Your Contact Leaves: Is there anything worse that developing an opportunity, getting it right up to the line, and then having your primary sponsor leave? Yes, there is. Your contact could be replaced by someone with different priorities or who is adamantly opposed to your initiative. The downside of a new contact is that often abandon initiatives that haven’t yet been started. The upside is that they are often change agents, and if you get to the them early enough you can present your initiative as that change. But if you only have one sponsor and you haven’t asked that sponsor to help you gain executive sponsorship, you have made a mistake.The Budget Disappears: Your contact has the money to make the change you have been working on, and then, without warning, your prospective client company makes dramatic cuts. The budget for your solution dissolves. Unless you have positioned your solution as something that is going to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve profits, you’re in real trouble. The way to find the money for your solution is to ensure it pays for itself . . . and adds something to the kitty.New Leadership Takes Over: New leaders make changes. When new leaders enter the picture, they’re they to make change, to make an improvements. They kill a lot of unborn initiatives to make room for their own priorities. The earlier you reach new leaders, schedule time, and align your initiative with their new initiatives, the better your chances of keeping your solution from finding its way into the dustbin.Pushed to Next Quarter (Year): This is tough one to come back from. It’s not a “no.” But more time only puts your opportunity at greater risk. More time means more time without the results that your solution produces. That’s time without the additional revenue, reduced costs, increased revenue. It’s time without having their problem solved. Sometimes the best way to keep a deal from pushing is to show the cost of not changing now.
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Some people don’t know that they are the source of toxicity within their own company. They don’t recognize that they are the contagion and that they are spreading their own illness.Negativity is the only cancer that spreads by contact. When you express your negativity to others, you are infecting them with your negativity. Most people are susceptible to negativity. Very few of us are immune.The people you interact with already have fears and doubts, they are already battered by a constant stream of fear, negativity, and divisiveness through our media channels. In that environment, your negativity can become the source of toxicity.Cynicism is a derivation of negativity. It’s one of your ego’s ways of protecting itself from being hurt; if you believe deeply and things don’t work out, your image will suffer a blow. It’s easy to be cynical, sarcastic, and snarky. But your cynicism causes others to doubt their belief, and they worry about your judgment. Since you don’t believe, they have doubts.The people you interact with want to believe. They want to do meaningful work, and they want to make a difference. Your cynicism reduces them to something less than they might be.Gossip is negativity, and it makes for a toxic environment. When you confess other people’s sins, you are giving people a preview as to how you are going to speak about them behind their backs. When you invite them to gossip with you, you are inviting them to damage their character. Gossip is a way to bring other people down so that you can feel better about yourself.Gossip is sexy. It takes the focus off the areas where you need to improve by allowing you to believe that someone is somehow worse than you, less than you. That appeal is what allows the infection to spread so easily and so quickly.There is no telling how you might have been infected. But if you have been infected, it’s your job to rid yourself of the disease and to take measures not to infect others. There is no benefit of being the source of toxicity.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now There are a lot of “truths” about sales bandied about on social media by people who have a something to gain if your believe their half truths. Here are some to watch for. Buyers are spending their time researching: I am sure there are some people in purchasing departments somewhere researching something they need to purchase for their company. My experience tells me that most decision-makers are not. If there is information parity between you and your prospective client, you are doing sales wrong.Buyers are well-educated and well-informed: About many things, yes. About you and your industry and the choices that available to them when it comes to producing better results, not so much. Buyers have experience when they repurchase, and most of their education is gained through the experience of having bought and used a service.Buyers are spending their time on social sites: There are surely some people in business with buying roles that are engaged on social sites. What you’ll find to be true is that the higher up the organizational charts you climb, the fewer people you will find spending their time on social sites.Buyers now control the process: If buyers knew how to get the results they needed, they’d already be getting those results. When a buyer has a process, it’s called an RFP. What you sell is surely being commoditized, this process will never serve you, and it rarely serves the company well. You can still control the process if you initiate it.Marketing is going to generate your leads: Marketing creates awareness. When things go well, they generate leads. The other half of this truth is that those leads will not be enough for you to grow your business. Sales is about opportunity creation as much as it is about opportunity capture.Marketing automation can nurture your relationships: Marketing