Supercharge Your Sales Results By Addressing Your Customers Priorities

July 16, 2012 · Posted in Business · Comment 

Probably the most important and fundamental sales technique for practically every sales professional, will be to understand the priorities their customer has. Priorities in pretty much any company typically relate to the business drivers and corporate strategy established by the executive management team, the chief executive officer, or perhaps the board of directors.

Those priorities trickle down throughout the company into departmental initiatives. Once you understand their priorities and initiatives, you can see how your products could facilitate a faster time to resolution. Since their priorities are typically driven by executive management, they will always be funded projects with predetermined deadlines.

Here’s one good example of how corporate priorities turns into revenue for any smart sales rep. A few years ago, the business I worked for had a corporate priority and requirement to automate the entire process of keeping track of our customers, managing information about all of our relationships with them, and streamlining the forecasting as well as other sales processes. This initiative was established at the president level and led by the executive vice president of sales. There had been a twelve month deadline to acquire and implement a customer relationship management (CRM) application. Had you been the sales representative supporting my company, and were selling a CRM solution, and knew about this priority and also the associated deadline before any of your competitors, you would not only have a jump on your competition, you would also know that you had a very motivated customer with a very real compelling event. As a result of this priority, my company purchased and implemented a multi-million dollar solution inside the twelve month target.

Another example where this worked for me was with one of my customers who had a corporate priority to improve compliance and minimize risks. They had failed an audit given that they did not have tight control over who had use of their financial systems. As a result, they had a requirement to implement an automated access control security system to lock down their servers and applications to their “authorized” users. By understanding their priority, I knew this was a critical and funded initiative. Since I also knew the importance of the project for my customer, and my company had a viable solution, I became their priority so they could appreciate how I could assist them to solve their problem. Furthermore, I was in early to perform a proof of concept with our security solution which generated a multi-million dollar sale for me personally and my team.

Here’s a number of the many advantages derived from knowing my customers priorities and the success we achieved with this particular sale:

- My team was first to the table to help my customer determine the success criteria for their project that had been based on our solution. This made it much harder for our competitors.

- I was able to directly map our solution to the company priority which in turn made me much more relevant and facilitated my access to their senior executives.

- I was able to clearly determine the importance and timeline for my customer which helped me get the best resources to support the proof of concept.

- My knowledge enabled me to accurately forecast a multi-million dollar opportunity since I had a very compelling event and knew about my customers deadline.

- I did not have to provide special financial incentives to close the deal and managed to maximize the revenue that me and my team received.

- The success from this project together with the many advantages my customer received, greatly increased the credibility of me personally in addition to my company which led to many additional product sales.

As you have seen, whenever you focus your energy and attention directly on understanding your customers’ priorities, you will minimize or even eliminate time wasted with people or projects that are not really important for your customer. Additionally, you will turn into your customers priority and boost your sales.

Look here for more free information about Enterprise Selling Tips and Effective Sales Techniques.

How To Convert Your Worst Customers Into Your Best Ones

July 13, 2012 · Posted in Business · Comment 

[I:]Often times in sales, you inherit an exceptionally challenging customer that’s had a bad experience with your company, and therefore refuses to do any new business with you. Usually, 20% of your customers will generate 80% of your revenue, so your natural tendency is to focus your time and energy on your best customers; to keep them, nourish them, and encourage them to keep buying more from you. That’s great.

When you’ve got a sales territory with lots of prospective customers, it might be okay to minimize the time you invest contacting the so called “problem customers”. However, if you have a small and finite number of customers, you will not be able to ignore any of them and will need to optimize your sales from everyone. Additionally, nobody can afford getting any negative press from customers that will complain about your company’s products or services.

A couple of years ago, I was assigned to a new account that was among the largest manufacturers of photographic and printing equipment in the world. Since they had thrown out one of our products, no one from my company had called on them in over a year! In fact, when I first got the account, a number of people laughed and one even said “good luck trying to sell anything to them”. As it turned out, they had been running an old release of our product and it was causing major issues for them in their new environment. Because of this, they chose to change to an alternative solution from another company which also failed. Understandably, the individual responsible was getting a lot of grief from his management, had been blaming our company, and desperately needed another solution.

