246 ENCORE-Hope is not a strategy

Hope is not a strategy

An elite sales leader developed a mantra for his team. A key part of the mantra is this: 

“Hope is not a strategy.

If it’s not on paper, it’s not real!”

A mantra must be meaningful and must drive your team’s motivation and their journey to excellence. 

Sales professionals are typically optimistic people and hope for positive outcomes in their sales opportunities. But they cannot rely only on “hope”.

Hope is not a Strategy

But hope is often the default mode for many sales professionals. They prepare proposals, send them in and “hope” the customer buys. To be effective in selling, you have to do much more. 

In his book “Hope is not a Strategy”, author Rick Page outlines the real strategy and what it takes to win a complex sale. 

Here are four key areas where you should focus: 

1) Demonstrate Value – articulate how your solution will solve business issues and create substantial benefit. 

2) Harness your resources to create a winning team. Involve your team in the qualification process to get their buy-in. 

3) Build trust so you finish ahead of your competition.

4) Understand your customer’s decision process, approval process, and politics within their organization. Create your strategy to handle each element. 

What is your mantra? I’m not talking about your company mission. I’m talking about what drives your sales team to excellence. If you don’t have a mantra that is meaningful, now is the time to create one.   

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

245 ENCORE-Find Your Most Productive Time

Find Your Most Productive Time

The U. S. Army previously had a slogan that stated:

“We do more before 9AM than most people do all day.”

Early Morning Wakeup Call

Most elite salespeople I know are most productive in the early morning. They set an early morning wakeup call to ensure that they can hit the ground running. 

The quiet serenity of the early morning helps them focus. There are no distractions or disruptions. It is often the only time of the day when they can string together continuous thoughts that generate high productivity.    

Even if it’s completing simple, incremental tasks first thing in the morning, it creates a discipline of accomplishment. You can clear these simple tasks early, then proceed to what might be more involved and take more time. No matter what else happens that day, you have the satisfaction of having completed smaller tasks well.

Consider breaking up more complex tasks into separate pieces so you can make incremental progress and not become intimidated by the fear of getting started on a daunting task. 

The Night Owl

Some may argue that they are not a “morning person” and prefer to schedule time late in the day or evening to get major items done. That’s fine, but what often happens is the salesperson’s day could be plagued by constant interruptions, and the fatigue that sets in later in the day or evening could make it nearly impossible to focus on those important tasks. 

When you start your day strong, you are on your way to making it a great day.  

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

244 ENCORE-Create your own sales playbook

Create your own sales playbook

Create your own sales playbook. If your sales organization has one, then use it and update it to align with your selling approach. 

If not, create your own sales playbook. Just as a football team uses a playbook with a defined set of plays they run in specific situations, and to coordinate their actions, your playbook should contain a set of “plays” on how you manage your sales opportunities. 

Your sales playbook should contain (at least) the following 10 items: 

  1. 1) Your prospecting approach with the best person or title to target
  2. 2) Talking points to guide you through the introduction
  3. 3) Drip campaign content and frequency
  4. 4) The first meeting agenda and goals
  5. 5) Your sales process steps – you can adjust the steps based on your successes and challenges. 
  1. Then, add more impactful items, like these: 
  2. 6) How you will research the customer to gain an initial understanding of their business issues.

7) Background information on your customers, their top business issues, and key messages that you must convey.

  1. 8) A discovery process you can follow, including open-ended questions you should ask to better understand your customer’s issues
  2. 9) An agenda for your preferred, initial discovery meeting, covering the vision you will share
  3. 10) A collection of customer successes you can share. These should be effective stories you can tell to increase your prospective customer’s interest. 

For example, my online “Great Communicator” course includes a comprehensive Elite Seller Playbook which includes  documented content that my clients use to prepare for, practice for, and execute their sales meetings. This playbook also enables them to update and sharpen their message so they can articulate a powerful message in every customer communication.

I’m DJ Sebastian. To learn more about my online course that will help you become a Great Communicator, visit my website at thetechseller.com.

243 ENCORE-Resilience

Resilience

Elite Sellers possess a skill that helps them get through challenging times and difficult situations. The skill is called resilience… it’s the ability to rebound from adversity.

Just as a boxer takes a hard punch to the jaw, then falls to the canvass, they have two choices: lay there and get counted out accepting defeat, or get up, dust oneself off, and fight on. 

I asked an Elite Seller how he developed resilience. 

He said, “It’s a simple answer, really. You get knocked down… you gotta get back up”.

But he was brushing off times early in his selling career, when he did not easily recover. When he fretted over troubling customer situations, when he became very stressed out when deals went south. When he worried about hitting his forecast to the point where he lay awake at night trying to resolve problems in business and even in his personal life he seemingly had no control over. 

Along the way, he developed grit and the mental toughness needed to win in a highly competitive market. Now he tosses aside the thought that those challenges will get to him.

It’s having the passion and the strong belief that in the end you will achieve the result you desire. It’s persevering through adversity, devising strategies to address the near-term obstacles with your eyes on your long-term goals. 

Grit requires that you Embrace the Grind. You understand that nothing is given; everything is earned. You don’t let challenges and difficulties wear you down. Each day, you reflect on what you have learned and what you can do to get better. 

It’s important for you to work to attain the grit and the mental toughness that will help you gain the resilience you need to reach elite status as a sales professional. 

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

242 ENCORE-Be the Master of Ceremonies – Part 4

Be the Master of Ceremonies – Part 4

As Master of Ceremonies, Confirm everything on the agenda—every step of the way

Never assume that your customer is available for the entire time you have scheduled. Plan on repeated time checks throughout. 

Bradley confirmed a meeting with a customer via electronic calendar invite. On the date of the meeting, Bradley’s team showed up in the conference room well in advance of the start time to ensure they were ready to go. The customer attendees drifted in slowly, and several critical attendees finally showed up thirty minutes after the scheduled start time. 

Once they got started, Bradley’s team was performing well and engaging the customer in meaningful dialogue. The customer was pleased with the content and the flow of the meeting. 

Then, right in the middle of the meeting, the customer attendees began rustling, closing the lids on their laptops, and stuffing their notepads into their backpacks. 

Even though more time was scheduled, the customer attendees were leaving the meeting and moving on to what was next on their schedule. 

Bradley’s team was quickly whisked out of the room. They didn’t have the opportunity to wrap up the meeting properly or to discuss next steps. It took two months for Bradley’s team to pick up where they left off—all because of a miscommunication about the meeting duration. A simple phone call with the customer could have avoided this situation. 

To avoid the surprise to the abrupt meeting end, repeated time checks could have given advance warning. Plan on checking the meeting time and status every thirty minutes. Simply asking a quick question and receiving a confirmation should suffice. 

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com