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5 Steps to Keep Control of the Sale

Posted on: July 9th, 2013 by Monika 1 Comment

Buying or leasing a car is an emotional decision. At least for me it is and listening to most of my friends it feels like it’s similar for them. Yes, you are buying a product but you are also making a decision as part of an experience. Not only the driving experience, but the way you feel in the car, the way people perceive you in that car, how practical it is and the list goes on.

So, when I walked into a Toyota dealership the other week looking at some models that could compare to the VW Jetta that I was currently driving, I was almost “sold” on the idea that the RAV4 could make sense to me. I was over on my mileage allowance with my Jetta and the new model doesn’t come with a built-in navigation system. My husband had gone to the dealership the day before to see if we could get a good deal trading in our Jetta and I felt that it was a good idea to make that move. Everything made sense and I was prepared to give up my European car, which is a “biggie” to me, to save some money and to get my navigation system that I so desperately need to not end up lost in a dark alley somewhere.

So, what happened that I didn’t buy the Toyota, but instead, decided to go with another Jetta? It was mainly the whole sales & customer service experience. You could say I just simply didn’t feel the love. But there are five important steps in the consultative sales process that were missing in this situation (not necessarily in this order).

1) Understand & Acknowledge Who the Buyer Is (and Understand Who the Influencers Are)

The sales person never looked at me, only addressed my husband although we had told her on numerous occasions that it was my car, and I was the buyer. Even when buying a car there are influencers (my dog, for example, and I took him along to make sure the car wasn’t too high for him – don’t judge me – LOL!). In this case, I was the Economic Buyer. It was my car therefore I was the final decision-maker.

2) Listen to Your Customer’s Needs

When I test drove the car the sales person pointed out how great the model was and that it’s literally flying out of the showroom, because it’s so extraordinarily popular and in such high demand. She never asked me if I liked the way it drove (I didn’t). In fact, she never even asked me one question – assuming that this “great” model would sell itself.

3) Manage Expectations

Under-Promise and Over-Deliver – a good motto to have.  It turned out that their initial calculations were off. The trade-in turned out to be far less attractive financially the day we showed up at the dealership than they had calculated the day before. A big negative for me as I was truly looking to find an economically sensible solution.

4) Stay in Control of the Sale

And most importantly, she let me leave the dealership to go home and think about it. Once I went home and reflected on the experience, I really started missing my Jetta (although it was still sitting in my garage). I couldn’t bear the thought of giving it up. Quite unexpectedly, it didn’t bother me anymore that there was no factory-installed GPS system.  I also realized that I could use my large screen Smartphone instead. And finally, I didn’t feel valued during the entire process and it reflected on how I felt about the car. The more I thought about it, the less I liked the whole idea of switching.

5) Create Value

Had the sales person addressed me (instead of my husband) and asked me questions about my needs, focusing on the fact that the Toyota offered navigation, a feature I couldn’t get with the new Jetta, and had the numbers not changed to my disadvantage, maybe I would have signed right then and there. I would have felt understood and valued. But she didn’t do any if the above. She didn’t seem to care about my needs. She only focused on other features of the car that didn’t speak to my needs and once I walked out of the dealership the sale was lost.

We have a segment in our Consultative Sales Certified Training Program that showcases an example similar to what occurred, but it wasn’t until I experienced it myself that I realized that even cars don’t sell themselves.

Consultative Selling Puts the Buyer in the Driver’s Seat

A comprehensive consultative sales approach truly helps sales people guide the customer/client through the sale to their final purchasing decision. Consultative sales people don’t push features – they identify needs and create a solution that is of value to that particular prospect/client. Buyers working with committed consultative sales professionals will never feel “sold to”. They know they’ll have made a decision that works for them. And surprisingly enough, consultative selling isn’t only necessary when you sell a service, but obviously also when you sell a product.

