MAR 4TH 2009 / Issue 19
UNDERSTANDING THE PURCHASERS
LIFE’S A PITCH! KEEP FOCUSED FOR SUCCESSFUL PITCHING
DO YOU QUALIFY?
INCREASE SALES BY DECREAsING PROSPECTS
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march 4 th / Issue 19
5 THIS WEEKS MUST READ UNDERSTANDING THE PURCHASERS FLIGHT PATH Paul Kernot six steps on how to close more sales without being pushy. 8 DO YOU QUALIFY? How to increase sales by decreasing prospects. 10 NZSM CALENDAR 11 TWO MINUTE TOP-UP Lifes a pitch! How to keep focused for successful pitching.
13 BOOK REVIEW The Element Creativity expert Ken Robinson’s amazing book on why we need to find our passion.
13 SALES TRAINING DIRECTORY 14 THE CLOSE
NZSM / mar 4TH 2009 / 3
n our last issue, Colleen Francis mentioned how Tiger Woods spends hours practising his putting, not just because he doesn’t want to miss one, but because he wants the ball to roll into the cup in a certain way. ‘That’s mastering the basics,’ is how Colleen put it. When it comes to selling, most of us forget that doing the basic 20% of activities right, will get us 80% towards our target. Prospecting and qualifying… why are we so reluctant to do these basic activities? Fear of rejection is the most common analysis but I offer another
theory. I’d like to suggest that the reason we don’t do them is because they’re completely boring and totally unglamorous! We want to get on with the important stuff – preparing proposals, having meetings, closing deals – but end up forgetting that the important stuff requires us to do the basics first. My seven year old daughter Jamie-Lee illustrated this point just before Christmas. To earn some money to buy Christmas presents she came up with the idea of making and selling handmade Christmas cards. After 15 minutes she had produced five cards and announced she was going to go and sell them. After asking us what she should sell them for (given how quickly they were produced, we suggested selling them as a pack of five for $2 so that she only had to find one sympathetic buyer), she was off door knocking. No mucking around, no stalling. 30 minutes later she came back with a big smile and $8 in her bag after realising that finding buyers who were prepared to spend $2 each was a much better deal! As sales people and business owners we often put off the basics because we’ve got “more important” things to be doing - myself included. The question is, would we rather be busy being important or be like Jamie-Lee and get on with the basics of making money?
Jamie-Lee’s latest venture - flowers anyone?
EDITOR / Richard Liew
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NZSM / mar 4TH 2009 / 4
T H I S W EE K ’ S M US T R E A D
Understanding The Purchasers Flight Path
\\Close more sales without being pushy By Paul Kernot
very industry has its own specific challenges.
During training sessions, the people working in those industries talk about their favourites but there is always one that becomes the problem they have the most trouble with. In sales, the big problem is closing the sale. The way most salespeople verbalise this problem is; “I don't want to come across as a pushy salesperson." That translates to the fact that the vast majority of humans have a need to be liked. It's a short mental step from there, to; "Closing = pushy = people won't like me if I attempt to close."
That's the simple truth. So if you are a sales manager, don't believe any of those smokescreen excuses you hear as to why your salespeople aren't converting more of the opportunities that come their way. Here's what you can do about it: Teach your salespeople about ‘The Purchaser's Flight Path’. There are six questions we all ask ourselves (usually unconsciously) as we go through the process of making a purchase. These questions apply whether we are buying a newspaper or a house. They are also sequential i.e. the questions are always in the same order. Therefore, just like a pilot's flight path, if the salesperson doesn't answer the six questions in order and to the satisfaction of the purchaser, they won't get to their desired destination i.e. a sale.
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1. Do I trust the salesperson/ company/ product? If they like you, this is a good start, but a good salesperson will get the trust of the purchaser. They take time to ask lots of questions in order to build trust and rapport. They allow the purchaser to direct the conversation by asking ‘W” questions. What, Why, Where, Who, When and of course How?
3. Is it good business? $ $ $ I added the dollar signs to the end of question three because once they have decided they trust you (1) and that you have something they need/ want (2), then they will ask themselves, from a financial perspective, whether it is a good deal. They will compare your product or service to the competition, the benefits as related to cost and to your offer. This is the time to introduce any special offers you may have up your sleeve but only when you know they are genuinely interested, having gone through the first two steps.
2. Can they (and or their product) do something for me that I either cannot, or choose not to do for myself? Once you are sure you have empathically built trust and rapport, you then need to explain, according to what they told you they want, what your product or service can do for them. Follow the Features versus Benefits process. Make a note of all the features of your product or service i.e. what it is and what it does. You now need to convert these features into tangible, valuable benefits for your customer. Talk more about the benefits than the features. Features tell - Benefits sell! Convert features (so what?) to benefits (so that).
4. Do I really want it? Strange as it may seem, this question doesn’t come into play until this point. Until they start to get serious about making a commitment and giving you their credit card. I call this the bungy effect. Imagine standing at the edge of a bungy jump with the cord around your ankles. How would you feel? Nervous right?
5. Do I want it now? At this point, they are convinced they want it but still have that natural hesitation. This is the point where you will hear that old phrase “We want some time to think it over”. How frustrating! You know they want it. You know they will love it and get lots of benefit from it yet they are about to utter those immortal words and walk away, never to return. At this point I would recommend you try a simple “Ben Franklin” close to get you around the “We’ll think it over” stage and on with making the sale. To me this is no more than giving them the courage to actually step off the ledge and make the bungy jump. 6. What steps do I need to take to get it?
Knowing you want to jump but feeling afraid to at the same time. This is a natural human tendency. Don’t worry. If they didn’t want to jump they would never have been standing at the edge of the bungy jump would they? This is where closing techniques come in. Gently encourage them to jump by reaffirming the benefits, but only if you feel, ethically that it’s the right thing for them to do. Pushy salespeople urge people to buy whether or not it’s the right thing for the purchaser to do.
proceed to the next step. If they have nodded and agreed with you all the way, then they have closed themselves.
Here is the real point about closing. If you have followed the previous five steps and they are still with you, then what you have been doing all the way through the process is ‘trial closing’.
All you need to do now is show them how they get what they themselves have decided they want. No pressure from you. No pushy sales techniques. Everyone is happy.
Trial closing is simply checking that they are happy to
AND they like you!!!
Founder of PK Sales Training, Paul Kernot is a highly respected New Zealand motivational speaker and corporate trainer. You can visit his website at www.paulkernot.com. NZSM / mar 4TH 2009 / 6
DO YOU QUALIFY? \\Increase Your Sales By Decreasing Your Prospects By Jean Barr
or salespeople, time is precious. Working with customers, whether on the phone or in person, is where effective sales professionals choose to spend most of their time.
But it’s not always that simple. If you’re in the food service business and I gave you a list of home buyers to call on, would it make any sense to spend your time meeting with those people? Of course not! To really supercharge your sales performance, you have to take a close look at WHO you are spending your time on. The fact is virtually every salesperson spends too much time on leads that are not at all likely to purchase. They just don’t know how to tell the difference.
Now you don’t want to waste prime selling time with paper work and administration so why would you want to waste valuable selling time on leads that aren’t going to buy? So let’s consider how big an impact better qualifying could have on your business. Here are some questions to think about: What are the crucial steps in your sales process? Examples are – appointment setting, presentation, proposal, closing. How much time is typically spent on each step? How many new leads or prospects do you go through this process with in a given period e.g. week, month, quarter? How many of them end up buying? Here is an example:
Qualifying leads is not a new concept. You’ve probably already spent a lot of time in sales training and meetings listening to someone preach about it. You may say that you are good at qualifying leads – really? How many of your proposals go nowhere? How may of your face to face presentations lead to a long series of put-offs and no sale?
