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Sales Thought: Especially if you sell for a Small Company- Execution is Everything

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While there are Advantages to working for Small Companies, Customers have Expectations of how they will be treated.  No matter the size – the Customer usually expect to be treated the same by all Suppliers – Big and Small.

So, the comment here is just because you work for a Small Company, don’t act like it.

The Fastest way to not have success is to Act like you are Small, and cannot support your Client.  So, understand how your Competition does things.  You don’t have to Mirror everything they do, but it is too easy to Make Excuses as a Small Company when you are competing with a Big One.

Instead of making Excuses, establish Sales Processes that will really set you Apart.  The 3 major areas of Customer Enablement are:

  • Relationship Management:  Show the Customer that you will Invest Time NOT only during the Sales Process, but Describe to them How they will be treated when they are a customer.  The Best way to do this is – you guessed it! – with a Process for Relationship Management.
  • Road Map to the Future: Where can you help each Customer go?  This does not mean you try to sell everyone everything you have.  It is to demonstrate to your customer that you are in this for the long run.
  • Customer Success: How do you ensure that at the present time – on this project – you will Enable your Customer to be successful.

No matter the size Company, Every Company can Execute on these Items.  If you don’t, you will likely lose because you are Out Executed.

So for each Customer and Each Opportunity, can you say to yourself that you will not be Out Executed?  If you focus on Execution, you will be successful in Sales.

Act Big Even if you are small.  Execution is Everything!

Sales Thought: The Transition from Close of Sale to next Sales Cycle is Critical!

How you handle the transition from the close of the sale to the next sales cycle is critical to setting up a long-term relationship with the client.

Clearly, the most important sales step is to get the initial sale completed and closed.  From the close of the deal, the relationship transitions from buyer-seller to customer-account. Good sales people know that to become truly successful, it is more important to stay connected to the new customer and clearly define the long-term relationship. The best way to do this is to focus on the Big Picture and set a long-term vision for how you can assist your client going forward!

Proper handling of the transition will determine if a longer-term relationship can be established between the sales person and the customer.

The Close is a time for determining and establishing your long-term role and value to the account. Keep in mind that it is always easier to expand the sale within an existing, satisfied customer that it is to find a new one. So don’t relax now, push forward and close with an exclamation mark.

The sales process should now be developed in such a fashion as to ensure and convey to the customer that there is both a short-term and long-term focus to the relationship.

A key Recommendation:  As you close each Transaction, he set up a social hour with the customer to thank them for their business. By doing this, the sales person sets a tone for future business. This social hour became a way for the sales person to ask more questions of the customer, and the customer, being in a social setting without the pressure of the “Deal” was much more open and relaxed with the sales person.

In many cases, Senior Executives who would not come will be there.  Why?  Because you are not selling anything!

Sales Thought: Reacting in Sales is often Bad – Execution is Everything!

The Title alone of this likely makes many of you Wonder!

Many Successful sales resources are focused on Reacting.  Reacting to customers, reacting to bosses, reacting to your company; that IS what some sales people do.

Unfortunately, it can really backfire.  As a sales professional, if you just keep reacting, it can have a number of negative effects:

  • The Customer will begin to expect that you will Always React, no matter the request.
  • You give away all of your Power to the Customer.
  • You lose the ability to Coordinate the Sales Process (Notice I did not say Control!)
  • Your Competition will know that you are taking this approach, and use it against you.

So, instead of Reacting, how about this as an approach:

  • Confirm that there is Reason to do what the Customer is asking of you
  • Question those Asking you the Key Questions:
    • Why is this Important?
    • Why is it Urgent?
  • Understand that every Item is part of a Plan of Execution

Remember this: Execution Is Everything.  It is not about Reacting, but about having a Plan and Executing the Plan.  If you don’t take this approach, there is no doubt you will be busy: But what does it really get you in the end?

It has been said before by my good Friend and Co-Author of my Book “Sales Thoughts,” Brett Boston: “In a Vacuum, Them With A Plan WINS.”

Having a Plan does not mean “Checking a Box.” It means having an Executable, Designed Plan, that will allow you to really ensure that you are not one of those Sales people who get to the end of each Time Period (Month, Quarter, Year) wondering why Revenue did not happen.  Tie your work back to a Higher Level of thought, and you will be more at ease if you do.

In Sales, Execution is Everything.  How will you Execute Today?

Sales Thought: You must have a Plan of Execution in Place – it is a way of life for Great Sellers!

When I see Companies report their Quarterly earnings and talk about the things that they will and won’t do in the future, it always comes down to One Big Concept

Execution

Whatever product you sell or service you deliver, your ability to be successful comes down to having a Plan of Execution in Place.

A Plan of Execution assures that you are not doing “Activity” Sake of Activity.

As a Seller, you do what you do because you have a Plan of Execution.

Or as my Dear Friend and World Class Facilitator Brett Boston says:

“In a Vacuum, them with a Plan Wins!”

A Plan is not a Series of Activities!

 

 

Sales Thought: Use the New Year to Examine Your Personal Sales Process – set New Selling Resolutions for 2016!

I have talked about Sales Process on and off in this Publication. While I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, can we all believe in New Selling Resolutions to bring in the Year?

I realize that everyone is not on a Calendar Year in Business, BUT – all of us start every New Year with a Chance to Look at what worked well, what did not work well and what is in Process.

As a Professional Seller or Manager, Resolve to do this as 2016 gets rolling:

Based on 2015 Results Develop the Start – Continue and Most Importantly, the STOP list.

Stop is always the hardest because once a Seller is Engaged in something, it is Really Hard to get them to Stop. So, Many Sellers, Managers- Indeed Companies- will not give up on things they should have absolutely Stopped doing. The Lines are like a Bad Movie:

“I will get it this quarter I know I will!”
“Just one more Meeting will get them In!”
“If we bring an Executive in, that will do it!”

and list goes on and on!

Always remember 2 Rules regarding Change.

1. Einstein’s Definition of Insanity:

Expecting Different Results while doing the same thing Over and Over again.

2. My Personal Favorite – The Groundhog Day Rule:

Do you really want to live in Groundhog Day and live the same Day/Week/Month/Year doing the same thing Over and Over again?

Make the Personal Commitment make the Hard Decisions for yourself- or if you are in a position to do this as a Manager or Executive who sets Sales Process Rules- do if or your Company, Unit, Group, etc.

Its early 2016 – Let’s Resolve to make it Different than the past!

By the Way, Wishes are not Resolutions. Don’t waste your time Wishing for things to be the way they were. That is a waste of Mental Energy.

Sales Thought: Sales moves at the Speed of Trust – What’s Next?

I have talked about “Sales Move at the Speed of Trust” before. Some of you may be reading this and saying “Yea, so what? They already trust me!”

So a Fair question to ask is if you feel that you are and others you are competing with are viewed as the same or Similar, how do you NOW Distinguish yourself?

Competing is harder and harder as you get into more competitive Sales Cycles and more Complex Sales.

Whether you are a New Seller or a Seasoned Professional, think about the Next Step you can take to Stand Out.

I say “Sales Move at the Speed of Trust” on that basis, what can you do to Advance yourself. Some Examples:

-Give your Customer A Reason to actually Trust You by offering something Extra in the Sales Process- something you don’t get paid for

-Focus on the Step “After” the Sale. What can you do to show your customer you are not just there to “Pitch a Product”

-Education: Is there something you know about the Product/Service you sell that you Can Advise the Customer of During the Sales Cycle?

Great Sellers are not focused on the First Sale: The want their Customers to be Customers for Life! You can’t always do it, but you can make sure that that you set the Customer Up the Next Time you want to sell them something!