6. May 2013 04:52
Ryan, a software sales rep, had been having a
rough day. He’d been bombarded with questions from several customers and gotten
behind on work he needed to finish before the end of the day.
Then, he got a call from Wayne, a prospect who
introduced himself by saying: “I’ve heard great things about your engineering
software package. I saw a demo about a year ago, and was not in a position to
purchase it at the time. But since then, it’s become very apparent that I need
to integrate it into my system.”
“Wow,” Ryan thought. “This will be easy. It’s
about time something went right today.”
Then, Wayne said: “I need to know about the
cost, the tech support and how soon it can be installed.”
Ryan immediately went into his pitch. He
discussed tech support in detail, covered availability and other options, and
explained that the price was $12,000, with 30-day terms.
Wayne’s response was unexpected. He said that
$12,000 was quite a hefty price tag and he needed a couple of days to think
about all of this more carefully. He’d call Ryan back next week.
Ryan did a double take. “What just happened?”
he thought. “This sale was in the bag, a sure thing. He really needs it and now
he’s thinking it over? He said he needed the software right away.” And that was
the end of the call.
So, what happened? Ryan got lazy, plain and
simple. He thought Wayne was sold. All he had to do was give him the
information he needed, then write it up. He got fooled into assuming the sale
without doing the work. He never got Wayne to talk about why he was looking
now, with what seemed to be a real priority about buying the software. The
entire transaction was conducted at the intellectual level, without any real
understanding of the true need.
So, what happened? Ryan was lured into taking
shortcuts. He mistakenly thought the prospect’s enthusiasm was as sure as a
sale. No matter. You need the time to qualify the prospect and make sure he’s
real before giving out information or making your presentation.
In Ryan’s case, a couple of questions would
have made a world of difference. He might have said: “Before we discuss
pricing, help me understand why this software is so important. I want to make
sure the application is correct for you. Would you mind if I ask you a couple
Of course, you’re digging in to find out what
is really going on. It is so important to gather this information before you
discuss price so you can truly have an understanding of not only why they want
the software, but the consequence of not installing it.
Once you give away your information – whether
on the phone, in a presentation or in the form of a proposal – you have given
up any form of control and are literally at the mercy of the prospect.
Remember: It’s not about the sale; it’s about
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15. April 2013 06:37
Should I hire a coach? I
mean, I have been in business for a long time and I do go to a lot of seminars.
I feel like of I can learn one thing each time I go. That’s good, right?” my
ridiculously fit client, Darlene, asked me.
So, to help her understand
if she should hire a coach or not, I tried to help her through what she does. I
answered: “Darlene, I don’t know if you should hire a coach, but let me ask you
a couple of questions. I know you work out, we’ve talked about that before. And
I know you go to the gym.”
“Yes, of course,” she
“Do you have a coach?” I
“Well, yes, I have had one
for a couple of years.”
“OK, so why do you have a
coach? You know how to work out.”
She told me that the coach
taught her exactly how to do things the right way on each piece of equipment.
She also kept her accountable. She was with her every step of the way and
pushed her when she got tired and didn’t want to go any further.
So I said: “Well, let me
ask you something, Darlene: Say you hired a coach for one day, you were new to
working out and you went to the gym with this coach. The coach walked you
around to each piece of equipment, showed you exactly how to use the equipment,
told you how many repetitions you should do on each piece of equipment and how
to use it for the best result – and then you never hired that coach again. How
long you think it would take you to achieve what you have now achieved?”
She laughed and said: “OK,
I get it.”
As we had this discussion
and laid it out, she began to understand the reason you need a coach in other
parts of your life, whether it’s business or, more specifically, sales. People
often tell me they are a people person and it’s all about relationships, so
with their personality alone, that will work. Good luck.
So, what are the things
that you gain from a coach? No. 1, it’s setting up the right activities that
you should be doing on a regular – daily, weekly, monthly – basis, whether it’s
a business coach, a sales coach or a fitness coach. They set up the right
activities for you.
No. 2, they set you up
with accountability, where they work you through these activities or you need
to report back that you’ve done them and discuss how.
No. 3, a coach keeps you
doing it properly by constantly reinforcing what you’re doing, making slight
changes so you do it right, and knowing when and how to bring you to the next
level for maximum results.
There are an awful lot of
reasons why each person decides to hire a coach. But I find it interesting when
I talk to people in sales who say: “Well, I know it’s a good idea to get a
coach at the beginning. But I’ve been in sales for a lot of years and I don’t
need a coach. I know how to do it.”
My answer to those people
is: “Who’s the best golfer in the world?” and Tiger Woods is what they always answer. I say: “OK, Tiger Woods, the best in the world – in the world of golf – has five
coaches. He has a swing coach. He has a pitching coach. He has a putting coach.
He has a fitness coach. He has lots of different coaches. So if you can tell me
that you’re better at your business than Tiger Woods is at golf, then you’re right. You don’t need a coach.”