5 Tips on how to prospect wisely

Posted on: June 12th, 2013 by Monika No Comments

Most organizations want to prospect Fortune 1000 companies. While tempting, it can be a bit like boiling the ocean. After all, there are 1000 companies on the list and the big question is always how to prioritize. While many companies listed on the Fortune list are desirable prospects, some may not be and it’s really important to understand that, otherwise your sales people will end up dialing for dollars, which is time consuming and costly.

Here are some insights that might help you and your team prospect more effectively.

1) Understand who you want to target

A consultative sales approach starts with understanding who your target audience is and it might turn out that your ideal client is not necessarily on the Fortune list. For example, if you develop a niche offering your prospect could be small business owners or mid-size companies in a specific region or industry.

2) Develop a message that resonates with your audience

Once you identified your ideal client profile, you need a message that resonates. Put yourself into your prospect’s shoes and try to find out why you would want to buy the service/product. Talk about industry trends, such as mobile technology if it’s relevant to your service offering so you help your prospect be relevant.

3) Identify the decision maker

You need to talk to the right people within the organization, otherwise your message will not be heard. If you have an offering that features cost savings, target the CFO. Develop a unique selling proposition that highlights the benefits of your service/product by telling a story to your prospects that is relevant to their daily responsibilities.

4) Don’t talk about your company background service features

People are not interested in how good your service offering is, they only care what it can do for them. Focus on the benefits and avoid the temptation to brag. Everybody thinks they have the best offering. What counts is whether it’s a fit or not.

5) Look for a fit

Not everybody will get excited about your story and that’s OK. If you do your research and you take the steps outlined above, you will find the individuals in the companies that fit your ideal prospect profile. Sometimes you will get a “no” or a “not now”, but more importantly while you are having those conversations you will be able to gather market research to strengthen and sharpen your message.

In a nutshell, don’t try to boil the ocean. Be targeted in your approach. Find the appropriate person within the organization and sharpen your message so it’s attractive to the buyer. Don’t embellish and don’t pitch. Tell a compelling story and look for a fit.

Story-Telling & Sales

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by Monika 1 Comment

How story-telling can enhance the sales process

In a consultative B2B environment we are often faced with a formidable situation when we are selling the invisible. There is no physical product we can showcase when we are prospecting on the phone and we are challenged to connect with a prospect in a short period of time. Telling stories and sharing best practices gives us an opportunity to communicate a business objective in a fashion where people can relate.

Once upon a time… From a very early age on I was fascinated by fairy tales and stories. As a grown-up I’ve come to appreciate how Story-Telling can be an essential benefit in a consultative sales environment. My experience has shown how it helps you connect with your prospects. And it is a great way to add value rather than pushing a feature or a benefit.

Remember 1,001 Arabian Nights?

When I was a kid I loved the idea of people gathering in a tent or square and listening to stories. Still to this day I remember my family’s dinner parties best where people were telling stories, sharing, laughing, showing compassion or just simply cracking a joke. As children growing up, it’s fairy tales and stories that help shape our thinking. They trigger our imagination and fuel our creativity. As adults, it’s not that different. We are always drawn to stories that we can relate to.

When I started out in sales, I had come from a public relations/marketing background with no credentials in sales so I decided to do what I liked best – listening to stories. I researched case studies and told my prospects about the success that other companies had when using our service. It worked!

Why?

Because people like to listen to stories that they can relate to themselves. Product features or benefits are boring to many people unless they can directly establish a use for them to their advantage. Nobody wants to listen to you bragging about your company, your service, how good you are, etc. What people are interested in is what your service can do for them and how it will help their business.

If you don’t have something to show, share a story

In a B2B environment you often don’t have a product to show and you need to rely on a verbal presentation and anecdotes to get people interested. This is especially true when you first engage with a prospect unless they know your company and service. The key question is “What value does the service or solution you offer provide to your clients?”

What better way to explain than sharing success stories?!

