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Alice Heiman Table of Contents Date

Publication

Title

10/24/2011 8/30/2011 7/25/2011 6/10/2011 6/10/2011

NNBW RGJ NNBW Nevada Business B2B Buzz

6/1/2011

Nevada Business

6/1/2011

Nevada Business Online

5/24/2011 3/15/2011 3/13/2011 3/11/2011

B2B Buzz AOL Small Business AOL Small Business AOL Small Business

Alice Heiman Face‐To‐Face Alice Heiman What type of business consultant do you most value? Coach to Create Top Sales Performers People: What type of business consultant do you most value?  Why? People: What type of business consultant do you most value?  Why? When Deals Stick in the Pipeline Maximize Your Networking Efforts Two Companies Are Better Than One Always Follow Up


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What type of business consultant do you most value? “I value my coach the most. I always have a coach and sometimes more than one. Coaching makes me think. As a business owner I need to stretch and learn constantly. My coach helps me stay focused on my business and continuous improvement so I can do a great job for my customers.” Alice R. Heiman • President & Chief Sales Officer, Alice Heiman, LLC “Business marketing consulting is extremely important to my small business. Having a professional and experienced marketing team on my side allows me the freedom to focus on my clients and services.” Marcus Niemo • Owner, Body Fit Las Vegas “As a CPA, CVA, CFF I am often retained to provide an expert opinion. A skilled attorney, one that is able to timely obtain documents for analysis and then understand and communicate my findings, is invaluable. An attorney willing to invest this kind of time is more likely to help the client succeed.” Dana L. Tompkins, CPA, CVA, CFF • Stockholder, Business Valuation & Forensic Advisors “Our marketing representatives are most valuable to me. They help me focus on the positive aspects of my company and encourage me to broadcast our strengths. Plus, marketing comes with a ‘fun factor’ that other business consultants often lack.” Frank Gatski • CEO, Gatski Commercial Real Estate Services “In commercial development the real estate broker is extremely important. Their input is invaluable in deciding whether to build the project and the rental rates and type of tenant we can expect. After it is built they help market the project and serve as a valuable member of our team.” Doug Roberts • Senior Vice President/Project Principal, Panattoni

Commercial Real Estate Firm first to use

Development Company, Inc.

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“All consultants provide value, but

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personally I place the highest value on marketing. They are usually associated with enhancing the brand, and growing the business. Marketing consultants that do their job well add tangible value to the business, and generate the highest ROI amongst consultant services.” Larry Blumenthal • Chief Financial Officer, Good Night Pediatrics

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Coach to Create Top Sales Performers

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June 10, 2011 By hhackney Leave a Comment By Alice R. Heiman Manager: “Jay, how did that sales call go?” Salesperson: “Great!” Manager: “Did you close the deal?” Salesperson: “No, but they love me and they want the product.” Manager: “When will it close?” Salesperson: “Probably this quarter.” Sound familiar? What does this sales manager now know about the sales call his salesperson just finished? The answer: not much. Coaching salespeople when they return from a sales call is important business. It needs to be done routinely and consistently. Way too many salespeople “wing it” and others may try to prepare but just really don’t know how to do so effectively.

Successful sales calls have several ingredients: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Pre-call preparation Execution Post-call assessment Follow up on commitments

Salespeople will do a much better job if they know they may be asked for very specific information after a sales call. In fact, having a post-call report format is a good idea, but a quick email or phone call with the right information can tell you exactly where the salesperson stands with that sales objective. Salespeople should prepare for sales calls. At a minimum they should look at their call notes from the last call, determine how to make the best use of the time, determine their objective, write down the questions they need to have answered to move the sale forward, and

6/23/2011 12:17 PM


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determine the action the customer would need to take to move the sale forward. The preparation will improve their execution and help insure they don’t forget anything. It will also make the customer feel like their time is valued and used wisely. The post-call assessment is critical to ensuring your salespeople will be top performers. You won’t be able to assess every sales call but intermittently working with salespeople on this is crucial. These post-call assessments can be very quick and painless. Here are some questions you could ask: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

What did you do to prepare for the call? What was your objective for the call? What did you do to make good use of the customer’s time? What questions did you get answered that tell you where the customer is in the sales process? What are the next steps? What action did the customer commit to take? What action did you commit to take? Did the customer give you a close-date? What will you do in follow up to this sales call?

