Sales and Selling Ideas #266 – This week: Sales process, No proposals, Airports
GREG’S BUSINESS GROWTH NEWSLETTER #266
Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.
In this issue:
– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff
Techniques for FIT
- Usually, a firm has no set sales strategy simply because it takes time to think through. Results are needed today. Consider this: do both at the same time.
- Say this measurement mantra to yourself and your sales team over and over: What is it now? What do you want it to be? What’s the value of the difference over time?
- Establishing a predictable sales process lets you establish predictable metrics and leads to predicting results. I’m a broken record on this, but you can have accurate forecasts.
- The sales strategy should match the customer’s decision process. Don’t know their decision process? Ask them. Ask a lot of them. You’ll pick up on the trend. You’re good at that.
Being Human – Not proposing
Don’t Propose: When the best proposal strategy is not to propose
If you’re guessing, maybe it’s best to sit one out
The call comes. “Greg, do you have time to come in and look over a proposal we’re putting together.” My answer to “do you have time” is always yes, but yet I hesitate because I know we won’t be just looking over a proposal.
Proposals should be culmination of a thorough client discovery process bumped up against your firm’s capabilities. At a high-level it’s that straightforward, but in all but the most disciplined firms, there are a number of new opportunities being proposed without key information. It’s affecting close rates and making the business development team look ineffective. Let’s dig into what’s happening.
Developing opportunity, marshaling resources, mapping the decision process
From afar, this game is easy. The sales professional finds or is offered an opportunity, which they develop through expert communication. This can be either a problem needing to be solved, or a result needing to be achieved. We’ll call it the desired outcome. To design the right solution to get the outcome we come to an understanding on the resources available/required to get it. Finally, before we can get to a decision, we need to understand the decision process, on both sides of the table. This leads to a formal proposal. Easy stuff.
When I jump into a proposal review, I am taking a look at the proposal through those three lenses, applying rigorous criteria. Take note because this is some heavy stuff, but I’ve figured it out through years and years of training and reflection. Are you ready? Here goes:
Is this a guess?
The mantra of a strong sales culture is “no guessing.” If you don’t know the answer, ask. If you think you know the answer, check again. If you think someone else in the organization may have a different answer, find it.
Keeping this in mind, let’s outline some common hazards I find in a proposal review:
. . .
“I followed my heart and it led me to the airport.”
Airlines are working hard to get us traveling again. In addition to aggressive pricing, they advertise electrostatic cleaning, mandatory masking, empty seats for distancing, and more. I jump into a last minute flight up to Green Bay to watch a Packer playoff game. Well, I say flight but since I’m in Omaha and going to Green Bay, it’s really multiple flights on tiny regional jets.
I get both excited and anxious because I have pretty much avoided people for almost a year now. Am I going to remember how to interact? Is my mask smizing enough to communicate? Will I get booze if the flight is only 45 minutes long? Do they even serve us due to covid? So many questions.
You’ll be happy to know everything went swimmingly. They served on one of my four flights (the last one, long after my body tapped out on more beer) and everyone seemed to get along with the new rules. As a matter of fact, with the number of travelers cut in half, the hyper-vigilant cleaning crews, and everyone social distancing I would say the airport was downright pleasant. I tottered around stretching the legs and making up stories in my head about the travelers at the gates to various destinations. Then I saw this Chicago Tribune story posted before boarding the last leg of my trip:
“Man accused of living in O’Hare for 3 months described as ‘gentle soul’ who was supposed to be going home to India, friends say”
Can you imagine? I mean, the airport is much nicer than it was twelve short months ago, but 3 months?
I have questions!
What did he do all day? Watch CNN? Did he spend money? What was his favorite thing to eat? Did he talk to the other travelers? Was anyone looking for him?
A spiritual awakening of sorts, he says. I can see it. Kind of.
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