When developing new opportunities and building relationships it is extremely important to understand the urgency in which to close the deal. Time Kills is a simple message that is based on the fact that the longer an opportunity is sitting, the win probability is reduced. As a sales person you have limited control over many things inside your clients’ organization. It only takes one thing to change the direction of the company or the mind of your prospect. The ABC’s of sales…Always be Closing is important, but for me it’s Always be Communicating. You can’t always get prospects to move as quickly as you would like, but you can always stay in contact so you know if any changes have occurred to delay or kill the opportunity. With small business owners and a tactical sales environment, the message that Time Kills can be a matter of hours, as small businesses change constantly. The decision makers, who are typically the owners, can change their minds in a flash. A bad week of sales or just a bad week personally can have them adjust their decisions. When you allow time to go by, that allows competitors to enter into the opportunity as well which can change the selling dynamic immediately. If you are selling to individuals or small business, you need to close that day! Answer all the questions, solve all their concerns and close the deal. The greatest way to lose a deal is to allow the customer to delay the decision. If they delay the decision it is typically because you as the sales person weren’t solving their problems or did not sell to their personality traits. When selling larger opportunities, or strategic sales initiatives, you need to understand the entire sales cycle and operate as the Quarterback of the deal, bring everyone together, selling to multiple personalities and traits, understand the needs of the company and the individuals. Time is still extremely important, as delays allow for competition, changes in the market and new products to be introduced. The most important aspect of strategic sales is constant communication, managing the deal and bringing together all the decision makers to reach a common understanding.
PLAN YOUR WORK AND WORK YOUR PLAN
My best sales people over the past 25 years were ALWAYS great planners. They were very organized, very process driven and very successful. They planned, they studied, and they developed a sales process and repeated that process, leading to tremendous success. Most sales people have their own style of communication and relationship development, which is great, but the great sales people are organized planners that don’t miss the target. Planning your day, your week and possible a month in advance will allow you to take the time to be prepared for all meetings. At the end of each day, review the next day, prepare in the evening so you are ready to start the day with an agenda and goals. If you wait and become a reactive sales person, you will miss many opportunities, you will lose deals and ultimately it will cost you money. Learn from your planning, evaluate what worked and what hasn’t work and adjust accordingly, as consistency is develop by repetition. Most executives plan at least 1 year in advance, so should a sales person. If you begin the year evaluating your past, reviewing your market and your targets you can plan the year in advance. Plan your financials for the coming year, set goals and measure the goals constantly. If something is working repeat it, and if something isn’t working adjust immediately. We all know the definition of insanity…do the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Planning and executing is extremely important, however I have seen many people plan themselves to death. Understand that your plan is flexible and will adjust is essential, don’t expect to have the perfect plan, it just doesn’t happen. Plan, Measure, Adjust, and Execute…is a simple formula to success.
INSPECT WHAT YOU EXPECT
Accountability is a word that I have been preaching for the past 30 years. Accountability is the key to individual and corporate success. Within every organization, processes are developed and rolled out to the management team, who roll them down to the sales and administrative teams, expecting full attention. Rarely that happens unless you have a team of people that take complete personal accountability. As a leader you need to be accountable personally and for everyone reporting into you. If you roll out a plan or a process, you need to inspect what you expect. Just giving someone an order rarely will provide the results expected. Communication and evaluations of the desired outcomes is mandatory by all managers. As a sales person, you also need to be on top of everything that the customer sees; you have the responsibility and accountability for the relationship. We have become a society of victims, blaming others for mistakes and not taking accountability. Ownership of the outcome is required by successful people. Owning up to mistakes and living up to your responsibilities is essential to grow as an individual and as a sales person. Always ask yourself, “What can I do to achieve my desired results?” Do not look for others to make you successful, you control your own destiny. Develop your expectations, develop your plan, execute your plan and inspect what you expect.
FOCUS ON SUCCESS
As a young person growing up in a blue collar environment I always knew I would be successful. I focused on my dreams, set my goals and was driven to succeed. Success is measured in many ways and money is not at the top of my list. If your family is healthy and your children are good people, you have achieved success. Success needs to be defined by you, as everyone doesn’t have the same dreams and goals. However, everyone does have dreams and goals. Everyone needs to write down your dreams and goals and develop a plan to achieve that success. Review your plan to become successful, adjust as the years change and celebrate your achievements! A focused approached to achieving your goals will result in years of celebration. Have a laser approach to your goals, a focused target on achievement, whether it’s losing 25lbs or landing the biggest commission check of your life…FOCUS!
SELL FROM A POSITION OF POWER
Selling from a position of power sounds simple, it sounds almost expected, however years of experience has shown me that the majority of sales professionals are too intimidated to sell from a position of power or they lack the confidence and knowledge.
What does it take to sell from a position of power? I broke it down into 5 essential tools.
- Thoroughly understand your product or service, be an expert.
- Know your competition, strengths and weaknesses.
- Know your customers’ needs.
- Understand the personality of your customer.
- Take a stand – Be Ready to Walk Away!
If you want to become a top selling professional you must learn everything you possibly can about your product. Just becoming familiar with your product is not enough, you must know every aspect about the company you represent and that includes all aspects of the product. Get involved and understand the production, back office operations, support, everything about your company so any question that a client asks, you can respond with certainty and clarity. This builds confidence with your client and shows them that you understand not just your product but you understand business and how it operates and how it can apply to them.
Five Simple Sayings that have served me well for the past 25 plus years. Develop your own style, stay focused on success, always have a plan to execute and remember that Time Kills!
Sales Focus Inc. Pioneered the Sales Outsourcing Industry and has the most effective and proven process S.O.L.D.™ in the industry. Our process has been implemented in many Fortune 500 companies along with small and mid-sized organizations in all industries.
Building Intelligent Sales Solutions has been our only focus since we pioneered the Sales Outsourcing industry in 1998. Sales Focus Inc., (SFI) has generated well over $10B in revenue for our clients, utilizing our repeatable S.O.L.D.™ process, which allows you and us to build dedicated sales teams focused on growing small & large companies alike.
Intelligent Sales Solutions Focusing on client acquisition, building and launching dedicated sales teams on a national level, all while reducing the cost of sales is what makes Sales Focus Inc. (SFI) unique. We create repeatable and sustainable business processes designed to bring sales results in a short period of time. SFI is able to provide a dedicated sales team across the country or across the globe to meet the needs of each individual client. Our sales representatives are thoroughly trained using our Sales Master Training Program for both tactical and strategic solution based selling. Sales Focus Inc. is committed to providing our clients constant sales intelligence in the form of daily, weekly and monthly reports, allowing for our clients to own the customers. Whether our outsourced sales teams are feet on the street or inside sales, Sales Focus Inc. is committed to driving down the cost of sales, generating immediate revenue and building “Intelligent Sales Outsourcing Solutions”.