Far too often salespeople get way ahead of the customer. As in the conversation at the beginning of this article, they predict a close-date based on their quota instead of on the customer’s needs. The end of the quarter comes and the business doesn’t close and many times the salesperson doesn’t understand why. The only way to know when a deal will close is to ask the customer. To avoid missed quotas managers need to debrief with their salespeople using questions similar to those above. This will help insure that the salesperson is moving along at the same speed as the customer. Another thing this process will help is over-commitment on the part of the salesperson. Salespeople are quick to promise the world if they think it will close a deal. That is why questions 6 and 7 are so important. By asking those questions you can determine if the commitment of the salesperson is comparable to that of the customer. If it is way beyond, it may be a sign that the salesperson doesn’t understand where the customer is in the sales process. If the customer doesn’t commit to do anything to move the sale forward, the salesperson may need to change the strategy. Managers will have fewer surprises if they make these questions a part of their daily coaching routine. Benefits will be a shorter sales cycle, more efficient selling and better close ratios. In the long run, this will lead to more accurate forecasting. Alice Heiman is the founder and Chief Sales Officer of Alice Heiman, LLC (www.AliceHeiman.com). As a sales expert, Heiman mentors sales executives, transforming them into proactive coaches, while helping management establish a sales culture that will continue to grow the bottom line. Her blog can be viewed at http://smartsalestips.com/ Photo by nocklebeast Filed Under: Blog

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The Last Word - June 2011

What type of business consultant do you most value? “I value my coach the most. I always have a coach and sometimes more than one. Coaching makes me think. As a business owner I need to stretch and learn constantly. My coach helps me stay focused on my business and continuous improvement so I can do a great job for my customers.” Alice R. Heiman • President & Chief Sales Officer, Alice Heiman, LLC “Business marketing consulting is extremely important to my small business. Having a professional and experienced marketing team on my side allows me the freedom to focus on my clients and services.” Marcus Niemo • Owner, Body Fit Las Vegas “As a CPA, CVA, CFF I am often retained to provide an expert opinion. A skilled attorney, one that is able to timely obtain documents for analysis and then understand and communicate my findings, is invaluable. An attorney willing to invest this kind of time is more likely to help the client succeed.” Dana L. Tompkins, CPA, CVA, CFF • Stockholder, Business Valuation & Forensic Advisors “Our marketing representatives are most valuable to me. They help me focus on the positive aspects of my company and encourage me to broadcast our strengths. Plus, marketing comes with a ‘fun factor’ that other business consultants often lack.” Frank Gatski • CEO, Gatski Commercial Real Estate Services “In commercial development the real estate broker is extremely important. Their input is invaluable in deciding whether to build the project and the rental rates and type of tenant we can expect. After it is built they help market the project and serve as a valuable member of our team.” Doug Roberts • Senior Vice President/Project Principal, Panattoni

Nevada Solar Company Reaches ‘Mega’.

Development Company, Inc.

Accounting Groups Merge, Expand Busin

“All consultants provide value, but

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personally I place the highest value on marketing. They are usually associated with enhancing the brand, and growing the business. Marketing consultants that do their job well add tangible value to the business, and generate the highest ROI amongst consultant services.” Larry Blumenthal • Chief Financial Officer, Good Night Pediatrics

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When Deals Stick in the Pipeline

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May 25, 2011 By hhackney Leave a Comment By Alice Heiman What is going on with that huge deal that was supposed to close last month? Why isn’t that deal closed yet? It seems like everything is stuck in the pipeline, when are these deals going to close? There isn’t a sales manager alive who hasn’t wondered why the salespeople aren’t closing deals, especially the deals that were forecast. Sales managers expect and rely on accurate information about when deals will be closing. “Accurate” is the operative word here because what most salespeople give their managers is their best guess of the dates on which they would like their sales to close. Then, when deals don’t close in that timeframe there is always a “good reason” or some excuse as to why the deal hasn’t closed. Closing is not about the salesperson or your company. It is about the customer and their needs and timeline. When salespeople get ahead of customers in the sales cycle, they usually predict the close without any input from the customer at all. They seemingly pull a date out of thin air or assume a date that allows them to make quota that month. What they rarely figure into the forecast is the close date has to come from the customer. It is the date the customer is ready to buy, as it is almost impossible to force someone into closing a deal when he or she is not ready. If something weird should happen and salespeople actually force the close, they usually find themselves in a very bad position and often that customer will probably never buy from them again. Worse, the customer may tell others about the situation. The most common reasons deals don’t close are: The competition comes in at the end with something “better.” Something at the customer company has changed (that no one knew about). The budget was appropriated to another project. The possible sale was fiction – the salesperson was clueless and it wasn’t going to close in the first place. The salesperson (or someone at your company) did something to irritate the buyers. All of these can really be summed up in one word, “position”. Your salesperson was not positioned well enough to completely

understand the buyers and their needs, including timeframe. Positioning is the key to closing and positioning depends on many factors, the customer’s budget, budget cycle, needs, attitudes, accounting practices, decision making policies and let’s not forget the competition. It is the salesperson’s job to ask questions to uncover all of the information needed so he or she can get well positioned. Who are the decision makers involved in this sale, is there a budget established, what is the procedure for procurement, what is their attitude toward your solution, what is the competition for this sale is it an in-house solution, another vendor or using the money for something completely different?

