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4 Steps to Take When Closing Your Next Deal

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Feb 2, 2017 6:30:00 PM

Closing a deal is the ultimate reward for all of the research, preparation, and follow up that goes into building new relationships and maintaining a high level of client satisfaction.

Every now and then, it’s important to remind yourself to go back to the basics of selling to ensure that you’re not simply closing a deal, but instead, opening a new relationship that has future growth potential.

So, when the time is right and you’re ready to close your next deal, remember these four tips: 

negotiating_and_closing.jpg

(SLA) Service Level Agreement

SLA stands for Service Level Agreement; in other words this is the document that outlines the timing and delivery of the products and/or services you will provide. This is a critical point in the sale because this is where all expectations need to be set and understood by both sides.

When you close a deal, it’s not enough simply to get the sale. You want to be able to leverage the sale in the future. To do this, you need to confirm with the customer that he or she feels your level of service is superior and that you did more than simply meet the minimum requirement. So, when formulating your close, review what the minimum deal is and then determine what else you can add. Be sure that you have added in enough elements to your deal to get that agreement.  

TRY THIS:

Review a sale you are closing now or have just closed. Decide what you can add (product, service, conditions terms, etc.) to enhance the service level without increasing cost to you.

On-Boarding Process

Sales continue even after the close.  As the seller, you are the “face” of the sale to the customer. So, the customer will always look to you to explain and validate every step of the implementation even after the close. Therefore, meet with your internal team and carefully review who does what, when, why and how. Then, repeat the process with the customer explaining who on your team will be taking over the implementation on your side. Be sure to always point out the value of each person taking charge of the steps in the implementation. This builds rapport and helps pave the way for future sales.

TRY THIS:

Think of a current sale and review your on-boarding process for the account once you close the deal. Use a tool like the following to think through all the steps in on-boarding. This will help you be ready to both explain the process to the customer and to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Future Opportunities

A single sale for a single deal may have a finite point. However, the superior seller knows that each successful sale leads to another... and another…. You can leverage past success into future success by ensuring that the job you do with the first sale is not only adequate but superior, beyond expectations – in effect, stellar. This way, you develop equity within the account and draw upon that equity to pursue one successful sale after another.

TRY THIS:

Review a current or upcoming sale. Review the terms of the offering. Find something that will help the sale exceed expectations – something you or your company will do, a “deal sweetener,” etc…

Strategizing the Right Time to Ask for Additional Business

 A major goal of the consultative seller is to position him or herself as the “conduit” of a range of products and services that address multiple functions within the account. This process is called “evergreening.” To successfully evergreen an account, you have to be extremely observant to what you see and hear and what you can deduce to identify opportunities all the time. Then, when you spot an opportunity, you move on to that one if your present sale is going well. This way, the present sale “evergreens” into additional business.  Account selling is not linear.

TRY THIS:

Review all your active accounts. For each, think of additional opportunities and note how you think you can transition from your present deal to the future opportunity even before you close the first one. Use a tool like the one below for your analysis.

Conclusion

Before closing your next deal, take these four things into consideration and utilize them to your advantage by ensuring that you: set expecations up front, properly on-board new clients by clearly outlining how your product or service will be implemented, understand what a future opportunity might look like, and strategize the timing of asking your client for additional business.

How to ask for the deal without sounding too

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2013 and has been updated.

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Topics: sales, training, tips, managing, manager, client, cold calling, building client relationships, strategy, deal, service level agreement, client on-boarding

Isn't It "Obvious?" (Part 1)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 19, 2013 7:26:00 AM

There are four reasons why I want you to ask the "obvious" question during an interview with a customer. The reasons are as follows:

1. Great stories.

2. The right questions.

3. Their perspective

4. Explanations.

What's obvious to one person can be a source of oblivion to another.  This is applicable to when a salesman meets a customer. Why?  Because the salesperson works for one kind of a company, and the customer works for a completely different kind of a company in a completely different kind of a role.  And so the two of them are not likely to agree on what "obvious" may be.

They worry about asking an obvious question – as if there was a death penalty associated with it.  I’ve spoken to 30,000 salespeople and none of them have ever told me that they were kicked out of an office for asking a too obvious of a question.  But what sometimes happens – and many times does in fact happen – is that the obvious question triggers a story.  So it’s not the question; it’s the story answer it produces.  That’s the key concept.  So what question is going to get you onto the very subject about how important solving their issues are and how you can help? How are you going to get into that conversation if you’re not talking about that subject?  How are you going to get there if you’re not talking about some “obvious” question?

