Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Telephone techniques - reaching decision makers
If you have to telephone for appointments for business development or account management here are two simple techniques to save you time and effort getting through to decision makers. 1) With your words and tone sound and act as if the decision maker knows you and is even expecting your call, ask for them by their first and last name, use your first name, don't volunteer any other information, if you don’t have the contact's full name make a separate call to get it. 2) Establish if the decision maker is even there BEFORE you offer any information - if they are out get off the telephone, don't leave your name or any details. If you leave a message they know to have your next call blocked. Follow these tips and you will save time and increase the frequency with which you get through. Click here for more reaching decision makers and making appointments tips.
Monday, July 20, 2009
As money gets tight, decision making authority gets moved higher. Past decision makers, the people who previously have given you orders, suddenly move from being decision makers to [albeit significant] decision influencers, the problem is they don't tell you - something stops them. So here is the acid test - are you dealing with the "budget holder" or the "budget caretaker", find out who REALLY owns the business problem, who REALLY holds the budget and THIS is your decision maker.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Lowering the price does not lower the cost! Cheap products don't usually last as long, lower price means poorer service, save money at the outset (cheap car) pay later (service bills). If your prospect or client wants to buy cheap then get them talking about life cycle costs, total cost of ownership and the cost in time to them of purchasing again - because they made a wrong decision (this works for professional services or where no product is invloved). Get the topic on the table by asking questions - not lecturing them. You can't always avoid giving something away, but you can usually avoid giving too much away. Ask me for a handout on selling value - price versus cost.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Presenting to your client or prospect - start with them NOT you!
Who is the most important person on the sales call – the client or prospect of course. So why do we so often see salespeople start a “capability” or "solution" presentation with information about their own company? If you want your audience sitting up and listening make the first slide (after the title slide) about them. Our favourite heading for this slide is - “issues you probably face” or "challenges in your business". Watch the difference in how they respond and open up to you when they see you really understand their business and their situation.
Monday, April 27, 2009
WHY AM I MAKING THIS SALES CALL..................
Someone once told me "in the absence of clearly defined goals we resort to activity". Because in many markets and especially in a business development role, you can't always get the order "on this visit" its easy not to have a solid objective for every visit or telephone sales call you make. As a result neither the seller nor the prospect get real value from the interaction. So how do you avoid sales activity for the sake of it, how do you get something from every visit or telephone sales you make? Set an objective for every customer prospect engagement and make sure it is a SMART objective - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Based. In fact SMART is a great way to sanity check anything you are doing in your sales process - it makes you ask yourself "why am I making this call, am I really progressing the sale or I am confusing activity for results?"
Monday, April 6, 2009
Too often we submit proposals that unintentionally offer the prospect, client or customer a simple choice - go ahead or don't. Whenever you are uncovering your prospect's needs and presenting your solution always look for two options they could go for - don't invent something and make sure you have raised the options in the discussions. For example you could offer pricing options, product configuration options, delivery and installation options. Then when you present the proposal you are asking "do you want to go ahead with Option A or would you prefer Option B?". The prospect is then deciding which option to take rather than deciding on the choice we usually give which is "do you want it or not".