Within 3 months after meeting this customer, I was able to solve their problem by simply supplying the latest version of the same product they bought in the past at no additional charge to them. The individual I worked with, along with his management, were delighted with our efforts and the outcome, and opened up the doors to numerous others in the company. As a result it enabled me and my team to turn one of the worst customers in the region into one of the best who has since purchased millions of dollars of our products and services.

If you follow these proven sales techniques and provide exceptional customer service, you will greatly improve your relationship with your worst customers, while turning many of them into your best ones.

Get right to the heart of the problem. If you try and avoid their problem, the resentment will continue to haunt you, the problem will persist, the negativity will spread, and you will be unable to sell anything new to them. If you invest time and resources upfront and face the issue head on, you will gain respect, trust, and build credibility.

Determine who was affected by the problem and how. By determining all of the individuals the issue impacted and how, you can address them directly, while understanding exactly how serious it was for them. Bad news travels fast, so it’s essential to get to the source and solve the problem to their satisfaction as soon as possible.

Establish a personal win for your customer and they’ll help you sell. If you are able to provide an amicable solution, you can turn enemies into loyal internal champions for you and your company. After I managed to solve my customers’ problem, those individuals were very happy to help me by referring me to other key buyers in their company, and we had a real life and relevant success story to share with them.

Build trust by holding true to your word. Very simply, tell your customer what you and your team can and will do to solve their problem and just do it. Words without actions will get you nowhere and will create even more damage for you and your company.

Promote your success to the right people. Once the issue has been resolved, be sure the good news, and how you were personally responsible for solving their problem, is communicated quickly and to the most important individuals. If not, some people will not be aware of your involvement or the solution and may continue to spin things negatively. Many times, negative perception can create more damage than the problem itself.

As you can tell, by investing some extra time improving customer service and solving problems for those that are perceived as being your worst customers, you are able to significantly increase your sales results by converting them into your best ones.

Look here for more free and valuable information about Effective Sales Techniques. By Paul M. Balzano

Try These Seven Suggestions to Beat Sales Call Reluctance

May 16, 2012 · Posted in Business · Comment 

Many folks who work in sales or who run their own firms have come face-to-face with sales reluctance at some juncture in their careers; it’s a terribly pervasive problem. For some, this is a short challenge that lasts just a couple of days or weeks. For others, this antipathy to actively promote themselves or their products and services is an ongoing issue that they must struggle against for months or years.

Quite frankly, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to sales reluctance. What “cures” one individual might have no impact at all on another. The secret to winning this war is to keep fighting and to constantly try a variety of weapons until you find the ones that best fit your personality type, interests, and skill set. As a market research expert who competes with other Atlanta marketing consulting agencies, here are 7 techniques that have helped me- – and that could help you as well:

- Play to your strengths. You have different skill sets; no one performs every sales task perfectly well. If you’re great at one to one dealings, seek those out and make nurturing your contacts and networking a cornerstone of your sales plan. If you are comfortable in front of crowds, find speaking opportunities that will enable you to show your experience. If you can write, play up that ability by using sales letters, advertising, or press-releases. If utilizing the telephone works for you, dial away. With so many different ways of reaching out to your target market, there isn’t any reason why you should not rely heavily on the one where you are feeling most at ease.

- Push your comfort zone. Having said that , there are benefits to using more than one avenue of attempting to generate increased sales. Try hard not to push yourself into an activity you definitely hate, but be willing to dip your toe in something new and unfamiliar once in a while. One method of making this easier is to try your new approach on your less important sales targets so you can take some of the pressure off yourself.

- Give new sales systems a fair try before moving on. One of the hardest challenges in sales is knowing when to give up and when to keep going. Sales specialists stress that it can take at least 7 “touch points” before you break through to your audience. Most sales folk and entrepreneurs give up after only a few attempts. Take into account that your sales activities should be viewed as a sequence of events- – a campaign- – instead of a one-hit wonder.

- Count the cost. Sometimes you can achieve a breakthrough in your sales call reluctance by realizing how much your fear of rejection is actually costing you. What could- – or should- – you be making annually? Multiply that over the time you have been in sales, or plan to be in sales. It quickly adds up! Are you going to let a bunch of strangers, a group of folk you don’t even know, keep you from many thousands (or millions) of dollars simply because you are terrified of getting rejected?

