28 Integrity Part 2

Integrity Part 2

 

This is Part 2 of a three part briefing on Integrity. 

 

Integrity is not a once-in-a-while thing… It’s an everyday thing. 

 

In every interaction with your customers, your management, and your teammates, acting with integrity is an absolute requirement

Should word get around that you are unethical or cannot be trusted, your reputation could be tarnished for the long term. Don’t let it hamper your path to success. 

Here’s an example. 

 

Will, a partner in a consulting services firm was invited to play a round of golf at a corporate outing. Conveniently, Will was teamed up with an executive from a prospective customer, as a way to introduce Will and his organization to the customer.

 

The game of golf can be a great way to build relationships with business associates… it is said that a person can learn more about another individual’s character in four hours playing a round of golf than one can in years of business dealings. 

 

But sometimes “learning about an individual’s character” can be a bad thing. 

 

Throughout the round, whenever Will hit an errant shot, his golf ball somehow ended up in a better position than where it had actually landed. He was cheating. 

 

After the round, the prospective customer executive walked over to the meeting organizer and quietly told him,

 

“We ask that the partners we do business with have integrity and a high degree of ethics. I witnessed what Will did today and thought, If this guy is cheating during a meaningless game of golf, how will he act in our business dealings? Please find me another partner . . . one I can trust.”

Will lost out on a multi-million-dollar sales opportunity that day, all because a prospective customer found out more about Will during a round of golf than he would have in several years. 

 

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

 

27 Integrity Part-1

Integrity Part 1

 

This is Part 1 of a three part briefing on Integrity. 

 

There’s an old joke that goes like this: “When do you know that a salesperson is lying?  When their lips are moving.” 

 

Sometimes salespeople are likened to sleazy used car salespeople. 

 

But professional selling is an admirable vocation. Sales professionals are at the center of helping customers find solutions to business problems and they can serve as valued advisors. 

 

Unfortunately, too often, customers start with a negative perception of salespeople. Changing this perception can only happen when the customers know, like, and trust salespeople.

 

And the underlying foundation of building trust is… Integrity. 

 

Without integrity, you have nothing and will not be able to advance your sales career to higher levels.

 

I never had to apologize for selling a customer a solution or a set of services. I would have rather walked away from a deal than sell something that wasn’t right for the customer. I was fortunate to work for solid companies who held business ethics in high regard and sales teams were held to high standards. 

 

Never be in a position where you need to apologize to a customer for selling something that did not work or was unnecessary. If you plan to build your brand in a certain industry or a certain technology over a long period, your reputation will follow you. Your actions (the good, the bad, and the ugly) will stick to you like glue. Always keep in mind that your customer will share their experiences with others—not only the positive but the negative too.

 

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

 

26 Exude Confidence

Exude Confidence

 

To be effective, you need to exude confidence in all communications with a customer. 

 

Nobody buys from a salesperson who lacks confidence. It might not sound easy, but with preparation and practice, you can gain the confidence you need to be successful. Here are 8 things you can do to acquire the confidence it takes: 

 

1) Examine how the customer describes their mission, key initiatives, and customer focus and use those terms… when you articulate their business issues, even at a high level, you will quickly develop rapport with your customer. 

 

2) Don’t waste your customer’s time. You might have just a few minutes to interact with your customer’s executives, so make the most of it. Only talk about off-topic subjects if the customer brings it up first.

 

3) Visualize a positive outcome every time you connect with your customer. Envision what it will take to have a powerful conversation, facilitate a successful meeting, and result in a positive outcome. 

 

4) Adopt the strong belief that you, your company, and your solution will deliver the best possible outcome to your customer. 

 

5) Create an unshakable belief that by working with you, your customer will gain the most business benefits. If you are unable to develop this belief, then you are either selling for the wrong company or calling on the wrong customer.

 

6) Don’t appear cocky or arrogant. Never fake it. You must be sincere, and your passion must be real. Otherwise, you will be viewed as a phony and won’t be taken seriously.

 

7) Prepare well. Have a command of your message, your main points, and a list of probing questions to ask.

 

8) Practice your sales conversations with one of your peers or your sales manager to sharpen your message.

 

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

 

25 Continuous Learner

Continuous Learner

 

Vernon Law, World Series Champion pitcher on the Pittsburgh Pirates, said this: 

 

“Some people are so busy learning the tricks of 

the trade, they never learn the trade.”

 

Never stop learning. Knowledge is your secret weapon.

 

Sales organizations place a lot of importance on training sales professionals on the overall capabilities of the products and the solutions they sell. It is often believed that when sales professionals are armed with product knowledge, sales revenue will be generated easily and flow freely. 

 

Sure, good sales professionals must understand their product capabilities, but the learning doesn’t stop there. Product knowledge is only part of what a sales professional must learn and retain in order to be successful. 

 

When it comes to continuous learning, Elite sales professionals will always: 

  • Learn to master all aspects of their craft: their markets, best practice selling techniques, and effective selling processes. 

 

  • Learn to master the powerful tools of their trade: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, email marketing tools, and proposal generation tools. 

 

  • Apply their knowledge and understanding of their products, the customer’s business, the market, and potential competitors to their selling experiences on a daily basis. 

 

  • Become the subject-matter expert for selling, the “go-to” person with expertise customers depend on and value.

 

There are no simple tricks in the selling game… only dedication to continuously learn the selling trade that makes a sales champion. 

 

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

 

25 Celebrate Your Wins but Learn More from Your Losses

Celebrate Your Wins but Learn More from Your Losses

 

Take time to celebrate your wins – winning creates the spark that ignites the fire within you. It jump-starts your early-morning routine and makes it easier to take on the challenges of pursuing that next customer. It can set the pattern that you can follow to create future success. But don’t dwell on a successful pursuit too much. You could end up getting over-confident the next time.

 

On the flip side, it’s too easy to brush off your losses as bad luck or attribute them to a “clueless customer” who just didn’t get it. (Notice how “smart customers” are those who buy from you… and you rationalize that the others must not be that smart.) 

 

But making excuses prevents you from exposing the lessons from those losses. Continuous learning is gleaning all that you can, even from the opportunities when you didn’t win. While your competitive losses will hopefully be infrequent, make an honest assessment to evaluate why you lost… and how you will avoid the same losing result next time:

 

  • Were you sufficiently plugged in to the customer’s organization? Were members of the customer organization  actively opposing your solution?

 

  • Did you build strong relationships as an advisor and nurture sponsors who could become advocates for your solution?

 

  • Did you articulate a strong business value proposition? Did your customer buy in to your value proposition and internalize it to gain approval?

 

  • Did your competition establish a dominant position in the account and did they “outsell” you?

 

These are all questions for you and your selling team to consider in your assessment. While not very much fun, they will help you avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

 

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