The Truth About Building A Profitable Sales Force          Presented by: Sales Management University
© WILLIAM T. BROOKS, 2002All rights reserved. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ...
TABLE OF CONTENTSFINDING WINNERS Four Insider Secrets To Sales Success ……………………………………………………………………………… 1 What Makes A Winne...
FINDING WINNERS              The Four Insider Secrets To Sales Success T     here are four questions that must be       as...
What Makes A Winner? The 80-20 Rule ExpandedT    he well-known 80-20 rule (Pareto     Principle) applies perfectly to sale...
messages a day that press for some form of       This blind spot in salespeople’s attitudes often    information about a p...
First, it suggests that people buy benefits forthemselves, not features, products, services,                              ...
the demands of his or her specific                  what appeared to be an outgoing, glittering,     They like to take tim...
you for long-range, successful performance.      attention he knew they wanted. The key to        and intense competition ...
Of course, any strategy has to be customer-        be focused. Clearly, this is the most            accepted both inside a...
in the world. While it may appear that way       strategy that had served him well for years,   company in this category m...
you today, Mr. Brooks, is there any reason        developed in tandem from the ground up,          they adopted that strat...
resources or advantages to deliver maximum         resources and energy in the lives of             or energies will be ov...
• Maximize your sales opportunities by                  figures for your products and in your          middle of the exhau...
You can avoid chasing such a dead end only         walk - to the nearest exit. Sometimes it helps    the prospect wants an...
of us are highly unlikely to come up with a      well with others is not the effective customerPrinciples                 ...
Combining those three definitions gives us a constantly deluged by my competitors want to            • Buying is basically...
Good prospecting is a matter of developing          2. Treat prospecting as your most valuable           with everyone who...
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Topforce

  1. 1. The Truth About Building A Profitable Sales Force Presented by: Sales Management University
  2. 2. © WILLIAM T. BROOKS, 2002All rights reserved. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted,in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the priorwritten permission of the publisher.This publication is designed to provide accurate andauthoritative information in regard to the subject mattercovered. It is sold with the understanding that neither theauthor nor the publisher is engaged in rendering legal, accounting,or other professional service. If legal advice or other expertassistance is required, the services of a competentprofessional person should be sought.Sales Management University * 1903 Ashwood Ct. Suite C Greensboro, North Carolina 27455 * 800-633-7762
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTSFINDING WINNERS Four Insider Secrets To Sales Success ……………………………………………………………………………… 1 What Makes A Winner? ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 2-4 Person Versus Personality …………………………………………………………………………………………... 4-6TRAINING WINNERS Aligning Your Marketing Strategies ………………………………………………………………………………... 6-9 Leverage …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9-11 Listen People Into Buying …………………………………………………………………………………………. 11-12 Principles-Based Selling …………………………………………………………………………………………... 13-14PROSPECTING TIPS 7 Power-Packed Prospecting Pointers ……………………………………………………………………………... 14-16 Don’t Outnumber Your Customers ………………………………………………………………………………... 16-18 Personal Positioning By Alignment ……………………………………………………………………………….. 18-19RAPPORT BUILDING TIPS The Greatest Secret In Selling ……………………………………………………………………………………… 19-20 How To Reduce Tension And Establish Trust …………………………………………………………………….. 20-22MOTIVATION TIPS Selling During The Lean Times …………………………………………………………………………………… 23-24SMART QUESTIONING Discovering What People Will Buy: Asking The “Right” Questions ……………………………………………… 24-27 The Master Keys Of Selling: Asking And Listening ………………………………………………………………. 28-30 Turn Your Demonstrations Into Power-Packed, Value-Based Applications ………………………………………. 30-32DEALING WITH OBJECTIONS Justify Your Price By Proving Value ………………………………………………………………………………. 32-34 Needed: A New Direction In Sales Training ……………………………………………………………………….. 34-35CLOSING SALES Closing Tips For The Value-Based Salesforce ……………………………………………………………………... 35-36 All Is Lost If You Don’t Ask For The Order! ………………………………………………………………………. 37-39 The Watchword Of The 21st Century ……………………………………………………………………………… 39-40 Six Tools To Locate Qualified Prospects …………………………………………………………………………... 41-44 Building A Bridge: The Transition To Sales Talk ………………………………………………………………….. 44-46 Negotiating Tips For The Value-Based Salesforce ………………………………………………………………… 46-48 The Cornerstone Of Value-Based Selling: Proving Your Claims ………………………………………………….. 48-49 Bring Your Own Witnesses ………………………………………………………………………………………… 49-52 Notes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 52Sales Management University * 1903 Ashwood Ct. Suite C Greensboro, North Carolina 27455 * 800-633-7762
  4. 4. FINDING WINNERS The Four Insider Secrets To Sales Success T here are four questions that must be asked consistently in the hiring, managing, training, coaching and retention of enough? Are they organized and structured... or are they a loose cannon? Yes, personality does have a lot to do with sales success. There are probably a hundred more! • Positive expectancy effective salespeople. These key questions are However, it may not play as big a role as some • Belief in self and product at the very center of a person’s ability to have traditionally believed it does. • Ability to think on one’s feet perform to any meaningful degree of sales • Product knowledge performance. Here they are: • Time Management skills “Will this person sell?” is a function of attitude • Neat, contemporary appearance and the real accelerator of sales performance. • Ability to deal with rejection I Can this person sell? Is a person a self-starter or do you have to • Strong problem solving capacity II How will this person sell? jumpstart their every effort? Can they deal with • Courage to ask for the order III Will this person sell? rejection? How about long hours? What is their • Strong interpersonal skills IV Why would this person choose to sell? attitude toward sales as a profession? Do they • Empathy view it as a necessary evil? Do they enjoy it? • Balanced communication Whether it is selling a service, selling trucks, How well do they handle stress? In the final • Conversational skills cars, computers or lingerie, the same three analysis, the sum total of these beliefs and • Strong ego questions always apply. They never change! many more will ultimately determine if a • Self-starting ability person will sell long term. They can even • Perseverance override a lack of selling skills, industry know- • Listening skills Why is that the case? In over 20 years of in- how or even interpersonal weakness. • Emotional maturity depth research, we have concluded that there • Physical stamina is a definitive formula for sales performance. • Resiliency The single most important question, however, • Selling Skill is this one: Why would a person choose to sell Is there any wonder why effective, productive • Behavioral Strengths in the first place? Simply put, it is this: What a salespeople are so tough to find, train, retain • Attitudinal Structure person is most interested in and inspired by, and motivate? Customer focused, positive and • Personal Interests & Values they will choose to do. By the same token the responsive salespeople are the most essential more enthused, interested and excited they are ingredient to your long-term success. Invest about something, the more diligently and the time, money, energy and effort to do the The answer to “Can this person sell?” is consistently they will work at it. This is true for following: determined by the level of selling skills and any profession. However, it is especially true knowledge that a salesperson possesses. What of sales where rejection is high, failure is • Attract the best this means is that a person could have a constant reality, work levels are demanding • Select them carefully pleasing personality and the most positive and the requirements for success severe. In the • Train them correctly attitude in the world - and still not be able to final analysis, this is, perhaps, the most • Manage them with vision sell. You have seen it and I have seen it. important question of the four. • Create a positive, customer-focused and Perhaps more often than we care to admit! The truth is that selling anything requires highly charged environment and... certain skills and a solid grasp of the • Get out of their way and let them sell! All of that aside, what are some of the most To sample a free assessment, click here. knowledge and principles related to the commonly agreed upon characteristics that are Remember that selling is a very personal, one- science of selling. most critical to sales success? Let’s take a look on-one activity. It will always require at a quick checklist of twenty of the most effective, caring and competent salespeople. “How will this person sell?” is answered essential. Don’t ever believe - otherwise you’ll never be behaviorally. Is a particular salesperson “too able to offer most products through a vending pushy?” Not pushy machine!Sales Management University * 1903 Ashwood Ct. Suite C Greensboro, North Carolina 27455 * 800-633-7762
