229 ENCORE- Determined Leader

Determined Leader

Are you considered a Determined Leader among your colleagues?

Part of having a champion mindset means you will be a leader among your peers.

Even if you don’t directly manage salespeople, you still want to be considered a leader on your team. Leaders aren’t only found at the top of an organizational chart—they can exist anywhere along the way, performing leadership tasks and mentoring others wherever they reside in the organization.

Why is being a determined leader such an important part of a sales team?

Leaders make every other team member better. They raise all who are around them to higher levels of achievement. Other team members want to follow leaders because they create a path of success for them. Sales professionals who want to strive to achieve greatness learn from the leaders who came before them.

Leaders show gratitude. Be sure to thank those who helped you along the way. It is the right thing to do—and you may be in a situation someday where you need their help.

Leaders give back. They do this by mentoring other sales team members and helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. They also give back to the community by supporting service organizations.

Leaders understand that giving back will repay dividends tenfold and reinforce their purpose.

Pick some areas where you have experience or can develop expertise and build your capability as a Leader. You can help others in your organization achieve greater success in those areas.
Even if you do not aspire to a management role, you can still contribute significantly to your organization by serving as a Determined Leader.

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

228 ENCORE-Proactive Advisor – Part 2

Proactive Advisor – Part 2

The prior flash briefing introduced the Proactive Advisor. This is Part 2 which gives an example of how an outstanding Proactive Advisor built her personal brand. 

Laura was a rising star in the sales profession. Her peers called her “wonder woman.” She possessed boundless energy, successfully balancing a fulfilling personal life with a productive occupation. While she was dedicated to her family and community service, she still carved out the time necessary to have a successful sales career. 

Her services were in high demand and, after achieving success with one company, she made a set of strategic career moves to other companies—not because she was forced to, but because she believed climbing the steps to more responsibility was required to build her personal brand. Each new sales role presented an opportunity for growth and for gaining expertise in a new segment of the market. 

Laura called on the same companies in the same industries. She leveraged her connections to gain access and to advance major selling opportunities. Doors were opened because Laura was trusted in prior dealings. In multiple cases, she sold similar solutions provided by different vendors to the same company.

This would not have been possible had Laura not earned the trust and respect of her customers. Her conversations were consultative, and she proactively advised her customer in areas that could improve their business even if the solution was not one that she sold. 

Naturally, additional interactions gave her the opportunity to introduce new solutions and explain how they could address new areas in better and faster ways. Laura knew her customers’ needs very well, sometimes even better than their own employees. As a result, this wonder woman achieved sustained success and commanded a premium position in her industry. 

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

227 ENCORE-Proactive Advisor – Part 1

Proactive Advisor – Part 1

Zig Ziglar, the great author, salesman, and motivational speaker, said this: 

“You can have everything in life you want if you

will just help other people get what they want.”

The most valuable and trusted salespeople are those who become “proactive advisors.” Here are the steps they take: 

 

1) Give value first… solve a problem or make a recommendation, even if doing so does not involve anything you can sell. This is an excellent way to demonstrate that you are committed to engage with your customer as an advisor for the long term, not just for a quick transaction.

 

2) Become the subject-matter expert of your company and solution and of the business value you can help generate for your customer.

3) Hold the key to unlocking the unique and substantial business value you can help deliver to your customer. 

4) Proactively bring innovative ideas to the table where your customer will gain market share, expand regional presence, improve their competitive position, and increase their brand reputation. Maybe your solution does not have the broad reach to greatly impact every one of these areas, but even at a departmental or divisional level, you should be able to find a couple of areas where you and your solution can have a substantial positive impact on your customer’s business. 

5) Plan to find areas where, in the mind of your customer, you can make the impossible truly possible. You will find yourself in discussions where you unveil a capability and your customer will say, “WOW, I didn’t even know that was possible!” Never assume that your customer understands every capability available in the marketplace. Take every opportunity to “WOW!” them. 

This is Part 1 of a two Part briefing on the Proactive Advisor. 

226 Creativity in Your Value Proposition - BV - Part 18

Creativity in Your Value Proposition – BV – Part 18

 

Creativity is an important characteristic in developing your winning value proposition. Here is an example of a winning pursuit for selling to a customer that, on the surface, did not appear to be a viable prospect. 

 

BrokenDown Enterprises, a multi-billion-dollar company that had fallen into bankruptcy, was an account in Jim’s territory. Most sales professionals quickly assume that a bankrupt company has no money to spend and would not even bother contacting them. 

 

Not Jim. He relished the challenge, figuring that BrokenDown would have to do something dramatic if it wanted to survive. Jim used his creative talents and out-of-the-box thinking to explore ways that his solution could significantly benefit this bankrupt customer. 

 

In doing some quick research, Jim quickly learned that BrokenDown needed to execute a major transformation to survive and effectively compete in its markets. Maintaining the status quo was not an option.

 

So Jim crafted a briefing document that identified three major areas where implementing his solution could facilitate the company’s transformation. He even produced an “estimated value release” and noted that the actual number would be validated after further discussions. Jim sent this document brief to the BrokenDown CEO and to several board members via an overnight delivery service. 

 

The briefing document got the attention of BrokenDown’s executives. They returned his phone calls. Jim then engaged with these executives to mutually agree on a solution evaluation plan. Jim led his team through a rigorous evaluation process that spanned several months. 

 

These efforts paid off. Jim and his team won this deal, booking more than $10 million in prepaid revenue—all because Jim  began with a creative approach to pursue a customer account and fulfill a need that few other sales professionals thought would be worthwhile. 

 

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

 

225 No Budget No Problem - BV - Part 17

No Budget No Problem – BV – Part 17

 

A common approach in sales is to confirm that your prospective customer has funding already budgeted for your proposed project. If the customer has a budget, has the customer already been working with one of your competitors to identify a baseline budget? 

 

Or what if you discover that your potential customer has no real budget for your proposed initiative? Perhaps you discover that the customer does not fully understand the investment required. Do you walk away if there is no budget? Of course not. 

 

Here are two methods for circumventing a lack of budget for your initiative: 

 

  1. Make your value proposition so compelling that your customer believes that your initiative is more important and more valuable than other projects that might already have budgeted funds already established but not yet spent. In this case, you can actually “steal” the budget from other projects by helping your customer make your business case most compelling. 

 

  1. Top executives in your customer’s organization have a lot of flexibility in how funds will be spent, whether or not a budget has been allocated. Working with these top executives can help you bypass the formal budget allocation process within your customer’s organization. 

 

Capital Expenditure or Operating Expense 

Find out whether your customer will classify project funding as a capital investment or as an operating expense. Depending on the level of investment and what is being purchased, your customer might prefer to take funding right out of monthly operating expenses. In other cases, the investment could be significant enough to require booking it as a capital expenditure. 

Generally, it is easier to get approval for expense-based funding. Companies often have stringent requirements for documenting capital projects and a rigorous approval process.

 

I’m DJ Sebastian, and we will continue this discussion on creating customer value in the next briefings.