Why is it easier to sell a story than a product or service?

Rather than selling a service, focus on the value it brings to the client and the human experience. Instead of selling a service that is “better”, offer a solution that, for example, helps increase efficiencies, saves money or helps your client make money. Especially in a consultative sales environment, once we are able to tap into somebody’s emotion, and understand what triggers their interest and what their needs are, it’s a lot easier to connect. Never forget that it is human beings you are targeting. Although you are trying to sell them something, you are also an advisor, a consultant in the true sense, a resource to help them make the right decision. The right decision for your prospect or client will be the right decision for you as well.

When telling stories, it is important that you own those stories and make them yours. Be personal, just like at a dinner conversation. But first, listen to your prospects, find out what their real needs and pain points are, and then choose a case study/story that you think will resonate with their needs. I can assure you that your prospects will listen.

Dare to Be Counter-Intuitive!

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by Monika 1 Comment

Recently, I finished reading a book written by one of the “Housewives of New York”, Carole Razdiwill. Don’t judge me, I love watching these shows. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. Contrary to popular perception, this book is excellently written, riveting and it takes you on a journey that is both intriguing and sad. The author is the widow of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ nephew.

The book is entitled: “What Remains“, and it describes the story of four young people who were hoping to grow old together as close friends, just that “fate” wouldn’t have it that way.

One of the characters in the book is JFK, Jr. and it goes without saying that the crash of his airplane is part of the narrative. As most people know and perhaps remember, the aircraft he was piloting crashed into the ocean near Martha’s Vineyard.

It was determined that the crash was caused by “Spatial Disorientation”, which is a condition in which an airplane pilot’s perception of the plane’s direction, height, speed, etc. does not agree with reality.

Perception vs. Reality

It was at that tragic point of the story where I decided to write a blog about sales and how many practitioners suffer from Sales Disorientation, which is a condition in which the sales person’s perception of her/his sales approach does not agree with reality. OK, I just made that part up but trust me, it happens a lot.

In the situation where a pilot loses accurate perception of reality it would require her/him to act counter-intuitively and rely on objective, measurable criteria (instruments, radar, etc). Only in doing that, can the course be corrected and the plane landed safely.

In sales, the disconnect between perception and reality can also have very damaging effects, but to my knowledge nobody has died from it, although many sales practitioners might have crashed and burned.

The Expectation of Success

Those sales professionals who succumb to Sales Disorientation have plenty of time and resources to get themselves out of trouble, but they often continue on as if their determination to succeed at all costs blinds them to the multitude of options they could take advantage of. Why do sales professionals who become aware of their sales approach not working continue to plunge ahead? An unfounded “expectation of success” appears to play a significant role in such cases. All too often we see salespeople go into sales calls without a back-up plan, assuming they’ll be successful. Without really knowing their prospect’s/client’s real needs, without understanding what real value means, and without a Plan B, they have no other choice, truly, other than to continue on. In doing so, we find these salespeople developing a kind of tunnel vision that seems to lock up the brain as their sales process with their prospect/client goes awry. And should salespeople be occasionally successful in such situations, their habits are reinforced, and they can begin to write off the not successful encounters to reasons that have nothing to do with their approach or style.

A Counter-Intuitive Sales Approach?

Why is it that we need to be counter-intuitive? Because we need to stay connected to our prospects and their world, rather than living in our “sales” bubble humming along.

Very often in sales we are taught to work as fast and as hard as we can and say “yes” at any cost. We are encouraged to please and to accommodate although it’s really important to determine if the solution is a fit and if not, then to sometimes walk away from a prospective sale.

