Loading...

Follow Eyes On Sales on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Eyes On Sales by Editor@eyesonsales.com - 4M ago

Attitude is Everything

By Richard F. Libin, President, Automotive Profit Builders and author of just released book “Who Knew?”

I’ve known Dennis Tilko for more than 30 years. What’s remarkable about him is that through all these years, the only thing that’s changed is his attitude. It just keeps getting more and more positive. For Dennis, attitude is everything, and good or bad, to him everything is an opportunity.

Dennis has worked in the automotive business for as long as he can remember. He started out cleaning and detailing cars during high school to help pay for college. After graduating he started full-time as a sales associate in a Cadillac dealership.

“I was really frustrated one day. I lost a sale to the Oldsmobile dealership next door even though I offered the customer more on her trade and a better price on the car. I didn’t get it,” he said.

Dennis could not figure out why she would leave and pay more at another dealership. He was perplexed, so he decided to call her and find out, what could he have done better?

“She told me that the people at the other dealership were nicer. They offered her coffee, gave her a tour, introduced her to people in every department, and essentially, treated her like she was a VIP from the second she walked in the door,” he said.

When he told me this story, he described it as an “ah-ha” moment. It was in this experience that he realized that there was much more to closing a sale than offering the best price. He realized that salespeople are great at turning buyers into shoppers. Even so, he wasn’t really quite sure what the difference was. After all, he had followed his training. He greeted the customer, delivered a hood to trunk presentation, took the customer on a demo drive, negotiated and thought he was close to closing the sale. The difference was that no one had taught Dennis about how to deal with the person, about how his attitude could influence a customer relationship.

“As salespeople, we learn the mechanics of selling, but not how to work with people. No one shows us how to build and maintain relationships,” he observed.

Curious, he continued sleuthing and discovered that the dealership that had won his customer over used a sales process called APB, which focused on giving every customer the Red Carpet Treatment. After learning more, he persuaded his management to adopt the system. He learned its principles and still uses them today at the Mercedes dealership where he works now.

Dennis believes that a positive attitude is the biggest factor in turning shoppers (people who come in, look, and leave) into buyers, and ultimately into loyal clientele.

As Dennis likes to share, “A dealer may spend $50,000 or more on advertising to bring people in, but they don’t forget to put value on the customers’ experience once they walk in the dealership’s front door,” Dennis told me. “It is like giving salespeople a broom and asking them to sweep potential customers out the door! If salespeople lose a sale to a competitor then they failed in creating a better customer experience and embracing the opportunity with a positive attitude.”

Dennis is passionate about treating each customer individually based on their unique needs, wants, and desires. He follows the APB process to build, cultivate, and nurture long-term relationships. To Dennis, it’s not just closing a deal; it’s about building a relationship and friendship that goes beyond the sale.

“I realized years ago that my job is not selling cars. My job is to give customers every possible detail and every reason to make the decision to work with me, my dealership, and our products. I can only do this if I am passionate and enthusiastic about the product I sell. My customers’ job is to give me the order.  I just help them buy,” Dennis says.

Most salespeople are taught to “get to the numbers.” Dennis educates customers on why spending $50,000 to $60,000 on his brand is a good investment. He gets to know them and what they are seeking. He asks questions like, ‘What are you driving now? Do you like it? Do you like the service you get? Is it powerful enough?’ He customizes his presentations to get customers excited about the value of his brand. He’ll show a crash test video, talk about how the company invented the first race car, about the patented safety features the company invented, and more. He proactively shares that while the company is not largest manufacturer, buying a car from them is like buying a fine suit. He goes the extra mile to show he cares.

“If a customer has dogs, I give them a bag of doggie treats. I send flowers as a thank-you for coming in. I buy customers lunch and share new information about our brand. Basically, I do whatever it takes to create an honest, positive impression,” he says. “Yet none of this makes a difference without a positive attitude, without wanting to “Wow” customers. I want my customers to say that there is no one they’d rather work with but me.”

Dennis never rushes to judgment based on how a customer looks, what they say or what they need. One time he told me about a customer who came in simply wanting to learn how to drive a manual transmission so she could take a cross country trip in an old truck. So, he taught her how to drive a stick shift in the back of the dealership. He took the opportunity to talk with her and to get to know her needs. In the end, she bought a new truck. Now, how many salespeople would have stopped that sale before it ever got started? Not Dennis, he saw it as an opportunity.    

“I want to be sure that when a customer buys one car from me, they will want to buy their next 10 cars from me as well,” he said.

I asked Dennis what he does to make this happen and he told me that he takes the Red Carpet Treatment to heart and gives service above and beyond — way beyond — what’s expected. The bottom line is that he sincerely cares about each of his customers. In fact, he makes sure that every customer has his business card and cell phone number.