  5. 5. What Makes A Winner? The 80-20 Rule ExpandedT he well-known 80-20 rule (Pareto Principle) applies perfectly to sales simply this: they have and use the winner’s edge of customer-focused, value-based answer that raises an even more important question: How does any salesperson awakenforces, but we have discovered a little selling. In other words, they possess and use a prospect’s interest and convince people itknown corollary to it. Simply stated, the the power to convince people to buy. is to their advantage to invest time inbasic rule is that 80 percent of all sales are listening to a sales presentation?produced by only 20 percent of the If all things are equal within your niche, thensalespeople. That truism applies to most the Salesforce with the most IMPACT will There are countless techniques that couldareas of human endeavor and has spurred enjoy the most success. Let’s now find out give you someone’s attention long enough tomany people to success in a wide range of more about what customer impact is, rattle off a traditional sales pitch. Remember,enterprises. discover how it can give you the winner’s though, techniques are for short-range goals. edge and learn how to get it. To succeed for a long-range career, you mustYet, as powerful as its message is, we ground your attention-getting methods ondiscovered a startling enhancement to that Why Customer Impact Works principles. We have developed fourrule when we found that: principles that make the answer to the “what A great way to understand customer impact is the difference?” question absolutely clear:More than 60 percent of all sales are made is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. To learn about the IMPACT system, click here.by the top five percent of all salespeople. Here is one scenario that is easy to envision: Customers IMPACT Principle #1: We pay attention to people we believe haveWe wondered why that was true and began Your doorbell rings, you answer it and something important to tell us.asking salespeople we worked with, “Why discover it is a salesperson who wants tois it that more than 60 percent of all the sales come in and show you a miraculous new can The beginning of high customer impact inare made by the top five percent of all opener that can be yours for a phenomenally your career will come with your capacity tosalespeople?” We got a wide spectrum of low price. You are courteous, but you convince people that what you have to say isanswers. Some typical ones were: quickly get rid of that salesperson. If he or important to them. Your customers live in a she gets pushy, you might even speak world where they are continually bombarded“They’ve got products that are in great abruptly and slam the door. by people who claim to have somethingdemand,” some would say. “They’ve got important to say to them. Your challenge isgood territories,” others answered. “They Yet, later that evening an insurance to convince them.just work harder,” confessed some. “Some salesperson keeps an appointment with you,are born lucky” was a common response. and you spend more than an hour soaking up Again, put yourself in a customer’s shoes: every word of the presentation. When it isWe have found studies that refute every one over, you obligate yourself to spend All day long, people are trying to gain yourof those claims. Most salespeople in the top thousands of times what you would have attention. The boss wants you to hear or readfive percent would do well selling almost spent on the can opener. instructions; family members want you to doanything, almost anywhere, and they often things for them; friends and neighbors havework fewer hours than most of the sales- What is the difference? Why is it that we ideas they want to share; television,people in the bottom 20 percent. will listen intently to everything one person newspapers, and radio blitz you with appeals says, while we will not give another the time to buy things. You live in a never endingThe studies found that the true answer to of day? The obvious answer is that you were barrage of hype. Communications expertswhy the top five percent of all salespeople more interested in insurance than you were have found the typical American receiveshave become the real champions in selling is in a can opener. Yet, that is only a surface about 1,800
  6. 6. messages a day that press for some form of This blind spot in salespeople’s attitudes often information about a product, service, oraction. That totals 9,000 messages in one results in a preoccupation with handling company that interests us. We will asknormal work week, and you are only one of objections. Traditional sales training has questions about things we don’t understand.those messages. preached that we should continually read, We will even welcome some gentle study, and practice techniques to “overcome persuasion to help us make up our minds. Yet,Americans have learned to tune out most of objections,” rather than find out how to the moment we feel someone is trying tothis stream of unwanted messages. We have connect with what the customer needs and manipulate, intimidate or dominate us, ourlearned to filter out all but those messages we how we can supply it. The top five percent of defenses take over and we prepare to put up athink are important to us. In order to be the selling profession always remembers WII- good fight. Tricky selling maneuvers are ansuccessful, salespeople must have the capacity FM and continually broadcast that they know invasion of personal space and propriety andto break through those thousands of other how to help people get what they need or people will defend their personal space almostmessages and convince a prospect that what want. to their death.they have to say really matters to him or her.How can that be done? Though the process of A single-minded focus on this one concept, True sales champions know that when abreaking through listening barriers involves that of viewing yourself as a needs-fulfiller for salesperson and a customer get locked into amany steps, we have found another impact every prospect, will easily place you in the top war of the wills, the salesperson always loses.principle that provides a basis for the process: five percent. That insight is important enough The emphasis must remain on helping to rephrase as a vital principle: prospects make the decision to buy, never onCustomer IMPACT Principle #2: selling. When you are meeting someone’sPeople buy for their own reasons; not for Nothing else can give you more customer needs, you never trigger negative emotions,yours or mine. impact than knowing how to direct every instead you become a welcome aide. appeal to the prospect’s self-interests.Champion salespeople know that prospects Customer IMPACT Principle #4:typically could not care less if they have a That leads us to the next vital insight into what Buying is basically an emotional response.chance to win a trip to Hawaii, or a new car, gives a salesperson impact:or even a yacht. We all have an inner radio The two most fundamental reasons any of usthat is pre-tuned to pick up only one station- Customer IMPACT Principle #3: buy anything are the desire for gain and theWII-FM. That stands for What’s In It For Me? People do not want to be sold; they want to fear of loss. We buy because we hope to gainEvery prospect you call on has his or her own buy. something from the purchase or because weneeds, interests, and desires and the only place want to avoid a loss we are currentlythey hear ads about how to fulfill them is on Have you ever noticed that when someone experiencing or expect may occur. Buying isWII-FM. proudly displays a purchase they are pleased primarily an emotional response. with that the most common expression is, “IDuring training experiences with thousands of bought it from...?” It is only when we are Our purchases may be guided by commonsalespeople, we have observed that the unhappy with a purchase we have made that sense and reason. We may temper ourgreatest single selling error occurs when we say, “That XYZ Company sold this trash to purchases by logic. We may be delayed bysalespeople consistently fail to broadcast their me!” In a crowded niche market, a few conflicting interests. Yet, what causes us tomessages over their prospects’ personal customers making statements like that will sign on the dotted line is emotion. Thatstation, WII-FM. Salespeople who use quickly ruin your reputation. principle suggests several important aspectstraditional selling techniques broadcast in a of customer impact that we should consider.buyer blind spot, focusing on why they want People resent feeling coerced, manipulated, orto sell, instead of who would want to buy what tricked into doing or buying anything. We willthey’re selling. We will listen to, and even appreciate,
