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Showing posts from August, 2020

FAB - The Persuasive Language of Selling

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Features, Advantages, and Benefits (FABs) are the components to communicate persuasively.Feature: A characteristic of your product, service, company, or self.Advantage: Explains how your Feature meets the Functional needs of what the product does better than competing ways.Benefit: What the customer gets that meets their Business and Human Needs.For example: Feature: PlasticAdvantage: Won’t rustBenefit: Few replacements caused by rustFABs are irrefutably logical. You can say them in any order, and they’ll make sense. For example, “You can lower your budget for replacements damaged due to rust by using our plastic versions that won’t rust.” Or, “Getting versions that won’t rust, such as those made from plastic, will definitely lower your replacement budget.”Learn your product knowledge, especially your Unique Selling Points using FABs. Why? Because the missing Advantages and Benefits become the signs and symptoms that point to the fact that the customer doesn’t have the Feature that pr…

Goal Setting – Reflect, Set, and Energize

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According to the many research studies on goal setting, without a doubt, those of you who write your goals and define a plan on how you will accomplish them will achieve far more than those of you who don’t. We don’t need research studies to tell us that – it’s just common sense. Think about it; if you don’t know what you want, you won’t write a goal. If you do know what you want, and you don’t write it, life will intervene, you’ll forget about the goal you held in your mind, and before you know it, it’s gone.The more frequently you review your goals and the more you vividly imagine with all your senses, that you have achieved the goal, has also been demonstrated to lead to significantly higher rates of achievement.There are now several additional research studies that demonstrate the effect your mindset has on your ability to achieve your goals.  At the turn of the century, Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or can’t, you’re right!” This is as true today as it was back then.Take …

Selling at "C" Level

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For many of you, selling at the CEO, COO, CLO, CFO, etc., level means that you're talking with someone engaged in leading the company through the implementation of the company's Vision. A vision is a picture of what the company is trying to create.Achieving the Vision is often done through "Strategic Initiatives." Some of these initiatives are incremental, and some are huge. Either way, these initiatives get funding. If what you're selling can be aligned with a Strategic Initiative, then the C-Level person you're interacting with can move money from one budget to another within their span of control to acquire your products and services.Strategic initiatives are assigned to an executive-level champion who is responsible for making sure it gets done. So, for you, the moment you start interacting at the "executive" level (VP, EVP, Director, and other Sr. Executives) you should automatically shift from selling products and services to selling how you c…

Defusing Anger

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It is often the case that sales and customer service professionals have to deal with angry customers. Anger can range from mild annoyance or irritation to rage.Whenever someone is angry, it is because they feel they have lost something or are in danger of losing something. It is this loss, real or imagined, past, present, or future, that causes the anger response. Anger produces the energy and strength to fight and overcome that which is threatening their ability to achieve or retain what they want. Once they are experiencing anger, it is challenging for them to move on to more productive feelings until the anger dissipates. Trying to solve angry person's problem is the wrong first step! Problem-solving is the third step.Angry people want three things:First, they want to be understood. They want their feelings recognized and respected. You do this by pausing, listening actively to connect with them, and then calling the emotion by name. For example, "I can tell this is pretty…

Missing Buyer Beliefs Cause Objections

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Objections occur when we present or threaten to present our product or service before each of the ten buyer beliefs are in place.What's nice about understanding the relationship between the objections you get and the buyer beliefs is that you now know which buyer belief to put into place. For most sales opportunities, your standard way of selling will establish most of these Buyer Beliefs. You may only have three to four areas that produce objections that need attention.1. Need Exists: A need is the gap between the current situation (where the prospect is now) and a more desirable condition (solution). Both components must be recognized, or a need does not exist. Objections you get when this buyer belief is missing include: "Don't need it." "Already have someone." "Too busy to look now." "Not interested."2. Responsibility: The prospect has or shares the responsibility to fill the need. Objections you get when this buyer belief is missing…

Unique Selling Points Win Sales, Win Negotiations and Keep Customers

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What makes you different?Recall the Competitor Analysis discussed in the previous blog where you countered each of your competitor's weaknesses listed in the lower left-hand quadrant, with one of your strengths listed in the lower right-hand quadrant. These are your Unique Selling Points (USPs) against this competitor for the named product or service and in this specific sales opportunity.Over time, you'll find a handful of Unique Selling Points that continually rise to the top of the hill. You need to have at least one "game changer" for the customer or by our research, three to five smaller USPs to cause the customer to consider making a change and then sticking with you (customer loyalty). In an article written by Jack & Suzy Welch published in the August 2007 issue of Business Week entitled, IDEAS -- THE WELCH WAY, they said,"...you, the seller, are not delivering on just price, quality, and service. You are demonstrating intense loyalty by giving him [t…

Competitor Analysis for Sales

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Why do it?You would not go out to play the big game or fight the big fight without first knowing who your opponent is, would you? Would you, as a player or coach, want to know the opponent's strengths and weaknesses? Why?Selling is no different. If you're going to sell against the competition and leverage their strengths and weakness to your advantage, then you'll need to conduct this specialized competitor analysis – at least until you get the patterns for each classification of competitors. Then, just minor tweaks are all that will be necessary for each sales opportunity.Four critical areas you must address when analyzing the competition:1. Competitor's Strengths: This is where your objections come from against this competitor.
2. Neutralize their Strengths: How you neutralize those strengths with something as good or better.
3. Competitor's Weakness: All products, services, companies, and people have them. Dig.
4. Your Corresponding Strengths:  Counter each of thei…

