The paperclips didn't need a sales pitch. Neither do your clients.

SELLutions

Top 5 Things Every Salesperson /Business Developer Should Know!

by GSchulz 22. June 2015 13:07
 What’s the new normal when it comes to developing business? This is not the old ‘ask a few questions, give your features and benefits and trial close’. The 70s wants their slick sales guy back. Today you need to be smart, curious and a true consultant to sell. Here are a few things that today are imperative in business growth.    
1)   Tell the prospect its OK to break up….Rejection is a result of trying to sell someone your product or service as opposed to tell them you what you are calling about, let them know it seems that because of what they do you could potentially work together, but (pull back) you don’t want to assume that you are a good fit. What you’d like to do is ask a few questions to see if the two of you are a fit and if not, we decide it’s a NO then we only wasted a few minutes? Sound OK? This allows you to give a NO as an option right upfront. Then you have asked for it as opposed to a prospect pushing you away and that is the rejection.  
2)   Mining for customers is different today. Networking is the true key to finding and keeping customers but most people do it wrong. Networking events ate not for direct prospecting! Recognize this scenario? “Hey do you guys use promotional products? here’s a sample, we can really help you!!”..” NO! Instead I say go to an event and look for Strategic Alliances, people that you can refer business back and forth to as opposed to hitting your potential prospects so hard. We all know building business on referrals is the best way to do business so lets network for good alliances that you can refer business to and that is a good source for your referrals.
3)   Research should be used for credibility. Research is essential today before you pick up the phone and call anyone. No excuses! The most important reason to do your research on their web site, Google etc. is to create good, quality questions to ask them to engage your prospect in conversation and truly understand their needs not to tell them that you’ve researched their company and since they do this, we can sell you that…  
4)   If you need to discount to get the business is almost always a result of one  of these things.
a) The customer doesn’t truly trust you/your product or service so there is only price to use as a differentiator or b) you haven’t truly understood the need for the product. I know need seems simple but it isn’t.   What are they trying to say? What impression are they trying to leave, how do they want to be seen? What are they using it for? There are lots of questions to not only understand what a prospect needs but the true deep-down ‘whys’. Asking questions will let you also gain credibility and trust but not Selling and truly asking and listening….       
5)    Listen and shut up!! Wow! If I could teach people that are in sales/business development to ask questions and listen there would be a lot more success in business! Telling isn’t selling…but it comes from a good place. We are excited about what we represent and want other to be excited too but excitement doesn’t sell, questions and true engagement does. Long ago we were taught to ask a few questions and when you hear a “ buying signal” jump in and tell them you can help with that and how. NO! When you ask a question, wait for the answer and whatever the answer is, especially if it may be something your product or service can help with, the best next question is, “tell me about that”, then SHUT-UP!!!     Click here to share this post.

Are You Hiring A Players for your Sales Team?

by GSchulz 8. June 2015 15:41
What if the bottom quarter of your sales team produced as much or more revenue than the top quarter? What would that do for your company?   What would happen if you replaced the bottom quarter of your sales team with A players that get consistent over the top results?   When I talk to CEOs about this issue and ask these questions, they often give me these excuses, (because that’s what they are, excuses);   Belief- We get fooled into thinking they are A players when we interview them. By the time we figure out that they aren’t, we are already too invested”. Reality- You aren’t assessing them properly. Sales people, especially ones that have had many sales jobs are professional interviewers. They know what to say and how to say it so you will be completely impressed and blown away by how much “potential” they have. We are blinded by the charisma and charm they have! You need a non-subjective sales assessment to help give you additional tools to get out of the emotion, the falling in love, and get to the heart of what this person is about.   Belief- “We really can’t afford to pay for A players”. They tend to be expensive. Reality- Guess what? You are already paying for them through your lost business! Additionally if we monitored better the progress of a new hire and stop allowing excuses to drag out the pain, we would know sooner and loose less.   Belief- “We have loyal C players in sales that have been with us in sales for years, through thick and thin. We can’t just let them go!” Reality – Just let them go? How long have they been C players? If it just started, maybe you need to find out why and give them an opportunity to improve. If its been going on a long time, you at least need to wan them or see if there is another position that might be better for them internally.   Belief – We want to hire fresh new players in sales but we cant afford to train them. Reality- Typically go get raw talent and train them your way is the better way to go. You can afford to hire them, put money into training and monitor as you go. If they aren’t beginning quickly to “get it”,  cut your losses quickly. We tend to hand on to seasoned salespeople longer because they “must just need more time”. In that case then the ‘newbee’ might be just the answer.   Belief- I’m not sure where to find A players. When I am looking for someone new I can rarely find someone I would consider an A player. Reality- Of course not! A players aren’t out looking through the regular channels! They are either on a job and you need to typically seek them out or they put their feelers out when they are looking and are scooped up immediately! If a great salesperson is an asset, not a liability, don’t you want additional assets all of the time? Here is the question I would ask you. If you found an A player today, someone better then your best salesperson, wouldn’t you find a place for them? Of course you would, so why aren’t you looking every day!! That’s right! You or your sales director should be interviewing at least 2-4 candidates a week! Even when you don’t have a spot for them. How else will you find the gold!! Click here to share this post.

Top 5 Things Every Salesperson /Business Developer Should Know!

by GSchulz 16. February 2015 15:08
    What’s the new normal when it comes to developing business? This is not the old ‘ask a few questions, give your features and benefits and trial close’. The 70s wants their slick sales guy back. Today you need to be smart, curious and a true consultant to sell. Here are a few things that today are imperative in business growth.    

