One of the dangers that many sellers come across is that when they get to a place of success, they start to slow down. They don’t have the drive to meet their quota, beat their competition or strive among their peers to be the best.
And if you get to the top, someone is constantly trying to knock you off the pedestal – it’s tough being #1…
So how can you avoid this? Here’s a few ideas:
- Don’t let off the gas – the second you think you are safe is the second you are in trouble.
- When you close a sale, make a cold call (or 10) – Ride the wave of excitement/confidence and allow those feelings to resonate with some new business development.
- Ask your customers for referrals – keep the momentum moving by networking with your new customers – and be sure to give some referrals to these new contacts as well.
- Never look back - find some time to enjoy your success, but remember how you got there, I bet it wasn’t easy…
Just remember what’s like at the top of the pile, it can be a great place to be. But, now your colleagues and peers are looking to beat you – just as you were recently with the former top performer.
Keep at it and good luck.
Tags: Sales, Sales Tips
There’s been some great discussion and debate about selling on price vs. value.
You can see the Q&A from Linkedin here.
It’s interesting that my repositioning on Price was perceived as selling “cheap”, and that selling “value” was important than ever. One of the main take-aways here is that there are industry and product/service specific factors. Blanket statements cannot solve these issues, but can generate some ideas and discussion that can result in solid strategies.
While I would never suggest that value is no longer important – consider the following:
A rep for a professional sports organization selling luxury box suites can stand on the “value” of these seats on a vareity of customer loyalty and engagement perspectives. But the client has it’s marketing budget cut in half – and right now, “valuable” seats will simply not get approval. An empty stadium of “value” will not drive revenue for the sports team and they will lose any concession or related merchandise sales as well.
A rep attempting to sell “value” through a total solution approach may miss the opportunity to grow future business from a potential client because they were unable/unwilling to fulfill the simple need quickly. Not filling the simple need now may cost even larger in the long run when times get better and the client’s growth plans come along.
Value isn’t going away, but price seemed to be a dirty word in sales for some time. Let’s embrace it, and recognize that it is a strategy that we can employ and layer value on over time. Right now, we need to keep moving, keep talking, keep rolling.
Tags: Consulttative Sales Process, Sales, Sales Tips, Selling on Price
Back in September, I wrote about the commodity sale.
When I originally positioned the commodity sale and shift away from the consultative process, I received a lot of feedback that I was way off base.
The consultative sales process brings some key elements that should not be abandoned, but have become less important when facing the current economic realities that we are today. At that time, we were on the brink of a recession. Now, selling on price has become a recessionary sales strategy – brands are positioning on price alone.
So much focus has previously placed on the concepts of value – I think many sellers have stopped listening, and their customers have stopped caring. The subjective concept of value is of course important, but let’s also be clear that the pure dollars that any solution costs has value as well. Some how, this became lost in the quest for value.
As I look to the current economy for some positives, or for some ideas on how to provide strategies for sellers to succeed – perhaps we should come to re-embrace the commodity sale in its simplicity. Good sales people will layer on elements of the consultative process, but back at the core – the hard realities of the current economy dictate a return to price driven sales.
How bad can that be?
Tags: Sales, Sales pitch
What are the first 3 things you say in your sales process when you first talk to a prospect?
Do yourself a favor and never say them again.
If those 3 things are consistent with what most sellers in your industry say – throw it away. It won’t do you any good, in fact – those 3 things are probably the worst thing you can say. Why? Because your target market is sick and tired of hearing the same questions every time. They are used to those questions, those statements and they shut down when they hear them.
While your top 3 might have valuable answers – you need to find a different way to get them. You need to be different and get your prospects to think- actually think by asking them higher level business questions – not by qualifying them.
So what are your top 3? Write them down, and throw them away – or better yet…
- Reduce: How much are you saying upfront? Too much? Evaluate how much info you try to spit out in the first 30 seconds… chances are you can cut back.
- Reuse: I’m willing to bet that a lot of what you say has some strong value – for your prospect, or for you… is there somewhere else in your sales process that you can use this? How do you decide what to talk about and when? Have a look at what you ask/talk about and when you do it.
- Recycle: Is there a better way to ask your top 3? Is there a better way to get the answers you are looking for? Can you turn what you say now into something better or more useful?
In the increasingly competitive world of sales – and an increasingly “challenging” economy – you need to be different from your competition (any and all sellers). You need to stand out by being smarter, by getting your prospects to think – not qualify, by demonstrating value in the very way you engage people. Be open to something new, see what happens when you change things up and take on the challenge to change.
Tags: Commodity Sales, Consultative Selling, Sales, Sales Methodologies, sales process, Sales Tips
The Consultative Sales Process – The dominant methodology in today’s sales thinking. I’d like to test that idea for a moment…
If you have ever worked with me, you’ve certainly heard it a lot – the migration of Value from Product to Seller, the challenges facing sellers today and how solution consulting can address those requirements to help sellers succeed in today’s market.
But to be honest – I’m seeing cracks in the plaster. There are alternate voices from smart people that I trust (check out Jeremy Miller) who are increasingly putting messages out there that we are moving into different paths and paradigms.
And I think this is a good thing (no Martha intended).
The role sellers provide in the sales process is changing again. Here’s my thought…
The move and positioning focused on employing the consultative sales process as a way of preventing or subverting the commodity or price driven sale is increasingly not the right path. It is a defensive stance that is losing ground – it is time to give in and embrace the commodity sale.
Now my thinking does not go so far as to throw out the consultative process altogether – but this is something I’m going to look closer at.
What does it mean to embrace the commodity sale?
Better yet – think I’m wrong?
Tags: perception, Sales, sellers, utilitarian drive
During a recent training session, I presented the ideas behind Utilitarian Drive.
Utilitarian Drive is a concept that the moral “worth” of any action is measured by it’s contribution to maximizing happiness. In sales, this speaks to the requirement of Sellers to get the highest and best of use their time and effort to result in the most dollars. In essence, good Sellers are selfish – perhaps even Machiavellian.
We often think of “good” sales people as those that are open or attentive and the idea of Utilitarian Drive positions successful Sellers in a more selfish light. But is this concept wrong?
A friend and contact in the sales recruiting business wrote an interesting article about the best Sellers really being Servants, and where influence and power can reside in a Seller=Servant model.
I think that somewhere in the middle is the idea of perception. How you (Sellers or anyone one in business, including a business itself) are perceived by your market/customers is everything. Perceptions can be controlled, and I believe good Sellers are aware of this and leverage different perceptions of themselves. Essentially, perception is everything in business.
So how do you want to be perceived? This is the concept of personal branding – something to address in a new post soon…