Sales Diagnostics: Why Sales Fail and How Wins are Won

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Missing steps in your sales process will sink your sales.If you sell solutions to your customer’s problems and do so in highly competitive markets, then you must pay attention to the details of every step in your sales process. For the past 32 years, our company has conducted thousands of sales autopsies across industries and around the world to find out why sales failed. We always asked questions to uncover which step(s) in the sales process was missed or not done well enough to ultimately cause the sale to fail?The next question is obvious, what steps must be done to cause a sale to be won? Are they the same as those that, when missed, cause the sale to be lost? Most of the time, the answer will be yes. But what changes is who does the step.The research continued by pointing to a step and asking, does this step need to be done? What are the consequences if this step is not done?This is how you can validate the steps in your sales process. Just make a list of the steps in your sales …

Sales Diagnostics: Why You Get the Objections You Get

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What objections stop your sale? Make a shortlist of the top three to five. Ready?Now answer the simple question, "What must you believe about something you want to buy before you buy it?For example, when buying something for a business, do you have to believe that you need it? That it will solve a problem? That the price you're paying is less than the actual cost of the problems, it's solving?What if you didn't believe that you needed it, what objection would you give? What if you thought the price was higher than it should be, what objection would you give?Next, what if you believed you did need it, what happened to the objection?What if you did believe that the price was what you felt it was worth, what happened to the price objection?Now you know that when a specific belief, you as a buyer should have was missing, it caused the related objections. But, when you then thought you did have the belief, the objection went away. What conclusions are you making right now?…

Top Sales Producers are Always in Demand

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No Job? Imagine for a moment that you find yourself precarious predicament of not having a job. This is crazy; you’re in sales. And yet, all of a sudden, you’re not as indispensable as you once thought you were.How are you going to make a living?Here’s something to think about; top producers are always in demand. What would they do?Top producers would find something to sell. They don’t need a salary. They only need the product or service they can sell. It doesn’t matter if it’s rug cleaning or wind turbine blades. Why?Because they know their sales activity ratios, so they would know what it will take to quickly find and close sales opportunities.They know:How many dials, emails, texts, it will take to reach the decision-maker. How many decision-makers they would talk with before they get a telephone or in-person appointment and qualify the opportunity. How many appointments it would take to make a sale of what size.During these times, when in-person contact must be limited, these top …

Achieving Customer Service Excellence

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What is customer service excellence?It is simply meeting customer needs in a consistent, balanced and caring manner that makes the customer feel glad they chose to do business with you.It is supported by a consistent set of positive beliefs about how customers should be “thought about” and treated, and it is implemented through the consistent use of specific knowledge, skills, and strategies.People who have reputations for providing consistently excellent customer service typically have a positive outlook on life, enjoy working with people, and treat them with a caring attitude, kindness, and respect regardless of circumstances.They can do this consistently and effectively because they have the know-how to approach and achieve positive outcomes for the customer even if the core problem remains unresolved.What is the critical knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to work with an upset customer and achieve positive outcomes even when the core problem remains unresolved?These three sh…

15 Common Clues Your Account is in Trouble

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Common clues that your account is in trouble: 1. Your phone calls go unreturned.2. You do not get a timely response to your requests.3. You don’t have a specific project underway.4. Mindshare is decreasing.5. The customer adds competing product lines.6. Complaints increase, and customer satisfaction is decreasing.7. The customer is not receiving measurable benefits.8. The customer is relying less and less on your resources.9. The customer is not taking advantage of training or other activities offered.10. Contact with customers exceeds the minimal time limits you set between contacts.11. You don’t know about new decision makers or organizational changes.12. Your access to decision makers decreases.13. The customer asks for more and more types of services, adjustments or product/service modifications you cannot offer.14. A slight but steady decrease in the amount and type of business you are doing with the customer15. Customer contacts are asking competitor comparison type questions.Th…

Persistence Pays Off

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Persistence is vital to successful selling.How vital? Very - According to the National Sales Executives Association. Their survey unearthed these startling findings: 80% of all new sales are made after the fifth contact to the same prospect. 48% of all salespersons make ONE call or contact then cross off the prospect. 25% quit after the second call or contact. 12% call or make contact three times then quit. 10% keep calling or making contacts. The Ten Percent Who Persist Get Payoffs. They Collect They Dividends on What Others Invested. Note: 96% of all sales are made after the 19th contact with the same prospect. Based on the cost of the sales contact, account potential and the profits of the product/service, find your limit for cost/effective selling. Study done many years ago by John Charnay of the National Sales Executives Association (NSEA)* illustrating how many contacts it takes to win a sale versus how many contacts are normally attempted. * NSEA is now Sales and Marketing Execu…

12 Models of Selling - Revisited

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Selling is not an unskilled occupation. Skills specific to the profession of selling have evolved. Each new selling skills model discussed below was influenced by changes occurring in the marketplace.  The initial research study identifying the 12 models was conducted during the late-nineties. This overview was further developed into an article and published in Selling Power magazine. Here is an updated version of this study. 
"Make it a point to keep on the lookout for novel and interesting ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you are currently working on." - Thomas Edison 
PERSONAL PREPARATION MODELS - Sales Professionals hear the word "no" more often in a single month than most people in other occupations do in a lifetime. Winning the mental game of selling is crucial.

1. 5-P Sales Model: This basic model was defined as "Product Pushing through Personality, Persistence, and Price." T…