32 Never Beg

Never Beg

 

Do you appear to be begging when trying to engage prospective customers?

 

Never beg. Whether your dialogue is verbal or via text or email, don’t appear as though you are “begging.” 

 

This is a huge sign of weakness and will be met with silence. 

 

What would you think of emails or voice messages that attempt to engage an executive that looked or sounded like one of this:

 

  • “Sorry to bother you. I know you are busy. If you have a chance, please give me a call. I would love to tell you about our latest products (which are great!). I will be in the area on Tuesday and Wednesday and would like to schedule a meeting with you and your decision-makers.”

 

Or this:

 

  • “I apologize for interrupting you. I would like to touch base. If you have time, please follow up with me. I am sure our products would really work well for you.”

 

Nothing in these examples compels the recipient to respond. They are weak, self-serving messages that cause the sender to appear to be groveling. They certainly don’t communicate any value to the potential customer. This is a terrible way to try to begin a business relationship.

 

Instead, consider this value-based approach for an initial text, email, or voice message:

 

“Our customers in the electronics industry achieved at least a 22% improvement in customer retention by doing the following:

 

  • Increasing loyalty through an innovative customer rewards program and
  • Identifying customers most likely to churn and targeting retention programs for them.

 

This approach is compelling and offers successful results experienced by other customers. 

 

Making your message customer-centric rather than being focused only on you and your products will make your prospective customer much more likely to say, “Yeah! I gotta get some of that.”

 

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

 

31 Equal Business Stature

Equal Business Stature

 

To effectively advance sales opportunities, it is important to gain access to your customer’s top executives. And to make the most of your time with executives, you must strive to attain Equal Business Stature. 

 

What’s that? Well, Equal Business Stature is not about having your title be at the same level as that of your customer’s executives. It’s about understanding your customer’s business, how you articulate the key areas where you can help your customer achieve greater results, and how you show a command of what you have to offer.

 

Here are 3 Keys: 

 

It means Expertise

When you have Equal Business Stature, you possess a certain level of expertise about your customer’s field or industry. It means: 

– A keen understanding of your customer’s business, overall strategy, and key initiatives;

– A knowledge of their position in their industry, how they compete against their competitors, and how they are perceived in the marketplace. 

 

It means Solutions that Deliver

You must have a solid understanding of how your solution can deliver substantial benefits to your customer, how they will achieve those benefits, and how you will help them along that journey. 

 

It means Your ability to Articulate

You can achieve Equal Business Stature when you can articulate in a strong, confident manner. Don’t let your customer’s executives conclude that you are subservient to them. Position yourself as a respected advisor by bringing value to every interaction

 

If customer executives consider you to be lower in stature, and sense that you’ll just waste their time, they won’t engage… you’ll be shuttled over to someone at a lower level… someone who does not have the vision, the incentive to make things happen, or the decision-making authority you will need to advance your opportunities.

 

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

 

30 Time Kills Deals

Time Kills Deals

 

The absolute best time to win a deal is today. Tomorrow is not better. Next week or next month are not better. As time passes, the probability of winning a deal is reduced—slightly at first, more dramatically as time passes.  

 

Why is that? Well, the reason time kills deals is that there are so many things that can go wrong along the way during your sales cycle as you try to advance your opportunity and win: 

 

1) Your customer can get distracted. Priorities can change and required resources (such as legal staff, procurement staff, and executives for approval) might not be available when you need them. 

 

2) The people you’ve been working with at the customer organization might change responsibility or leave the company. What would happen if one of them wins the lottery, or gets run over by the proverbial bus, and never shows up for work again?

 

3) Customer executives could decide to halt all new projects… They put the hammer down and freeze spending for new initiatives, including yours. 

 

4) Key resources on your team are re-assigned to focus on other key deals and won’t be able to spend time working with you on your deal.

 

5) Your sales manager informs you that your accounts will be reassigned soon, so to get quota credit and commission payment you will need to complete the deal while you are still assigned to the account. 

 

Always view delays as threats that could kill your deal. 

While changes will certainly occur during the sales cycle, you should focus only on what you can control. 

 

That means you should control as much as possible. A good plan of action will help you take that control and stay on track so you can minimize distractions.

 

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

 

29 Integrity Part 3

Integrity Part 3

 

This is Part 3 of a three part briefing on Integrity. 

 

Tony Dungy, champion football coach of the Indianapolis Colts, said this:

 

“Integrity is the choice between what’s 

convenient and what’s right.”

 

Let’s look at the following scenario. 

 

  • Early in the selling year, your sales pipeline was very strong and you anticipated “blowing out” your quota. On impulse, you made some very large personal expenditures.

 

  • With one month remaining in your fiscal year, multiple deals have been delayed, and you’ve incurred some competitive losses. Your performance is way below quota.

 

  • One large deal looked fairly promising, and you are working feverishly to close the deal before year-end. Winning this deal will put you way above quota for the year. 

 

  • You’ve been warned by your management that you could be dismissed if you finish the year below quota. 

 

  • At the eleventh hour, your most promising customer gives you incredibly bad news: They’ve limited corporate spending, and the customer cannot complete the deal by year-end. 

 

  • An unscrupulous executive in your selling organization devises a scheme to hold off on sending invoices to the customer until the new year with the provision that the customer agrees to place the order immediately. 

 

  • Problem solved, right? Your company books the revenue, and you get quota credit (and lucrative commissions) for the deal. Everyone wins, right? Wrong. This scheme violates revenue recognition laws and is illegal. 

 

What would you do in this situation? It would be very convenient to look the other way—to let this scheme be executed, secure your job, and to cash in those “earned” commissions. 

 

Integrity is easy to choose when it is convenient. It’s much more difficult to choose during challenging times. A tarnished reputation can follow you around forever. Choose now to do what’s right… by always choosing integrity.

 

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

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