 

Let’s Look at Some Specific Examples

Perception Reality
1) Make as many calls as possible Only effective if you have all the resources in the world, and you are only calling the companies that could profit from your offering
2) Target as many companies as you can Don’t boil the ocean. Be specific on who you want to target otherwise you will get lost in the ocean
3) Tell your prospect what you’ve got Rather listen to your prospect and don’t push features
4) Focus on the benefits of your offering Ask the right questions and then develop a value proposition that your prospect can relate to
5) Brag & tell your prospects how great your service is Focus on the areas that can help your prospect make money, save money, improve their business or their reputation within their organization and they will get excited
6) Convince your prospect that you are the right choice Your prospect won’t need to be convinced if you are the right choice. But what if you are not? Not every organization is a good fit for your service offering
7) Try to get a “yes” from your prospects Rather go for honest responses, even if it’s a “no”. The sooner you find out, the better it is so that you can move forward or move on while leaving a good impression

 

In closing, I know that it probably takes a lot of courage to do things that seem counter-intuitive, but the results can be life saving or in the sales world, very rewarding and life-fulfilling!

Trust me. I know. I’ve gone down that path many times successfully. You can, too!

Listen! Even If You Can’t Understand?

Posted on: March 15th, 2013 by Monika No Comments

Here is an inspiring and touching story from one of our graduates, a regional sales manager who participated in one of our In-House Corporate CSC Training Programs and gained Consultative Sales Certification He sent us the e-mail below, sharing an extraordinary experience with a prospect.

Hi Tom & Monika,

I had a very interesting meeting last week that I wanted to share with you.

I spoke to a gentleman on the phone last week who wanted help with his tradeshow shipments. He put a call into our office and the call was directed to me. He started giving me some details over the phone and as we spoke more I was having a very difficult time understanding him. At first I honestly thought it was a prank call and didn’t know what to think since he was so difficult to understand. I also thought maybe he just has a pretty serious speech impediment. I figured it may be much easier to understand him in person so I suggested we meet. We scheduled a meeting for Friday morning.

The man told me he was the National Marketing Manager for his company. I looked at their website and still did not put all the pieces together. He liked to communicate with me via text message as well which I thought was a little different..

When I showed up for the meeting on Friday I immediately realized he had a hearing disability since he was wearing a hearing aid. Then the light bulb went on, the company he works for makes products for clients with hearing disabilities so it made perfect sense that their employees may also have hearing disabilities.

Understanding How To Communicate With Your Prospect

From the first second I saw him, my CSC training immediately went into action. It was like my instincts took over and I knew exactly what I had to do. We sat down in a conference room to go over the details. I knew right off the bat that he was going to be a visual learner just like myself. Everything we talked about I was giving him visual examples as well. He asked about our delivery and pickup process to trade shows, so I literally drew out examples of how we move the freight and how our agents get involved to make the deliveries and pickups etc…. He asked about transit times, so I took out my calendar and showed him dates on the calendar as examples so he could see what I meant by 3-5 day to various states. I figured he was probably also reading my lips to understand me so I consciously tried to speak clearly and not too quickly.

We went over everything… As the meeting went on he was on the edge of his seat and we were both huddled around his computer and a pad of paper.

He was definitely a “Director” (behavioral style= assertive, fast-paced) – he was quick to make decisions and was open to new ideas.

A Prospect’s High-Five!

As we were wrapping up the meeting I wanted to learn a little more about him, so I asked him some general questions about his career etc. and it turns out he grew up in Boston only 2 towns away from where I grew up. We talked about the traffic, high school, the city, and family. I believe that since we were able to communicate so well during our meeting he was more inclined to open up to me. He even said he knows a few companies in the area that specialize in products for people with hearing disabilities that he wants to get me in touch with!

As we stood up to leave the room after our 75 minute meeting, he put his hand up in the air for a “high five”. I have never ended a 1st meeting with a customer with a high five in my life. It was great! He then said to me, “Whenever you are near the office, feel free to stop in.”

He wants to start shipping with us this coming Wednesday to one of his 80+ tradeshows this year. Down the line he wants to discuss fulfillment and warehousing of company brochures and other marketing materials.