Ask the right questions. You need to think about the world from the point-of-view of the person you’re meeting with.  Imagine being in that kind of a company which makes money in a certain way and has organized itself with a certain go-to-market strategy. It is constructed in a unique way and has a certain kind of market share and they do things in a particular way.  What questions can you ask will really get to the heart of the matter? 

Really get into the customer’s shoes, so to speak, and imagine the world from where they are and the only way to do that is to research.  But once the thorough research is completed, you’re now able to ask the most important question. It’s as if you’ll be the "mirror" organization and this client was meeting his counterpart (you) and the two of you now completely understand each other. How can you solve your client's challenges?  What is that one problem that is the trickiest  of them all? 

This is the kind of question that you want to be asking: How is the client solving those "obvious" issues?

 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: training, tips, selling, sellers, sales process, value, skills, sales tips, sales training, client, call, strategy, reaction, coaching

Opportune Objections in Inbound Telesales (Part 2)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 9, 2013 9:30:00 AM

3. Know what to expect. At the end of the call, the person's either going to buy from you,
reject the offer, or delay making the decision. You already know what’s coming! So why
not be ready? When the customer says, “No,” ask something like, “I'm just curious as to
why?"

shrug_unsure_unknown

And when you hear the reason for the rejection, what you're going to learn is that it boils
down to one of several things, namely the 4 below:

"I have no interest in this."

"I've already got something like it."

"Why don't you just send me some information about it?"

"Let me ask you yet another question."

If the customer says something like, "I don't see any interest in it," this translates into:

"I have no time for that." 

"I have no money for that."

"I have no interest in that."

"I have no need for it."

“I once did something like that. I really hated it."

All of these are different versions of, "Not interested."

Take this important information and approach it at a fresh new angle.

point_of_view_frame_up

You: "You know what? Others have said that before they saw how our products could

really benefit them." or "Others have said that before they saw the advantages of our products."

Now, if the customer says, "Well, I've already got something that's like that," rather than argue that yours is different and better, consider simply saying, "You know, others have said that before they saw how our product complements and enhances what you've already got."

Customer: "Why don't you send me something?"

You: "You know what? We're talking right now. If I were to send you something, I'd be guessing what to send you. But if you and I could talk this through, in ten minutes or less, you're going to figure out exactly if we're the right offering for you."

4. If the customer asks you another direct question, respond to it, and ask your own
question, "Can I ask?" When you ask questions, you need to ask it in a very disarming
manner.

These following types of conversation-starters will be more likely to get you an answer:

"Can I ask you a question?"

"I've always wondered."

"I'm really curious."

"Another customer told me this..."

"Can I ask you this?"

Ask a disarming, do-based question about what they do that you typically help people do
better. See the following for reference:

"So what are you doing now to buy that service and save money?"

"What are you doing now to find availability in that product?"

The customer might say, "We're doing something."

You can respond with, "You know, a lot of people are doing that, and they find that what
we do really complements that approach."

You can also say, "You know, a lot of people also aren't doing anything about that, and they
find that doing something with us has a real advantage. I'd like you to consider buying
from us."

Try these approaches, and I promise you that you'll have more successful conversations, a
more positive outlook, and successful sales.

Remember these 4 when you're looking for the opportunity in that objection:

1. Slow Motion
2. Agree
3. Know What to Expect
4. “Can I ask?”

 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: sales, training, tips, affordable, selling, sellers, value, skills, sales tips, client, improving, strategy

How To Open Up an Inbound Telesales Call (II)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 5, 2013 9:15:00 AM

Thanks for staying tuned. In today’s post, we will be covering the final two considerations to have when successfully opening up a call.

3. Our “First Questions.” 

This breaks down into two components.  The first is to “qualify.”  In other words, not everyone that you speak with is going to be able to be serviced by you.  They may have called the wrong number, wrong division, wrong department, but aside from that, what you should aim to do each time is to engage them in a conversation.  Do not just find out why they’re calling and give them an answer because that would be giving up the opportunity to engage

The second is to explore the possibility that before the person ever called you, a change took place in his/her life.  This could have happened anywhere from a few minutes to perhaps months ago.  Maybe he’s thinking about going on a vacation or about to commit to a purchase.  He is thinking that something needs to be done now or in the future because something is changing or will change.  He has either been looking into solutions for some time now or will begin his quest to do so.  The only things you can assume to be certain are: (A) something has changed and (B) however long it has been since he began his quest, he hasn’t found anything yet (lucky for you!). Why not explore this territory of opportunity while you are talking to him and ask,

  • “Have you looked at anything else?” 
  • “Why haven’t you already made a purchase decision?” 
  • “How long have you been doing this?”
  •  “What was the reason you called me?  What was the reason you called me today?”

red_phone_receiver_call-1

 As you begin to ask these kinds of questions, you will have a better conversation. 