Dennis tells his clients, “I am available to help with every service concern my you have, whether making an appointment or helping in a crisis. One woman called me at home at 11:00 p.m. upset about a problem with her car. I took the call, solved the problem and sent her a gift card for lunch at her favorite restaurant. She sent me two referrals.” He also tells them, “If you drink, that’s your business. But, call me anytime if you need a ride, 24/7. I will pick you up wherever you are and drive you home. I don’t ever want to lose a client.”

And, he’s done it, many, many times.

Over the years, I’ve asked Dennis what he would tell new salespeople. He’s always told me he follows 10 core rules.

  1. Stop looking at this job as a stepping stone; view it as a career. Otherwise, you’ll never have the right attitude.
  2. Be passionate about the products and brand you are selling.
  3. Take every opportunity you can to learn about the product, the company, and the processes. Learn from others, in classes, and on your own.
  4. Learn how to work with people. Follow the APB process.
  5. Understand that the majority of Americans today are pulled in a million directions, managing homes, kids, work, and other challenges. Be willing to actively listen to customers regardless of what they want to talk about.
  6. Read each customer and change your approach to suit their personality, temperament, learning style, and interests, and do business their way.
  7. Never say NO to a customer. If someone simply wants their trade appraised, do it. In the process, try to learn more about them so you can find a friendly way to show them cars.
  8. Accept that you will lose one out of three sales. Don’t accept that you couldn’t have done something differently to change the outcome. Learn from each so next time you will win.
  9. Always tell the truth.

And, he says the most important rule is to always…

  1. Bring a positive attitude. It’s your attitude that will make or break a sale.

At APB we hear people say all the time that always having a positive attitude is easier said than done. No one could ever know this better than Dennis. He lost his son at five years of age, and supported his wife through a four-year battle with cancer, which she eventually lost. Even during the darkest time in his life, while working part-time, he sold 15 vehicles a month. His attitude saw him through then, and it still does today.

“I always tell myself, there is someone out there that has it worse than me. I get out of bed every day and take a deep breath and think it is time for me to get in shape for the day. I can’t change what has happened in my life. I did the best I could and that’s all I can do. But, I can decide how I want to approach every day that’s left and choose to make it the best I can for me and everyone else I come in contact with,” he says.

Attitude is everything. You know, they say attitudes can be contagious. If that’s true, then I hope we all catch it from Dennis.

Richard F. Libin has written two acclaimed books that help people of all walks of life improve their sales skills, because as he says, “Everyone is a selling something.” His most recent book, Who Knew?, and his first book, “Who Stopped the Sale?” (www.whostoppedthesale.com), is now in its second edition. As president of APB-Automotive Profit Builders, Inc., a firm with more than 49 years experience working with both sales and service professionals, he helps his clientele, through personnel development and technology, to build customer satisfaction and maximize gross profits in their businesses. Mr. Libin can be reached at rlibin@apb.cc or 508-626-9200 or www.apb.cc.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Talent, Training, and Tactics: Leveraging the 3 Ts of Successful Selling

 

As a sales manager, you have a million plates spinning. That chaos provides the adrenaline rush you need to be productive, but it can prevent you from investing in the most important aspect of your job: the long-term growth of your team.

 

Harvard Business Review says the sales industry sees a pretty consistent turnover rate — up to 30 percent of sales employees annually — and it's due, in part, to subpar talent.

 

Without a strong team, you'll struggle to meet and exceed revenue goals. That means more uncomfortable meetings about missed sales numbers, both with your team and your leaders.

 

The key to building a high-performing team while still hitting regular numbers is to focus on the three Ts: talent, training, and tactics. Alone, each of these areas can boost sales; together, they form the core of a team that consistently hits targets and drives revenue.

 

Here, we’ll examine each of the three Ts and outline why they’re important, what they’re made of, and how to make the most of them:

 

1. Talent

 

Not all salespeople are created equally — their talent, that is. Not everyone is born a sales superstar, and part of that has to do with the tasks you're hiring him or her for. Does the task fit what he or she does best?

 

Think of the situation in terms of athletes: A football player can be just as talented as a baseball player, but if you’re building a baseball team, it's a baseball player that you need. Make sure when choosing talent that you're attracting the type that's right for what your brand is uniquely trying to pull off.

 

And according to Harvard Business Review, "The first step in smart hiring and productivity is understanding the relevant sales tasks in your market and strategy and then reflecting those tasks in hiring criteria and a disciplined hiring process."

 

Revisit your interview strategy to identify which decisions lead to better hires. Don’t stick to descriptive talent interview processes; insist on a valid talent interview built on predictive models. What space in your company lacks strong salespeople? What do you look for in a high performer, relative to your needs?

 

Tailor your interview questions appropriately, but don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper for specific examples when candidates offer up suggested talents.

 

2. Training

 

According to a recent study, the caliber of a sales team in the business-to-business space is considered the No. 1 factor for encouraging a prospect's decision to buy. And the only way to reach such a star status is — must it be said? — to train your staff accordingly.