Let’s say you get 50 new leads each month and each decent lead gets a 30 minute phone call, a one hour presentation and a proposal that requires 30 minutes to create. Add to that all the calls and emails that go into coordinating meeting times and following up, trying to
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close and you’re easily up to 3 hours per lead or 150 hours per month. Let’s assume that you have a 20% overall close rate, so that means 10 out of 50 leads buy. So it takes 15 (150 divided by 10) hours of sales time to get a purchase.
Then when you know the questions and answers you’re looking for, you will be able to quickly disqualify people who do not fit into those criteria.
If you have a 20% closing ratio that means 80% of the prospects you invest time with don’t buy. That’s 40 leads getting 3 hours each or 120 hours of sales time spent on leads for no return, every month! So what about asking the right questions up front and stopping delivering time consuming and expensive presentations and proposals to leads that don’t pass the test? The good news is that this is not hard. The hard part is being consistent. It takes self discipline to hold your ground but it’s easier when you understand the costs in time and money for spending time with the wrong leads.
What does your target market all have in common? Is it an industry, a particular size company, in a particular area, maybe exporters?
There will be a period of trying things, learning and
10 properly qualified prospects are better than 50 unqualified any day!
So decide on a set of questions that must be asked for every lead. Make sure you know the answers to those questions.
adjusting, but perseverance will win in the end. You might get a bit discouraged because all of a sudden you’re not dealing with as many prospects, but that’s the whole idea - 10 properly qualified prospects are better than 50 unqualified any day!
Jean Barr is the Director of Top Achievers Sales Training and specialises in the area of cold calling and qualifying prospects. Visit her website at www.topachieverssalestraining.co.nz
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WED 4 MAR
NZSM CALENDAR SAT 7 MAR
MON 9 MAR 9-10 March Customer Service David Forman Auckland 9-11 March Negotiation David Forman Wellington
SUN 8 MAR
FRI 13 MAR
SAT 14 MAR
Sales Management David Forman Auckland
THU 19 MAR
FRI 20 MAR Telephone Sales Skills EMA Auckland
WED 25 MAR Sales Development David Forman Auckland Sales Development David Forman Wellington Exceeding Customer Expectations Geewiz Auckland
TUE 31 MAR
Jamie Ford presents “Are You Tough Enough?” Rev Sales Network Auckland Sales Skills One Essential Sales Skills Zealmark Group Auckland Sales Management David Forman Auckland
TUE 10 MAR
WED 11 MAR
THU 12 MAR Sales Management Geewiz Christchurch
Sales Skills Two Key Account Management Zealmark Auckland Exceeding Customer Expectations Geewiz Christchurch Workshop - How To Cold Call & Have Fun Top Achievers Sales Training Auckland – East
MON 16 MAR
Hit The Road Running Seminar Top Achievers Sales Training Auckland
WED 18 MAR
TUE 17 MAR Managing Through Leadership Zealmark Auckland Sales Basics Seminar Geewiz Wellington Workshop – Networking Top Achievers Sales Training Auckland – West
SUN 15 MAR
Telephone Sales Gaining A Commitment Zealmark Auckland Sales Management Geewiz Auckland Hit The Road Running Seminar Top Achievers Sales Training Hamilton
FRI 6 MAR
THU 5 MAR
SAT 21 MAR
Effective Presentation Skills Zealmark Group Auckland
MON 23 MAR
TUE 24 MAR
Sales Development David Forman Auckland 23-26 March Sales Development David Forman Wellington 23-26 March
Hit the Ground Running Sales Seminar Top Achievers Sales Training Christchurch Sales Skills Level 3 EMA - Northern Auckland Sales Basics Seminar Geewiz Auckland
SUN 22 MAR THU 26 MAR
FRI 27 MAR
WED 1 APR
MON 30 MAR
SAT 28 MAR
Advanced Sales Development David Forman Auckland
Sales Skills Level 1 EMA - Northern Manukau Advanced Serious Selling Geewiz Auckland Cold Calling & Prospecting Top Achievers Sales Training Auckland
Effective Proposal Writing David Forman Auckland
SUN 29 MAR THU 2 APR
Advanced Sales Development David Forman Auckland
Managing Difficult Customers Zealmark Group Auckland
Effective Proposal Writing David Forman Auckland
Sales Prospecting Seminar EMA Northern Auckland
FRI 3 APR
SAT 4 APR
5 APR TH NZSM / mar 4SUN 2009 / 10
TWO MINUTE TOP-UP