  7. 7. First, it suggests that people buy benefits forthemselves, not features, products, services, Person Versus Personalitynor even corporate reputations. They are uccess at value-based, customer-focused simply ventured forth armed with a smile, aseeking benefits that will fulfill their desirefor gain or protect them from the loss they S selling requires deeper personal qualities than merely having a good sales strong handshake and a case full of product samples and literature. Ironically today’sfear. personality. Yet, personality has often been highly-competitive markets have evenSecond, it suggests that a strong empathy for mistakenly used as the key issue by sales outdated the question, “Will they sell?”the customer is absolutely vital for success managers when hiring new salespeople. Thein selling. Since buying decisions always common belief is that if a person meets a Intelligence And Personalityinvolve emotions, you must be intuitively certain personality profile, they will be ableinsightful into what the prospect is feeling. to sell. Today, the crucial question to answer in finding successful value-based, customer-Third, it means that you must be the sort of Naturally, when you are screening new focused salespeople is, “Will they sell oursalesperson with whom people enjoy doing candidates, a question that should be in your products in this environment?” Now we havebusiness. During an emotional experience, mind is, “Can they sell?” The answer to that become very specific. Just because someoneno one needs a salesperson pushing more question is: almost everyone can sell. can sell a low-price, high-volume commodityinto the flood they already feel. Mastering the mechanics of value-based item doesn’t mean they can sell big-ticket, selling is easily within the capacity of most long-term, low-volume items to a very high-Your customer impact will rise sharply people and we have seen successful level market. Our research has shownwhen you put your heart into your work. salespeople with practically every conclusively that intelligence has to beLearn how to connect with your customers’ personality type under the sun. Personality, considered as a crucial quality in addition tofeelings and how to help them find and by itself, has little to do with selling unless it personality when determining how someonefulfill their desires or overcome their fears. represents some dreadfully repulsive or will sell in a specific environment.Benjamin Franklin stated it best when he negative behavior.said: Our research has revealed that in most sales With that knowledge, you need to ask a fields the intelligence level of the salespeople“In persuasion, talk of emotion, not different question about your candidates than fits into a relatively small band on the IQreason?’ whether they can sell. A better question to scale. For example, with our clients who sell ask is, “Will they sell?” This is where we a demand product on a repetitive basis toCustomer impact is the ability to gain and start to see a significant separation. While relatively unsophisticated buyers, their tophold the attention of the right people and to nearly everyone can sell, not everyone will. sales performers fall in the 40th to the 60thinfluence them to buy. It is your capacity to Many people simply have no interest in percentile in intelligence scores. With clientsget people to filter your message out of the sales. Some may be too lazy or undisciplined selling complex, highly expensive products9,000 others they will hear during their work to put forth the effort required to close sales exceeding several million dollars the topweek and eventually follow your lead in a while others may lack the clarity of focus performers fall into the 70th to the 90thbuying decision. toward key values that is necessary for sales percentile level. success. And some simply do not valueIf you do that, you will make more money, selling as a profession. Though few selling environments require ahave more control over your life and gain Mensa Society member to be able to sell thegreater recognition in selling than in nearly You can, however, identify and hire products, a high IQ can be an importantany profession available to you. Having high candidates who will sell, yet even that is not attribute. However, one role of salescustomer impact is the dominant factor that the ultimate question you need answered. managers is to properly match intelligenceseparates the winners from the losers in the The willingness to sell, by itself may have levels withselling profession. been enough in the days when salespeople
  8. 8. the demands of his or her specific what appeared to be an outgoing, glittering, They like to take time to think. She wasenvironment. For instance, in an powerful personality, only to discover six driving them nuts. “While she apparently fitenvironment selling very basic products, a months later that they could not perform? the classic mold of traditional salespeople, itsalesperson with an exceptionally high IQ What you see in those cases is the true was all based on personality. The personmight become bored while repeatedly person emerging from the personality. All inside was not well-suited for connectingmaking the same simple sales presentation to things being equal, personality is driven by deeply with people who specialize in veryapprentice buyers. That same high IQ needs. While that’s true, inner person is personal, very human problems.”salesperson, however, could easily find long- driven by their value structure.term satisfaction and success selling Forget About “Born” Salespeoplecomplex products that require complicated Here’s a good story that illustrates thetransactions with bright and demanding importance of value structure over Never again can you hire someone who has aexecutives. intelligence and personality in sales success. good personality or who someone swears is a A close associate of mine was contacted “born salesperson?’ To build a salesforceWhile intelligence is an important factor to recently by a collection services company that will succeed into the 21st Century, youconsider, personality will, nonetheless, play that was in a panic over a saleswoman who must advance to the next higher level. Thea role in sales success at all levels of selling. was about to ruin their business. Here is the sales personality is just as outdated as theObviously, a salesperson with a drab, story in his words: old-school techniques we have warned younegative and introverted personality would to retire.find little success in selling lavish vacation “The collection company was terriblypackages to the Mediterranean. And confused. For them, recruiting this woman The personality required for long-range salesnaturally, a salesperson with a superficial, had been a real coup. She had long been success in today’s crowded market is highlyglib personality would win the trust of few Number One in sales for a copier company. variable; the person is not. How somebodyprospects who were concerned with the After years at the top of this fast-paced sets priorities, what they value most and theirdetailed data of complex financial market, she had tired of its tempo. When she empathy for their fellow human beings istransactions. began looking to switch to a more even- what will ultimately drive sales performance. tempered market, her search did not take Any reasonably intelligent person can masterThe Key Attribute For Sales Success long. With her outstanding credentials, the value-based selling. It is not the steps that collection company hired her immediately?” trip them up, it is their attitude.Though personality and intelligence clearlyare important factors in sales success, the “But nothing went right. This woman not While nearly anyone can learn thepersonal attribute that truly drives long-term only had terrible sales performance, but the mechanical steps, achieving long-termsales performance is the value structure of collection company’s clients actually hated success in sales requires the right person.the salesperson. How someone perceives and her. They were calling the office in droves, Filling your salesforce with the right kind ofestablishes priorities relates directly to their with comments like ‘Get her out of our face, people will answer the most importantsales performance. Long-term success or lose our business forever!” question for you as a sales manager: Willdepends upon how a salesperson sees the they sell our products in this environment?world of selling, how they see themselves in “When they called me, I met with her tothat world and how they prioritize the administer our assessments. After reviewing The good news is that we have now givenmultitude of demands that will be made on her results, I knew immediately that she was you what it takes to perform in today’sthem by today’s highly crowded selling wrong for the job. The copier market is very crowded market. Developed by The Brooksenvironments. hard charging. In contrast, the collection Group, IMPACT Selling and all its agency dealt mostly with hospitals, principles will equipHow many times have you added someone which is a very soft, easy-going market.to your salesforce who had