Just thought I would share this you. I am certain this would not have gone this way had I not participated in your CSC training.

And No One Else Listened!

**On a side note, he told me he has made phone calls to other companies to ask about their services etc, and has been hung up on after a few minutes. (being so difficult to understand over the phone people literally don’t realize who they are speaking with.) A guy with a $1.8 million marketing budget who needs things shipped!

So, What Are The Lessons To Learn Here?

  1. Sales can be learned. Of course, there will always be people who are more successful than others, but understanding your prospects, truly listening and quickly adapting to a situation are skills that participants who work through our program acquire for the long-term.
  2. People communicate in different ways. Some people prefer (and some need) visuals while others like to listen to information. Discovering your prospects’ “communication” preference is key to success.
  3. Last, but not least, be of service and don’t disregard people who are different. It’s not only our job, it should be our dedication to discover opportunities and then to meet our clients’ needs. We can only do that if we keep an open mind and if we truly hone in on our prospects’ needs.

 

5 SALES TIPS

Our Recent Consultative Sales Certified Training Program Graduates

Would Like To Share With Our Readers:

  • Know Your Customers! Adjust your approach to each of your contacts based on their behavioral styles and role.
  • Ask questions that help you understand each contact’s vision and pain points.
  • Stress VALUE based on business impact and the personal win for each individual customer.
  • Position solutions that help the customer save time and/or money, make more money, operate more efficiently or give them peace of mind. Anything else doesn’t matter!
  • Know Your Market! Prioritize your sales efforts according to potential for sales, not based on current sales.

7 Reasons why CEOs should stay out of the sales process

Posted on: February 1st, 2013 by Monika 2 Comments

Sales is a process, especially in a consultative sales environment. CEOs often step in to control or manage the sales process, particularly when sales don’t happen.  I have seen it all.  CEOs doing the sales training, CEOs being on first sales calls, CEOs coming to the rescue. It usually causes panic and fear and utter confusion.

So here is the scenario. Sales don’t come in. The CEO panics and thinks he/she needs to take control. As a result, the sales people fear that they might lose their job and/or that they won’t make money.

The sales managers do both. They panic and fear, both for their team, for their compensation and for their reputation.

Here are 7 reasons why CEOs should not be involved in the sales process:

1) CEOs should lead the company, not the sales process

CEOs are charismatic leaders who have a vision for their company and the future of the developments, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should run every single department and be in charge of every detail.

2) CEOs know how to sell to investors, but sales is a process

Clearly, most CEOs know how to sell, but their audiences are different. They know how to sell to investors or shareholders, but sales is a process and most CEOs don’t have a background in sales.

3) Your company will look small when the CEO sells

Imagine, you sit in on a presentation from a vendor and the CEO is sitting there next to the sales person. I have seen it happen. It doesn’t leave a good impression and it makes your company look small. There is nothing wrong with the CEO coming in at the end of the sales process to impress the prospect, but everything wrong with him/her leading the sale.

4) CEOs have a strong ego and sales is about the prospect

CEOs love their company, as they should. That often means that they come from a place of vanity rather than a place of meeting the prospect’s needs. They like to talk about their company, the history, the people because they are proud of their achievements, but in a consultative sales environment the prospect is king and everything should be about their needs.

5) Sales managers get intimidated when the CEO starts meddling

Once CEOs start getting involved in the sales process it usually means that the CEO doesn’t trust their sales managers any more. Why else would they do it. So there is two scenarios. You can fire the sales manager or give him room for improvement. Getting involved will just lead to the sales manager being nervous.

6) Sales people lose respect for their sales managers

Sales people get confused once they get different messages from the CEO and their sales manager. They don’t know who to please and the results are disappointing at best. Once a CEO steps in to control or manage the sales process it’s usually a desperate measure and it leads to confusion.

7) Shouldn’t the CEO be doing other things?

