It’s the beginning of the week and as you review your calendar for the next five days you have a wide variety of events scheduled. You have some leads to follow up, some important calls to move existing opportunities along in the sales process, and a closing opportunity. In addition, you have some time scheduled with existing clients to make sure that they are getting what they need and you have your daily cold calls to make. How would you prioritize your week? If you weren’t allowed to say, “they’re all important”, how would you rank them? Here they are in bullet form:
How can you sell more effectively in this economy? You’ll need to perform some self-diagnostics. If you use Sales Force Automation of some kind, perhaps a report like the one in figure 1.0 below is available to you.
It’s the first week of January and you have goals, a plan, some anxiety over the economy and good intentions. As you go about your work this week, what will you do that will not only make 2009 better than 2008, but make 2009 your best year ever?
If you sell, then you encounter obstacles every step of the way. There are the prospects you can’t get through to, the same ones who don’t return your calls, and those who offer so much resistance that the obstacle appears to be more like a road block than an obstacle. Then there are the obstacles of timing, competition, budget, and disinterest, along with using and happy with someone else, doing it themselves and bad experiences with your company or simply companies like yours. There is no selling without obstacles.
Last week I read a book about the one game playoff at the end of the 1978 baseball season between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. I watched that game – a very tense drama – and didn’t recover for weeks from the way it ended. I couldn’t believe that they were able to write a book that thick about a single game.
In the wake of a recent article by the authors of Provocative Selling in the Harvard Business Review an attendee challenged me to defend Baseline Selling. Since it was in the HBR, this attendee believed it had to be the better way to sell.
How do you get a customer to sign on the dotted line? What does it take to make an effective presentation? How can you stand apart from the competition and connect with your prospects? Small businesses face these challenges every day. Some truths—such as focusing on the customer or speaking conversationally to establish rapport—have stood the test of time.