45 Exalted Experiences

Exalted Experiences

 

You will occasionally run into a rough patch when nothing in your selling efforts seems to be going right. Perhaps your opportunities  have stalled and your forecasted deals look weak. Prospective customers are not returning your phone calls or responding to your emails. Maybe this lasts a couple of days, or a couple of months.

 

Don’t hang your head or stop working. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t waste time on worry or other non-productive activities. 

 

This is the time to change your mindset. 

 

You can do that quickly by calling up your Exalted Experiences. “Exalted” means “Raised” or “Elevated”. 

“Exalted Experiences” are those that bring back the memories of  positive experiences.  

 

This is the time to look inside your being and call up those times when you enjoyed success… when you conquered your competition… when you exceeded your goal. Think about what you did or how you felt to create that Exalted Experience. Your demeanor will rapidly turn positive. 

 

Look back on times when you were making great progress advancing sales opportunities, when what you did resulted in developing a prospective customer into a buying customer; and when you celebrated those glorious wins. If you are new to your sales role, call up an Exalted Experience that was a positive memory in your life: your graduation, your conquests in sports, or other competition; your interviews for the job that resulted in you winning that coveted sales job… Your reminder of those  times when you climbed that mountain, overcoming adversity along the way, and demonstrated how good you really are!

 

Infusing these Exalted Experiences into your mind can fuel your winning attitude by creating the mindset you need to win. 

Then you can focus on transferring your positive energy to tackle the task at hand. 

 

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

 

44 Negotiations 5 – Planning to Win

Negotiations 5 – Planning to Win

Create a plan to win. Don’t go into negotiations unprepared.

Here are 5 elements of a good negotiations plan.

1. Understand what you want as the desired outcome, what you will accept, and what are the related parameters.
Understand how strong your relationship is with your customer and what is their win. And about your buyer, what is their goal? Will they try to create multiple levels of negotiating? If you give too much too early, you might have nothing left to give when you are finished.

2. Brainstorm on how you can establish value on both sides (make it a win-win), while maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship. Identify potential areas where you can give something while getting something in return.

3. Before resorting to cutting price, identify alternatives. Reduce scope if possible.
Reiterate the business issues you will solve and the value your solution will provide – and the danger in reducing the scope. You can remind them “If we reduce the scope, we won’t be able to achieve these benefits.”
Know when it is time to walk away… this can be difficult, but no deal is usually better than a bad deal.

4. Lead your negotiating session. Remember to apply Equal Business Stature (you learned this in a prior briefing). Plan the agenda and work to control the agenda. Just letting the buyer take over and run roughshod over you is a sign of weakness where the buyer will surely try to take advantage and attempt to take a huge bite out of your profit.

5. Map out your customer’s organization – who are advocates, who are neutral, and who are potential adversaries. These personalities could either help or hurt your positioning.

No matter if your negotiation is large and complex or small and simple, create and execute a plan so you don’t cave during the negotiation.

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

43 Negotiations 4 - Know When You Are Done

Negotiations 4 – Know When You Are Done

Know When You Are Done Negotiating

Your customer will have savvy negotiators who work to get the very best deal for their organization. They might pit two vendors against each other, attempting to drive down the price and negotiate better terms.

They know all about your month-end, quarter-end, and year-end dates and how salespeople are driven to complete deals within those timeframes. But customers buy on their timeframe, not yours. Incentives you throw out don’t matter. Your deal won’t happen if they aren’t ready to buy.

Your customers will keep asking for concessions until you let them know that you are done negotiating. For every customer “ask,” be prepared to say “no” three times to signal to the customer that it is time to move forward.

Here’s an example:

Mitch led his sales team on a highly competitive pursuit with a prospective customer. Mitch’s team had very good exposure with the decision-makers, and his team presented an excellent value proposition for the customer.

After multiple discussions with significant back-and-forth, the deal remained open. Then Mitch received a call from the customer’s CFO, who told Mitch, “We like your solution, but not your price.”

Mitch held firm and then stated calmly, “Then, I guess you don’t really like our solution or the business value you agreed you would receive. What we provided was our best and final offer.”

The CFO responded with, “Does that mean there are no more discounts?”

Mitch confirmed that no more discounts would be offered. The CFO replied, “I’m the CFO, so I have to ask. Let’s get the contract signed and get started.”

This example just goes to show that no one buys anything as long as the price keeps going down!

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

42 Negotiations 3 – The Win-Win

Negotiations 3 – The Win-Win

In the last briefing we introduced a negotiations example where Don brought his VP of sales, Charlie, into a meeting with George, head of procurement at Big Truck. The meeting turned contentious and the two parties seemed far apart in the negotiations.

Don became very nervous and worried that the deal would fall through. All the effort his team had invested was passing right before his eyes. He felt a knot in his stomach.

Finally, George said, “Well, what can you do for me?”

Charlie replied, “We do have a volume purchase discount program, based on your annual spend. We can start you at the 25% discount level, and based on spend, you can advance to the next level where you receive 30%. Higher levels will get you 35% and then 40% discounts.”

George exhaled then said, “Let’s start at 30% and I can begin processing the paperwork right now.”
Charlie shook George’s hand and said, “Great. Let’s get going.”

What are the Take-Aways from this example?

George needed some concession so he could declare victory in the negotiation. He was a skilled negotiator and his gruff personality helped his company save money. George had been instructed by Big Truck’s executives to get a deal done since substantial benefits would be achieved. He was motivated to complete the negotiation.
Charlie demonstrated that he cared, but not that much. He stood firm in his proposal. He was ready to walk away if needed. Finally, Charlie gave something at the end without putting his company in a vulnerable position.
Don was too close to the deal to be in a strong position to negotiate. So was the customer’s project team. That’s why they were left on the outside looking in.

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

41 Negotiations 2 – Be Ready to Walk Away

Negotiations 2 – Be Ready to Walk Away

When Negotiating a Big Deal – Be Ready to Walk Away

Here is a negotiations example highlighting the need to be ready to walk away.

Don, a lead sales rep brought Charlie, his VP of sales, to an important meeting with George, the head of procurement at Big Truck. George was a long-time veteran at the company. He had a gruff exterior, military-style haircut, and abrupt communication style.

Don prepared a summary proposal, featuring a strong value proposition, a proven project approach, and an effective phased implementation plan. The proposal was created jointly with Big Truck’s project team, and they had already achieved verbal agreement on all the main points.

After a very quick introduction, Don handed the proposal to George, expecting to walk through the proposal highlights and answer any questions. Don tried to summarize the outstanding benefits this project would deliver, but George would have none of it. To him, one supplier was the same as the next supplier – there was no difference between them in his mind. So George jumped right into attack mode. “What discount did you offer?”

Charlie chimed in and stated calmly, “We offered 25%, which is extremely generous.”

George’s reply was short and to the point: “Tell me about how we get to 50%.”

Charlie laughed and said, “George, that’s pretty funny. I have never authorized that level of discount since I have been with our company.”
George glared at Charlie but said nothing. Charlie was silent and stared right back. As if they were playing a high-stakes game of poker, neither person wanted to give away his hand.
This scene continued, with George making demands, Charlie didn’t take them seriously and demonstrated a lack of interest in directly addressing what George requested. Outwardly, it appeared that Charlie did not care. The tension in the room increased.

I’m DJ Sebastian… Stay tuned to the next briefing and find out how the Big Truck story ends.