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It was a pleasure meeting you at Summit! Your session was a highlight of the training I received at the event. Your enthusiasm is catching and the skills taught reminded me of the Sandler training I attended two years ago. My boss asked what I had learned from Summit and my first response was to share about the techniques you demonstrated. I truly believe I need to be refreshed with the Sandler techniques on a regular basis. Although I have been taught by the best, I tend to use a portion of the training. I need to be immersed to improve my skills and become more effective.
I have used your Zombie deals email and found it to be very productive. Instead of multiple phone calls and voicemails, the prospect replied the same day to let me know they had found another solution or they have pushed a project back due to a financial decision.
I am looking forward to receiving your TopLine Tips!
Thanks for sharing your gifts of enthusiasm and sales skills.
WAC Consulting Group
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Imagine an iceberg divided into four levels. The top level consists of the buyers ready to buy now. The next tier down will buy soon. The next level is made up of those who will buy eventually and the bottom level is those who will never buy.
Those in the final stages of the buying cycle are not your best prospects for three reasons:
If you want to sell at a premium you won’t succeed if you rely on the sales opportunities that come to you; RFP’s and public solicitations. Your customer contacts cannot be purchasing agents and vendor managers. Once a formal, bureaucratic purchasing process kicks in, the original business purpose becomes secondary and the focus becomes process and price. You are dealing with professional buyers who intentionally mislead vendors, who want to keep you at arm’s length, and who emphasize price. If you engage on this battlefield, you end up becoming a very different kind of company. You can’t focus on quality or solutions; your mental focus is on jumping through the purchasing hoops, cutting cost, and building relationships with people who will never treat you with respect.
A reliance on inbound calls yields similar results. When they call you, it might be a hot lead. But often it’s a “fact-finder” who is “just doing research.” It’s never the senior people who call, so you begin the relationship at a low level. In the end, you might be denied access to the people you most need to talk to in order to serve them best. You might also be invited to the beauty contest to help justify the purchase of your competitor’s product.
Sun Tzu said, “Generally, he who occupies the field of battle first and awaits the enemy is at ease. He who comes later and rushes into battle is weary.”
The key is to get there first.
Be first to take them from latent pain to action. Buyers tend to see the person who made them conscious of a problem as the doctor – the solution to the problem. This is how you get to be the “A” vendor.
In the process you help them make up their minds vs. asking them to change their minds later.
You also pre-empt the competition by helping set the buying requirements and defining the process.
Total selling control is achieved when you move from a strong pain step to defining decision criteria and closing as quickly as possible.
Let’s say you are not the “A” vendor and you are playing catch-up because you weren't there first. Does that mean you should give up? No, but don’t lead your team into defeat after defeat. If you don’t get there first, your chances of winning drop to 10%. You are wasting resources, but you are also damaging morale and their ability to win the next time.
Be realistic and realize that you have to either change the current standings or disengage. Don’t be tempted to chase what you shouldn’t. Hannibal drew the Romans into a fight at Cannae that they regretted for over 200 years.
“A battle is lost less through casualties than by discouragement.” — Frederick the Great
If you do get there first, you win 90% of the time. Yet most sales people spend most of their time and effort on deals they did not create.