 

Sales training should not end at the sign-in sheet during orientation. Use the metrics you collect throughout the year to provide individualized feedback, and design training around that.

 

Getting to know associates (in essence, learning what makes them tick) can aid in your training and personalized managerial style. All new hires are equipped with their own set of skills and personality, which means they'll require different types of coaching.

 

Another successful training measure is pairing a new employee with a mentor. This person would ideally show your new associate the ropes and provide sage advice only a veteran at your company would have.

 

Beyond that, set expectations of your new sales employees — make sure they're solely focused on one prime activity for their first quarter at the company. Highlight a set number of prospects, appointments, and analyses needed, too.

 

Also, analyze your reports to identify the biggest hurdles for individuals and your team at large. Where are sales stalling? What sales tactics could be more successful? Investing in a sales diagnostic program to identify these pain points is necessary to truly drive sales performance. Analyze your data by using programs like ToutApp or Groove to make it a little easier.

 

Other training methods to consider are investing in an e-training program (one that will get the whole sales team on the same page if everyone completes it); install a buddy system so newbies can shadow the sales veterans; and brush up on helpful content pertaining to your pain points.

 

And remember: Motivational "in the trenches" speeches only go so far. Don’t leave your team members amped to improve with no path to follow; be quick to give specific feedback so they can learn in the moment. Keep the feedback positive — not even the best salespeople can keep a positive attitude in the face of constant criticism.

 

3. Tactics

 

Your salespeople operate within the confines of your tactics. If you have talented, well-trained people but don’t position them to succeed, your numbers will not reflect their abilities.

 

Don’t train for one thing while measuring something else. For example, if you spend a week coaching your salespeople to uncover client needs and grade them based on deals closed that month, you won’t know whether your training affected their results. Instead, in this scenario, grade them based on how many discovery meetings they held with clients, and discuss the results of those meetings together.

 

Also, consider your strategy: This is all you do prior to engaging a client — your “durable methods of winning.” This includes values as well as selection (and retention) of your staff, activities, lead generation, planning, and more. The bottom line: An agile sales team remains disciplined, which means its tactics support its strategy.

Be sure to keep your tactics consistent so your team members can build upon their existing work. You want all tactics to reflect your overall sales strategy; make sure your team is aware of this.

 

Empower your team by implementing and reviewing tactical decisions at regular intervals. Every year, schedule time to meet with the team off-site for a few days of analysis and planning. Every quarter, spend a day off-site — or at least in a private room together — to compare goals to execution. When your team fails to meet goals, adjust and revisit them next quarter.


Your team has the potential; it’s up to you to unlock it. Use the three Ts to guide your management strategy and increase performance across the board.

 

Matt Sunshine is a managing partner for The Center for Sales Strategy and LeadG2, a company that specializes in improving sales performance and lead generation. Previously, Matt also worked as the center’s executive vice president and a senior consultant. Matt has more than 20 years of experience in sales and media relations.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

3 Ways to Ensure Your Tech Is Keeping Up With Your Prospects

 

The old saying “Time is money” is never truer than for a salesperson. Any time you spend out of contact with your prospects — or being inefficient with your contact — is money lost from your goals. For a sales team to continuously grow its goals, every member of the team must become better, smarter, and faster each and every month.

This is no easy feat. HubSpot found in its 2017 State of Inbound report that 38 percent of salespeople find it increasingly difficult to get responses from their prospects. The only way to continuously evolve communication techniques at scale? Leveraging technology that can keep up with your prospects’ changing habits. 

Prepping Your Plan of Attack 

It’s 2018, so there’s a technology solution for everything: coaching your sales call, sending your favorite book to a prospect, or even having a hologram of Tupac give your elevator pitch. Given how quickly tech is evolving, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every sales team. Before you do anything else, you need to figure out your cost of acquisition across all your sources. 

Once you’ve determined your customer acquisition cost (CAC), you can start deciding what you really need. Think about your channels of communicating with prospects: Do you rely mostly on cold calling? Are targeted social ads a major source of leads? 

As our company, Sapper Consulting, grew, we relied almost exclusively on our own process for generating leads. But after a few years of relying on the same methods, we decided to test some alternative tactics. For example, we found that by layering cold emails with targeted ads, we could generate a better lead that closed in less time, therefore lowering our CAC. The key is to track your CAC across your sources, then test small changes to maximize your results. 

If your company is barely 6 months old, your focus is on acquiring clients. You don’t need a top-tier tech setup that requires a full marketing and sales department to stay on top of it. But what if your company is 10 years old and you’re trying to outrun a new competitor? You need to invest in a software solution or a tech partner that can find the right way to keep your leads close and your qualified leads even closer. 

With your needs identified and your CAC determined, your sales team is ready to find the technology that’s right for you — and soon, you’ll be nearly unstoppable. Still feeling stuck? Here are three tips for finding tech solutions to ensure your prospects always take your calls. 

