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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

Salespeople, 15 Presentation Tips

Posted on Tue, Dec 18, 2012


 

Salespeople, Presentation Tips

A presentation, proposal or demonstration is a key event in the sales process for most of my customers, but much of what happens in a presentation depends on what has happened prior.

As a reminder:

  •      do you know what the compelling event is and the financial value to   the client
  •      have you planned your presentation to clearly differentiate yourself
  •      are you doing it alone or should you have others help you
  •      have you set traps for the competition
  •      do you have the right story to tell and stories to illustrate your story and presentation
  •      do you have somebody at the client who can give you advice
  •      are you prepared for any objections that come up frequently
  •      and more

Feel free to use this planner if it will help or call or email me.

 Download Presentation Planner

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tags: Objection Handling, Presentation Planner, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Closing, Presentations, Presenting

Salespeople, 19 Tips to Close Larger Deals

Posted on Tue, Dec 11, 2012


19 Tips To Close Larger Deals
1.    Assign an executive sponsor as early as possible.
2.    Increase Face to Face time.
3.    If the deal crosses territories or oceans, salespeople must share in the wealth and work with others.
4.    Get contracts done and issues resolved ahead of time. Use contract as part of close.
5.    Know their decision process and the people involved so you don't have to chase or guess.
6.    If you must, use discounting wisely. Keep something in your back pocket.
7.    Use your management and pre/post sales support team early and often.
8.    Know your negotiation strategy so the deal doesn't get delayed.
9.    Start where you are stronger. Go to your strengths to win more.
10.  Don't chase bad business just because it is big.
11.  Bigger deals take longer. Don’t get distracted with the little stuff.
12.  Discuss and strategize your deals with another person or persons.
       They might be sitting right next to you, be experiencing the same thing and have great insights.
13.  Check LinkedIn, Facebook, Phinkit or any source for connections.
       These connections might be able to coach you or influence the buyer.
14.   Develop a coach ASAP if it is a big deal.
15.   If you are smaller than your competitors, show your depth by having more people involved in the deal.
16.   Create a no lose policy for certain strategic key accounts.
17.   If you are in a very advantageous position, push the close ASAP.
       The longer the deal goes on, the more bad things can happen.
18.   Resources and frequency on client interaction needs to increase.
19.   If it is very competitive have a tie breaker to help the customer decide in your favor.

If you have more tips you have used from deals you have closed or your team has closed, please do share your thoughts.


 

 

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Effectiveness, Closing, Coaching, Sales Productivity, Negotiations, Sales Process, sales management, Presenting

Salespeople, 20 To Do's To Close More Business By Year End

Posted on Tue, Nov 27, 2012

21 To Do's To Close More Business By Year End

 

  1. Upsell the deals you are going to close anyway.
  2. Offer something of value to get more from them.
  3. Call good customers and ask them if they have money they need to spend before the year end.
  4. Call all your prospects and ask them what can get in the way of the order being issued before end of year and work with them to prevent it from happening.
  5. Use your executives to call executives to get access or a deeper understand of the deal and what can be done to close it.
  6. Renew renewable contracts where everyone benefits (longer term, lower rate).
  7. Ask for favors of your best customers. They often comply.
  8. If you want to, you can make a year end offer to people who will be buying in January, but if you do, make it very clear it is a year end deal.
  9. Create a limited offer (only 10 available) to create some groundswell of interest.
  10. This may seem obvious, but try to get it in before 12/23/12. After that it will get even more difficult.
  11. Beg (only kidding).
  12. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
  13. Create a compelling ROI for buying now vs. later (if you haven’t already done so).
  14. If your proposals have a termination date on them (which they should) remind your customer of the date. You will either get the deal or know where you stand.
  15. Invite them to a social event and casually, or not so casually, ask for the order.
  16. Have somebody else call your prospect that knows them well to find out what is going on.
  17. If you have some personal or company money to donate to charity, and if they are comfortable getting you the order by the end of the year, tell them you will donate money in their name.
  18.  Aggregate the buying volume of different areas in a company you are selling to and tell them they will both get xyx (remember xyz has high value to them and may not cost you or your company anything) if they order before the end of the year.
  19. Tell them you will buy them my latest book “Using Technology to Sell” if they give you the order this year. Just Kidding
  20. Vow to yourself that in 2013 you will work harder, prospect more and close enough business so you don't have to do any of the things mentioned above (unless you want to).

Let me know of any other ideas you have or have used.

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, Sales Training, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Closing, Prospecting, Negotiations, Presenting

Salespeople: Think Before You Prospect

Posted on Thu, Nov 08, 2012

 Man Thinking

I am working with a client who needs to penetrate their territory, prospect more effectively and sell a unique, leading edge product into hospitals.

We are done with the first of our four 4-hour sessions via web conferencing; I started using WebEx which is good but not so with video. I switched to GoToMeeting which is much better, easier and fantastic with video.

We are at the stage where we are examining their market more closely. I took them through the following exercise (the client is XYZ). This exercise is what I have done for 35 years in sales and with over 18,000 students. It is intended to help you align, define, discover and prospect into as many real marketplaces you can sell your services to.


 

- 1 –

XYZ STRENGTHS

(products and services)

- 2 –

INDUSTRIES

(consider past successes, ties to strengths and the economy)

- 3 –

APPLICATIONS/DEPT’S TO CONTACT

 (that can benefit from XYZ)

- 4 –

CURRENT CUSTOMERS

(as references)

- 5 -

POTENTIAL PARTNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 






 


 

 

There didn't appear to be much to discover since hospitals in itself is such a defined market. At first glance, this is who they were prospecting to most often:

  • Infection Control – C Suite – Chief Quality Officer
  • Green – Environment Services

But after spending only 30 minutes, here are other areas they could prospect into, or should spend more time with:

  • OR – Higher inpatient vs. outpatient
  • Oncology – ER – ICU – Marketing
  • CFO  – Environment – Services – Or Interested
  • CEO  - Infection – readmission –
  • COO - Facilities – want to get more involved with patient care –
  • Hospital in same system as current customer
  • Related Hospital
  • Teaching Hospital – Oncology – Operations -
  • Elective Surgery
  • Hospitals in direct competition
  • Military, Gov’t and Naval
  • Anesthesiology

We also took into consideration these elements:

  1. Profit vs. not for profit
  2. Hospitals with heavy ICU, ER and OR facilities - needed them most
  3. Geographic proximity so they could spend more time with prospects
  4. Formal and informal partnerships that could facilitate introductions
  5. Better use of the executive team and board
  6. Cross-pollination of contacts amongst the sales people

If you would like to know more about how to use this process, manage your territory and prospect more effectively, please let me know at JLondon@ipgtraining.com or call 201 391-1643.


 

 

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, Sales Training, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Effectiveness, Closing, Prospecting, Territory Management, technology enabled selling, Presenting

Salespeople, You Asked the Question...So Now What?

Posted on Wed, Oct 24, 2012

Asking questions

My last blog advised salespeople to ask questions about what a prospect knows about them and their company in order to understand what perceptions and misperceptions they might have.

My son-in-law, Josh who I love dearly and couldn't be happier about marrying my daughter has a very exacting eye, and asked me “what do salespeople do with this information once they have it?”  I guess he expected the answer to be in the same blog. I told him that the answer was in the next blog, this blog.  So here is what you do with this information --I really had no intention to do this but I can’t look bad in front of my son-in-law:

  1. You or your company needs to start inserting your own thoughts and opinions into the areas that the prospect is using for research
  2. Fix your own personal info if it is detrimental
  3. Advise your company to start doing Step 1
  4. Address their concerns and support your strengths when presenting your solution
  5. Qualify that they are open to you addressing any negative information they have
  6. Send a dead fish wrapped in paper or a horses head to the people saying bad things about you (ONLY KIDDING)!
  7. Search for terms and see if they are more pervasive.

