key programs amidst a huge organizational growth curve.

3 Tips to Helping Your Prospects Tame Their Beast.

1. Serve as a resource through the buying cycle

Probe to discover their requirements and expectations. Develop a clear understanding around their challenges. Stay in touch using their preferred communication style (email, voice mail, text, etc). A second option is to monitor their website and focus on certain ‘trigger events’ such as a new branch opening, promotions, etc. Go the extra step and customize your communication in either congratulating or offering a helpful solution. Nurture draws, pressure repels.

2. What has worked and what has not

As your relationship develops, seek to find what has worked so far. How did this work? Is this process/product still a part of the solution? If not, why not? What has not worked, and why? Are there any fresh ides in place, or being tested (from the incumbent)? If not the door of opportunity is opened further.

3. Become a predictable resource

As you use steps 1 & 2 in creating ‘your’ solution around ‘their’ challenges, use these to become a predictable resource. In doing so you build trust and confidence. They know they can build a future with you, your offering and your team. In doing so, you can often reduce the buying cycle dependant upon the players involved and political landscape.

As we are working through the buying cycle, I am sharing with you in real time the steps that have taken us from an unknown prospect to a final contender.

Please use these tips as you work to create solutions, reduce your buying cycle and Tame your Prospect’s Beast.

I’ll let you know the outcome…. please stay tuned!

Selling in real time…It’s real all of the time.

To your success,
Andy

What Is Your [Bakers Dozen]?

Before we go any further you may be asking “What is a ‘bakers dozen’ and how is it relevant to me and my sales profession?” Both are fair questions.

Legend has it that in 13th century, bakers in England could lose a hand for selling rolls or loaves of bread if they were asked for a dozen and were one short. The term entered the picture when the baker decided to throw in one more just to make sure thus creating a total of 13 or a “bakers dozen”. In today’s vernacular we could say ‘go the extra mile’.

Now for the second question – how is this relevant? Or better yet is it relevant? Sure it is, especially in the area of preparing your customer’s on-boarding process and long-term growth strategy.

Recent application…

In working with one of our key customers we recently opened a large national group and were preparing for the first review meeting with their senior team in Pittsburgh, Pa.

As time drew near I was reminded of the “bakers dozen” concept that I read earlier in The Encore Effect by Mark Sanborn, stating the importance of ‘extra’ preparation, and ‘extra’ attention to detail.

During the buying cycle we learned about their requirements and expectations and adhered to them closely. One area of prime importance was product usage.

As we were preparing our meeting objectives we created our “bakers dozen”. With regard to product usage, we wanted to demonstrate to their team that we were willing and capable of going the extra mile. In doing so we crafted a special usage report that included metrics that they had noted as important in the buying cycle. However as the meeting progressed we learned of two additional components that were now important due to recent design changes in their offering.

As you prepare your growth strategy ask the following questions of you and your team:

  1. Do I have a clear understanding of my customers requirements and expectations?
  2. Has their design changed or priorities shifted?
  3. Do I have a solution that goes the extra mile in supporting my customers best interest?

Once you have these in place you are ready to create your unique “bakers dozen” and demonstrate your willingness go the extra mile.

To your success,
Andy

[5 Benefits] In Developing Your Chicken List

Lets take a lighter view on an important component in your prospecting adventure. For those who know me well, you know that I believe in having a little fun along the way.

Before we go any further let me define what a “chicken list” is and how developing yours will benefit you.

In your prospecting initiatives, how many ‘qualified’ prospects do you have that are interested in your offering and the timing is right…BUT they are tough, have heard it all, and intimidate you on a certain level? Let’s be open here; we all have these prospects. I know that I do! The fact is you dread calling them during the nurturing or buying cycle, but it is important to maintain contact, and eventually convert these prospects to active customers.

Simply put…Consider developing your ‘chicken list’ from the prospects that fall into this category. The sooner the better.

How does this concept work? Once your list is developed you nurture them through your email, or blogging strategy along with your other prospects. It is business as usual. However, before you call them you wait to do so after you have experienced a victory. Hmmm what does this mean? Simple. The success that you have created with a similar prospect provides the extra enthusiasm to assist you in dealing with their lovely communication style.

Benefits

  1. You pass along valuable information in a consultative manner.
  2. You operate from a position of strength.
  3. You don’t let their outlook affect your outlook.
  4. You advance in the buying cycle.
  5. You dont quit like your competitors do.

So go ahead and create your Chicken List and leverage your victories with those tough to deal with prospects. You will be glad that you did.

To your success,
Andy

[5 Simple Truths] in Mastering Effective Follow Up

Before we go further, let me ask you…”How many sales have you won because your friendly competitor or teammate dropped the ball regarding follow up?” If you have sold for any length of time I am sure this has worked in your favor on several occasions.

It is no secret that high performing sales people use many attributes as they solve problems for their customers and prospects. One of these attributes is the ability to understand the importance of effective follow up at all levels.

Sounds simple enough, but is it really? Yes, it can be with a little thought. I would ask that you consider these 5 simple truths as you craft your follow up strategy.

Truth #1 – The majority of your competitors are quitters and here is why

  • 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect after the first attempt
  • 25% of sales people make a second attempt then quit
  • 12% of sales people make more than three attempts before they quit

Truth #2 – Your perseverance will pay off

Truth #3 – There are four follow up scenarios:
(Each of these four scenarios requires a different strategy and thought process.)

  1. New lead.
  2. Active lead.
  3. New customer.
  4. Established customer.

Truth #4 – It’s all about timing

Circumstances change with your prospects creating a different set of priorities. The same can be said for your customers as well. What was once a priority during the buying cycle may change during implementation and cultivation going forward. Your customers and prospects are busy so stay close to them as you discover and deliver upon their requirements and expectations. Bring them fresh ideas and adapt to their changing circumstances. It’s all about timing, use it to your advantage

Truth #5 – Master the Methodology

In pursuing your prospect and customers a tool kit including a variety of tools blended with social media is a must for success.

In wrapping your arms around these simple truths, you will find that Truths 3 ,4, and 5 are critical. If you would like to discuss further or would like to receive a special set of tools such as proven emails, voice mails, follow up frequency, and other proven tactics please contact me at directionalachievement.com.

These 5 Simple Truths can propel you ahead of your competition and serve to further differentiate you as the sales professional that you are.

To your success,
Andy