- Put it into some kind of perspective/ don’t take it so seriously. Lots of the rejection we fear never materializes. Most of the time the people we approach are ambivalent. When they turn us down, they do not generally do it viciously or in a mean-spirited manner. Frankly, in 15 minutes, almost all of the people who have “rejected” us will have forgotten all about our sales attempt and will have turned back to their own issues and agenda. Although getting rejected stings, the vast majority of the people who turn you away don’t hate you and don’t view your sales spiel as something that would make you their mortal enemy!

- Get by with some help from your friends. When it comes to sales, no man is an island. We need a bit of help and support to navigate through the troubled waters we encounter. Develop and cultivate a number of friendships that are mutually supportive. They’ll be there to offer you support and a fresh perspective when you need it.

- Keep trying. Since overcoming sales reluctance is a challenge for so many entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, and even professional salespeople, there is a everlasting rush of books, conventions, and information on the subject. Be open to new ideas and outside help- – you will ultimately find a system or approach that truly does work for you.

These seven tips can help you overcome the challenge of sales reluctance. Which of them would you like to leverage today? Pick one and pursue it aggressively, and you’ll begin to see the breakthrough results that you deserve.

Marie Elwood runs Increased Results, a consumer insights consulting firm that helps large companies with new product commercialization.

Top 10 Steps To Guarantee Highly Effective Sales Meetings

April 20, 2012 · Posted in Business · Comment 

[I:]Plenty of sales people waste time with individuals that are not empowered to decide on or purchase the goods and services they sell. Meeting with the most suitable senior executives is one of the best ways to accelerate your time to success with all your customers. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that each one of these meetings are worthwhile for the executives you meet with.

If you demonstrate that you’re able to help that person/company in one way or another, you will have a much greater possibility of quickly identifying and closing new sales opportunities. Conversely, if your meeting is a total waste of time for your executive, you will prolong and potentially destroy any sales opportunities that you had, and it will likely ruin your chances for a follow up meeting. Here are the top 10 steps you really should complete before, during, and after your meetings to ensure they are both productive and valuable for your customers:

Know the executive(s) with whom you are meeting. With a little bit of research, you can typically find out a lot of important information about your customer and should understand where they’ve worked before, the areas of success they’ve enjoyed, special interests they may have, groups they belong to, and other common contacts they may have with you or others in your company.

Understand their role and responsibilities. The best way to get this information is to ask others you know in their department/division, or at a minimum, search the website for executive profiles, presentations they may have done, or articles they’ve written. Knowing this will enable you to build credibility by referencing it during your meeting, and ultimately help you determine how your products would map to their interests and initiatives.

Schedule the right resources to join you and make certain they are briefed and prepared before hand. Make sure that anyone you bring is well aware of the above mentioned items as well as the agenda including their role and any of the topics they are to cover. Role play in advance of the meeting to be certain everybody knows who, when, and exactly how they are expected to participate.

Share your agenda with your customer before hand and confirm who else will attend. By doing so, you can be sure that the topics you want to cover are relevant while soliciting input for other areas or topics they may be interested in. This simple step gives you the chance to change course if your initial agenda missed the mark, and enable you to reach out to any other executives you were not aware were asked to join.

Prepare an executive summary presentation or discussion document to follow during your meeting. Don’t just wing it. Having a professional looking document or presentation to review will demonstrate that you have invested time preparing, will help guide your discussion to be sure all important points are covered, and will prove that you care and value your customer’s time.

Complete proper introductions. Make sure that everyone introduces themselves, and ask them to describe their role and responsibilities, and convey any particular areas they want to cover and what they want to get out of the meeting. Make sure you also briefly describe what if any relationship exists, and where and how both companies have worked together in the past. This is a great way to break the ice and build instant credibility for you and your company. Don’t assume the people in the room are aware of any prior relationships or successes.

Review the agenda items in the beginning and confirm how much time you’ve got for the meeting. Ask your customer to prioritize your topics and figure out any others that need to be covered before jumping in. This ensures you review the most significant items first, and less important ones last or not at all if you used up all your time.