4. And finally, consider the “First Answer.” 

If someone were to ask you to explain something and gave you all the time you needed, utilizing all the media help in the world, you could probably fill an hour or more answering questions about what your company does and what makes it outstanding.   

What we are faced with is the more difficult task of relaying the benefits in the fewest number of words possible. 

one_more_call

You  must alert your ears and listen to why the person is calling and clearly explain the benefits, not the features of what you are selling.  How will the benefit absolutely translate into what the individual needs that day?  The more easily the prospect can see the connection between what he is looking for and what you are selling, the more often you will successfully close sales.

 

 

 Remember to reinforce the 4 necessary things to consider when opening up a telesales call: 1. The Blend of Qualities  2. First Words  3. First Questions  4. First Answers

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: training, tips, selling, prospect, sales training, client, call, strategy, phone, telesales

How To Open Up an Inbound Telesales Call

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 4, 2013 8:30:00 AM

How do YOU open up an inbound telesales call?  Let’s focus on four things:

  1. The Blend of Qualities
  2. First Words
  3. First Questions
  4. First Answers

1. The blend of qualities.

Consider the call, and put on the shoes of the caller.   How does the call sound from the customer’s point of view? What is the customer’s ideal model person that he would love to be speaking with?  Wouldn’t it be someone who sounds like he really wants to be there, and who is genuinely eager to help? Wouldn’t you want to speak with someone who is well-informed and has the ability to provide you with a tangible solution? Isn’t that what you you’re looking for when you call that number?  Well, we need to recreate that sound consistently with every call.  But, how do we do that throughout the day with our natural ups and downs? 

Think like an actor.  How would the actor play the part of this character we need?  That character has a blend of four kinds of qualities.

Happiness is the first, and this shines through in the actor’s voice and the smile on his face.  He will sound like he wants to be there.  That smile will create that desirable sound you need. It’s key to be able to blend that with professionalism, which urges you to be careful about the words you choose to say.  Be careful not to offend anyone.  Also, be careful not to use words that may not be understood or initials that are not likely to be known because you wouldn’t want to sound like you’re trying to fool them or be confusing.

You also need to blend in energy.  When I get on the phone and I ask somebody a question, he or she says, “Hi. How can I help you?”

Customer Representative: “No, sorry. We don’t have that.”

 Me: “What about…? Well, couldn’t there be another option or another version of this?”

Customer Representative: “Yeah, well maybe there is one other way.”

***

All of a sudden, I realize that I had to think of the solution myself.  This person didn’t even have the energy to develop another solution for me.  I want to speak to someone who sounds like he is not only energetic, resourceful, creative, but who really wants to help me with my problem.

Add confidence into the blend. If you are simply all about energy, you are going to be speaking too fast, but if you are also filled with confidence, you will be able to slow down and choose words that clearly convey your message and ensure that it is understood.  You know much more about the subject then the customer does. You are in a position of authority, so embrace this and sound like you are.

2. Now, onto the “First Words.” Typically our first words are very simple, aren’t they?  We say, “Hi, this is…” and you say your name of the company and perhaps the name of the department.  This line is actually more important than you think.  The more of something we say, the faster it tends to come out. We say nothing more often during a call than the greeting and our own name, and so at the end of the day, the whole “Hi, this is Kevin from the Sales division at ABC Co.” all comes out as one speedy blur. 

Make sure that you are speaking slowly, so that the person on the other end of that call is absolutely syncing up with what you are saying.  You will want to use both your first and last name because that makes you sound more professional. Remember that what they have to say is more important, so do your best to keep your sentences short and simple.  Try saying, “Hi, this is [first and last name], from [division and company]” and then proceed to “The First Questions" (please stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post).”