Last, but not least. Shouldn’t CEOs be doing other things than selling? CEOs are in charge of thought leadership, innovation, driving the company to success. Sales should be left to the professionals, whether it’s an in-house sales staff or an outsourced solution.

Here is a message to CEOs:

Hire a sales manager or somebody who will lead the sales process and step away. Let them work their magic. There is many experts out there who can lead a successful team and put revenue on the books. Another big advice. Leave your ego at the door! It’s not about you, it’s about the end result.

Here is a message to sales managers:

I have said it before and I will say it again. Sales is a process and a process needs to be documented and communicated. Invite your CEO to your sales planning sessions, explain your strategy (if you have one!) and manage expectations. If you do that, your CEO (if he/she is wise) will move out of the way and leave you do your thing. If he/she doesn’t, think about moving on because a CEO involved in the sales process hardly ever leads to success. So, you will have to move on either way, on your terms or the latest when layoffs happen due to the lack of sales.

Here is a message to sales people:

Be mindful who you work for. If you don’t, you will not be successful and end up changing jobs every 6 months (I have seen it). If you do however understand your craft, manage up, help your sales managers be successful, provide insight into your work and supply reports of your progress. With clear communication and market research results (e.g. we are targeting the wrong people for our service offering!) you will be able to get support from your managers and you will succeed.

But only, if everybody leaves their EGO at the door.

Pro-Choice! 3 Steps to A Better Sales Process!

Posted on: July 11th, 2012 by Monika No Comments

In politics a very hot topic, but here it’s about giving your prospects a choice! A choice to say “Yes” or “No” quickly and safely.

Sales is a process, especially in a consultative sales environment and it starts with choosing the right prospect.

1) First, we need to research and target a prospective client company (Is it a good fit? Is it a good use of our time?)

2) Then we need to find the decision maker within that organization. Once we have that information, we can safely assume (looking from the outside in) that the person we are targeting could be a good prospect for our service offering.

3) The next step is to craft a message that will resonate. It should be succinct, to the point and relevant to our audience.

Recently, I was planning a trip to a southwest state capital. We are implementing a sales training program for a client in that area. My thinking was, why not tag on a number of sales meetings? This way I can make more use of my plane ticket and the 5-hour travel time.

While I was crafting my e-mail copy I remembered a best practice that I used a couple of years ago, but had forgotten since then. In one of my mastermind mentor groups we had recently discussed the importance of this practice for both the prospect as well as the service provider.

It is the art of having a prospect choose you based on selected criteria that you apply. It’s an easy way to get to a quick “no” if they don’t fit the criteria, but also a sure way for prospects who are a good fit for your service offering to select you.

Here is how it works.

In my email I pointed out that I would be traveling to the area where they are located at the end of the month. (First criteria: they need to be located in the area and available at that time)

Then I continued to describe what my clients generally have in common. Here’s a partial list:

1) Their revenue is at least $10Mio.

2) They are sales oriented and have at least one (ideally more) sales locations.

3) They embrace or would like to embrace a consultative sales approach.

May I share with you what happened?

I reached out to 50 companies. I had two responses and they both resulted in meetings. Qualified, good meetings.

One of the prospects immediately e-mailed me back saying,

“I got your e-mail, I visited your website and it looks like there could be a fit. Let’s meet”.

The reason why many of my existing clients are reluctant to do the “self-select” messaging, I believe, is a very simple and human one.

They are afraid to miss out.

And now that I think about it, that was probably the reason why I had “forgotten” my own best practice.

Deep down we all feel that quantity is one of the keys to success. The more, the better.

It’s what we have been taught. It’s all around us in the media, advertising, marketing.

Almost brainwashed! But not completely!

And it really couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to utilizing a consultative sales model.

The more targeted your approach, the better. The more you invite rejection or silence (no responses), the higher the likelihood that the meetings you book will be of high quality.

Why? Because your prospects will be very clear of who you are looking for in a future client.