Life’s A Pitch \\Keep focused for successful pitching By Hugo Meares
persuasive case that strongly answered the ‘Why Us?’ question. Then along the way, things became more complicated than they needed to be. This was because in addition to the primary deal, there was a great up-sell opportunity and at least two cross-sell opportunities. With the pitch team getting larger as the tender date approached, these started to take precedence over the primary requirement. (The chance of increasing revenue by over 240% can do that!) We were down to a short list of two – us versus the incumbent. They had given us a very tight one hour spot to make our case, with a very specific twenty minutes for the presentation and forty for questions and answers. It was clear that their priorities lay with the primary deliverable. While reviewing our pitch structure for relevance before going to visuals, it was clear that we were focusing too much on the up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
he first quarter of the financial year provides great opportunities for winning new business. This comes from a few things such as decision makers reviewing objectives and priorities over the break and the fact that the end of the financial year seems so much closer. I helped in a pitch last week that reminded me how important it is to stick to the basics when tendering pressure comes on. It is vital to ensure that you always answer the golden question, ‘What do they need to hear from us to give us the business?’ The situation was a Request For Proposal from a potential new client of a good size. In the early stages of the pitch process, the rational and subjective drivers were established by preparing a “Drivers Map” (that is, mapping out the client’s key drivers for purchasing.) From this we developed a highly relevant, differentiated
We were making the classic mistake of focusing on what we wanted to sell to them, rather than what they wanted to buy from us. So we went back to the Driver Map, reviewed relevance and revised our pitch to focus on convincing them that we could solve their primary issue better than anyone in the market. The key learning’s we can take from this were: Relevance is king. After producing a well defined Driver Map from the request for proposal, use it to guide your tender at all times. Ensure that all persuasion is client centric. Beware of the danger of having a good story to tell - a relevant story to hear will beat it every time. Close the primary deal before focusing on the secondary opportunities. The up-sell and cross-sell will come when you have momentum around the primary sale.
Hugo Meares assists organisations to win tenders as a Pitch Doctor and provides applied Needs Based Selling and Pitching training. You can visit his website at www.sparkplug.co.nz. NZSM / nov 12TH 2008 / 11
R ES O U R CE C O R N E R
THE ELEMENT How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything By Ken Robinson
Published by Allen Lane
he element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.
This ground-breaking new book is all about how every one of us can find our element, connecting with our true talents and fulfilling our creative potential. Creativity expert Ken Robinson believes that we are all born with tremendous natural capacities, but that we lose touch with them as we spend more time in the world. Whether it’s a child bored in class, an employee being misused or just someone who feels frustrated but can’t quite explain why, too many people don’t know what they are really capable of achieving. Education,
business and society as a whole are losing out. “The Element” draws on the stories of a wide range of people - from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney to renowned physicist Richard Feynman and many others, including business leaders and athletes - showing how all of them came to recognize their unique talents and were able to make a successful living doing what they love. With a wry sense of humour and a sense of optimism, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the element, and those that stifle that possibility. He shows that age and occupation are no barrier and he argues that there is an urgent need to enhance creativity and $49.95 from innovation by thinking differently about ourselves.
NZSM / mar 4TH 2009 / 12
NZSM / mar 4TH 2009 / 13
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NZSM / mar 4TH 2009 / 15