1. Leave a trail of breadcrumbs. 

Create a repository for all of your campaigns, lead sources, and CAC tests. This might be in the form of a customer relationship management system, but it doesn’t have to be. The market is filled with specialized sales and marketing tools that act as more than a prospect warehouse. Don’t settle for a CRM because it’s the safe option, and don’t waste time searching for the “perfect” CRM — you need that time for prospecting.

Software that focuses more on project management, such as ConnectWise, often still have CRM-style suites built in that keep track of contacts in connection with specific projects, which might be more useful than a basic Salesforce-style CRM. Find something that works for your current team and goals. 

2. Invest wisely. 

Spend money only on tools that automate your outreach efforts. Eliminate copying and pasting from your email process; use a tool that automates your sends. Spreadsheets shouldn’t help facilitate your cold calls; use a tool that keys up prospect information and times your approach. The perfect tool depends on your predetermined needs, but whatever those needs are, invest in tools that automate tasks and save you time. 

More than 40 percent of salespeople surveyed report that prospecting is the hardest part of their process, outpacing closing at 36 percent and qualifying at 22 percent. But with the right tool, email prospecting can become less stressful, as tech can help you make the right amount of contact with the ideal time between outreach attempts. It can also help you prepare different outreach templates for various steps of your sales cycle.

3. Research time-saving tactics. 

The right technology will cut down the time your team spends on basic tasks, giving you more time to spend actually connecting with prospects. Start by using a mini-tool that automatically creates contacts and sends follow-ups. Use calendar-sharing tools that eliminate time wasted scheduling meetings. Find prospect biography tools that can inform your team about each of your prospects without having to stalk each one on LinkedIn. 

Finding this type of small, inexpensive tool that saves you time adds up; gradually, your toolbox will be built up and your sales team will become faster and faster. But be wary of tools that are time wasters in disguise: No tool you rely on should be increasing your CAC. Tiers of outsourcing are available, so find the tier that suits your needs.

As the sales world changes, salespeople need to keep up. Staying in touch with prospects is the key to closing a sale, and finding the right technology can ensure that you’re maintaining contact. Follow these tips to find the tech your team needs.

TJ Macke is the VP of Client Services at Sapper Consulting, which replaces cold calling for its clients. It’s cooler than it sounds. You can also follow him on Twitter @tj_macke.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Eyes On Sales by Editor@eyesonsales.com - 5M ago

From Hero to Zero

By Mike Brooks, http://mrinsidesales.com/

Being in sales is kind of like being a professional football player…

In football, each result can either be celebrated (or not) for a very short time. If you win the game, you get about a day to enjoy the victory, and then it’s on to the next game where you need to win and prove yourself all over again.

Same in sales. Each month you shoot for a victory (making your numbers), and, if you hit them – great….for about a day. Because suddenly it’s a new month, and you have a new quota. What you did last month (or last game, if it’s football), doesn’t matter this month (or this week).

You may have been the top producer last month, a hero, but now you’re at zero again.

Years ago when I was struggling, this used to wear me out. Each month I’d barely do enough to keep my job – like a team going 8-8 – and then I’d be at zero again and have to climb back up the hill.

What happened for me – and what I wish for everyone that I work with – is that I made a commitment one day to get out of this constant struggle and learn how to perform like the top producers in my company.

Each month, the same three reps would win all the awards for being the top producers, and each time the new month would begin, they would already have deals on the board. Everyone in the company expected them to win, and win they did.

Kind of like the New England Patriots…

So if you are sick and tired of acting like Sisyphus (look it up if you don’t remember your Greek mythology), then make a commitment this year to do the things that other top producers do.

And that is really what it starts with: A commitment. The question you have to ask yourself this January is: Are you ready to do what it takes to finally change your career and your life?

I love what Bear Bryant (football coach) once said: “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

If you are willing to do the prep work it takes to succeed, then you can change your career.

If you’re not sure what (“prep work”) means, then pick up a copy of my book: Power Phone Scripts. In it, I list the “Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Performers.” Read that first section and commit to doing that work.

If you do, then soon you’ll find the fastest way to go from Zero back to Hero again – month after month!

And wouldn’t that make your 2018 better?

Mike has been voted one of the most Influential Inside Sales Professionals for the past seven years by The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, and won the 2017 Service Provider Award for training and development from the AA-ISP. Mike is hired by business owners to implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow Multi-Million Dollar Inside Sales Teams.  For more information, you can visit his website: www.MrInsideSales.com

 

 

 

 

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Live Webinar: Effective Email Marketing Campaigns for Q1 

January 18th, 2018 |2:00pm EST

Register now

Wondering what 2018 has in store for your email marketing program?

 Would you like to grow your list and learn innovating new techniques to help boost ROI with email?

This webinar is for you!