  9. 9. you for long-range, successful performance. attention he knew they wanted. The key to and intense competition will continue. TheYour remaining challenge is to fill your Jerry’s success was that his value structure difference between the long-term winnerssalesforce with people whose value enabled him to intuitively know when and and the also-rans lies in the sales strategiesstructures match what needs to be done. what to do. Whatever someone sets as a they employ. Success in the 21st Century priority, they will tend to do. Keep that and beyond will be simple but not easy: itPerson Versus Personality truism in mind as you read these personal will rely on value-based, needs-focused attributes while factoring in the special selling.Here’s a story that shows the significance of requirements of your specific market nicheperson over personality in sales success: and products. Also, keep your own and your It is my wish that the concepts and salesforce’s individual attributes in mind, techniques I’ve given you here will be asI worked with a man named Jerry who was carefully noting crossover attributes that may powerfully effective for you as they haveone of the first people I know to use a fax help you identify an unusual strategy like been for the thousands of others whom wemachine to close sales. As a person, he was Jerry’s that taps unique attribute have trained. Here is a final adage that sumstremendous at building trust. Jerry also had combinations in your salesforce. up the most important factor in achievingan exceptional sense of timing; he was the long-term sales success:Smokey The Bear of sales: He could sense The new world of niche selling promisesa close before it even came. The many challenges and great rewards. Niche New ideas will never work unless youcombination of the two attributes made him selling is not merely a wave of the future; it do.a powerful closer. is the reality of the present. Crowded The challenge is yours. So are the markets, demanding buyers, price sensitivity opportunities... seize them.When Jerry sensed the prospect was ready To complete your own free assessment, click here.to buy, he acted as if they had already toldhim “yes” and offered to fax his office rightthere on the spot to get confirmation of their TRAINING WINNERSorder. His sense of timing was so perfectthat he did not want to let the moment pass, Aligning Your Marketing Strategiesso he would say, “Let me do this, let’s writethis up now and fax it into our office, soyou will have immediate confirmation.” Hisprospects were so favorably impressed by M any companies have salespeople running all over the country while the Any sales or marketing strategy can be either focused or diffused. The key to alignment isthe offer of an instant confirmation from the right hand (sales) does not know what the left for sales and marketing to both work fromwarehouse that they rarely resisted further. hand (marketing) is doing. Marketing usually the same focused strategy. Success cannot be operates in one area, sales in another, and expected if a misalignment occurs betweenThis method would never work with the never the twain shall meet. The two never two departments with ineffective, diffusedstereotyped, traditional sales personality. If talk to each other. They are not in sync. They strategies. Here are the distinctions betweena salesperson had not built trust and rapport, are not aligned. When that occurs in a focused and diffused strategies:it could appear extremely pushy. If the crowded marketplace, your sales willprospect still had lingering doubts or was flounder. The sales staff has to carry the FOCUSED STRATEGYbeginning to feel trapped, this tactic could marketing banner. There has to be • Clearly definedeasily feel like the lid was slamming down consistency. When the two are aligned, the • Well-knownon “the kill.” Instead, Jerry made the resulting consistency always produces • Acceptedcustomer feel significant by giving their improved sales. As a survey conducted byorder the high-priority instant Learning International revealed, alignment is DIFFUSED STRATEGY a real challenge for sales managers to • Unclear address. • Unknown • Not accepted
  10. 10. Of course, any strategy has to be customer- be focused. Clearly, this is the most accepted both inside and outside of yourfocused to succeed, but it also must be effective combination. It is also possible for organization, then your company isplainly identifiable and be complete with either one to be focused while the other one DOOMED to failure. Your company willtraining mechanisms for your staff. diffused. Finally, the worst case scenario, disappear in the crowded marketplaces of the both strategies can be diffused. 21st Century failure due to misalignment isIdentifying a successful, clearly-defined not something new, but has been a fact ofsales strategy will naturally be of no use if it Here is a matrix that graphically illustrates business life for centuries. We have merelyis not known, or accepted by your salesforce. the four possible combinations of marketing given it a name and a place in our matrix.Once you train your entire salesforce, then and sales strategies: On the left side of theyour strategy will have the second element Strategy Matrix chart you see the two Finding companies to study where marketingof being well-known. possible sales strategies. Then, across the and sales are both diffused is difficult top of the chart, we have placed the two because they do not last long. We won’tAn important third element is that your sales possible marketing strategies. The bother including examples of that lose-losestaff also accepts the plan you use. It is our intersections of each heading in the matrix combination. If you want to read about somehope that the demonstrated successes we correspond to the predicted outcome of on your own, check your local courthouse forhave seen with IMPACT Selling will give using one of the four possible combinations. the latest Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.you an easy job of convincing your We will now individually examine each ofsalespeople of its value. Once your staff these four possibilities, providing anecdotes Focused Marketing Strategy Andaccepts IMPACT Selling, then you will to illustrate each situation. Diffused Sales Strategyhave all three elements of a focused sales Result: Conflict And Low Salesstrategy. Diffused Marketing And Diffused Sales Strategy In greater abundance are companies whereThe Strategy Alignment Matrix Result: Failure their marketing strategy is focused while their sales strategy is diffused. The mostThe possible strategies a company’s Box number one shows that if neither your notable characteristics of this commonmarketing and sales departments may company’s marketing strategy nor its sales situation are internal, corporate. conflict andemploy can be depicted in four ways. First, strategy are clearly defined, well-known and low sales. They may plod along for years,both the marketing and sales strategies can but their misalignment will ensure they never prosper. MARKETING STRATEGY In these companies, marketing has done a terrific job of identifying prospects and may well have developed strategies that bring DIFFUSED FOCUSED customers through the door in droves. Their problem, which they usually cannot DIFFUSED understand, is why sales are not being FAILURE MARGINAL closed. Internal corporate conflict develops SUCCESS SALES and relations between sales and marketing STRATEGY rapidly deteriorate to finger-pointing and accusations. CONFLICT/ LONG- FOCUSED LOW RANGE The well-focused marketing department in SALES SUCCESS one of these companies usually believes they are saddled with the worst sales department