 1)   Tell the prospect its OK to break up….Rejection is a result of trying to sell someone your product or service as opposed to tell them you what you are calling about, let them know it seems that because of what they do you could potentially work together, but (pull back) you don’t want to assume that you are a good fit. What you’d like to do is ask a few questions to see if the two of you are a fit and if not, we decide it’s a NO then we only wasted a few minutes? Sound OK? This allows you to give a NO as an option right upfront. Then you have asked for it as opposed to a prospect pushing you away and that is the rejection.
  2)   Mining for customers is different today. Networking is the true key to finding and keeping customers but most people do it wrong. Networking events ate not for direct prospecting! Recognize this scenario? “Hey do you guys use promotional products? here’s a sample, we can really help you!!”..” NO! Instead I say go to an event and look for Strategic Alliances, people that you can refer business back and forth to as opposed to hitting your potential prospects so hard. We all know building business on referrals is the best way to do business so lets network for good alliances that you can refer business to and that is a good source for your referrals.

 3)   Research should be used for credibility. Research is essential today before you pick up the phone and call anyone. No excuses! The most important reason to do your research on their web site, Google etc. is to create good, quality questions to ask them to engage your prospect in conversation and truly understand their needs not to tell them that you’ve researched their company and since they do this, we can sell you that…  

 4)   If you need to discount to get the business is almost always a result of one of these things. a) The customer doesn’t truly trust you/your product or service so there is only price to use as a differentiator or b) you haven’t truly understood the need for the product. I know need seems simple but it isn’t.              What are they trying to say? What impression are they trying to leave, how do they want to be seen? What are they using it for? There are lots of questions to not only understand what a prospect needs but the true deep-down ‘whys’. Asking questions will let you also gain credibility and trust but not Selling and truly asking and listening….     

 5)    Listen and shut up!! Wow! If I could teach people that are in sales/business                   development to ask questions and listen there would be a lot more success in business! Telling isn’t selling…but it comes from a good place. We are excited about what we represent and want other to be excited too but excitement doesn’t sell, questions and true engagement does. Long ago we were taught to ask a few questions and when you hear a “ buying signal” jump in and tell them you can help with that and how. NO! When you ask a question, wait for the answer and whatever the answer is, especially if it may be something your product or service can help with, the best next question is, “tell me about that”, then SHUT-UP!!! Click here to share this post.

The Frustration of Others in Sales

by GSchulz 30. September 2014 12:42
I just got off the phone with a very upset salesperson. Sandy is what you might call a “people person”. She is very outgoing, vivacious and friendly. She is chatty at times which doesn’t always make for the best salesperson but, when push comes to shove, she gets the job done.   She was upset because her new boss, Valerie, sent her a very “cold” email. Response and she got upset that she is in some sort of trouble. 

I asked her a bit about what she thinks it might be about and she didn’t know but was really worried. She loves her job and hopes the new boss likes her.   Sandy sent Valerie an email telling her about a great sales call she had. Sandy gave lots of detail in the email about how they got along, what questions she asked and how interested the prospect was to get together and talk further about working together.  

Asked Valerie if she would be able to go with her on this appointment she had set up for next week since she doesn’t feel she know the product as well as she would like and would feel more confident if Valerie joined her.   Valerie send back an email that simply said,” I’ll have to deal with this tomorrow”. That’s it. No “Hi Sandy”, no “good job on this” and no “from Valerie” at the end of the email.   

I actually was surprised at Sandy’s emotion behind this so I asked her to send the correspondence to me.   So what happened here? In a word, nothing. Sandy sees things, like we all do, though our own eyes.  There have been several studies over the years about how people interpret things. There are huge cultural differences but even among people with similar cultures there are different personality traits and styles that we often don’t recognize, or even think about.   

I want to review some so we can get clear on our understanding because lets face it, in business as in life, we have a distinct advantage if we can read another person and help them feel more comfortable with us. I am not suggesting that we change out personality. I am suggesting we be more aware of the differences and work to mirror them. When someone sees you as similar to them, which is the idea of mirroring, they begin to feel more comfortable with you, often only subconsciously. That is enough though to start out the conversation or relationship on the right foot.   

First of all there are four different personality styles that we all general fit into.  We are often combinations of a few but here are the general definitions;   Dominant – A dominant style is the person whose need is to be in control and have power. This person is typically a leader in an organization because that is how they see their role. They are typically very task oriented and say things like “just get to the bottom line”. They are not very patient because they are always on to the next thing. Influencer- The life of the party owns this style. This is the ones that you’d say, ‘you’re a real people person’. Lots of these people end up in sales because they feel like they can persuade others to their way of thinking. This is not necessarily true. We often fall victim to this. It takes more to sell they just the ability to bond with another. (Sandy in the above example)   Steady Relater- A steady relater is just what it sounds like. 

This person has a need for little change and little conflict. If someone possesses this style they are often great supporters for your organization. Give them a task and they will get it done. Just be careful not to make quick changes on them, they will silently rebel.   Cautious Thinker- This is the detail oriented , data driven organized employees. These people are very bright, well read and often initially a bit skeptical of others. They will get the task done as well but they will cross all T’s and dot all I’s so have some patience and don’t ask for it too quickly.   

Hopefully this will shed some light on why some people do what they do and if you understand why they do it, you can work better together. Getting frustrated because someone is different then you and does things different then how you might do them is only going to frustrate you more. Understanding will help get things done.  
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It’s about the process

by GSchulz 20. March 2014 14:57

    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 questions?” 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 the process.   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 greta@schulzbusiness.com. Click here to share this post.

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