Email marketing is one of the most powerful promotional tools available to marketers. It’s time to take advantage and ramp up your email marketing efforts in 2018. 

Join us on Thursday, January 18th at 2 p.m. EST.  We will share trends, tips and best practices to help you kick off 2018. 

Email marketing is constantly progressing. To achieve your best results in 2018, register today for this live webinar presentation. 

-The Campaigner Team

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Eyes On Sales by Editor@eyesonsales.com - 5M ago

Are Salespeople Obsolete?

By Richard F. Libin, President, Automotive Profit Builders and author of just released book “Who Knew?”APB.cc, rlibin@apb.cc

We live and breathe technology, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are always on. In fact, there is a diagram circulating on social media showing a dinner table place setting with a designated space for a mobile device. While meant to be humorous, it is reality more often than not. With billions of bytes of data at our fingertips, do customers really need salespeople or are they obsolete? 

The answer is yes, but the role of the salesperson has changed. Traditionally, salespeople have always done two things for their customers: communicate information and sell. They believed (and some still do) that if you didn’t get the immediate sale, you would never get it. Today, these two basic functions no longer provide adequate value.

If you are a salesperson who focuses on selling as hard and fast as possible, with a goal of doing business now, then yes, you may be obsolete. As a salesperson, if you believe these two functions make up your job description, then it is time to ask yourself if you have the ability to change.

Today, a salesperson’s job profile can be defined by three simple functions:

  1. Salespeople are responsible for helping customers find and select the right product or service. To do so, they must...
    1. Be 100% present and work with a single-minded focus for each customer. The formula for success is simple. When you give 100% attitude, effort and performance in a positive manner, you will get the desired results. If you put your best foot forward you have a better chance of getting what may have been one or two missed opportunities.
    2. Ask probing questions to develop an understanding of each customer’s unique wants, needs, and desires. It’s not about what you think; it’s about what the customer thinks.
    3. Listen, learn, and empathize with the customers. Understand problems from their point-of-view and discover small details in order to successfully guide the selection process and find an exact fit.
    4. Help the customers “try it on.”  Throughout the introduction and including a demonstration of the product, if applicable, the salesperson should guide customers as they experience the features that will satisfy their needs, wants, and desires. The salesperson should help customers build an emotional bond and fall in love with their product or service.
    5. Introduce customers to the rest of the “family,” giving them a tour of the business or store, introducing them to everyone, not just the managers, and explaining that they are there to provide for their total needs. Begin to convert customers to long-term clients.
  2. Help the customer “fall in love with his choice.” When this happens, price becomes a secondary concern. Financial discussions and negotiations should be the last thing brought up and take the least amount of time in the entire transaction.

For example, in the past, if the customer spends an hour with the salesperson, 10 minutes is spent on selection and 50 minutes on negotiating price. Today, this is a sure-fire formula for disaster. Instead, the salesperson should spend 50 minutes of the hour helping the customer select the right product or service and 10 minutes on price. This approach brings the customer greater satisfaction at the time of the purchase. It delights the customer who will rave about his experience, refer his friends and colleagues, and ultimately become a loyal client. We are not saying that price is not important; however, if a salesperson succeeds in helping a customer find the right selection, then price won’t be a barrier to the sale.

  1. Convert customers to clients. The salesperson’s job does not stop at the close of the sale, yet most customers never get a call once they leave a store.  That call is actually the beginning of a long-term relationship. Why don’t salespeople call? For most, it is fear of rejection or not knowing what to say or how to say it. Follow up calls are essential and can be successful if the following steps are used.
    1. Have a purpose. Understand the outcome you want from the call. Do you want a referral or additional sales, or to cement a relationship with the client?
    2. Know what you want say and plan the gist of the conversation. Write it out.
    3. Be prepared for the customer to lead you down another path. Know how to bridge back to your original plan.

Make the follow-up a continuation of the positive purchasing experience. Start a conversation that gets customers excited about their purchase all over again. This may lead to a referral for a friend who might be looking to do business with you.

So how do you start learning to sell all over again in our information-rich world? Start with this essential first step. Every day when you get out of bed, and several times during the day, say to yourself, “My job is not to sell, but to help my customers find the exact product or service that meets their needs, and in doing so, to make sure their experience is positive.” Adopt the right attitude every single day. Make this your mantra; say it, repeat it, and believe it. Only when you embrace this idea, can you continue your journey of continuous learning that is required to face a world of continuous change in the new world of sales. 