I would gladly add another day or two to meet with prospects on my training trip to the southwest.

It means potential new business!

If the meetings are not qualified however, it could end up being a waste of my precious, already strained time.  But most importantly, it could be a waste of my prospect’s time and leave a bad impression.

We’re here to serve – not to force ourselves on others. If we decide to be selective and targeted, our prospects will appreciate it and we will end up with better meetings.

BUT, there will be a lot of silence and the response rate will be a lot lower. On the other hand, you will be running a lot fewer empty miles.

For some sales people it’s hard to live in silence. Can you handle it?

CEOs: Helping Sales by Staying Out of the Way

Posted on: February 1st, 2012 by Monika No Comments

While CEOs should be involved in the sales process, they shouldn’t lead it

Sales efforts, especially in a consultative sales environment should be spearheaded by experts who understand and embrace a consultative selling process. While the overall strategy and direction of a company should certainly be driven by the CEO, I have yet to see an organization capitalize on the potential of all members of the sales organization and show strong growth while their CEO was leading and driving the sales process.

Why is that?

CEOs are charismatic leaders who have a vision for their company and a foresight for the future developments of their industry. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they should run every single department and be in charge of every detail. Micro-managing the sales process can happen when the CEO does not embrace or perhaps not understand a consultative sales environment, the selling cycle etc. CEOs micro-managing sales will eventually hamper the work of the sales team.

The question arises: Why do CEOs then get involved in the sales process?

A few possible answers:

a) CEOs often don’t have very high regards for the sales practice or in other cases they don’t really understand it. Many CEOs feel that sales is really simple and that they are the best sales person in the room. That usually stems from the fact that they had to raise capital to start or expand the company. And yes, very often they are good sales people but that doesn’t mean that they are good sales management leaders.

b) Often CEOs get involved in the sales process due to a lack of success and a lack of trust that somebody else can make it happen. If success doesn’t happen fast enough, they often start micro-managing the sales manager and/or the sales team. Unless the sales manager is really savvy and knows how and when to push back, CEO meddling can confuse the sales process.

c) Additionally I have experienced CEOs getting involved because they felt there weren’t that many really good sales managers out there who could effectively lead a sales team. Now to be honest, there are, but managing a team and selling are two different skill sets. I have seen companies change sales managers twice a year in desperation.

So, what’s a CEO to do??

The successful growth of sales in your organization will depend on how well the sales process is built and who is leading it. Reflect on the values of your organization, what benefits do you offer to prospective clients. Why would and should they buy your offering? Once you have a sales leader who understands your organization and what you offer thoroughly, and successfully builds a sales team, puts a sales process in place, then it’s time to step back and support the process.

Allow your sales leaders to lead the process. Make yourself available for any sales efforts and cheerlead the sales team from the corner office. Your vision and charisma will guide your sales team. Your belief in the organization will aid the team to attract new clients and grow business.

And never forget these THREE! 

When identifying the benefits for your audiences, always remember to develop messaging that will help you get their attention.

If you have read my blog you will remember that people buy because you can help them:

  • Make money and/or
  • Save money and/or
  • Improve their reputation internally.

 

New Year’s Resolution – really?

Posted on: January 2nd, 2012 by Monika No Comments

This is the time where everybody is trying to make a New Year’s resolution. It’s a tradition. It’s also a tradition to abort the attempt around the 2nd week of January, once we are getting wrapped up in all our daily hassles. Personally, I don’t believe in them. One of my friend started something new that was a bit more meaningful and goal oriented.

My friend, who used to be a runner, decided to train for a 5K run in July, so she could participate in a New Year’s Day race. She started to train and set her mind on it and I am happy to report that she succeeded. Why, because she had a clear goal to finish on New Year’s Day, not to start. The end result as a goal is easier to reach than to start something without clear objectives.

