Welcome to The Pipeline.

woman-in-office-looks-out-window 800

What If I Hadn’t Called?0

By Tibor Shanto

As most of you know I am a regular proponent of making cold calling part of your prospecting mix.  Beyond the logic of expanding your tool kit to include all things that lead to engagement, how you engage with your prospects will very much inform and shape the conversation you have with prospects.   The dynamics of an inbound call are very different than those on a call that interrupts and disrupts their day, and their current direction.

When I cold call someone, and get the appointment, I have an advantage over others.  Namely, the prospect has clearly indicated that they have an interest in the areas I raised in the initial cold call, but unlike those “57% of the journey buyers”, they haven’t started down a path.  This allows me, as the subject matter expert, to explore in a much more proactive fashion than with a buyer who comes to me with preconceptions and a “product” they are looking for already in mind.  Cold callers end up selling to a much more curious, and open-minded buyer.

Read on…

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

woman-in-office-looks-out-window 800
Disapproval thumbs down by a male executive.

3 Reasons Your Prospecting Messaging Fail0

By Tibor Shanto

Last week another social warrior decided to take to the soap box, and tell us why cold calling is dead, and for him and his followers, it may be, but it can still play a role in your sales and prospecting success.  As is my nature, I took issue with their thinking, but as I read my post, I realized that I had glossed over a key point.  Specifically, that many in sales blame the medium, in this case the phone, rather than the message.  Based on the hundreds of companies I have worked with, I can tell you that when your message sucks, the medium will not make up for it.

Here three things that will cause your approach to fail, no matter the medium.

Important Qualifier:  The areas discussed below pertain to prospecting those people who are generally considered Status Quo, happy where they’re at, not looking for, thinking of, or can even spell the word change.  These are not buyers who are out there looking, consuming content almost at the rate we crack it out, they’ve been to your webinars, and lined up to be “scanned” at a trade show.  We’re looking at Status – don’t bother me – Quo.

Read on…

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

A different fish 800

New Dogs – Old Tricks0

By Tibor Shanto

While politics may be dominating populism these days, it does not hold a monopoly on populism, it is part of, if not the driving force for any like-minded group.  While most tend to limit their exploration of populism to political and social movements, populism, with all it’s positive possibilities and ugly realities, permeates and exists in other tribal groups and movements, like sales.  While others may want to define in loftier ways, in the end, populism at its core, should be “support for the concerns of ordinary people”; unfortunately for those who want to exploit it, it is more a means of “profiting from the concerns (and hopes) of ordinary people, while ensuring that their status will not change in a way that diminishes their opportunity to profit from the concerns of the ordinary”.

A great example of this in sales is the never-ending cry from certain corners, proclaiming, announcing or predicting the death of Cold Calling.  The meanest of these are those who predict, and put that prediction just beyond people’s willingness to remember.

Speaking of which, isn’t it about time we dust off all the predictions from last December and see who wins – loses – draws and who cares.

Read on…

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

A different fish 800
glasses on cliff 800

What Kind Of Sales Year will 2018 Be?0

By Tibor Shanto

As we head into 2018, we are heading into a year that could make the current economic cycle the longest since the great depression.  Currently the longest is the 120 months, from March 1991 to March 2001.  This could well mean that there is more than a real possibility that the next 12 – 18 months will see an economic slowdown, at the same time many market pundits also point to age of the current bull market, and real possibility of a pull back.

There is little or no doubt that this will impact all of us in sales.  How it impacts organizations and individual reps will vary based on a number of factors.

Read on…

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

glasses on cliff 800

No Red 800

Tell Them It’s OK To Say NO!0

By Tibor Shanto

No one like to be the bearer of bad news, this includes buyers.  I know some sellers may find that hard to believe, but even when another product aligns better with their objectives, human nature kicks in, and delivering the news that you lost, is not pleasant for most buyers.  So what do they do, they either pass the buck to someone else, like procurement, or avoid your call for weeks, hoping you’ll eventually get the hint; or any number of ways to avoid an unpleasant task.

Goes without saying, they don’t have the same issues saying yes, and mostly because they have been conditioned to understand that sellers look for YES, and try to avoid NO.  But once you get beyond the cultural hang ups, NO is probably the best response one can get, as long as they are ready for it, and prepared to deal with it.

Read on…

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

Turkey

3 Sales Thanksgiving Turkeys0

By Tibor Shanto

While the president may be set to pardon a turkey today, I am not sure we should be so generous when it comes to some offences committed by some in sales.  While we may not be willing to pardon or forgive, it seems worthwhile to look at some turkey moves sellers, at times including myself, make in the course of their day.

Awesome

While there are many words used in sales that should be banned (not just from sales, but the planet), there are some that are just irritating and either confuse buyers, or put them off completely.  I have written about “empty calorie” words in sales, words like ‘productivity’, ‘solution’, or ‘efficiency’, and others.  I think we have done a good job of eradicating the use of ‘synergy’, we now need to apply the same discipline and focus on eliminating the word ‘Awesome’.