Richard F. Libin has written two acclaimed books that help people of all walks of life improve their sales skills, because as he says, “Everyone is a selling something.” His most recent book, Who Knew?, and his first book, “Who Stopped the Sale?” (www.whostoppedthesale.com), is now in its second edition. As president of APB-Automotive Profit Builders, Inc., a firm with more than 49 years experience working with both sales and service professionals, he helps his clientele, through personnel development and technology, to build customer satisfaction and maximize gross profits in their businesses. Mr. Libin can be reached at rlibin@apb.cc or 508-626-9200 or www.apb.cc.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Eyes On Sales by Editor@eyesonsales.com - 7M ago

3 Ways to Sell to the Millennial CEO 

I get it: You’re sick of reading articles about Millennials. How to retain them, engage them, hire them ... the list goes on. Aren’t we all? And the answer to all those questions is so obvious. Three words: Peruvian pour-over coffees. 

Boom! Problem solved. Now you can change the subject of your next LinkedIn Pulse piece to something that really matters, like what Netflix’s “Ozark” can teach us about business. 

Speaking of business, let’s get back to it. Admittedly, this is an article dedicated to helping you do something related to Millennials — in this case, how to sell to Millennial CEOs. Is this a gross oversimplification? Possibly. Am I making generalizations about a group of incredibly diverse people? Yes. Isn’t this just like all the other horrible Millennial advice articles out there? Probably not. 

This article is about sales and sales tactics. Therefore, if you and your team adopt the recommendations I’ve listed below, you’ll likely be able to measure the impact pretty quickly. And given the new technology available to coach sales teams and tie certain words and themes to results — such as Chorus.ai — it’ll be easy to tell early on whether I’m just talking to hear myself talk or actually offering decent advice. 

Now, on to the strategies. Here are three things to keep in mind when selling to Millennial CEOs: 

1. They are constantly thinking about things “at scale.” 

Millennial CEOs, by and large, are looking for a very specific quantitative objective — think revenue, monthly average users, or monthly unique visitors — to be achieved over a very specific period. These goals are often defined by management teams to attract investors or by investors themselves. The metrics foreshadow a company that has grown to a size significantly larger than its current state. 

As a result, you need to sell to the CEO of the company today as well as of the company in the future. This requires thoughtful discovery questions focused on the company as it is now, the company’s growth objectives, and its overall vision. You probably already know that a big part of the growth and metrics discussion involves acronyms like MAU, CAC, and LTV — but do you know what they are? If not, learn them now. You have to be able to talk the talk, because Millennial CEOs will be instantly skeptical if you prove ignorant about metrics important to them. 

2. They are hack-obsessed. 

Millennial CEOs — and, more broadly, innovative companies — are always looking for hacks. They want to find simple, inexpensive, or free ways to achieve their goals. Look no further than this site’s traffic for proof that I’m telling the truth. Being able to “hack” something that costs others a lot of money or time can be seen as a badge of honor. It’s fun to talk about while drinking monk fruit extract and eating chia pudding.

Take advantage of this trend. Know the hacks available to your prospects, and acknowledge them upfront — not when a CEO asks about it, but before he has the opportunity to bring it up. Asymmetry of information doesn’t exist anymore, so there’s no chance your Millennial CEO prospect won’t find a cheaper alternative when he kicks around with his team the idea of buying your products or services. It’s your responsibility to bring up a possible hack, acknowledge that it’s a real solution, even compliment it if it’s effective, and show CEOs how you’re different. 

3. They might not ask the tough questions.

Kimberly Fries wrote in a June article in Forbes, “Millennials in general are non-confrontational, which can translate to even more problems when they’re leaders.” Now, do I necessarily agree with this? No. But it does raise an interesting point worth keeping in mind. If Fries is right, it stands to reason that sales calls might end more positively with your Millennial CEO prospects, leading you to have a false sense of hope about a deal closing. In fact, Gong.io’s data shows that “tire kickers use more positive language than buyers.” 

So if a buyer seems a little too positive, that might be the right time to ask some tougher questions. Unsure where to start? Try something like, “What reservations do you have about moving to the next phase with our company?” Make sure you’re drawing out a CEO’s real objections, not just a few thoughts meant to end the conversation quickly. Don’t let a Millennial CEO averse to confrontation stop you from crossing the finish line.

Before heading into your next meeting with a Millennial buyer, remember these strategies that will help you nail your presentation and begin a new partnership.

Jeff Winters is founder and CEO of Sapper Consulting, which replaces cold calling for its clients. It’s cooler than it sounds.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

How to Deal with Other Quotes, Proposals, and Competition

By Mike Brooks, http://mrinsidesales.com/

The only worse than getting the competitor stall at the end of your presentation (something like, “Well, we’re looking at other quotes…” etc.) is not knowing how to handle it.

In my new book: Power Phone Scripts: 500 Word-For-Word Questions, Phrases, and Conversations to Open and Close More Sales, I teach you exactly what to say in the hundreds of selling situations you get into, including this competitor situation. 

If you’re looking for a great holiday present to give yourself (or your team or company!), then grab your copy (or copies) here. The below questions have been taken right from this value book: 

If after you’ve presented your product or service your prospect says they want or need to check on other offers/estimates/quotes, etc., then use or adapt any of the questions below to get your prospect to open up and possibly reveal what it might take for you to win the business: 

Option #1:

“I understand, which way are you leaning right now?”