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

 

 

 

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Topics: sales, tips, selling, sales tips, client, call, business, phone, leads, deals, consultant, contacts, telesales

Demonstrating V. Presenting

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Mar 29, 2013 8:15:00 AM

What is the difference between demonstrating and presenting? We will approach this from 4 different perspectives.

1. When you demonstrate, you’re still in the process of gathering information.

business_meeting

However, when you present, you are confirming that what you are saying is correct and defending the ROI of the offer. Standing up in front of a customer or prospect to show him how the product works is not necessarily the same as presenting. When you’re demonstrating, you should try to speak and listen simultaneously.  While presenting, you’re only listening for the affirmative nodding of the head from the audience, which signals agreement with everything that you’re saying.

2. The second way of looking at this is that when you present, you’re looking for a positive reaction.  But when you demonstrate, you’re anticipating a negative one.  Please allow me to explain this further since you might wonder, “Well if I’m demonstrating early on in the sale, why would I be looking for a negative reaction?” 

Here is the reality that many of us are all too familiar with: 

When somebody is not seriously considering adding something new to their life, you say to them, “You know I’d like you to start doing this thing,” or “Let me suggest this for you to do.”  If the person that you were telling this to wasn’t seriously considering implementing your suggestions, they may give you a very “service” answer – something along the lines of “Yeah, yeah, that’s good.  Yeah, that sounds interesting.  Mm-hm.”

However, once people begin to seriously consider pursuing something new (after all, that’s what we’re doing when we sell somebody something), you will be the one helping them with a new or slightly new endeavor. Why?  Because they’re going to take on that challenge with you side-by-side from here on out.  They are going to do something with you that they’ve never done before.  And when they really start to think about changing, some of the challenges and reasons that they’ve been doing it the way that they have will naturally rise to the surface.  They begin to focus on all the possibilities that could take them in the wrong direction.  That’s actually a good sign because it implies that the person is truly considering the implementation.

digital_handshake

What is another way of looking at this?

We will next discuss two other perspectives on the differences between demonstrating and presenting.

 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: present, sales, selling, sellers, sales process, prospecting, value, skills, sales tips, client, business, consumer behavior, demonstrate, ROI, strategy, information, deals, presentation, reaction

Conversion: Digital Data into Sales Stories (II)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Mar 28, 2013 9:31:00 AM

To convert data into sales stories, we need to focus on these 4 pillars:

digital_landscape_1
  • Category
  • Root causes
  • Explanations for the Movement
  • Opportunities

Yesterday, we discussed the first 2: Category and Root Causes.

 

In today's post, we will examine the final 2 pillars: 3 Explanationas for the Movement and 4 Opportunities.

The third pillar stands for explanations for the movement Let’s look at where the visitors to your site are coming from.  If visitors are coming to your site from another site, and if they’re being directed to other sites from your site, try to think about the factors that could engage users to the extent that they would want to follow that path.  If you have a set number of uniques, explain the reasons why, of all the places online that the user can frequently go to, they make the deliberate choice to return to your site.  When talking about the page views and the “movement,” relay what the benchmark is for the correct number of page views.  Some sites, like medical sites, will typically have a high number of page views per visitor because people following a story about some medical condition that they or someone they love has will naturally remain on the site long enough to complete reading multi-page content.  However, is this appropriate for your site?                                                  

Perhaps you do a great job of bringing users to exactly the right landing page, and they don’t really have to consume that many pages. Come up with a compelling story of why that number that you have is the right one for your website.  Again, the same applies to the average time spent on the site – what is the most appropriate amount of time that ought to be spent on the site with your content?

And lastly, let’s look at opportunities as our final thought pillar.  Opportunities with site visitors equates to engagement points.  Ask yourself this: “How many different ways can I get engage with my visitors across my site, across my digital properties, and what types of engagements should I set up?” 

  • Is there a better way to reach and target your uniques?  Think about the competition.
  • Is there a number that is higher for your site than your competitors’? Is it the number of page views?
  • How can we make this into a compelling argument for why our more loyal audience is in fact more open and likely to be engaged with an advertising opportunity?

When we look at the opportunity with time onsite and engagement with the brand’s other digital offline assets, we start to talk about our biggest draw of all, which is that we own the audience. 

We have a circle around our audience.  Our audience fits into a footprint,

and in that footprint, we own that audience.  We are telling stories that show how our data backs up this claim, and this is precisely what’s going to bring our data to life. 

So in conclusion, how can you make your stories sound more interesting?

