This Blog entry was done from the HarbourLynx Ferry… gotta love aircards!
I got the call several months ago; an upset client. “Why didn’t you bid on the RFP?” “Sorry I don’t understand,” I responded. “An RFP this is the first I have heard about it?”
“You were a shoe in; I kind of thought you must have thought the deal wasn’t worth it, we e-mailed the RFP out a month ago.”
I still maintained that I didn’t get it. I would have loved the business. It wasn’t a huge deal but it was a big client that could turn into many big deals. I thought it was his mistake; and then I looked in my SPAM filter folder. There it was. My SPAM filter that was designed to protect me from Viagra Ads and Free Airfare Scams had eaten my client’s Request For Proposal.
If you’re visible on the net and internet marketing is part of your business strategy then you have to look at the pros and cons of spam filters. Imagine being a CEO of major company that gets a response from a vendor’s spam filter program that says “Suspected Spam, please click the link below to be added to this person’s address book.” It’s hard enough to get them to our site, to find our contact details, send as an inquiry about our services or products, but now we are going to add one more step.
Commonly used stats on the net state that for every time a visitor to our site has to clink a link we lose anywhere from 20% to 50% of the visitors. What does that extra step in making the client manually click through and confirm their ID do? We are saying that it’s too much trouble for us to sort through our inbox to find their e-mail; the one where they are offering to spend their money with us.
If you’re in sales, invest the time to wade through your inbox, I know the Viagra ads are annoying, but not as annoying as having your spam filter eat your next deal.
I’m doing a seminar tomorrow for a group of accountants and
partners on Vision and how it enhances the importance of team. Yes accountants,
they don’t just crunch numbers.
In our business Trevor Greene and I use what he calls
“battle procedure” for planning and goal setting. The core success factor in
effective battle procedure planning is a goal or vision that is sharpened to a
Just before the launch of our book we determined what the
vision for Closing Bigger was in 18 months from now. Once that vision was
crystallized we began to plan backwards toward today.
For us crystallized means a goal that is S.M.A.R.T. Most
people reading this will know what that is but as a point of reference SMART
goals are as follows:
This SMART Vision enabled us to track back to 12 months, 6
months, 3 months and eventually tomorrow, creating a sense of urgency and
importance. By setting the SMART Vision and working back to the key benchmarks
we added urgency, and meaning to everyday on the way including today.
Too often people set “nice” easily achievable goals for
this month that are loosely connected to where they want to go in 18 months or
10 years from now. Then they wonder why they aren’t inspired to do it.
Do it with the whole team, be accountable to each other,
and do it in the “battle procedure format.” It will help you keep a sense of
urgency and it will help you know when you have to charge the hill.
- By Shane Gibson - email@example.com
Complex and long sales cycle selling is drastically different than regular sales processes. To succeed in the six and seven figure selling arena sales people must transform themselves into key account, relationship managers. What also must follow is not just an attitude but a plan and process to strategically develop and close business. It ’s really about getting “buy-in,” not selling in the traditional sense.
In order to land these big complex sales clients, we must first understand the structure of their organization, who the key players and opposers are, and also how they make decisions. More than just identifying the Ruler or decision maker we must also look at other contributors and team members who often don ’t have the power to buy but do have the ability to de-rail the deal. Identifying these contributors, their value sets, and creating a plan to get them on-side or dissolve their opposition will increase our chances of landing the deal. Ignoring or denying that these influencers exist, can often result in our financial peril.
Some questions we can ask are:
What stage of business growth is my client in? How will this affect the decision making process and power base?
Is this organization Progressive? Liberal? Or Conservative ? How will this affect the way I present my product or service?
At what stage of relationship development am I at with each key influencer, and how am I going to make this even better?
What state is the local economy and industry and how does this affect their buying motivators?
Has my presentation and proposals been effectively adapted to address these questions?
To master this process we need to keep track of each person in this network of contributors and decision makers. This sales process is often long and complex, key account sales people who are highly aware of their clients business activities, key players, and even slight changes in corporate policy, are often the ones who get the deal. A large corporation of 50,000 people such as a bank is literally like a city in it’s political complexity, to succeed, a solid plan and relationship strategy is paramount. Master complex business relationships is about getting the buy-in not a traditional “sale.”
–by Shane Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org
This sales blog entry has been reposted from original article at kbitraining.com
I read an article by Harry Beckwith in one of his recent newsletters that I am subscribed to. Harry is the author of Selling the Invisible. I liked his approach (actually some of the best writing on sales I have seen in the past 5 years).
One thing he talked about was the fact that word of mouth alone is not enough. Your network just doesn’t go that far today. If you have great branding and great PR then there is no such thing for you as a cold call.
If you got a call from DEL Computers or Virgin Atlantic on the phone today would it really be a cold call? Their brands already have a built in trust factor and familiarity for you.
I share this story because I got a call from the Vancouver Cigar Company today. One of their patrons thumbed through my book and asked them to get me in touch with him. I called him this morning and found that he wanted a copy of Closing Bigger.
When I asked him what he did he said “Search Engine Optimization.” Normally I would say great and then categorize him along with the other 100 people I know who do that… but I didn’t. His company name thinkprofits.com sounded credible, familiar I had heard of them.
Initially I couldn’t put my finger on it, but then it hit me, Thinkprofits.com ran an ad in Business Edge Magazine, a full page advertorial actually. I don’t recall much about the article but I do remember the logo and the great picture of their team centered in the page. I also recall reading some great client endorsements.
As sales people we often overlook the value of good branding and PR. If you’re a one person show or tend to look at the world from a person to person perspective start thinking about opportunities to sponsor, advertise and promote your organization in the media and community. Even managing a blog can help you communicate to a broader audience and build your brand locally and globally online. That exposure can make those cold calls warm and open the door for your next big deal.
I have been maintaining a blog at salesacademy.ca for four years now. With the launch of my new book [ Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals . written with my coauthor Trevor Greene] I wanted to amalgamate my blogs in one place.
Over the next few weeks and months Trevor and I will be sharing our insights, lessons learned and recounts of our travels as we promote the book and message on reaching rainmaker status as a deal closer.
For the next 9 months or so the blog entries will be mostly done by me [Shane Gibson] while Trevor Greene is preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan.
Our official book launch was on the 25th of October 2005 with the support of over 100 members of the Vancouver Board of Trade.
In addition to written sales and sales management blogs we will be doing sales podcasts on a weekly basis including interviews with big deal closers from multiple industries on five continents. You can download an excerpt from the book Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals here.