can automate messages. Nurturing is something different. You don’t nurture a lead. You nurture a relationship. Your prospects don’t have any relationships with anyone in your marketing department. When they have a need, they are not calling marketing. People nurture relationships with other people.Inbound is better than outbound: Inbound can be enormously helpful. But it isn’t better than targeting your dream clients, building relationships over time, developing a case for change, and winning your dream client. Outbound still rules the roost.Salespeople are only necessary to close opportunities: Why, sir, so few opportunities then? If inbound isn’t working, and marketing doesn’t generate leads, where are the opportunities you need going to come from? Salespeople are necessary to create opportunities. That commitment comes way before the commitment to buy.The best salespeople should not prospect: Closers. Sure. Whatever. The person with the greatest ability to create value for their dream client should prospect and they should be engaged early in the process, where deals are won and lost. Saving the best salesperson for the end of the process and allowing them not to prospect is a bad idea.There will be fewer salespeople in the future: This is a half truth. If your model is transactional, this is almost certainly true. Where you model is high trust, high value, and high caring, this is not true. In fact, there is already a shortage of salespeople with the necessary skill sets to sell in businesses with these models.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It can feel like a complete waste of time and energy to pursue one of your dream clients when they are locked down in a contract with one of your competitors. When years and years pass, with no change, it doesn’t seem to make sense to continue to call and ask for a meeting with someone who has never shown the slightest inclination towards changing. Here are five reasons why you should never give up pursuing your dream client.Current Partner Fails: Your competitor may have won the business a long time ago and may have done a tremendous job solving the problem they were hired to solve. They may be doing an outstanding job right now. However, commercial relationships have ups and downs, and if you are not communicating through the ups and downs, you’ll miss the opportunity to have a conversation when they are struggling or failing to produce results.Current Partner Apathy: Over time, it’s possible for your competitor to become apathetic about serving their existing client, your dream client. They were “gung ho” at the beginning, but now they worked with your dream client long enough that they are apathetic about making changes, solving systemic problems, or going the extra mile. You will not know when this happens, in your dream client will not know you’re there to solve their problem if you do not continue to pursue them.Decision-makers Change: At any company, people change jobs and move on. This is true for your dream client as well. Even though the decision-makers that you’ve called on for years have expressed to you they have no intention of changing partners, at some point, some of them will leave their company to pursue a new opportunity or retire. You can monitor these things on the social channels, but to make sure that you know when changes occur, you must continue to pursue the clients you want most of all.Client Needs Change: Your competitor may have been doing an excellent job for the last 6.5 years. But those 6.5 years are now over, and your dream client may, in fact, have new challenges, new opportunities, and the new needs that accompany them. Your competitor may or may not be able to help them with those new needs. You want to be known before this happens. You make that unlikely or impossible if you give up on your dream client.Persistence Pays: Persistence pays off over time. It’s an installment plan. When your competitor has your dream client locked down, persistence matters most of all. You don’t expect to win this week. You don’t even expect to win this quarter. But you are future-oriented, and you are playing the longest of long games with the most important prospects in your territory. When there is a change in circumstances or events that trigger some new need, you want to be known, and you want to be someone who has persisted long enough to have earned the right to be considered as a potential replacement for your dream clients existing partner. You are already going to spend part of your week nurturing your dream clients. You are also going to be prospecting, doing the work to create new opportunities. Even though your attempts to communicate with your dream client may be less frequent, they should be no less persistent than your efforts to create opportunities in what you might consider being warmer leads and easier clients in which to create opportunities.Note: If you are new here you may not know what a dream client is. It’s a client who will perceive what you do as massive value and will allow you to capture some of the value that you create. They are unlike regular prospects, and the fact that winning one makes a significant difference to you and your company, and it makes a considerable difference to your dream client.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (21.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSThe time you get with your clients and prospects is a gift. You dare not waste it. That means you need to plan your sales call, making the most of your time–and creating the greatest value possible for the contacts with whom you are meeting. Here is little framework you can use to do good work and move things forward.The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever NeedThe Lost Art of ClosingEat Their LunchThe Outcomes Planner Sales Accelerator Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now