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3. Veering off course. Should you make a left as part of your big plan, or do you make a left and call that ‘"veering off course?" Just because you’re making a left turn doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re veering off course. What matters is this: Think about what you want to accomplish and why you want to accomplish it. Why is it so important to you, and are you trying to achieve something positive or avoid something negative? If the energy associated with your reason or desire for wanting to accomplish this goal is strong enough, it will force you take at least 1 step forward every day. Now, whether you take that step by directly heading forward or moving towards the left just a little, - as sailors do sometimes when trying to reach a destination - consider veering if your other alternative is stopping. 4. Movement. One of the things I like to consider is how similar people are to the planets in the solar system. In the same way that planets revolve, rotate, have a gravitational pool, and are part of an orbit, some very important people have an orbit of things and people that go around them. For example, the earth has satellites that go around us; some bigger planets have many moons going around them. Both you and I are in pursuit of our goals. Often times, that goal is at least in part accomplished by meeting someone or getting that someone to buy into our concept, approve us, hire us, agree to train us, and work with us. Often in life, it’s about who we meet. Well, the people that we want to meet or get an introduction to will be moving all the time, and they each have an orbit of things around them. If you want to meet with them, you need to recognize that you’re trying to hit a moving target while you yourself are on the move. You are indeed moving even if you’re standing still because you’re growing a day older (and wiser) every day. Everything that you’re trying to do is now one day closer to being accomplished, but this also means that one more day was spent in pursuit of this goal, adding to your weariness. As you’re trying to hit a moving target consider the kinds of activities that will put you in the right orbit so that you’ll be more likely to “bump” into people that you need to bump into. How long will it take? Well, it’s going to be a long process, but it is exceedingly long if you’re not at it every single day. About the Author: 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.
(3.) Their perspective. Not only do you need to ask the right questions and do so by thinking from the perspective of the customer. How do you reach their perspective? It starts off with an understanding of their business and here are a few steps that I like to go through: First off, after all of the research you have conducted, boil it down in terms of the kind of company you’re dealing with. Do you understand how this company went to market and how big of a market share they have? Who are their competitors? Even if you can’t sell to this particular company, consider the possibility that their competitors have the potential to become your next leads. So actively seek out that kind of information, determine their go-to-market strategy and how they make money. What’s their distribution strategy? How do things operate within the company? And once you understand how things operate there, you have a sense of the kind of departments they’re likely to have, the services they’re likely to need, and learn about why they would be more willing to expend more resources in one area than another. Understanding the business of your customer is what’s going to help you ask better questions. (4.) And, finally, provide explanations Some people are so afraid to ask the obvious question, thinking that that’s what’s going to end the sale. But let’s just say that that terrible fear was realized. After asking the obvious question, your customer looks back at you with a question mark as if to say, “I can’t believe you’re asking such an obvious question.” You need to be ready for that moment just like any moment in sales. Be ready for anything that you can anticipate and say to them, “Well, the reason I’m asking is…” and then deliver an answer which sounds credible and basically translates into, “Because in the analysis of my prospects, I need to learn certain things about my customers’ business in order for me to evaluate whether or not I am qualified to deliver that service to you, and I wanted to make sure because I have an obligation to you to understand your problem and figure out early on if I can bring any value to the equation.” This is the reason to ask obvious questions. Below are helpful questions to keep in mind as you’re conducting research or trying to think from the perspective of your customer: Have you ever considered buying from us in the past? Do you work with any of our competitors? Why them? Why not us? How come we haven’t already done business together? Why did you buy the services you have now? How do you determine the budget for new services? How does your business make money? What has to happen for your company to exceed its goals? What has to happen for your department to exceed its goals? Is your department affected if sales increase or decrease? How is your department affected by changes in the marketplace? Are people in your department worried about losing their jobs? How did you obtain your current position? Are your customers, partners, and distributors global, national or local? What would we have to do to gain your business? Who does your company compete against? How does your company gain a competitive edge over your competitors? And don't be afraid to ask obvious questions. Embrace it and keep these 4 reasons behind asking at the forefront of your mind:
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There are 4 main reasons on why sellers lose deals that they’ve invested their precious time in. They are the following: No outreach was made prior to the issuance of the RFP/ Tender. Lack of understanding in the role your contact plays within the buying process. Lack of initiative in gathering insight on the buyer’s history and thought process. ***Failure to provide a very concise picture of how the solution you provide solves his or her problem.***
Want to improve your communication? First, focus on improving your relationship. How? This will help improve both your professional and personal communication as well as your relationships: Focus on the quality, not quantity, of the time you spend with the other person. Time quality has 4 dimensions: