One of the topics being discussed in my Understanding the Sales Force Blog this week was how often the reason for the prospect’s inability to make a decision is because of the solution we presented.
This past week I experienced two examples of practice that, if applied to selling, would dramatically alter your results for the better.
There are many approaches to selling larger accounts and in this week’s Baseline Selling Tip you’ll get mine.
Like most young children, when our son was eighteen months old he began having temper tantrums, peaking when he was three and thankfully, now that he is six, he stages them far less frequently. He is very stubborn and once he committed to the tantrum he would never, ever back down. When he was younger, the tantrums wouldn’t end until he fell asleep! Later, when he could begin to understand us, we could finally ask, “Would you like to start over?” Later still, he would finally ask us, “Can we start over?”
A reader asked how much time should be spent on each base path in Baseline Selling. That certainly differs by industry, salesperson and prospect but I can provide you with a few guidelines.
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.