To convert data into engaging sales stories, remember to examine these 4 pillars:

  • Category
  • Root causes
  • Explanations for the Movement
  • Opportunities

 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: sales, training, tips, sellers, sales process, value, sales tips, sales training, managing, client, explanations, opportunities, online metrics, digital marketing, leads, contacts, user engagement, site metrics, site user

Conversion: Digital Data into Sales Stories

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Mar 27, 2013 9:15:00 AM

How can you make your stories sound more engaging? To convert data into sales stories, let’s take a look at the 4 pillars we should focus on:

download_books_online_library_800_clr_9076-1
  • Category
  • Root causes
  • Explanations for the Movement
  • Opportunities

In today’s post, let’s take a look at the first two.

The first pillar is category. When we talk about the numbers, we’re typically speaking on the subject of visitors, uniques, page views, time on site, and engagement with the brand’s digital and offline assets. Meanwhile, customers are looking at impression goals, media costs for target impressions, CPA metrics, as well as online and offline media mix. We first need to make sure that when we tell a story, we are able to help the customer understand how our numbers fit into what they need and what they’re looking for. 

 

The second pillar that we want to look at is the root causes. Many salespeople sometimes believe that they have no story to be told due to the fact that they feel as though the size or type of their intended audience isn’t right.  If we can come up with compelling root causes for the rationale behind our various numbers and metrics, it will make our story all the more interesting.  For example, all websites have a certain number of visitors.  What’s the rationale for the number of visitors to your site?  Are people visiting your site because they’re at the bottom of the marketing funnel, ready to take action, and they’ve heard great things about your product or service?  Are they visiting because they’ve been referred mostly from social media sites?  Are they coming to your site directly from search engine marketing results that they’ve clicked on?  Where are all these visitors really coming from?

The more we understand the reasons for why people (the various demographic, psychographic, geographic targets) visit our website, the better we will be able to explain the root causes, even if the number of visitors to our site, in and of itself, is not that impressive.  We also want to look at the underlying reasons why our percentage of uniques has relatively remained unchanged.  If we have many returning visitors, like those sites that display results from the stock market which analysts keep an eye on by revisiting throughout the day, then of course we won’t have a high number of unique visitors.

On the other hand, a high number of uniques may or may not suggest a good thing.  For example, it may also indicate that many people who visit the site are never seen again. If everyone that has visited your site returns frequently, it’s going to change the percentage of the audience that is unique.  We want to make sure that we have a compelling story ready in our belts to explain why the uniques as a percentage of visitors is what it is.  The same applies for the number of page views and the average time spent on the site.

So, that’s it for today, folks. The two pillars that we focused on were (1) Category and (2) Root Causes.

Tomorrow, we will examine the other two. All 4 pillars are needed to convert your data into engaging sales stories that offer measurable solutions for your clients. 

 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: tips, value, managing, client, opportunities, social media, improving, competitive, marketing, strategy, advertising, digital marketing, marketer, consultant, category, root causes

Why Sellers Lose Deals (IV)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Mar 26, 2013 9:00:00 AM


There are 4 main reasons on why sellers lose deals that they’ve invested their precious time in.  They are the following:
  1. No outreach was made prior to the issuance of the RFP/ Tender.
  2. Lack of understanding in the role your contact plays within the buying process.
  3. Lack of initiative in gathering insight on the buyer’s history and thought process.
  4. ***Failure to provide a very concise picture of how the solution you provide solves his or her problem.***

Welcome to the final installment of this series. Today, we will look at the importance of painting a picture for the client as to how our solution really solves their problem.


4. Failure to provide a very concise picture of how the solution you provide solves his or her problem. Let’s take a look at a typical sales process. In the first meeting (in-person, on the phone, by email or combination of all 3), the seller learns about the customer’s needs and shares the details of his own offering. Customers generally ask “How much?” and we respond by sending them a proposal. A proposal usually looks more like a legal document than a persuasive essay. Giving someone a proposal does not obligate them to decide and often does not convince an on-the-fence customer to decide right away in the seller’s favor.  What’s missing?