  11. 11. in the world. While it may appear that way strategy that had served him well for years, company in this category may stay infrom their side of the fence because the right but it met the needs of buyers who were business for years and be a well-knowncustomers are being reached, the real more economy-minded. His former brand name because they will usuallyproblem lies with upper management. They prospects had a completely different view of maintain moderate success. Still, their lackhave not ensured that both strategies are value in an automobile than Jim’s new of alignment will never allow them to enteraligned. Porsche prospects. Once we pointed out the the top 20 percent.To learn more about this matrix, click here. misalignment, the sales manager workedHere is a story that provides a good example with Jim so that he changed his selling The obvious question, “Why do theseof how misalignment of even a single strategy to fit in with Porsche’s marketing companies survive better than when thesalesperson can hurt sales performance: We strategy. Shortly thereafter, Jim’s sales misalignment is in the other direction?” Thatconsulted with a car dealership that was performance jumped dramatically. question has a simple answer: goodhaving trouble with a new salesman named salespeople can sell anything! I have done it;Jim. His poor performance was a surprise to Here is a truism that I have emphasized to you have done it. When you turn a goodthe sales manager because Jim had been the countless sales managers: sales staff loose with a good product andsales leader at a nearby Toyota dealer. For good product training, they will make sales.years, he had set regional records and bad a The company and the salesperson both Salespeople who are well-trained can maketremendous impact on the success of the need to understand the power of things happen.dealer. In fact, Jim had used his exceptional positioning by alignment, and theperformance to leverage his career, salesperson needs to understand the Companies that rely on the natural instinctsadvancing to our client, a Porsche power of personal positioning by and capabilities of its sales people willdealership. Once at his new job, though, his alignment. experience limited success, but continuallyperformance suddenly dropped and a deep fall short of their long-range goals.conflict developed between Jim and his sales Though the Porsche sales manager had a Eventually customers tire of pushy salesmanager. good sales strategy, it was not well-known pitches. Or worse, one of those customer- to Jim. You can see in our Strategy Matrix focused, “top 20 percenters” arrives on theJim had a finely-honed sales strategy of his that this put them in the box where conflict scene.own which gave him great confidence. reigns. Had this former Toyota salesmanHowever, his poor closing rate led his immediately focused on the needs of his new We saw a great example of this in our ownmanager to question Jim’s talents. The sales customers, he would have automatically offices with a saleswoman who called here.manager did not believe that Porsche’s realigned himself personally with the well- She worked for a collection service agencymarketing strategy was at fault. focused Porsche marketing strategy. and came in to see if we needed what she was offering. We let her proceed because weClearly, Porsche’s marketing strategy was Diffused Marketing Strategy And were eager to see what would happen.well-focused. They were masterful at Focused Sales Strategytargeting prospects who might buy high-end, Result: Marginal Success Initially, she asked a couple of politehigh-performance luxury cars. It was equally questions, but only because somebody hadevident that Jim was a top-notch Let’s examine box number two on the grid trained her to do so. Then she began to pitchprofessional. and describe another type of company that her product in the classic sense. She was a floods the ranks of the bottom 80 percent stereotypical, high-energy salesperson andThe immediate problem at this dealer was group, and as such merely gets by. probably could have sold a fan in a windthat the sales manager had not aligned his storm. Seemingly, she was on a roll.new hire with Porsche’s marketing strategy. When marketing and sales are out ofThe missing element was that the Porsche alignment in this direction, we always find About halfway through her well rehearsedsales strategy was not yet known or accepted marginal success and marginal pitch, she stopped, looked me straight in theby Jim. Jim had continued using a sales profits at best, but little or no growth. A eye and said, “If everything looks good to
  12. 12. you today, Mr. Brooks, is there any reason developed in tandem from the ground up, they adopted that strategy then store buyerswhy we couldn’t do business today?” I knew with both focused squarely on the needs of would readily see that No-Nonsense offers aimmediately that she had been through your prospective customers. better value.extensive though outdated sales training. ButI knew just as well that her company did not Your sales strategy has to be linked with The struggles of No-Nonsense in the hosieryhave a focused marketing strategy. Clearly marketing to leverage the advantages and industry are a classic example of the internalthey had made no marketing efforts to find opportunities that develop as a result of the conflicts we always find when marketing isprospects who needed their services. advertising of your products or services. focused and the sales department is not Linkage will be difficult unless the two aligned with that marketing. Here’s a truismThis story shows why I see alignment as an strategies are developed concurrently. you can bank on: price alone is rarely a keyextension of leverage. Her company’s factor in buying decisions. Instead, the keydiffused marketing strategy had put her in a The power of alignment can be illustrated by factor in any buying decision is the perceivedposition where she was not making the most comparing two prominent companies in the value to be gained by the buyer. Perceivedeffective use of her time, talent or resources. lady’s hosiery business. Industry leader value is why companies with the highestShe was simply going about a dally routine, L’eggs, with a focused marketing strategy priced products and services in manyhoping for something to happen. and a focused sales strategy, has a solid lock industries often garner most of the market. on the top spot, despite having higher pricesI see the problem of a diffused marketing than competitors. This piqued our curiosity, We continually see lower-priced competitorsstrategy and focused sales strategy so we studied their success. Here is what we scratching their collective heads incapsulated in an aphorism that has been found: amazement at how they are continuallyaround for years: beaten, though they offer the same product at At L’eggs, both marketing and sales are a lower price. People rarely buy products;You may need to take whatever comes well-focused, targeting the high-end of the they buy value and most are willing to pay aalong, but you also have to go after market. No-Nonsense is number two in the fair price for the value they receive.whatever you want. industry though they clearly beat L’eggs on price. No-Nonsense has a focused marketingYour path toward getting whatever you want strategy that targets the same high-endbegins when both your company’s marketing customers as L’eggs, yet their salespeoplestrategy and its sales strategy are aligned. always push price because they do not LeverageOnly then will you experience success believe they can compete with L’eggs.through long-range growth and high profits.Let’s now look at the alignment order that The expectation of the No-Nonsense sales s a concept, leverage is nothing new inwill put you in that top 20 percent ofsalespeople, tapping you into 80 percent of reps seem to continually come true but not for the reasons they imagine. The true I business. The traditional concept of leverage, however, only encompassessales. problem is that No-Nonsense salespeople maximizing your time, talent and resources. mainly push their price advantage overFocused Marketing Strategy And L’eggs, which is in direct conflict with the At The Brooks Group, we have refined theFocused Sales Strategy marketing thrust of No-Nonsense. If the traditional idea of leverage by stressing thatResult: Long-Range Success buyers were looking solely for discount for leverage to work properly, it needs to be hosiery, they could get even better deals applied against the right fulcrum and that itThis is the master key to long-range success from generic products. No-Nonsense should must lift the right object. In the sales world,in the crowded marketplaces of the 21st instead focus their salespeople where their leverage means using your time, talent,Century and beyond. Your marketing marketing is on delivering a high-qualitystrategy and sales strategy need to be product to those customers who demand it. If
  13. 13. resources or advantages to deliver maximum resources and energy in the lives of or energies will be overrun by bettervalue to your customers. people I had grown up with. Those who disciplined competitors. Leveraged invested their lives were easy to spot, it was salespeople are those who do the rightTo be successful, your leverage has to visible in their body language even from things, at the right time, in the right place,be adaptable to fit specific prospects and across the room. When I met them and we with the right people for the right reasons.customers. You will use your strengths to talked, it became even more clear that theyhelp them apply your products or services to had invested their lives wisely, in return Spotting The Time-Wasterscreate maximum value. earning the dividends of success and happiness in abundance. Here are some tips that will help you spotBefore you can implement leverage as a the classic activities in which salespeoplesales tool, you must create each of the three Most of my classmates were clearly only either spend or waste their time:elements of leverage. You must create the part of the crowd. They were average, thoselever and the fulcrum then place your in the middle of the bell curve. It is hard to • Meeting with prospects who have nofulcrum in your selected niche market. The distinguish between those who had spent need, ability or authority to buy nor havethird element - the object you will raise - is what and those who wasted it because either any sense of urgency.customer value. The fulcrum itself - what may have received nothing in return. Using • Spending excessive time gettingyou apply opposing pressure against - is your this large middle group as an analogy to organized instead of systematicallycompetition. What, then, is the lever itself? It companies, these are the ones who get by employing a proven plan.is you and your salesforce. day-to-day, yet never prosper. • Working with prospects whose demographic characteristics areYou Are The Lever In Leverage Classmates at the other end of the bell curve, inconsistent with those of the most those who had abused their lives, were as common customers within your niche.The actual amount of time, resources and easy to spot as those at the top. Alcohol and • Horizontal prospecting (the shotgunenergy we have are finite, yet the way we use drugs had often been their best friends, approach) instead of vertically integratingwhat we have can dramatically change the turning them into the human equivalent of your product or service into existingeffective amount of each. At a recent high bankrupt companies. clients, customers or markets.school reunion, I saw a terrific illustration of To learn how to manage your time, click here.the ways different people get different How Does Your Company Stack Up? Sounds like standard sales practices, doesn’teffective results from a commodity they all it? That’s because very few salespeoplehave in relatively equal amounts. While Most likely your company has people in all employ value-based leverage. Most “old-there, I observed four ways that my four categories as well. The spenders have school” selling programs focus only onclassmates had used their time, resources and limited selling skills and are hard at work decreasing price, concentrating on only halfenergies over the last quarter century. With making cold calls. The wasters are the time- the equation by making deals like tradersour time, talent and resources, each of us is wasters, those who are experts at clock- on the floor of a commodity exchange.free to: watching techniques. The abusers are those who complain and sulk about failures, Properly applying leverage in sales, i.e.,INVEST: For which we get a return. blaming outside circumstances for their using your time, talent, resources orSPEND: For which we may get little or troubles and often turning to alcohol or advantages to deliver maximum value to nothing in return. drugs for comfort. your customers, will:WASTE: For which we get nothing in return. Naturally, for long-range success, we must • Position you favorably with other majorABUSE: For which we suffer a loss. be in the top category. We must be investors. players in your market niche. In the 21st Century, any business that • Distinguish you in the marketplace asI saw these four ways of using time, spends, wastes, or abuses its time, resources, someone your prospects can trust.
  14. 14. • Maximize your sales opportunities by figures for your products and in your middle of the exhaust port on the Death Star. identifying the right people to see and prospect’s industry. Luke and his rag-tag Rebel forces succeeded when to see them. • Familiarity with the demographics and because of leverage. With enough leverage• Prove the advantages of your product, geographies of your territory. you can do anything. service or company to your prospects. • The procedures and policies of your• Raise the value of your products to the key company and your prospect’s company; prospects in your market. the “ins and outs.” Listen People • Marketplace know-how such as trends,In today’s crowded markets, if you do notserve your customers with the power of shifts, history, emerging players and economic forces. Into Buyingmaximum leverage, rest assured someone • Networking experience that includeselse will. It is central to your success that you formal and informal relationships within he best way to boost your customeruse these key elements to leverage your time,talent and resources: • market niches and trade associations. A long-range, macro view of the T impact is to cultivate an empathy for the customer and to understand his or marketplace and a longitudinal view of her needs, interests, and desires, and to• Learn all you can about your market niche, future needs. know how to get them what they want. I its needs, competitive factors and current • Common mistakes made in the past by based that idea on the wisdom I learned delivery systems. other salespeople within your niche such from an inspirational salesman who taught• Realize that there is a finite limit to the as poor service, growing too rapidly or me the greatest secret of success in selling: actual amount of time, talent, resources taking customers for granted. and energy you have, but that leverage • A realistic assessment of how much time The Greatest Secret In Selling: will increase their effective amount. you can devote to new accounts without Show people what they want most, and they• Deliver effective solutions that fulfill degrading the quality of your service to will move heaven and earth to get it! specific needs of prospects in your market existing accounts. niche. • Current profitable accounts, so you can That secret comes from an anonymous identify new prospects in your territory by source and was first revealed in print byOnce you employ each of these elements, comparing them to the ones you now serve Frank Bettger, who learned it from an “oldyou will no longer be forced to act as a successfully. timer.” Mr. Bettger used its power to makecommodity trader. Instead, you and your • What has traditionally been the single best more than a million dollars in selling duringsales staff will become value-based source of your most productive accounts the early years of this century.professionals delivering much needed in the past.services to a service-hungry market niche. • The needs your customers and prospects I will show you an easy-to-follow have that you can help them fill better than plan that will put the greatest secret inKnowledge - The Raw Materials Of anyone else. selling to work for you: Listen people intoLeverage buying instead of talking your way out of Once this information gathering is complete, the sale.Knowledge-gathering is the dirty work of your efforts will become highly effective.sales leverage, but nothing else will happen if And effective you must be, for there will be Measure Your Prospects - Don’t Justyou do not possess the raw materials. Before no time to go back after near-misses. Your Size Them Upyou and your sales staff can become effectiveness must make you the laser-guidedinstruments of leverage, your knowledge missiles of the sales world. One of the best ways to leverage your timemust include a well-versed understanding of: is never to waste any of it “peddling” When you become a lever forged from all something that your customer does not want• Products and services offered by your your knowledge, skills and confidence, you or need. company and your competitors. will succeed as Luke Skywalker did in Star• Pricing information and financial facts and Wars when he put the missile right down the