Until you can say that,
Greta Schulz is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs. For
more sales training tips and tools, or to ask her a question, go to www.schulzbusiness.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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21. January 2013 08:52
Tim, a software sales rep, had been having a rough day. He’d
been bombarded with questions from several customers and had gotten behind on a
proposal that he needed to finish before the end of the day. Then he got a call
from Gene, a prospect who introduced himself by saying, "I’ve heard great
things about your accounting software package. I saw a demo about a year ago,
and was not in a position to purchase it at the time, but since then it’s
become very apparent that I need to integrate it immediately into my
"Wow," thought Tim. "This will be easy. It’s
about time something went right today."
Then Gene said, "I need to know about pricing and
availability. And tech support is important, too. Tell me how that works."
Tim went into his pitch. He discussed tech support in
detail, covered availability and other options, and explained that the price
was $8000 with 30-day terms.
Gene’s response was unexpected. He said that $8000 was quite
a hefty price tag and he needed a couple of days to consider the purchase more
carefully. He’d call Tim back next week.
Tim did a double take. "What just happened?" he
thought. "This sale was in the bag, a sure thing, and now he’s thinking it
over? He said he needed the software right away." And that was the end of
Diagnosis: Tim got lazy, plain and simple. He thought Gene
was sold. All he had to do was give Gene the info he needed, then write it up.
He got conned into doing a presentation without getting Gene to demonstrate why
he was so excited about buying the software. The entire transaction was
conducted at the intellectual level.
Prescription: Don’t be lured into taking shortcuts. Don’t
mistake the prospect’s enthusiasm for your product or service as a sure sale.
Take the time to qualify the prospect and make sure he’s real before you make
your presentation. In Tim’s case, a couple of quick questions would have made a
world of difference. He might have said, "Before we discuss pricing, help
me understand why this software is so important. I want to make sure the
application is correct for you. Mind if I ask you a couple of questions?"
Of course, you’re probing for pain and one of the most important things to find
out is the financial impact of not implementing a solution. Having discovered
the financial impact and, assuming it was significant, you will find that the
cost of the solution disappears as an objection.
Don’t take shortcuts! Don’t assume anything. Get the
prospect involved at an emotional, not an intellectual, level. Use the system,
qualify completely, and get the sale.
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6. October 2012 16:09
We all know
referrals are your best source for building business. There is nothing more
effective than getting a referral from someone you know on a product or service
that you’re interested in purchasing. So, even though most business people know
this, why don’t we get more referrals? Well, there are two reasons: First, we
don’t ask. Second, we don’t ask properly.
So I want to
talk about asking for referrals properly, how important it is to ask by sharing
a story. We all have stories that we’ve shared about something we’ve done, over
and above the norm, that our clients truly appreciated. Telling a story is the
best way for somebody to remember what you do and share it with others when
recommending you. I’m going to give you an example of something that happened
years ago, I wanted to get Lasik surgery, so my husband got me a gift
certificate to a surgeon for Christmas. I went in to speak to Dr. Salinger. We
sat down and, after extensive examination, he said: “Greta, you’re a very good
candidate for Lasik surgery. The only problem is you have a thinning cornea
because you’ve been wearing your contacts for so long, and probably abusing the
length of time you are to wear them. You certainly will do well with the
surgery, but you will take a little bit longer than others to heal. You will
have some pain while the scarring heals.”
immediately scared me, because I am one of those people who hates anything even
close to pain. But I did get the surgery done. When it was finished, he sat me
up and said: “OK, here’s your pain medication. When it starts hurting, I want
you to take this.”
On our way
home, I read the information on the medication. It said to take it every four
hours for pain. So, that’s what I did.
hours later, my eyes really started to hurt. I started to feel an intense
amount of pain, so I called Dr. Salinger and told him it felt like someone was
stabbing my eyes.
“Greta, take your pain medication. That’s what it’s for.”
I told him I
had no more left. He replied: “No problem, I’ll call it in for you right away.”
minutes later, the doctor called back: “Because this medicine is considered a
narcotic, I can’t call it in.”
I said: “What
am I going to do?”
“Greta, it’s almost lunchtime. Don’t worry about it. I will drive up to your
drugstore, hand fill out the prescription and hand it in. Have your husband go
there in about a half an hour to pick up your medication.”
absolutely saved my day. What’s the moral of the story? How often does a doctor
leave his office and drive to the next town to drop off a prescription? I think
told that story several times. The reason I share it with you is to let you
understand that people remember stories better than a recommendation. When I
share that story, especially when I’m doing a workshop or a seminar, people
will come over to me afterward and ask who my doctor is. I know he’s had at
least two or three new patients just from me telling that story. So, what does
that mean to you? It means that the two reasons you don’t get more referrals is
that you don’t ask and you don’t ask properly.
properly means you have to think about something specific you’ve done for a
client. Think about what you did over and above to help them. Make sure that you
describe, in specific detail, what their issue was and what you or somebody in
your organization did to help with it. That’s what people are going to remember
and share. And that’s what’s going to get you referrals.
So, what have
you done for customers lately, and who have you shared that with?
is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs. For more sales training
tips and tools, or to ask her a question, go to www.schulzbusiness.com or email
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