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Selling
Selling for non-sales people, building your strategy, small business, entrepreneur, growing business, selling
Last post we started the series, “Selling for Non-Sales People” to give a framework and roadmap for those of you who may be business owners, bankers, lawyers, consultants, fundraisers, directors, or anyone who doesn’t have the term “Sales Pro” in their professional title. Everyone is in sales in some capacity – selling ideas, services, influence,...
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Selling, Sales, Coaching, Non-Sales, People, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, Mindset, Outlook, Professional, Growth, Leadership, Buying, Customers
More and more when I meet business owners at conferences or events and exchange introductions, the conversation quickly turns to “Selling” for the owner and how difficult it is for them. Most often, they say, “I just don’t have enough time to get out there and sell.” But what I really hear is, “I’M NOT...
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Selling in small increments builds buyer trust
Several posts back, I shared how one of my clients was focused on how BIG and monumental the sale was for her and for her customers. She was suffering from a bit of self-sabotage by projecting her emotions and insecurity on to her customer and letting fear of closing the sale or NOT closing the...
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Basketball and Business, Does your team have the right skills?
This post evolved from a conversation with a colleague, Gina Trimarco, of Pivot10 Results, a leadership, sales, and service trainer, a studier of people, and a fantastic business sage. Gina uses analogies and metaphors in much of her training and coaching so I challenged her to take part in our March Madness Business blogging and...
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Conversion Rate, March Madness, Casualty Rate, Sales, Selling, Small Business, PreQualifying, Opportunities, Leads, Lead Generation, Conversion, Prospects, Customers, Practice, Skills
What is your conversion rate and why is this little number such an important indicator of your company’s performance and health? In the big picture, understanding your conversion rate helps you know exactly how much it costs you to gain a new customer. This can help you plan your budgets and determine your pricing and...
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Taking notes on “Selling” from Cooking Competitions If you’ve had young children, you’ll feel my lament over those awful cartoons with the characters and theme songs that take root in your adult head like uninvited weeds in your brain garden. From the mouse to the purple dinosaur to the little girl who yells everything and carries a backpack – there are dozens of children’s cartoons that contribute to the world’s adult beverage consumption. Thankfully, my children have graduated from most of those cartoons. The occasional obnoxious Spongebob Squarepants and TMNT (that’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to you) still show up from time to time but for the most part, my Jr. Associates have fallen in love with cooking and baking competition shows. They love the idea of challenges and all the tricks and turns, sabotages, and the pressure cooker that all the contestants are in. As we watched our favorites this weekend, I listened to my children talk about what they would do differently, other strategies they would take, or how they would explain their dishes another way. After the 3rd or 4th episode of Cutthroat Cupcake Chopped Academy (a mash up of all the shows), I started to think about the similarities of the pitfalls in cooking competitions to where we see mistakes in sales and selling. Strangely, though no surprise to those of you that know me, in this relaxing down time, I couldn’t help but build some sales coaching analogies from these entertaining battles. Today, I have made for you . . . Four Ways Sellers Can Avoid Ending Up In Hot Water - Listen to what’s important. Many a sale and a challenge have been lost by not listening to what’s TRULY important to those making the decisions. When cooking contestants don’t build their strategy around satisfying the criteria they will be judged against, their success is compromised from the start. Going through the discovery process is critical with your customers to understand not only what they want, but how they will be making decisions, what their success metrics look like, and ultimately, how they want to go through the buying journey. Miss this key component and you could quickly be eliminated as a potential provider. Don’t serve the status quo. Just as cooking shows challenge the skills and creativity of contestants, buyers want sellers that bring them different and creative solutions to their problems. Stand out from the competitors by highlighting what makes you different and focus not on your capabilities, but your competencies, and results that you’ve proven for similar clients. True contenders don’t show up with the easiest dish or the most common ideas. Challenge yourself to serve your clients something different. Don’t die for your perfect plan. Sometimes, in cooking, as in selling, we’re thrown a curveball. A mystery ingredient in a baking challenge might be the equivalent to a potential customer asking you to work with a smaller budget or a shorter time frame. I’ve seen this blow a hole in many a sales pro’s “perfect plan” and they never quite recover because they’re not able to be flexible or go outside the box for resources or solutions. Listen to your customers, consult your team, play to your strengths, and adjust and adapt to the circumstances so you can meet your client’s needs. You may not be able to solve all their challenges on your own but you can track down other resources or collaborate with your customers to customize the opportunity just for them. Don’t tank your presentation. Part of the pleasure of these pressure cooker contests is the moment of judgment for competitors where their efforts are weighed and measured against the expectations of the judges. We’re rooting for the contestants, for we know all they’ve been through and how they fought to get their final product ready for presentation. And this moment, many battles are won or lost by how the contender steps up and presents. Confidence or lack thereof is the first place to lose. Fear of rejection or fear of walking away empty handed can be off putting to customers. It detracts focus from discussion and emphasizes desperation. Some contestants lost the judges when they start inventing fancy names or try to distract from their presentation’s potential flaws. Buyers, just like judges, see straight through those tricks. Calling any dish “deconstructed” means you are missing ingredients or couldn’t pull it together in the end. Glossing over incompatibilities or dodging objections annoys customers and discredits your trust and credibility. Be transparent with your solutions and present your offers confidently. Next time you’re up to bat with a prospective new client, think about the pressure cooker of one of these cooking or baking competitions. Keep your eye on the prize by truly listening to what problems your customers are asking you to solve and confidently adapt to their needs and delight them by serving them their own unique solution customized just to their tastes. Until next time, stop hoping, start cooking SELLING! -sks PS - Jumping from the kitchen to the office – if you feel like you’re losing your battles at any one of these points, contact us. We can help you understand your customers, deeply differentiate your offers and profoundly connect with your audience to earn trust and sales quicker.
If you’ve had young children, you’ll feel my lament over those awful cartoons with the characters and theme songs that take root in your adult head like uninvited weeds in your brain garden. From the mouse to the purple dinosaur to the little girl who yells everything and carries a backpack – there are dozens...
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Stop Winging it and Make a Sales Plan Expert Advice Via Alice Heiman
We’ve had great response (and a lot of STRONG suggestions) when we started asking sales leaders across the country to share their insights about what sales pros should STOP doing to earn more sales. I had particularly emphatic response from my colleagues of Women Sales Pros, whom all seem to be on a mission to...
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talking about Capabilities instead of Differences is killing your sales and profit margin
Let’s talk about your sales and profit margins. How effective do you think your Sales and/or Marketing messages are? Are they compelling and converting leads in to opportunities and opportunities into customers with strong and healthy margins? At what rate? And at what cost to acquire a new customer? (If you don’t know your conversion...
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Are you making the best first impressions? You need talk tracks
A while back, we participated in a great business expo hosted by the local chamber. At The Selling Agency booth, we asked people to “Give us their best pitch” about their business. And . . . we offered to record it for them and email them the sound bites. There was a specific point to asking...
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3 Revenue Growth Alternatives to chasing leads
When one of our clients asks us to work with their sales team on revenue growth, we first conduct some interviews of the sales people and ask, “What do you need to do your job better?” they usually answer with one of these two responses: “More aggressive pricing” and “More new leads” The first answer...
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