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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

Sell More By Getting Past The "I" You Are Selling To

Posted on Tue, Mar 11, 2014

buddha with headset

For the longest time, my theory of evolution in our life and society have been analogous to the evolution of the computer industry:

  1. We started by having one computer that took up several football fields, did very little and only the privileged few (the aristocracy, the kings you might say) had access to the power. The rest of us were the in the fiefdom.
  2. That became the mainframe that IBM ultimately dominated, but again, only the privileged few had access to the power.
  3. Then came the minicomputers (Prime, DEC) and more people (lets say the heads of state or, territory or area) had access to the power
  4. Then came the PC and laptop computer and all of a sudden individuals had access to the power
  5. And of course we now have our mobile devices which are faster than the original PC’s, and give us access to ………..
  6. THE INTERNET, WEB, APP’S, SAAS, VIDEO CONTENT, FACEBOOK, BIG DATA, ETC so ANYONE AND EVERYONE CAN GET WHATEVER THEY WANT, WHEN THEY WANT IT. WE ARE ALL KINGS AND ARISTOCRACY NOW.

And it is making us less inclined to consider the other, since we feel we don't need them anymore. After all, if I CAN GET WHAT I WANT AND WHEN I WANT IT, without having to deal with people, or salespeople, why should I?

 But, here is the problem. It is misleading, an illusion. People still have the need to be connected (see Facebook), still need the personal relationship, even though they are being conditioned and feel like they don’t. “For example, Big Data” is meant to be broken down into it’s most minute, measurable element which just obscures the fact that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” and that we are all in this together.

 So what does this mean for us as salespeople:

  1. Reach out and touch someone, reach out and just say hi. Don't fool yourself or be misled
  2. Go visit somebody in person
  3. Be sensitive to people’s DiSC style, emotions, etc that affect how they buy
  4. Relate to people as people, not objects or invaluable objects, especially if you are the benefactor of many leads
  5. When you are with a prospect or customer, don't just ask about their technical and/or project needs but see if you can find out what it means to them personally.
  6. Be honest, genuine, kind, generous, caring and people will respond to you.

What are your thoughts? Please let me know.

 

Jonathan

Tags: Blogs, Sales Training, Sales Strategies, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Tips, DiSC Styles

7 Sales Tips - Closing is Not a Moment in Time

Posted on Tue, Oct 15, 2013

describe the image

If there were a Hall of Fame for salespeople, and you closed 30% of your deals, you would be a candidate.  Forty percent close rate is a sure first ballot entry and at fifty percent they would dedicate a wing to you.

MAKE Closing Easier

Some of the biggest deals I have ever closed happened when I was away on vacation. Why? Because I did all the right things during the sales cycle so the close happened very easily and naturally (perhaps I should always go on vacation when I am working a big deal!). This includes many elements, including:

  1. Selling into your “Sweet Spot” as much as possible
  2. Doing a S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue with the people involved in the decision, especially executives or people in positions of authority
  3. Building rapport and developing trust during the sales cycle
  4. Presenting your offer in a compelling way that shows your differences and the benefits of your offer
  5. Handling objections through out the sales cycle
  6. Constantly getting a firm next step that is relevant to the client and advantageous to you
  7. Being responsive to the prospect throughout all stages

Too many salespeople think of closing as only asking for the deal at the end, which of course is essential (or many salespeople are afraid to ask for the close). However, it is just as important for salespeople to be closing throughout the sales process; to keep a sale moving forward from one stage to another and to keep people focused on your product or service, vs. other’s. An important psychological rule of getting people to say yes when you do ask for the order is to have had the prospect take action and invest themselves as much as possible during the sales cycle. The more they are invested, the more difficult it is to back away or to say no.

So let’s define closing as the act of asking someone to do something. It could be little like respond to an e-mail or question or it could be big like visit your office, let you visit them in their home (if you are selling that type of product), meet your family members (if you are selling something that a family can use), have a meal with you or introduce you to their boss in a professional setting.. Closing is done all the time, regardless of the communications medium (in person, over the phone, e-mail, etc.).

Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you keeping people focused on your offering through a series of actions and commitments called T.E.E.M. (time – energy – emotion – money)?
  2. Are you testing the waters/trial closing to make sure you are on track with the people you are selling?
  3. Can you identify buying signals, warning signals, hidden objections and what to do with them?
  4. Different types of closing techniques, when to use them and which techniques work best with different DiSC styles?
  5. Are you getting firm, decisive next steps that are relevant to the client and favor you and your company?
  6. Do you know what your sweetspot it and sell to it as much as possible?

When is the first time you close? At the very beginning when you ask for an appointment. And the last? When you ask for the deal or negotiate the final item!  You need to have a plan to apply as many of these elements to win as much business as possible. 

“Closing is not a moment in time but a continuous act throughout the sales cycle”

Tags: Sales Cycles, Sales Skills, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Tips, Closing, Closing, S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue, DiSC Styles

Salespeople, Ask "What Do You Know About Our Company"?

Posted on Wed, Oct 17, 2012

What Do You Know About Our Company?

What do You Know About…

I used to hate when salespeople would ask this at the beginning of a sales call. I used to yell at them for doing so. I thought all it could do was minimize you and lead the customer to say things like “I never heard of you” or “very little.” If they knew about you, then you didn't need to ask.