  15. 15. You can avoid chasing such a dead end only walk - to the nearest exit. Sometimes it helps the prospect wants and the conditions underif you listen to your customer talk about his to look at a ludicrous example like this one to which the person will buy what you areor her needs. In other words, listen your way detect a fatal flaw in out-dated selling selling. It keeps you from wasting time onto a sale. I will use one of my favorite patterns. Many salespeople trained in prospects who will not buy what you arepersonal stories for an example. traditional selling techniques are just that selling under any conditions. More insensitive. Retold at one of your sales importantly, it uncovers needs you can meetImagine that your investigation has turned up meetings, this story may serve to illustrate to and ways to suggest how to meet them.a client who needs medical help. Then, in the your staff the importance of Probing for yourMeeting phase with that client, you built a customers’ needs. Skillful listening is an Measuring means to identify, clarify, andsolid trust relationship with him or her. If you excellent way to avoid seeming insensitive express your customers’ wants or needs.then switch on the traditional sales pitch for toward your customers’ needs. Many people have only a vague feeling thatyour best deal on your company’s latest hot they want something but do not have theproduct, it may go like this story I often tell: The Fatal Flaw In Selling foggiest idea what it is. Others may have a deep desire they have never even admittedDoctors are great illustrations of service- As sales consultants, we train thousands of themselves. Some may think they want oneproviders who are expert at Probing; salespeople every year. Our observations thing, when what they really want issometimes more so than anybody likes. repeatedly show that most salespeople talk something entirely different. Still othersNevertheless, picture what could happen if their way out of more sales than they talk their know exactly what they want but do notdoctors acted in the role of old-school way into. know how to get it.salespeople? If your doctor did not probe, youmight walk into an office one day and be Salespeople who subscribe to the “jawbone Skillful and sensitive probing benefits bothgreeted with a scenario like this: theory” of selling lose many sales they could you and your customers. It leverages your“Boy, are you in luck today!” he says. make if they focused more on what their selling time, making you more productive, prospects want or need. Pushing the latest and it helps the customer get something that“I don’t feel so lucky… my head hurts like advances in their company’s product line will everyone needs: value. Probing allows you tocrazy!” you respond. never reveal a customer’s need and always avoid the amateurish technique of holding up runs the risk of sounding like the pushy doctor one product after another and asking, “Is this“Know why you’re so lucky?” he asks, in my story. it?” Also, probing will make you a highlyignoring your comment. “We’re running a respected professional rendering a valuableblock-busting close-out on artificial hears... Probing Gives You More Power service to your clients, a service for whichgetting ready for the new models!” you can expect to be paid very well. Finally, Probing is at the very core of any customer- it will separate you from your competitors“But, Doc,” you protest, “it’s my head that focused, value-based selling system. When who are pitching price, features instead ofhurts, not my heart.” you probe, you look beneath the surface to benefits and value. discover and reveal what is really going on in To improve your communication skills, click here.“Yes, sir! I can fix you up with this Super the prospect’s mind and heart. Probing also will improve your leverage. ThePumper model, that’s loaded with options, scenario above, of holding up product afterfor an unbelievably low price. In fact, it’s a The dictionary defines a probe as an product, not only makes you look amateurish,40 percent savings. Besides, it’s all covered instrument used to penetrate, usually for but wastes your time. You do not haveby your insurance. Could I schedule you for investigating or measuring. As an action verb, enough hours in a week to travel throughinstallation Tuesday or would Thursday be to probe means to interview, to ask questions today’s crowded marketplaces without a cluemore convenient for you?” and listen, to observe, to study, as to what prospects need. Carefully probing leverages your precious prime-time sellingIf you are like most of us you would run - not Investigation enables you to discover what hours.
  16. 16. of us are highly unlikely to come up with a well with others is not the effective customerPrinciples - new killer sales technique and even if we did, impact. I have met salespeople who were it wouldn’t be long before massive overuse thoroughly likeable but could not sell iceBased Selling would make it trite. water in a desert. The prospect making a buying decision must trust that you are The only sales plans that will enjoy long- sincerely interested in fulfilling their needsV alue-based selling is not a technique, it is a principle. Techniques serve short- range success are ones based on principles instead of techniques. People will always buy and that they are getting a good value. what they want or need, but clever, tricky The ancient Greeks gave us a word thatrange goals and must be altered continually sales techniques may get them to buy things expresses the heart of a trusting relationship:to keep up with the environment in which they do not need-once. Word of such tricks symbiosis. It means “living together in athey are used. Principles, on the other hand, will travel quickly in a small market nice and mutually beneficial relationship aare timeless and will always apply. your customer sources can evaporate like a relationship that provides enough benefits puddle in July. for all the partners to view it as valuable.”Countless selling techniques have been Symbiosis can ensure that you enjoy a win-invented and amended, written about and However, a sales plan that is based on the win situation in your professionaltaught, memorized and forgotten, loved and unchanging principle that people will always relationships. For the Impact Sellinghated. Countless more selling techniques that fulfill their needs will succeed regardless of professional, that means always making surewe have not yet heard of will follow. the techniques used to implement it. The that you fulfill your customers’ needs byTechniques in selling are like weapons in principles behind the IMPACT Selling giving them enough value to more thanwar; develop a hot, new one and it will process keep you focused on the fulfillment justify what they invest. You cannot achieveproduce great results until the other side of the customer’s needs so you will enjoy symbiosis through personality alone. Thedevelops either a defense for it or builds an long-range success and find prosperity in the person behind the personality is what givesimproved version, based on what they crowded marketplaces of the 21st Century IMPACT Selling its power.learned from yours. That works fine with and beyond.weapons, because wars are short-term. Your An Effective Plan Needsselling career, however, should be long-term Our principles-based plan was developed Effective Peopleand never viewed as a confrontation. Almost over a period of more than 20 years. It hasevery selling technique ever created been tested and proven in virtually every You have surely met salespeople who seemapproaches selling as if it were a war, segment of the selling world, producing to work shorter hours and enjoy their worksalespeople versus buyers. impressive results. Whenever companies use more than most, yet make more sales and IMPACT Selling there is a rise in sales and money than others of equal ability andThe prime reason techniques-based selling market share, whether the products are multi- training. What is the difference? Simply put,no longer works is described in the million dollar leasing contracts or high- some salespeople are more effective thanaphorism, “there is nothing new under the volume, low-priced novelty items. others. The next obvious question is, “Whatsun.” To learn about yourself, click here. does it mean to be effective?” Focus On RelationshipsToday’s marketplace is crowded with I have three definitions of effective that helpsalespeople and has been in operation so Successful value-based, principle-based pinpoint the answer:long, that nearly every effective technique selling depends upon building andhas been so overused that the defenses went maintaining trust-filled relationships with • Strikingly impressiveup long ago. In today’s marketplace you will prospective customers. Naturally, it includes • Ready for service or actionmeet hardened buyers, concerned with being liked, yet goes well beyond that. • Capable of producing a desired outcomegetting top value for themselves or their Having a great personality and getting alongcompany, who have heard it all before. Most