Option #2:

“What would it take for someone else to win your business?”

Option #3:

“What would it honestly take for you to choose us for this?”

Option #4:

“What don’t you see with our proposal that you see in others?”

Option #5:

“Are we in the running with what else you’ve seen out there?”

[If yes]

“What about us would take us out of the running?”

OR

“What would you need to see to choose us?”

AND

“What can I do right now to insure that we win your business?”

Option #6:

“Obviously you’re going to show this quote to your current vendor – if they match the price, will you just stick with them?”

[If yes]

“What can I do to prevent that?”

Option #7:

“How many times have you taken other quotes to your current vendor?”

[If they tell you]:

“And what do they usually do?”

[If they say they lower their price to keep the business]:

“How can we break that cycle and get you the right pricing from the start?”

Option #8:

“_________, let’s take your lowest bid you have right now and compare it – services to services – to what we’re offing you. If I find you’re getting a better deal, I’ll tell you so. If I can beat it, then I’ll let you know that as well. Either way – You’ll Win! Do you have that other quote nearby or should I wait while you grab it?”

Remember, competition will always exist, but you can beat it and win business if you’re prepared with proven and effective scripts like those above.  Pick your favorite ones and tailor them to your particular sale.

 

Mike has been voted one of the most Influential Inside Sales Professionals for the past seven years by The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, and won the 2017 Service Provider Award for training and development from the AA-ISP. Mike is hired by business owners to implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow Multi-Million Dollar Inside Sales Teams.  For more information, you can visit his website: www.MrInsideSales.com

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

How to Navigate Sales Turbulence and Land More Customers

Much like an experienced pilot, a salesperson should focus on reducing a customer's risk of getting trapped in a tailspin or thrown off track from the turbulence of an overinformed buying environment. Customers have more resources, opinions, and people to manage than ever. This can suck buyers into a "decision vortex," where confusion, indecision, and the fear of making the wrong choice causes them to doubt their own judgment. 

Buyers make decisions based on current information, which means that decision could be proven wrong tomorrow. This fact drives them toward a "minimize risk" approach to buying, and it makes it harder for salespeople to convince clients, especially when confronting them with change. As a result, salespeople have to start by instilling safety and confidence and accelerate buying by stripping away as much noise as possible.

In doing so, salespeople help buyers get out of their own way. While buyers who make the wrong decision in the short term may experience some painful consequences, making no decisions by lingering in the decision vortex is far more detrimental to their company and the corporate world in general.

Eliminate the Turbulence of the Buying Process 

As the pilot in command of the customer experience, you can avoid sudden changes in buying altitude by incorporating the following strategies into your sales approach: 

1. Treat the Buyer Like Your Co-Pilot

Every potential buyer is a less experienced pilot looking for advice on how to navigate the marketplace effectively and efficiently. A great salesperson helps buyers clearly identify the end destination, chart the best path to reach it, and track progress toward success. 

Start by asking great questions that help you understand the customer's needs and overall strategic goal. Add any expert information you have that can help clarify. This process requires you to know your products in depth and be able to recommend different options and paths to success while helping customers avoid pitfalls. There are three tangible ways you can achieve this: offering examples or anecdotes from past clients; outlining several paths to success, the steps to each, and any benefits or drawbacks; and providing metrics, such as industry data, benchmarking tools, or tactful and anonymous comparisons to other clients. 

2. Watch for Signs of Changing Buying Conditions, and Stay Connected 

Always be looking for signs of hesitation or indecision that you can address. Salespeople often feel the pressure to make a sale, which makes it easier to focus on their goals rather than customers' goals. Instead, reframe your attention on customers' problems to foreground their particular experiences and help them find the clarity they need to say, "Yes." 

Because the most common event that drives unexpected decision tailspins is a missed or bad meeting with a customer, you should know when meetings are and keep in touch with your contacts both before and after. Position yourself as a good listener and problem solver, and be prepared to discuss a range of concerns with clients, such as how to manage costs, grow and measure revenue, maximize asset use, and keep employees engaged. By providing objective talking points during these discussions with tools, insights, and information, you can become a trusted resource in case of a stall. 

3. Make Emergency Diversion Plans 

The worst that can happen to a sale is a mid-flight change of plans. While most people will contact you because of one initiative they're trying to accomplish, you should always look for ways to connect your product to more strategic goals. Plan for these spontaneous diversions by asking questions about other initiatives, systems, and goals at every opportunity, and look for ways to offer benefits your customer hasn't considered.

Some of the bestsellers are the ones that say, "Based on everything you're telling me right now, retooling that plant is so much smarter than investing in my software." That's how you get their business for a really long time versus closing the wrong deal today: by understanding the competing priorities of your customers and minimizing their risk while maximizing your offer's value. And potentially attaching that offer to multiple initiatives instead of just one is a big plus. 