Ask open ended, relevant questions, and listen carefully and take notes. Be sure your time will not be wasted with you or perhaps your team doing the majority of the talking. The easiest way to identify new sales opportunities is to understand your clients challenges and how your products and solutions may help them. Don’t make the mistake of jumping into a hard core sales pitch before you’ll have had the chance to clearly identify the value add you can provide. Periodically pause during your meeting and ask your customer if the content being reviewed is really important and is also resonating with them. Otherwise, switch onto another more critical subject.

Before the meeting ends, recap all the items covered and figure out next steps. Spend time to briefly review and prioritize everything you covered along with any action items that were agreed to. You ought to get concurrence for subsequent meetings, and determine the focus areas including any other individuals that should participate. Solicit feedback from all of the attendees to determine on the spot if they received the benefit they expected and covered the topics they had been most interested in. Ask for guidance on how you could improve the next time.

Deliver what you promised. After the meeting, it’s critical that you follow through on what you said you would do. Send a thank you note to all that attended and document the action items and provide any information you promised. The value you can add begins when the meeting ends. You should also call each of the customers that attended to get their feedback. Many times in an open forum, individuals will not chime in during the meeting and might have valuable information to share in a private setting.

By completing these 10 steps, you will be guaranteed to have successful executive sales meetings, and prove to your customers that you are a valuable and credible resource for them. Visit here to find out more about how to Improve Your Sales Meetings as well as learning about The Most Effective Ways To Increase Your Sales.

SEO USA- Secrets About Online Marketing

November 28, 2011 · Posted in Business · Comment 

There are many businesses online. How can you promote your product or service among so many competitions online? There are many ways to do it. Patience and having faith in your product or service are the first things that you should keep in mind. Use the target market data you uncovered during your positioning exercise to identify both the most appropriate vehicles (advertising, direct mail, events, telemarketing, other) and the most compelling offer for your prospect For each product, write down your goals, offer, call-to-action, expected response, audience, size, key messages, and style/tone.

Be ethical, honest and truthful. This may seem to be a hard one to do, especially when you want a person to purchase a product. You’ve done your homework. You have created compelling, precise and relevant product positioning for your new product. You’ve taken a close look at the competition and evaluated your product’s position in the market. You’ve analyzed your profit and margin aims, and you’ve created pricing that avoids channel conflict. Now it is time to plan your marketing tactic. I recommend you document your policy in a marketing Plan to help manage your launch more effectively and effectively.

Be ethical, honest and truthful. This may appear to be a difficult one to do, especially when you wish a person to procure a product. You have done your homework. You’ve created compelling, precise and relevant product positioning for your new product. You’ve taken a close look at the competition and evaluated your product’s position in the market. You have analyzed your profit and margin targets, and you’ve created pricing that avoids channel conflict.

Now it is time to plan your marketing tactic. I recommend you document your policy in a marketing Plan to help manage your launch more efficiently and effectively. Employ the target market data you uncovered during your positioning exercise to identify both the most appropriate vehicles (advertising, direct mail, events, telemarketing, other) and the most compelling offer for your prospect For each product, write down your goals, offer, call-to-action, expected response, audience, size, key messages, and style/tone. Also keep a record the schedule and finances for each vehicle, as well as your list source. With all of the details for each program mapped out, you’ll be better prepared to assess the impact your planned vehicles will have both individually and as an integrated campaign. (Bear in mind, your marketing programs must work in concert and be designed to reach your audience over several mediums. This will create equity with your brand and current offer.)

List your financial statement. Your financial plan should include all fees for each program in your plan. From list rentals to printing costs to postage, itemize each program in a master budget spreadsheet that demonstrates when the costs will hit, the total cost for each program, and the total cost of implementing your approach. offering this level of detail will not only help you manage more closely to your finances, you’ll be better equipped to evaluate trade-offs should your target budget number require further negotiation. Secure management and team procure-off. Once you have completed your promotional Plan-complete with product positioning, recommended programs, ROI projections, schedule, and financial plan-it is time to present your plan to management. Acquiring buy-off from all levels of management prior to executing your plan will ensure a successful launch. It is important to take your time during this step to make sure that any concerns or questions are sufficiently addressed. Not only will it save time (and money!) during execution, it will help you avoid “tactic Schizophrenia.” Remember: a team that believes in the tactic will by nature be more inclined to execute it as planned.[youtube:SMFI_cuSEGw?version=3;[link:SEO USA Expert];]

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