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 

 

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