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Asking good questions and listening is the only way that I know of to combat the “Oh, no, it’s not going to close”. Sales managers need to coach their salespeople to uncover and gather the information needed to be well positioned. This is the only way he only way to get an accurate close date from the customer and/or to get information first hand if that changes. Questions like these need to be asked early in the sales cycle: What is your timeline for having this purchase completed? When do you need this to be up and running? When do you want to have this installed? The answers to these questions will help the salesperson start a timeline that will allow him to help the customer get what is needed. If a customer wants something installed or up and running by a certain date the salesperson can help them work backwards from there to understand the timeline for signing the contract. Other important questions are: Who else besides yourself will be involved in this decision? Will we need approval from any other departments? Are there others you would like me to talk with about the product and how it will work? These questions are important because what holds up a deal many times is that the key contact working with the salesperson is not the final decision maker and has no authority to proceed. They may be waiting on approval from someone that is unknown to the salesperson and so the deal doesn’t close. Knowing early in the game all the people involved in the decision gives the salesperson a chance to get to know the others and their views. Often, it also allows the salesperson to bring in management, to get better positioned with the decision makers. It is very rare these days that any one person at a company would make a buying decision of any size on their own, so salespeople must be coached to find all of the decision makers. For salespeople to know where they stand and what they are up against in a sale, they should ask questions like these: What do you see as my competition for this sale, other vendors, and in-house solution another use for the same dollars? Keep in mind that most of what you do to be sure a deal closes has to be done early in the sales cycle. When the deal is stalled at the end it most likely is too late. That is not to say a deal can’t be saved at that time, it is just much harder and the probability of success is lower. At this point salespeople have to be coached to go back and ask tough questions like these: This deal was moving along and it looked like we would close on this date, what has happened to delay that? What did I miss in the decision making process? It appears to me that something has changed and I am not aware of what that is, can you help me understand? Closing should not be a big deal. If you have a solution that a customer wants, at a price they are willing to pay and understand their needs and timeline, then your sale will close. It will close when the customer is ready for it to close and you will have a happy customer that will more than likely buy from you again and become a good referral source. Closing, it’s all about the customer. Alice Heiman is the founder and Chief Sales Officer of Alice Heiman, LLC (www.AliceHeiman.com). As a sales expert, Heiman mentors sales executives, transforming them into proactive coaches, while helping management establish a sales culture that will continue to grow the bottom line. Her blog can be viewed at http://smartsalestips.com/ Filed Under: Sales Tagged With: initiative, pipeline, strategy

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"The number-one way to make networking a waste of time is to fail to do the follow-up. And the number-one reason people don't follow up is because they didn't schedule time to do the follow-up. The number-two reason is they don't know what to do. Every time I schedule a networking event on my calendar, I schedule the follow-up time. During that time I look at the cards I collected and decide who I would like to meet with and who I would just like to stay in touch with. I send everyone a 'nice to meet you' note and comment on something we discussed. I often attach a relevant article to the e-mail, either one I wrote or something pertinent that I read recently. I also go to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and ask to connect with them, always writing a personal note reminding them where we met. For those I feel I might be able to collaborate with in some way, I schedule coffee, lunch or cocktails. I try to meet with at least four of the people I meet at each event." Facebook

Alice R Heiman President and Chief Sales Officer Alice Heiman LLC Reno, Nev. www.aliceheiman.com

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"One great way to increase sales is to find companies to collaborate with. These can be companies that do the same thing (yes, a competitor) or companies that do complementary things or have basic services that your clients need. If you do the same thing, it is possible to sub some work out to each other when one of you gets too busy or refer a client who needs the service but is just not a good fit personally. With complementary services, share lists of customers and see who you have in common and work together to bring added value to those customers. Look at your lists and think about who could use the other's service and then strategize on a way to introduce that service. You can share leads and make introductions informally or you can write an agreement that allows for commissions. Make a list of companies you know that you could partner with and schedule meetings to explore the possibilities." Alice R Heiman President and Chief Sales Officer Alice Heiman LLC Reno, Nev. www.aliceheiman.com

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By GEOFF WILLIAMS Posted 3/ 11 11 at 6:00 AM | Tip of the Day Comments (0)

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"I am simply flabbergasted at the amount of salespeople who do not follow up. They send one e-mail or make one call and then report that the prospect didn't get back to them. Some will try again, but after the second attempt they give up. People are busy and they may not necessarily need your product or service this minute, but you need to give them a chance to buy. Don't be a pest, but do be persistent and provide valuable information they can use as a means to stay in front of them so they remember you. Many deals go to competitors because people are ready to buy and can't find your contact info. Be there when your prospects are ready to buy." Alice R Heiman President and Chief Sales Officer Alice Heiman LLC Reno, Nev. www.aliceheiman.com

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