Read on…

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

Turkey

Hope dispare 800

Change Their Direction – Not Their Mind0

By Tibor Shanto

No one likes objections when prospecting, rejection in any form is never fun, but when it cost you money and opportunity, it’s even worse. If you are in sales, you need to quickly figure out how to best deal with objections in a way that leads to more opportunities.  Some choose to hide from it, using things like e-mail, where the rejection is less direct, in the form of no response, to the first or 15th attempt; personally, I prefer to deal with objections to lack of engagement or silence, mostly because they need to be dealt with, the question is how.  Most people deal with the wrong element of objects, and in the wrong way to boot.

First, and the hardest, is not taking things personally.  This is hard when you are invested in your in your success, your product, and your company.  Add to that the Kool Aide you’ve been made to consume before they wound you up and sent you out to conquer, and it can be devastating when someone your convinced is the perfect profile or “persona”, dismisses you, your message, and your new improved never before seen disruptive thingamajig, without even a second of consideration.

Read on…

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

Hope dispare 800
Now future past 2

Now Is The Time To Get Ahead Of Then0

By Tibor Shanto

With the end of the year in site, only six hopping Saturdays till Xmas, we sometimes face hard choices as to where to put our efforts.  Put everything we have in closing and renewing what’s here and now; or ensure that I am well set for the next quarter, or year.  Unfortunately, and often for all the wrong reasons, including guidance from a manager, the former wins out.  For professional sales people, this is business as usual, but it is that more pronounced, and much more at stake, at the end of the year.  Knowing this, we should always be looking at our time not in a linear way, now or then, but in a compartmental or sectioned way. Each section, focused on core activities, based on the here and now. This allows the calendar to be used to drive daily activities, not as cause for crisis 12 or four times a year.

You can start by looking at, and spending your time in an additional way.

Read on…

Movers   Hey – We’re moving

   Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a       while, but this same great post is also available at

www.TiborShanto.com

whale in field 2

Be Easier To Believe0

By Tibor Shanto

No one is saying you are lying, I know you are not, but not lying and being believable are two different things.  For sellers, it is less about telling the truth, and more about believability; if the buyer doesn’t buy the information and materials to support your offering, no matter how accurate or factual, they aren’t buying.

I understand the challenge for proud marketing and sales professionals, especially those who may be breaking new ground, truly innovative, and driving measurable results for the clients.  This leads to bold statement, “Big and Audacious” claims, attention grabbing, but maybe not the attention you are looking for.  But if the buyers don’t trust the statement, not only do these statements lose impact, but they could work against you.

Read on…

MoversHey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at www.TiborShanto.com

Child in calss

You Don’t Have To Answer0

By Tibor Shanto

It seems many in sales feel the best way to show how smart they are, is to have all the answers at the ready, and feel compelled to bark an answer as soon as the prospect asks, sometimes even before.  I would suggest that even when you know the answer, no element of doubt, offering it up like a candy dispenser, will not lead to the prospect thinking you are smart by virtue of knowing answer, and certainly does not guarantee the deal.

I know some will be hard to convince, but you need to look at questions and answers as props in a play, where the plot and theme are centred around the prospect, their objectives, and things they are looking to, or more often, willing to change.  So, while being right is great for grade 8 English test, it may move the dial the wrong way in a given deal.

Just as the questions you ask are designed to create a learning experience for both buyer and seller, and allow you to take the meeting in certain directions, so do answers.

Too Soon

Prospects will in their own way prepare for meetings as well, and when they are focused on addressing something, they want to get to that point, just like sellers want to get to their point.  As experienced sellers will tell you, that facts and reality are sometimes best doled out in bits and pieces, and these are tied to the buyer’s state of readiness.  This is not so important if you are selling products to “informed” and predictable buyers looking for what they bought last time, and neither you or the buyer are inclined to change, learn or improve.

But if your success is based on helping buyers achieve a future state, one different than their current state, one that represents change, or as they think of it as “risk”, then it will likely involve educating and motivating that buyer.  There is a reason they call it a journey, it allows the buyer to evolve on the way to the destination.

Our role as sellers is to ensure the buyers gain an understanding of the specifics at hand.  Individual buyers we deal with, are part of a group of buyers, often with varying opinions and wish lists.  This means they need to both understand and explain the change you are proposing to others in the process, meaning that a “just in time” approach to answers will likely serve you better than spewing facts.

Child in calssNot Every Question Deserves An Answer

That’s right, there is no law that says that all questions have to be answered immediately, or at all.  Sometimes buyers ask questions not purely out of a need for an answer, but for example, as a way of thinking out loud.  Based experience, you know that certain question show a state of unreadiness on the part of the buyer.  Answering the question, now or too soon, may confirm some wrong assumptions, or limit your ability to explore areas later; another good reason to review all opportunities, won, lost or “no decision”.

There is also the opportunity to demonstrate your organization’s “deep bench”.  You can introduce experts and specialist to respond.  Setting that meeting will allow you to surface and involve others in the process, by setting up a meeting to introduce your expert(s) to their team.  It also allows you to ensure that they form relationships with those in a better position to ensure success after the signature.  Something that if it came to you, would cause you to not “sell”, and delays in resolving the clients issues.

Knowing the answer is one things, what makes you an expert seller, not a product or fact expert, is how you use and dispense the answers in a way that drives the buyer’s and you objectives.

Hey – We’re moving

Yes, all the same great content and more!
Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com
We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at
www.TiborShanto.com/blog

Come and visit, see what’s new!

wordpress stat