Your product or service is being evaluated against all the other initiatives the company and budget can pursue. The best salespeople are willing to investigate the landscape along with the customer and provide an honest assessment. They also help clients reduce individual risk by understanding that buying today isn't done in a vacuum by a single individual. There's no such thing as flying solo, so focus on winning long-term business by embracing the complex skies of the customer experience. 

If your initiative comes out at the top, you just made a sale. If it comes in lower, find other ways you can help. But most importantly, stay useful to stay relevant.

Rick Cheatham leads the U.S. sales practice for BTS. He works with clients such as Google, JPMorgan, and General Electric to drive their sales efforts into the future. Rick leads a team of more than 20 consultants and conceptualizes many of the BTS solutions deployed in the U.S. He’s passionate about making work a place salespeople come to be successful, is totally pragmatic and experienced in getting results through being a purpose-driven leader, and has an uncommon balance between vision and how things really get done.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Eyes On Sales by Editor@eyesonsales.com - 7M ago

Help Me Understand

By Richard F. Libin, President, Automotive Profit Builders and author of just released book “Who Knew?” APB.cc, rlibin@apb.cc

I don’t understand.

Why does a business spend enormous sums of money to stay on the cutting edge of technology, marketing, and systems like CRMs etc., but then make it virtually impossible to do business with them?

There is a local car dealership that has a reputation for continuously spending money to keep their facilities updated with state-of-the-art equipment, from computers and software to the solar panels on the roof. Yet it is well known that it is very difficult buy anything from them. A friend of mine who was looking for a new truck told me that he was planning to buy to from this dealership. Knowing their reputation from others who tried to work with them and having had personal experience, I told my friend what he should expect.

My friend went anyway. He arrived, parked, looked at some of the trucks on the lot, and found one he wanted to look at, but no one was around to help him. While standing next to the truck, he used his cell phone to call the dealership. Before talking to anyone, a recording informed him that, “This call may be monitored for quality and training purposes.” When he reached the receptionist he asked her to send out a salesperson to help him. The receptionist told him, “We don’t do that here. You have to come into the showroom.” And then, she hung up. He called back and again asked the receptionist politely, to please send someone out so he didn’t have to walk all the way to the building and back. She hung up. He called back again, but this time, he told her what he thought about their service and the dealership, got in his truck and drove off to a different dealership where he bought a brand new truck.  Who stopped the sale? This dealership has excellent products, facilities, location, technology, and marketing. Yet it’s difficult to buy a vehicle from them even when you fully intend to. Are they training their people or putting money into technology?

I don’t understand. This business has the technology to monitor calls for training purposes but it doesn’t listen or correct the problems. They consistently mistreat customers. Why would any business employ someone as the customers’ first point of contact who won’t do their job and find someone to help the customer?

Why do businesses invest thousands of dollars to get ahead in every aspect of technology – their infrastructure and business systems, their websites, marketing CRM, email and social media – to drive business,  but fail to invest in educating their people on how to take care of customers? If a professional can’t provide the red carpet treatment what is the point of spending money on technology and marketing? Technology doesn’t sell cars; people do.

Part of the problem is that customer satisfaction is measured only on sales. Most businesses have no idea how many customers are actually lost and why. Too often it’s assumed that price was the issue, ye most customers are lost long before price is discussed. Without an accurate traffic count – a count of every lead or opportunity he business has – management will never know how many potential customers were lost because no one would help them.

Opportunities for sales present themselves every single day. Customers seek out businesses hoping to find expert guidance and help to first find the right product and second, to buy it at the right price. Unfortunately, most salespeople don’t care about the customer’s needs, wants, and desires in a product. Their approach communicates to customers that, “This is how we sell things. These are the items we want to push today. Do it our way or leave.” Salespeople – and management – need to adopt an attitude that tells customers “we do business your way.” No opportunity will ever come to fruition if a business doesn’t have people who are interested in and trained to work with and help customers buy cars.

Isn’t its time businesses start focusing on customers, first, and the bells and whistle second? After all, customers don’t just wander in randomly. They do their research and make a concerted effort to approach your business; they stand in front of a salesperson ready to buy.  While technology may help bring customers in, it’s the people that keep them, and turn them into customers.

Richard F. Libin has written two acclaimed books that help people of all walks of life improve their sales skills, because as he says, “Everyone is a selling something.” His most recent book, Who Knew?, and his first book, “Who Stopped the Sale?” (www.whostoppedthesale.com), is now in its second edition. As president of APB-Automotive Profit Builders, Inc., a firm with more than 49 years experience working with both sales and service professionals, he helps his clientele, through personnel development and technology, to build customer satisfaction and maximize gross profits in their businesses. Mr. Libin can be reached at rlibin@apb.cc or 508-626-9200 or www.apb.cc.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview