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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

Customer Focus - Who Gives a Sh-t About Digital Phones

Posted on Tue, Jul 08, 2014

statue of liberty

I was sitting in the office of Chris Karadimis, who was pretty high up the IT food chain of Chase Manhattan Bank. We were also sitting very high up in the WTC, looking over the water and Statue of Liberty. It was exquisite.

I was trying to sell RoLM CBX’s and digital phones into Chase and he said to me “Jon who gives a shit about digital phones”. Handle that objection.

At the time it happened, I thought it was because he was such a political animal that he couldn’t be bothered by such trivial details (the digital phones and PBX really were better) but maybe it was more. Perhaps the aesthetics of the situation were more interesting to him at the moment. Maybe his interests were much greater than phones, as they should be.

I know this guy scared me because he was so good politically and I felt very insecure and tense meeting him. I don't know if I would have been different if  I was feeling more confident.

But what I do know is that I was one dimensional and that was not good. It didn't allow me to sense or feel where he was or what he wanted at the moment I was with him.

And if I could have related to him better, he might have been more receptive and open to me, or maybe not.

So the moral to this story is:

  • go in with an agenda but be receptive to something totally different
  • “read” the mood or place the other person is in
  • don't take yourself so seriously
  • remember nobody is better or worse or superior to you. We are all human beings trying to do our best
  • and there are usually, if not always more important things going on than what you are selling
  • meditate more often so you are in that space naturally

Tags: Objection Handling, Sales, Sales Strategies, Sales Effectiveness, sales deal

C Level Selling - 10 Things to Measure That You Don't To Sell More

Posted on Wed, May 08, 2013



In developing a sales process for a customer we were dong the normal stuff you should be measuring:

decision process, decision criteria, budget, competition, compelling event, etc.

But when we looked at the deals they were winning, we found a whole other set of measurements that weren't being looked at and were much more important.

  1. do we get along
  2. does the customer give me access
  3. are they giving me feedback to make the proposal better
  4. are they coaching me a little
  5. am I making an impression on them with my knowledge, insights and candor
  6. can I see that they want to do business with me or buy from me
  7. are they allowing me to be honest and direct
  8. are they giving me access and positive exposure to important people
  9. do they respond to my emails and invites
  10. do they accept my Linkedin invite

 We realized that these indicators are as if not more important than the price or quality of your offer, because if they are not responding as described above, it also tells you there is a problem you have to attend to.

So what is the moral to this story? Doing the things that can be empirically measured can be less important than doing the things above. What else do you look at?

Tags: Sales, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Effectiveness, sales deal, Social Media, Buying Process

Prospecting and Other Often Asked Questions

Posted on Tue, Jun 26, 2012

Questions on prospecting

Of the many questions I get, here are some of the most common and important:

Q:    How do I get more appointments?

1.    Prospect more and ask for referrals. 

2.    Like brushing your teeth, do it regularly.

3.    If you are really religious or spiritual, you can ask whatever G-d or spirit you pray to        but I wouldn't count on it.

Q:    What is the best way to prospect using e-mail?

1.    Make sure the subject line gets their attention. I had a customer, now a friend write a subject line like “Kick XM’s Ass” when he was trying to sell to Sirius radio (this is before they merged). He sent it at the lunch break of our class and got the appointment at the afternoon break. This might be a bit too brazen but something that is relevant to them at the time you are sending it is the rule!

2.    Use the no scroll rule which is:

  • 1 ½ lines to introduce yourself and why you are writing
  • 3 benefits with key words bulleted on one line each
  • an active close where you ask them to respond by a certain time or you will reach out to them

3.    Intersperse email with the phone or some other form of communication

4.    Send the same email to more that one person who will be interested. Try doing it at the same time to trigger their own internal competition and politics.

Q:    How do I get people to call me back?

1.    Make sure it is a real deal and don't give them everything they ask for too quickly or all at once. 

2.    If you do then they have no need or reason to speak to you.

3.    Have a thick skin and plenty in the pipeline

4.    Polite persistence

Q:   How do I handle the prospect asking for a better price?

1.    Anticipate the objection during the sales process.

2.    Understand the financial value of your solution.

3.    Have a counter offer of equal or greater value than the price they are asking for

4.    Be willing to say no below a certain price.

5.    Have plenty in the funnel so you aren’t desperate.

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Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Training, Sales Strategies, Sales Tips, Prospecting, b2b lead generation, lead generation, sales deal

Overconfidence Destroys or The Miami Heat vs. NY Knicks

Posted on Tue, May 08, 2012

Overconfidence and The Miami HeatLike The Miami Heat or NY Knicks, I hate losing. I feel like every deal I am involved in I should win. And when I lose, I need to know why. Over the last 2 - 3 years, I have lost a couple of big deals (fortunately I have won many more than I have lost). I think one of the main reasons I have lost deals is OVERCONFIDENCE.

In one instance, the SVP of Sales and Marketing referred me to his team but then took more of a hands off approach than I expected (he did coach me but was unwilling to exert himself internally and his team resented me being “imposed” on them).

In another, I thought because I had very strong experience in the recent past, and, my offer had such a strong fit, I didn't listen as closely as I could have and I didn't meet all the people involved in the decision (the DM cancelled twice). I tried but not hard enough.

Why is overconfidence so dangerous?

1. You didn't prepare as much as you should
2. You took for granted the prospect will see your value
3. You took for granted that your personal contact will make the deal happen for you
4. You underestimate your competition
5. You aren't as meticulous or zealous about thinking through the deal and all of its details
6. You don’t prepare for your presentation as well as you ordinarily do
7. You didn't get others involved as early or as often as you should have
8. You didn't place enough value on the opportunity since you have others that are working  and you are doing well – thank goodness. 

So how do you avoid all of this?

1. Don't do all of the 8 things above
2. Treat every deal as if it is the most important and last you will ever have
3. Even if you can’t meet people, at least send them an e-mail to confirm your agenda and ask what is important to them
4. If you only have 30 minutes to present, worry less about detail and more about making an impression by having them experience you vs. learn about you.

I know I, or the Miami Heat can’t win every deal or game, and there are circumstances beyond our control, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try your best every time.

Why do you lose deals you think you should win?Click me

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Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, Closing, Prospecting, sales deal, Presentations