  17. 17. Combining those three definitions gives us a constantly deluged by my competitors want to • Buying is basically an emotional response.description of an IMPACT Selling buy from me?” Strikingly impressiveprofessional: salespeople will have more impact on their Every sales professional who embodies all you the competitive edge to meet the demands three of the personal qualities we covered andThe IMPACT Salesperson: of today’s tough-minded buyers. uses our four customer impact principles willA strikingly impressive person, ready be at the top of his or her profession and willfor service or action, and capable of Capable of producing maximum sales be poised to stay there throughout a long andproducing maximum sales with with minimum time and effort: prosperous career. In other words, today’sminimum time and effort. What you do. IMPACT Selling professionals will be tomorrow’s sales leaders.Each of those three phrases relates to the Nothing works unless you do, but there is morekind of person you are inside, running much to it than that. Some of the hardest working Take It One Step At A Timedeeper than having a good personality or salespeople in the world are also some of thebeing a great joke teller. Remember that in least successful. IMPACT Selling involves You do not need to implement every one ofsymbiosis, all partners must view the doing the right things, at the right time, and in these selling behaviors instantly. Integratingrelationship as valuable. the right way, within your niche, to obtain the the whole plan one step at a time has enabled desired response. That can only happen when thousands of salespeople to double, or evenHere is a detailed explanation of the three you put yourself in the prospective customer’s triple, their sales. As you carefully assimilatecomponents of personal values that equate to shoes and understand their needs. The best way each step, you can move on to the next one.being a highly effective salesperson: to do that is to use these four Customer Impact Principles: You will begin almost immediately to noticeStrikingly impressive: Who you are. a rise in your sales success. Within a few • People only pay attention to those they weeks, you will have internalized the systemImpact grows out of the way you feel about believe have something important to say to so well that you will be able to accomplishyourself, about others, and about what you them. each step instinctively. When that happens,are doing. To understand your level of • People buy for their reasons, not for yours your customer impact and sales will soarcustomer impact, you should ask the or mine. dramatically.question, “What is there about me that • People don’t want to be sold - they want towould make people who are being buy.constantly deluged by my competitors wantto buy from me?” Strikingly impressive salespeople will have more impact on their prospectsand influence more of them to buy. PROSPECTING TIPSReady for service or action:What you know. 7 Power-Packed Prospecting PointersYour most valuable selling tool is not yourmouth - as most salespeople have beentrained to believe-but your mind. High levels H E that questioneth much shall learn much,” said Francis Bacon. Nowhere in sales is that statement more true than in information, who applies it most effectively, wins.of customer impact grow out of what youknow about people, about your market the investigative phase. Asking the right Translating that statement into aniche, about the selling profession and about questions can help you eliminate the problem prospecting principle that you can use inwhat you are selling. You must master a of not having qualified prospects to call on at your sales work, gives us:value-based game plan that will give any given moment. I would like to share an important principle of value-based selling: Power-Packed Prospecting Principle: The most productive sentence In a crowded marketplace, all other in the salesperson’s vocabulary always ends with a question mark thingsbeing equal, the one with the most
  18. 18. Good prospecting is a matter of developing 2. Treat prospecting as your most valuable with everyone who can give you leads ora solid game plan that works well for you, time management tool. Remember that open doors for you.then following that game plan to the letter. you are always looking for ways to better • Take full advantage of every effort by yourWe will now present some pointers we leverage your time. company to generate leads. Maintain closehave developed that will help you • Use it to avoid wasting prime time on alignment with your company’s marketingformulate your game plan. people who are not qualified to say “yes.” department.To learn how to prospect effectively, click here. • Use it to ensure that you will always have • Make it your policy always to secureThe Prospecting Pointers enough qualified prospects to keep you referrals from satisfied customers. productively busy.The following ideas for Power-Packed • Avoid time wasting through sloppy or 5. Stay in constant touch with activeProspecting have been tested and proven haphazard prospecting. prospects through phone calls, periodiceffective by leading salespeople in all fields. mailings, and personal contacts. Keep inThese are our gems diligently collected 3. Take an organized approach. Never keep mind the “Top of the Consciousnessthrough many years of experience in sales leads on scraps of paper or Post-It notes. Principle” which states that:training and consulting. You can buy a computerized system or • The only certain way to ensure your create one of your own. Whatever you customers think of you first is throughLook over these pointers with an eye for how choose, choose something that ensures you frequent, repetitious contact.you can apply them. Although you may be an will never: • Others are always competing for a finiteestablished sales professional, you should • Lose or forget about valuable leads. amount of your prospect’s attention andfind many of them useful personally. Another • Be late on promised follow-up calls and dollars.real value is to use them as training tools for visits. • You never know when your prospect’syour salesforce. Train them early to embrace • Waste time looking for lost information. motivation to buy will suddenly,these proven prospecting pointers: • Improperly value your prospect inventory. dramatically increase. • Fail to do mailing and other foot work due • You need to be sure that he or she thinks of1. Treat prospecting as the lifeblood of to a disorganized prospect list. you or your product first when they your sales career. Not the clichéd • Become a compulsive procrastinator when evaluate how to fulfill their business needs. definition, but Power-Packed it comes to developing your prospect Prospecting: inventory. 6. Rework your suspect inventory• Focus on quality. It is the only way you regularly to try to upgrade suspects to can spend most of your prime time with 4. Remain alert for “suspects” who have the the status of qualified prospects. A good qualified prospects. It is also the only way potential to become qualified prospects: filing system will help tremendously. you can have enough hours in a week to be In today’s fast-paced society, peoples’ • Learn how to use the telephone in a successful. needs may change rapidly and radically, professional, pleasant, and businesslike• Focus on quantity. Your success depends giving you prospects where you never manner. Then use it regularly. on having enough solid sales leads. thought to look. • Constantly search for people who can give• Focus on consistency. A steady supply of • Develop a prospecting mind set that you a referral for every suspect on your list. qualified prospects can enable you to avoid automatically asks: “Is this person a Or, better still, will they make a contact for slumps and plateaus, eliminate call prospect?” you? reluctance and procrastination, and keep • Assume all suspects are prospects until • Look everywhere for the slightest clue that you from pressuring your current clients. proven otherwise. the suspect’s buying status might be• Do it now. Increasing your prospecting • Keep looking for new places to find changing. effectiveness is the fastest single way to prospects. boost your sales and income. • Cultivate mutually beneficial relationships

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