Are You Soft, Medium or Hard

Salespeople and sales organizations are like boiled eggs, they come in soft, medium or hard in relation to their understanding an opportunity and the questions they ask.

Here are some hard boiled questions:

  1. Do you know what gets in the way of bigger deals?
  2. Does the customer know how to buy your solutions?
  3. Do they have the authority to buy at that dollar level?
  4. Can you get some skin in the game so they can’t walk away?
  5. Do you know what the steps, process and people are from the time you give them a proposal to getting an order or PO?
  6. What can prevent this deal from happening?
  7. What is your make up deal if this fails?
  8. How do we turn your obvious enthusiasm into an order?
  9. How often do you come here? Ask Sales Questions
  10. Is there a precedent for buying something that isn’t budgeted?
  11. Want to see my sketches ? Ask Sales Questions
  12. Who gains or looses the most if you do this?
  13. What are the political or administrative obstacles you have to navigate?
  14. Are we starting too big – should we start smaller?

I hope this helps.  What are some of the best questions you ask?  Respond below, so all can see, learn and add to!

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, b2b Sales, Sales Effectiveness, Closing, Negotiations, Sales Process, Presenting

Salespeople, How Can You Not Know?

Posted on Wed, Oct 10, 2012

Asking Questions and SalesPeople

Asking Questions and Salespeople
I understand:

  •    how young salespeople might be afraid to ask the “difficult" questions
  •    how you might not want to ask questions that could upset the customer
  •    that some questions are more difficult and sensitive than others

I don’t understand:
  •    how you can be working a deal for 9 months and not know:
  •    how a decision is made
  •    who is involved in the decision
  •    who your coach is
  •    who you are competing with
  •    when a decision is going to be made
  •    if there is a compelling or impending event
  •    what could derail the project or decision
  •    who has most to gain or lose at the customer
  •    the political vulnerabilities of moving forward


It amazes me that this is still going on but it is.  Who is responsible for this?

Take this quiz: Who is responsible for salespeople not asking the above questions:

1.    Sales trainers because they don't teach this (not me)
2.    Management since they don't inspect properly
3.    Companies because they don't invest enough
4.    Salespeople because the don't do what they are told to do or are too distracted
5.    Prospects and customers since they don't tell you things
6.    President Obama or his opponent Mitt Romney
7.    Tobacco and Oil Companies
8.    Global warming
9.    China
10.  Our parents (they are responsible for everything that is bad in our life)

Answer  2, 3 and 4. Here is what they can do:

2. Management since they don't inspect properly:

  •   managers need to be more focused, diligent and organized during 

      planning and forecasting

  •   you need to examine deals more closely and ask the tough questions
  •   don't blow off your 1:1 for anything except an illness in the family
  •   demand the answers to these things or, after a while take them off bigger deals


3. Companies because they don't invest enough:

  •  Companies don't spend nearly enough time and money developing their salespeople or  sales managers. Maybe they think people will learn most from doing and making mistakes, and maybe they will. But everyone is losing money in the mean time.
  •  Spend more money on developing your people. Virtual training, self-paced training are affordable and don't take too much time (you can ask me about our programs if you like).


4. Salespeople because they don't do what they are told to do or are too distracted

  •  Salespeople are ultimately responsible for asking these questions and knowing the answers.  If you:
  •   are reluctant to ask, have somebody else do it.
  •  develop a coach, you can ask them and it will be easier.
  •  have your pre-sales support people ask since everyone trusts pre-sales
  •  have a Ouija board or Magic 8 ball you can ask them (not)
  •  take your client out, get them drunk and then ask them (not again)


C’mon every one. Step it up. Get the answers. Don't be afraid to ask. For a full list of great questions to ask.

 

26 Great Forecast Questions

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Prospecting, Sales Process, Presenting

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