Needs Based Selling


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Needs based selling training while at American Express Incentive Services.

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Needs Based Selling

  1. 1. Needs-Based Selling Cindy Wasowski & Dave Carrithers October 7, 1998
  2. 2. “If I can listen to what he tells me, if I can understand how it seems to him, if I can sense the emotional flavor which it has for him, then I will be releasing potent forces of change within him.” - Carl Rogers
  3. 3. What Is Needs-Based Selling Listening and defining the problem first then developing a solution to the need More consultative than price Value, history and knowledge Steps, processes, experience and results based Not always a single answer Starts strategic and moves to tactical Fluid not fixed
  4. 4. Examples Financial services / estate planning Insurance Legal Health Care Construction Technology
  5. 5. A Mind-set Change “A banker interviews customers about their financial needs and then discusses what products might fit them. In the past a new customer might have simply opened a savings account. These days, customers are shown ways to add more value to their savings.” - Kansas City Business Journal
  6. 6. Keys To Success Find the clients fear, pain, worry, issue, concern and provide a shield against Be knowledgeable about their industries and competitors Listen, ask question, then listen and ask more questions More communications, more interaction Integrate product solutions into recommendations, but we are not always the only source of a solution
  7. 7. Insight Take the high road Strategic thinking to reassess the positioning of sales to deliver value through higher-end solutions to targeted customers Aligning and integrating the functional or process activities to deliver value through sales A products vale must be identified, demonstrated, and delivered by the sales agent not sought by the customer Entrepreneurial, value-adding in nature
  8. 8. Goal
  9. 9. The Right Message Understand client situation/needs The right audience Unveil/unfold the solution over time The right presentation - customized to your audience and their industry Pre-work and follow-up Appropriateness of response Value in EVERYTHING we do/say/think/provide
  10. 10. Keep In Mind As A Team Do you treat different customers differently? Do you create a learning relationship with customers? Do you keep your customers? Do you organize around customers?
  11. 11. Typical Client Needs Direct Clients – Getting a distributors sales force to focus on their products – Competitive market action – Poor response to product/offer – Better understanding of mission and objectives – Inventory stocking or reduction – Product launch – Cross selling – Honor and recognition
  12. 12. Typical Client Needs AVAR – Product support and knowledge – Creative solutions to their client problems – Fast answers to pricing and product functions – Presentation support – Trends and competitive insight – Leads and awareness building support – Comfort level and sense of “partnership”
  13. 13. Gathering Client Information Sales Incentive Program Tool Employee Program Tool Consumer/Customer Tool
  14. 14. Know Thy Competition Why Non-Cash – Memorable – Promotable – Impact is more Award Comparison Matrix Selling Against The Competition – Their one size solution doesn’t fit all – What are their hidden agendas – How easy are their solutions
  15. 15. Program Management Basics Establishing program objectives Set & manage budget Determine performance criteria Develop communications plan Select rewards Program administration Sell program to management/co-funding partners, participants Ongoing program evaluation Celebrate success
  16. 16. Program Management Is A Requirement Self-administered or out-sourced Any participant audience Across all rewards Across all types of programs All program lengths Any budget Either the client does it, or a AVAR or us (indirectly) Good Programs Just Don’t Happen
  17. 17. Common Mistakes Poor design - unmotivating/unfair Unrealistic goals Lack of management support Poor communications, both at the launch and the follow up No ongoing evaluation/input Too complicated
  18. 18. Establishing Program Objectives Tie to company objectives Must be meaningful, measurable and movable Reality based Keep them simple Clearly communicate
  19. 19. Budgeting Consider costs Vs projected ROI Awards should represent 3-5% of a participant's normal income for long-term programs (at least 6 months) Awards should represent 6-8% for a short term “spurt” activity (60-90 days) Fixed Vs open budgets - or combination 70% awards; 20% promotions; 10% admin
  20. 20. Open-Ended Budget More motivating to participants Funded by financial incremental results Types of structures: – Awards per unit – Awards per dollar – Dollar one – Over objective (incremental) – Over objective - retro to dollar one – Accelerators - graduated earnings – Top stops
  21. 21. Fixed (Or Closed-ended) Budgets Predetermined, fixed budget Essentially contests, since not everyone can win/earn Types of structures: – Competitive groups – Top region, area, person – Greatest dollar (or unit) increase, % of increase or both – Break the bank with fixed award pool (creates urgency)
  22. 22. Add Bonus Activities Fast start On Target Fast finish Steps to a sale Overrides (for managers) Volume bonus % bonus Comprehensive (top performers) Team Accelerators
  23. 23. Determine Performance Criteria Establish baselines Set minimum objectives Consider item specific objectives Encourage reach - accelerated earnings scale
  24. 24. Communications Frequency Consistency Appropriateness Media & production value Communicate both ways Events Clear understanding of rules and rewards
  25. 25. Selecting Rewards Demographics - age, income, location Lifestyle Budget Past history with awards Diversity Program length Required effort
  26. 26. Selling To Management Justify investment (ROI) Demonstrate accountability Create excitement Document it’s what participants want and need Share info on other successful programs
  27. 27. Program Administration Collecting data – enrollment – Invoice and sales tracking – Claims Manipulating data – Reward calculations – Targets Reporting Participant support/service
  28. 28. Program Evaluations Ongoing Before a program starts Critical to continues improvement Provide feedback mechanisms - data & attitudes Do something with the feedback Analyze ROI
  29. 29. Celebrating Success Budget for it Make sure it’s motivating Just do it!