But now, because I am such an open-minded person smiley face, I am always looking to learn and improve; and studies are showing most prospects are checking you out before you even meet I think this could be a very important question to ask.

Why, you say?  Because:

  • more than ever people are researching you and your company before they even meet you
  • they are using this information to decide if they even want to meet
  • they are developing a pre-conceived notion of you and your company
  • if they are a High “C” DiSC style they probably know more about you and your company than even you do.

So, you:

  • want to understand where they are coming from
  • where they are getting their information from
  • how they will continue during their decision process to use and get more info

For those of you who have been fortunate enough to take my class or read my books (my mother would be so proud), the best way to do this is in the “S” or the “N” of the S.PRI.N.G.™  Dialogue.  Here are some examples of how you might ask:

  1. What do you know about my company (you would say your actual company name)?
  2. I was curious about what you know about my company?
  3. I was curious about what you know about my company and how you attained this information?
  4. A lot of my customers have done some research online before we met. Did you do so as well? What resources did you use? What did you find out? Anything in particular catch your attention?
  5. How will this information influence your decision or decision criteria?
  6. Besides yourself, or, who assisted you in doing this research?

You will notice I said “you” and your company. That is right. They are checking you out to see what kind of person or business person you are. So:

  • watch what you say or post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Phinkit, etc.
  • make sure your personal LinkedIn and Facebook business pages are full of great information about you, with lots of written recommendations
  • if you have a blog, let people know about it and make it interesting.

I know you probably won’t, but I always want to ask you to share your thoughts or best practices. It helps everyone and makes me feel like somebody out there is paying attention.

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, b2b Sales, Sales Effectiveness, S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue, LinkedIn, DiSC Styles, Negotiations, Presentating

If Sales Were an Olympic Event: The Selling Decathlon

Posted on Thu, Aug 02, 2012

business hurdle

I think for the next Summer Olympics we should consider a sales decathlon instead of ballroom dancing. It can be an individual and team sport. Here is how I envision it:

You could create a decathlon that extends for weeks, where the skills people (individually or in a relay) would compete for in the following categories:
1.    Time Management
  • How quickly can salesthletes manage the decathlon while handling 200 emails a day, blogging, tweeting and creating proposals.  They will also have to do many of these while running a 10K  and pole-vaulting.

2.    Territory  and Opportunity Management

  • Which team knows where their sweetspot is and can navigate a territory and its detours, which could be online or actual traffic detours. You would also have to throw a javelin or use a bow and arrow to hit the center of your target.  Participants will need to strategize by entering black holes where all light and information is removed from an opportunity (kind of like a customer not calling back) and navigate their way out of the black hole and back on track.

3.  Business Acumen

  • Salespeople will run along a similar path as runners or bikers and at different stages will be given questions to answer by different business people.  If they get it correct, they run to the next station and hand off the next question to be answered.  If they drop the question or get it wrong, they have to wait X seconds to get it right or ask another teammate.  This will be a series of 100 meter dashes.

4.    DiSC and Getting Along with Prospects

  • Each team will be stopped by an official who represents a different DiSC style. They will have to engage in a physical event with them (lifting, pulling or throwing something) and determine which DiSC style they are by how the official interacts with them.

5.    Prospecting and Gaining Access to Power

  • While running, they will have to text, email or call a prospect and get a meeting using relevant, compelling messaging and social media. They can use an “official Olympic” tablet or smartphone.  Sponsors will go crazy for this event.

6.    Qualifying and S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue

  • A dexterity and strength test will be given where they have to punch a wall mounted device that will reveal if they have asked the right question in the right way in the right order.  Asking or punching things incorrectly brings a penalty, where doing so correctly, makes the physical task of punching easier. They can also use different size discus instead of punching.

7.    Presenting Your Solution

  • While juggling several things (pins, balls, oranges) they have to relate their solution to a specific circumstance. They will also have to long jump to engage the judges. To test their dexterity, judges will also be able to throw objects at them which they have to dodge while presenting. The best team will advance to the next round.

8.    Objection Handling

  • If the object thrown hits the salesthlete, they have to address the objection in a way that the judge puts down other items they are preparing to throw at the participant. Or they have to jump over specific hurdles after they address the objection.

9.    Closing

  • A salesthlete needs to turn or lift a very heavy object to close the deal. This could be a lifting weights or a steel shutter to show their strength.

10.    Negotiations

  • The lead salesthlete needs to work with his or her other teammates to persuade the judges that the offer/terms they have made will be accepted. This will be done via a Greco-Roman wrestling match.


The winning relay team would finish the events in the least amount of time and get a Gold medal, but since they are salesthletes, they would also get some kind of spiff like a 3 day 2 night vacation with their partner or spouse to some exotic location.

I am accepting applications for the Sales Olympics. Let me know what event you wish to be in and your credentials.  Any ideas for improving the event are also welcome.

Tags: Objection Handling, Summer Olympics, Sales Skills, Time Management, Sales Advice, Sales Training, Sales Strategies, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Closing, S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue, Prospecting, Territory Management, DiSC Styles, Negotiations, Social Media, technology enabled selling, Presenting