The story. The biggest proof that your products and services really work is that others are buying them. Sellers need a story version of the explanation on why similar customers have bought from them. The best stories are data-backed and include the details of how urgently another customer was looking for a solution and how happy they are now. That story works best if the seller can provide a “drill-down” of details such as:

  • The customer’s real goals – What was the seller’s approach to due diligence to learn their customer’s real goal? 
  • What research data and other pre-meeting preparation did the seller conduct that not only helped them close the deal but helped the customers better understand their challenges and their options?
  • What did the seller learn that resulted in the development of novel, original solutions?
  • How did the seller and customer work together to define benchmarks and KPIs and multiple paths to success?
  • How did the seller become a trusted partner throughout this experience?
Most sellers need about 10-12 of those stories:
  • why a very big customer bought
  • why a small company bought
  • why a company that was already buying from the competition bought
  •  why a company that had previously never bought from anyone and only solved their problems with in-house resources finally bought and continues to buy today
  • why a company with a very similar challenge - and particularly a contact within that firm who is a counterpart to the your prospect - bought

one_more_call

Sellers can make their stories more engaging and impactful by personalizing them.  Show the prospect that you/your team have personal experience and measurable success working with clients with similar urgency…who shared the same challenges and frustrations in looking for a viable and affordable solution.  Your story should build credibility. 

This is particularly important since the number one reason customers don’t buy is lack of reassurance. Sellers can enhance their story with details of how their own company was born out of a desire to solve these problems. Specifically, the story should include details of how your contact’s counterparts – that is, people in similar roles with similar responsibilities at your other clients, have felt before and after they bought from you. The better the story demonstrates empathy with the prospect, the better the customers begin to visualize how this seller and his/her offering may really be what they’ve been searching for. 
 Also, if your contact has to tell others – and win them over – you must teach your contact the story so that they have a way to effectively communicate your story to the influencers that the seller never personally meets. 

About the Author:
Steve_Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.
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Topics: sales, training, tips, affordable, sellers, sales process, prospecting, value, skills, network, sales training, managing, team, digital, client, micromanaging, call, business, consumer behavior, difficulty selling, improving, competitive, buying process, marketing, strategy, advertising, phone, leads, marketer, deals, closing, RFP, consultant, buying, contacts

4 Main Reasons Why Sellers Lose Deals (III)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Mar 25, 2013 11:30:00 AM

There are 4 main reasons on why sellers lose deals that they’ve invested their precious time in.  They are the following:

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  1. No outreach was made prior to the issuance of the RFP/ Tender.
  2. Lack of understanding in the role your contact plays within the buying process.
  3.  ***Lack of initiative in gathering insight on the buyer’s history and thought process.***
  4. Failure to provide a very concise picture of how the solution you provide solves his or her problem.

In previous installments, we looked at parts 1 and 2.  This morning, we will look at the importance of as well as the strategy for figuring out the real buying process.

3.  Lack of initiative in gathering insight on the buyer’s history and thought process. - Ignore previous buying patterns at your own peril.  It is not enough to ask your prospect, “Who did you buy from the last time?”  If we could go back in time, we’d learn that long ago your prospect was not buying from anyone.  Then, something changed and as a result they are now buyers.  You need to explore that conversation in order to learn how that prospect thinks, how they gain information, how they like to make decisions and who they put in the lead of finding vendors that sell solutions worth buying.  Early on in every first meeting, the seller should ask, “Has your company bought this kind of offering before? How’d you do it last time? Why did you do that way?” (Or words to that effect). What you are really trying to learn is: why have you not already bought from us? You want to learn your contact’s part in past buying decisions as well as others involved.  If you go down that conversational path, you will learn the considerations that went into that decision and the decision criteria they used.  Don’t ignore previous buying patterns – that is, don’t fail to explore how they’ve bought similar services in the past and simply skip to the suggestion of how and why they should buy from you.  You don’t want to be perceived as a pushy salesperson – a pushy salesperson is defined as a person who ignores the customer’s buying patterns and preferences. 

 you_sell_point

The real challenge comes about when you realize that they’ve never purchased a similar service.  Here is another food-for-thought: what if the current cast of characters (the current employees) has not bought this service before at this company?  Have they bought it before in previous companies? Who did they select back then? How’d they arrive at that decision last time? If there is no history, they may need a path… and the seller can provide that ROI+ path, but only if they take a leadership position and boldly suggest  - and then negotiate - a reasonable way to make a decision on a solution.  In that case, the seller needs to help the buyer agree on empirical (measurable) goal benchmarks and an “ROI-way” to determine the viability of the proposed solution. In other words, the seller needs to paint a picture of how the seller’s solution will work best for that customer. 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: training, tips, selling, sales process, value, sales tips, networking, sales training, client, difficulty selling, competitive, buying process, strategy