Make resolutions when it matters

Resolutions and goals shouldn’t be set based on a date, but on a need. If you feel that you are overweight, try to eat healthier immediately but make adjustments in moderation. Most humans are not wired to make drastic changes, so essentially if we make drastic changes, very often we are setting ourselves up for failure.

What happens when we set ourselves up for failure?

We feel like losers and it will take a long time until we attempt another try. Usually, it’s another New Year’s resolution the following year.

Why is it important to manage expectations with ourselves?

Because we should manage expectations every single step of the way. Whether it’s with our children, with our clients, with our prospects or our friends. We should never over-promise or under-deliver. It not only harms our reputation and our relationships, it is bad for the way we feel about ourselves. It eats away at our self esteem and once that happens it will influence or performance.

It’s really hard to run a successful business or to succeed in sales when we feel that we have let other people and ourselves down.

My intent for this year was to write a book and I just finished it, just in time for 2012. It’s something that I have been planning to do for a long time, but my goal was to finish it in time for 2012. You will hear more about the topic “Selling & Dating” and why I believe they are so similar in the upcoming months. In the book I write a lot about managing expectations and other key areas that are important in managing relationships.

In the end, sales is nothing else than building trust with a person that we have no prior relationship with. The same is true in dating. It’s all about building trust.

Stay tuned for more in the upcoming weeks!

Never forget those 3!

When developing the benefits to your audiences, always remember to develop messaging that helps them get their attention. If you have read my blog you will remember that people buy because you can help them

– Make money

– Save money

– Improve their reputation internally

CONSULTATIVE SALES ACADEMY

Monika D’Agostino – Chief Consultative Sales Officer

Office: 203-299-1645

LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/monikadago

Blog: http://consultativesales.net

monikad@consultativesales.net

www.consultativesalesacademy.net

Twitter: monikadago

It’s the time of the year for Gratitude, Reflection & Celebration

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by Monika No Comments

It’s the time of the year again……….

December is the month of celebration, stress and reflection. It’s is also about sales or the lack thereof. Many businesses close out their fiscal year and we look back and measure. I will talk about sales, growing your business and all that good stuff through 2012 but for now let’s focus on this special time of the year.

 

Christmas and the holidays is always a good time for reflection. While we all rush to get things done, taking care of the last minute shopping and finding the perfect gift we sometimes forget to be grateful for the things we already have.

 

Gratitude

To me, it’s one of the best ways to stay authentic and to give back. Yes, I do write the checks to my favorite charities, everybody who can afford it should and does. It’s certainly one way of showing gratitude. But being grateful for what we have and showing it to other people is another way of paying back.

 

We should call our clients and tell them that we are grateful for their business. We could tap our employees on the shoulder and share with them how much they mean to us.

 

Make somebody feel special every day for a week and you will be surprised how the universe will pay you back. Whenever I smile at a baby or little kid, they usually smile back. Sometimes I am surprised how receptive people are when you pay them in smiles. We all want to be heard and seen. The holiday season is the perfect time to wrap a smile and gift it.

 

Reflection

The holiday season is also a good time to reflect. What has worked in the past year and what hasn’t. Without being too critical or harsh, it might be time to replace employees who don’t serve us any more, or to promote the person who has added a lot of value. It’s also the time to reflect on our own behavior to see if it still serves us. Maybe the one client who resigned didn’t go with the competitor because their service was superior but because they felt more valued?!

 

Celebration

Finally, let’s not forget to celebrate. Every little thing that is worth celebrating, should be noticed and honored. Why? Because as entrepreneurs and/or sales people we usually live a lonely existence. We are measured by our accomplishments and not often celebrated for our achievements.

 

Celebrating will help us get through the hard times, the cold calling, the rejection, the lost deals and the disgruntled clients. We entrepreneurs and sales people endure a lot of stress from the outside world  so celebration is important for us to stay motivated.

 

CHEERS!!!

 

To a happy, healthy and successful 2012. Let’s go on this journey together!