One of the most common questions asked by sales people is: “Which Customer do I spend time with to make a sale?” and the second most common question is – Which Customer has a high sense of urgency to buy? Both questions relate to the same point. How do you recognize if a customer is someone that you should invest your time in order to make a sale?
While there are several additional factors to understand in this situation, there are four triggers to observe. Using questions, you must find out the relationship between the current results and the desired results for each customer. Then based upon this information, you will have the necessary information to decide how much time to spend with each customer.
Okay, here are the four triggers:
The fourth strategy is to get the officials to call the game early and close the deal now. Using a football game analogy, this is the same strategy that football teams take to kill the clock by having the quarterback take a knee and have the clock expire. Another analogy is the 10-run rule in softball whereby the official calls the game over since one team is leading by more than 10 runs after a certain number of innings have been played.
Okay, the third strategy to closing the deal when you are ahead is based upon learning how to burn the clock as fast as you can to close the deal. This means you remain in contact with your customer and influencers and coaches during the end stage of the sales process.
Be available to answer questions. Treat each question like it could be a deal-breaker, because it could be a deal-breaker if you ignore it. The key here is to listen to every question, listen to what is said, listen for what is not said that should have been said based upon your experience. Ask clarifying questions to gain a true understanding of issues or concerns held by your customer.
The second strategy for the sales person who is ahead in the sales process is to continue to use the same game plan that got them to this point – all the way to the end. In fact, this plan will work most of the time unless the sales person gets too aggressive with certain people in the customer’s organization. Aggressive or assertive styles will get you ahead in many situations, this style will become too risky in the end game of selling.
The key for a sales person’s success is to continue to focus on the goal of the customer winning. This focus on the customer rather than on you – will allow for continuity of actions. These actions should always be focused on the customer’s improvement and growth. Focus and clarity of actions will keep you error-free during the end game of the sales process.
You are ahead in the sales game. The first strategy is to do nothing. Here the sales person is counting on the system to take care of him or her. This is a high risk approach that assumes your competition will take no action to overtake you. This is what we call an errant assumption. Meaning that incorrect assumptions lead to all bad decisions.
Your competition will be working harder than ever to find any opening to delay the decision, or reopen the sales process with new specifications, new information, or new situations that will change the playing field dynamics.
Losing sales people use the “do nothing” strategy too often. This is a passive approach is caused by several factors. One, they have low self-esteem and sometimes feel they are unworthy of success. They actually feel the only reason they are in front is luck! And since they believe in bad luck, they are now waiting for the proverbial “other shoe to fall” canceling the order.
The second reason is one of arrogance. This deadly attitude can cause a sale to fall apart at the last moment. When a sales person shows arrogance to either the competition or their customer, the ball is set in motion for an upset. When the customer senses this attitude, their trust level drops and uncertainty enters the game.
The most common tactic used by the customer when arrogance is recognized is the sudden stall in the sales process. The clearest signal is missed deadlines at critical closing milestones. Other people begin to enter the playing field for the sale, usually for the first time, and the sales person takes no action to meet these people or learn about any new issues or concerns. Then, someone else wins the sale!. It happens because the sales person lost focus at a critical juncture of the sales game.
There are four strategies for closing the sale when you lead in the sales process. These are the most common strategies and tactics used by sales people to close a sale. It is similar to having a two minute game plan in college football. How do you burn the clock faster and win the game?
This is the same thing that sales people must deal with everyday. When they are the front runner, the leader in the game to close the deal – what can the sales person do to get it done. Over the next four days, I will into each strategy in more detail to explain what is happening in the background to speed up or slow down a sales process.
Here are the four strategies for Closing the Deal when you are ahead in the sales game:
- To Do Nothing
- Continue to Use the Same Plan
- Use a Full Press to “Burn the Clock Faster”
- Get the Officials to Call the Game Early
Each of these strategies will lead you to victory, eh, to closing the sale. Remember, in sales being in second place is a really bad thing. Pick the right strategy for your situation and get the contract signed.
Today, I’m looking at value adding opportunities for the Declining phases of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.
The Declining Phrase of product life cycles is one of the most difficult phrases for companies and the individuals within these companies to handle. Usually there are emotional links to these products and decisions are influenced by this emotional attachment. Emotional issues need to be overcome and some business logic applied to the solutions needed. Yet, companies that have only declining products are usually in survival mode and their choices are limited at best. The best companies have launched new products during the growth and maturity phrases and have new products becoming maturity products at this time.
So what can you do if the company or products for your company or the customer’s company to add significant value during this declining phrase? Here are five things we have found to provide the value added opportunities:
Today, I’m looking at value adding opportunities for the Maturity Phases of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.
The Maturity Phrase is an interesting period and seems to have a large number of companies in this category. However, most of these companies are in commodity industries and are working hard to stay out of the declining phrase – which I will discuss on Thursday.
There are six opportunities for you to consider when you have identified a company or product in the maturity phrase. The six that we have assisted our clients with include:
This week I’m looking at value adding opportunities for the growth phase of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.
So today, we are looking at the Growth Phrase for a company or product. This is exciting times for any company to experience. Things are moving fast, sales are increasing, accounts receivables are growing and cash is once again in short supply. So here are four specific value adding opportunities for sales people and managers to use during the growth phrase.
This week I’m looking at value adding opportunities for all phases of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.
So the first cycle is the start-up or entry phrase. The company is starting from nothing and has a boat load of high priority areas that must be dealt with everyday. Usually there are changing priorities and crisis management rules the day. Even with the daily changes – there are four areas that I believe you can focus upon to increase the performance and opportunities. Here are the four opportunities: