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6 Things Every Good Sales Person Should Know About Personal Branding0

The Pipeline Guest Post – Megan Totka

Today, nearly every person has a personal brand. The good news is, there are a lot of things you, as a salesperson or small business owner, can do to build a really awesome personal brand. You can choose to guide and cultivate the brand or select actions so it’s defined on your behalf – whichever way you choose to build your personal brand, never brush off its importance. You may wonder how to become the complete salesperson – that’s not an easy feat. However, start by taking a look at these six things every good salesperson should know about personal branding.

The importance of being seen as an expert in your field.

It’s harder to be a salesperson today in many ways – it’s the age of the educated consumer. The best salespeople have the ability to curate excellent content and share it via social networks and blogs. They remember to keep it purposeful and relevant and entertaining when possible. Once you decide how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can become more strategic about your personal brand.

The importance of authenticity in relationships.

A good salesperson knows that at the end of the day, human-to-human relationships are what it all boils down to. It’s easier to maintain current customers than sell new ones. A recent survey by Marketing Metrics found that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is just 5-20%. This is why it’s so important to stay connected with customers on social networks or via email marketing or blogging. Make it a point to learn how to develop an authentic online voice — sounding robotic and giving sales pitches gets you nowhere.

Make sure to keep it personal.

No one wants to feel as though they are just another number, another sale. Good sales people know that they need to do everything they can to learn more about their prospects and clients to make them feel special. Understand the value of promoting your business at a local level. Always remember to personalize any mass emails. Don’t become overly reliant on automation to pull leads. Data can inform but not replace their brain function and intuition.

Never doubt the value of the network.

Networking should never be an afterthought or something that is squeezed into a day. Good sales people look forward to it and it becomes part of their daily routine. Social networks and digital tools help build networks. Good salespeople realize that they can make new connections any day of the week from any location.

Realize it’s crucial to show up and make a statement.

Always wear your Sunday best for presentations and when meeting others. Clean, neat clothes that fit well and neatly combed hair make a good first impression. Take pride in your work: edit letters for errors; check emails before they’re sent, etc. so you don’t look unprofessional. Make sure everything about you makes a positive statement.

Accept that persistence doesn’t do anything good for you.

Good salespeople know the importance of pulling back and think before they overdo it and turn people away. While being assertive is okay, and even coming back to people who previously turned you down is acceptable, it is never okay to hound people. You don’t want to come across as desperate – or even worse — bothersome.

Salespeople always concentrate on their personal brand, and know that the interactions they have leave a trail of bred crumbs straight to their business doors. Good salespeople want people to spread positive word of mouth about their business, and want those words to flow long after they’ve left the room. Most importantly, good salespeople and successful small business owners always remember that a strong personal brand should be ever evolving.

What are some points you think all salespeople should know to make them more successful?

About Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.
Website: www.chamberofcommerce.com

Confused by Too Many Choices Arrow Street Signs

Limiting Choices Increases Results0

Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Despite the evidence to the contrary, many sales people and businesses see multiple options presented to prospects as being “good” or the “right” thing, for the prospect, and by extension themselves. Many business owners tell me that they stock or offer a wide range of products or services to ensure that they can meet the demands of all comments. Some of this is based on the assumption that the buyer actually knows what they want. This fatal sales character flaw is shared by many sales people, especially from the consultative or relationship school. These sales people see their role more client therapists than revenue generators.

You can sort of understand the small business owners, clients come in asking for something they currently don’t have. They have two choices, take the time and effort to understand the buyer’s objective, and then sell them on an equally valid alternative they do have. Or, they squeeze some things over on the second shelf, and order a dozen of what the prospect asked for, because “If this guy wants it, so will others, best to be prepared when the next buyer asks for it.” A big if.

While one can’t blame small business owners for falling into the trap of endless choices, it should be different with sales people. Choice is a bad drug, once you are addicted, it takes a lot to kick this habit that’s killing sales, and threatening capitalism as we know it. Yet sales people consume and dispense choice disregarding the impact on their success.

Part of the challenge is people see the role of a sales professional. Broadly speaking there are those “consultative” types, “the customer is always right” types who for the sake of “relationship” will subordinate their success and that of their employers.

Consistently successful sales professionals see their role a little differently, they see themselves as a Subject Matter Expert, (SME). Further, their expertise is not product related, but related to helping the prospect achieve their objectives. Focusing on objectives, business impacts and outcomes, frees one up from worrying about product/service, to outcomes. From a business standpoint it really is about the end, not the means. Focusing on the “end”, the outcomes and impacts, narrows the discussion, and creates focus.

Consultative sellers will present proposals with multiple options, SME’s offer up the right choice based on what the “end” the prospect is trying to achieve. With the former you have to explain each option, the pros and cons of each, the whole exercise begins to look like a spaghetti tossing contest. While many of these sellers take great pride in expounding on each option, demonstrating their rich product knowledge. Here is what the prospect is hearing, “I haven’t got a clue what you are looking for Mr. Buyer, but I gotta make a sale here or my ass is fried; so imagonna put three options in front of you, hope you know what you want, hope I can sell you the middle one, but I’ll settle for the lowest option too, any actually”.

Be the expert, understand what they are trying to achieve, not what they want to buy or you want to sell. No matter what you are selling commodity or rocket ships, limiting choice will help you understand and sell better. In high end products, offering one choice, even when not on the mark, will drive discussion, discovery and insight, and establish you as an expert in the process. Options will give the client the impression you have taken it as far as you can, based on their input, and now they are on their own to make the decision. Risky business.

With commodities, I’ll share a story. I was working with client in a competitive market, there were a lot of choices, vendors, product, bulk, etc. My client’s team would always showcase three offerings, most prospects loved the middle choice, right balance of price/feature. But in the end he sold considerably more of the lowest price product, even among those who loved the middle feature; (just read the “good enough” segment of CEB’s Challenger Customer). I suggested that they drop the lowest option, and just present two, making what was the middle choice now the lowest of the two. His volumes did not go down, but almost all the sales were of the new low, prior middle priced offering.

By limiting choice, he increased outcomes for both his buyers and his company.

QF Webinar

Need to Convert More Leads To Opportunities?0

There is no one single approach to converting more leads to real opportunities, it takes a blend of technology, messaging, and the dynamics.

You are invited to learn how to best combine these elements to generate more opportunities and sales. On Thursday July 21, join Paul Alves, Co-Founder & CRO of Quota Factory, and I, as we present concrete steps to “Increase Outbound Conversions with Objective Based Selling”.

Paul and I will present how to increase the number of lead you actually connect with, how to convert more of those leads leveraging Objective Based Selling and managing the dynamics of the call.

If you are using the phone to sell or set appointments, you need to attend.

  • What a sales development representative needs to be successful and optimize their time
  • The need for, and positive effects of implementing a workflow management system for sales
  • The difference in dialing techniques and selecting the best kind for your sales team
  • How to transform your messaging from solution-based to persona-based
  • Persona-based objective selling techniques
  • How to understand and translate prospects’ dynamics

If you have a team of SDR’s this webinar will help you understand how our clients increased conversions by over 20%.

Register

 

EDGE - New Web

Don’t Talk Yourself Out Of It0

Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

People have an amazing ability to convince themselves of almost anything. This is great when they are facing a challenge and they reach inside and not only conceive a means of addressing the challenge, but taking extraordinary action and successfully hitting it head on and overcoming it. Of course the opposite is also true and more common, when people see a challenge, a big challenge in their eyes; so big and seemingly overwhelming, that when they look inside, all they find is the rational for giving up and a list of “why nots”.

Stop Talking To Yourself

Ask any good sales manager or sincere buyer, and they can share numerous examples of sales people who have talked themselves out of a sale. By this I don’t mean the more common example of a sales person who doesn’t shut up long enough to allow the buyer to place the order. This is more about specific instances where the sales person, faced with some difficult options, convinces themselves of “the inevitable negative outcome”, and as a result stops trying to do anything to change the situation in their favour, and settle for the deal being lost.

Sales Process Overview

Let Your Process Do The Talking

To avoid this, and be able to overcome more hurdles you face in selling, you need to turn to something many sales people find boring, and fail to see as a strategic advantage, their sales process. This assumes they or their company has a defined and viable sales process that continues to evolve with the market and buyers. If the have one of those, the other factor is the rep’s propensity to follow it to succeed. Many pretend, or cherry pick, “I like this, I’ll do it; skip that, don’t like it”. If the process is in fact a good one, you need follow it as it is, not your interpretation based on likes, dislikes. If you don’t follow the parts you don’t like, you will not only lose sales, but more importantly, not improve in ways that help you leverage the process and win sales.

Objectivity Rules

One of the best things about having a process is that it takes a lot of the subjectivity out of execution. Rather than your execution reflecting your mood on any given day, the process allows you to perform the right activities, for the right reason, and the right tools at critical stages of the sale. Even in difficult sales or scenario, taking the emotion out of it, and focusing on specific activities, allows you to execute, examine results, adjust and execute again. The same time and energy that went into the emotional side of things, is now applied to specific actions and impacts.

This is why a key component of a viable and evolving process is metrics. The process drives the activity, the measurement allows you to evaluate and set out the next set of actions, measure again, and repeat. Sure you will lose deals, but you will have tried, and understand why you lost after the fact, not because you talked yourself out of things in advance.

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New Or Improved

Same New, Same New!0

Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

We are familiar with the expression “same old same old”, indicating that little has changed save the packaging. This is why you don’t see marketers and ad folks lead an advert or campaign by proclaiming that this “new thing they are presenting, is really the same as previous versions or releases, but we did slap a fresh coat of paint on it”. Instead we are presented with yet another new improved dish detergent, that leave the plates no cleaner than last year’s model. We have all seen our favourite web site introduce “upgrades” that feature little or no new functionality, just buttons moved around like the deckchairs on the Titanic.

I think that in sales, for something to qualify as “new”, not swept clean or rinsed off, but truly new, it should have two elements, A) it should allow you to do something in a measurably more efficient way while leading to more prospect and/or sales; B) it should change your behaviour and how you execute moving forward. For example, when BlackBerry introduced the first device to combined e-mail and phone in one handset in 2002. Clearly made one more productive in a sales context and clearly changed the way sales people, and all business people behaved after it’s adoption. Many of the specialized productivity apps you find on tablets, had the same impact on many roles.

As sales professional your most valuable asset is your time, your most valuable tool is your sales process or sales-flow. Any “new” thing, be it a sales tool, app or methodology, should be measured against those two elements, do they free up time that you can reinvest into selling, and do they help you execute your process better, leading to you being able to sell better and more? If they do great, the time and effort invested, the momentary distraction of applying something new, are all worth it given the increased sales and productivity that will follow, and on an ongoing basis. If not, then is it really worth your time and distraction?

While I know a lot of Apple groupies, few get every release of the iPhone. The question that needs to be answered is whether the change was either needed, due to a shift in the market or a flaw with previous iteration. If not, it is a safe bet the biggest beneficiary is the person/company selling the “New”. Did the provider of the service, hardware, software or what have you, manufacture the impetus for change, and is the only one pointing to it, or did it evolve because of a hole in the market? If it is the latter great, especially if that hole is impacting your ability to succeed. If on the other hand the only one impacted by the “new” is the guy selling it, you should spend time elsewhere.

If leveraging your process to better use your time and improve execution to sell better is something new to you, start there, worry about buying something new later. New does not equal good, good equals good, and the test for that is not newness.

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d-orsay-clock_3

The Power of Why > How – Part 20

Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Monday I wrote about the power of the Why > How one-two punch.  Rather than doing the conventional probing around the decision process, who is involved, what are the steps, are there steps defined or is it ad-hock, etc.  Ask anyone if they are the ones to make the decision, and they’ll likely say yes, ask about Why and How the current vendor was selected, and you may find a different scenario, with additional and at times more important players that will have to be engaged to get the decision you want.  But that’s just the start, you can leverage Why > How, in a more granular way to give you further insights about the buyer, their organization, and how to adjust your execution to achieve success.

First is across time.  Look to the past, present and future.  Looking to the past will not only tell how they do things, people don’t change dramatically.  How they bought software last year or the year before, unless there is an entirely new crew, in which case exploring their past will still provide visibility to how they do things.  Assuming the players have not changed, exploring the past will give you a clear picture as to their propensity to change.  If they have continuously lagged the market in adopting new technologies, if they are still sitting back wait for cloud computing to be validated, you need to adjust your sales approach accordingly, at times even to the point of moving on and revisiting the opportunity in the future.  At the other end are innovators and early adopters, where they are on Moore’s curve will dictate how you execute and win them as a client.

Exploring the future, especially when that exploration is through the prism of their business will also dictate execution.  If they have clear objectives, aligned around elements of their business and how they look to grow it, it will make your sale easier, perhaps easier is the wrong word, more like ‘straight forward’.  Assuming their plans make sense you can focus on helping them achieve them.  If they have clear objectives but have chosen a less than optimal means of achieving them, then you need to first get them to consider alternatives.  Why > How, will help you to get them to change course, preaching is ineffective, but a series of “Why that?”, “How will that look?” questions will help you to get them to look at things differently, and from there to look at different things.

The other plain that Why > How will help is by exploring both the individual you are speaking to, and the Why’s > How’s of their organization.  This is especially important when there are multiple stakeholders or decision makers.  This helps in aligning personal agendas with corporate objectives, this can help you create alignment among the players by focusing on common elements, of each of the individuals, and those of the company.  Minimize differences, especially when not critical to the project, and build on overlap and common elements that you can enhance by virtue of you experience and past success.

I know there are some sales pundits out there who are afraid of the word Why, and would rather have you wait for a random event to trigger your success.  I say take control of your success by asking Why > How, early and often.

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key3

A One > Two Combination That Still Delivers Sales1

Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Much of the discussion around social selling vs. traditional selling, or even old school selling like cold calling, has distracted many from the central issue, successful selling. When was the last time someone congratulated you on landing a big account and asked you “BTW, Ann, did you use social or other selling to win this deal?”. It is more likely that someone would ask about the steps and techniques that could be repeated to deliver similar results consistently.

There is one tried and true approach, that when executed properly can help you and the buyer in a number of ways to come to the right decision in a shorter and less painful time frame and atmosphere. No magic or silver bullet, but a series of questions framed around two simple words and concepts:

  • Why
  • How

Using these two in a one – two combination helps you resolve a number of potential hurdles but avoid some as well.

One common example is when you have worked a sale in accordance to your process. You have interviewed the buyer(s), qualified them, understood their objectives, and then validated them for good measure. You deliver your proposal, expecting to have some discussion, shall we call this ritual “negotiations”, leading to a decision (preferably a buy decision, but at times any decision will do). Only to be told that they need to take it to someone who has not been part of the process to date (owner, boss…). None of us can pretend this has not happened to us. Using the Why > How early in the cycle can reduce or eliminate this, but only if you leave the product out of it, and focus on the buyer’s objectives; and by buyer, I am talking about the individuals and the collective organization.

Start by asking Why they chose the product or process now in place. No pre-bias or agenda, just an honest question as to “why that”? If they are able to clearly articulate why they chose the product/provider, and this should be in detail, and that means you needing to be ready with a number of follow-through questions in order to fully explore specifics. What were they trying to achieve, why didn’t like some of the common alternatives? Why automate instead of outsource? Why on premise vs. cloud? Go deep, don’t just skim the surface. Many will be able to provide answers that are really talking points, but to get real answers, answers that give insight into the situation and the person’s role in the situation, you will need to have at least three follow up questions.

  • Why that objective?
  • How do they measure that?
  • Upside of achieving the objective
  • Implications of a miss; etc.

If they can go into detail about these, contrasting the choices they had to deal with and why they landed where they did, then you are more likely dealing with someone who was involved in the decision, vs. someone who cannot, and therefore was not likely core to the decision, clear signal you’ll need to engage someone else, and now.

Along with the Why questions, you need to introduce How questions. “Great, I understand why you went with that route (product service, provider, etc.), tell me How you went about selecting Vendor X?” The goal here is to get a step by step of the How, giving you a window into how they make decisions. Again, if they can detail How the decision was made, you’re in the right place heading in the right direction. If not, and it is clear that they were secondary in the process, then it is clear that you need to engage others. The goal is to do this really early in the discovery phase, where curiosity and interest are rewarded with information, especially as the questions you are asking relate to them, but provide you with multi level insights.

Again, if you are ready with your follow through questions, then you will also be in a position to learn who was involved in the decision, and is likely necessary to get a decision now.  The great thing is that once you make this Why > How combo part of your routine, you’ll discover that it is a very conversational and inclusionary approach, where buyers are allowed to reflect and share info rather than interrogating or pitching.

They Why > How works on almost any element of the sale, but it does require practice and preparation. In the next post, we’ll go deeper and wider with this proven and easily implemented one-two punch.

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strategy board

Why sales reps are always “Just touching-base”!3

The Pipeline Guest Post – Gerald Vanderpuye

Just Touching Base!

In baseball, a player who is touching base is not in danger of being put out. In sales, we must continue to touch-base or follow-up as it’s also known to stay in the game of sales.  When your rep loses a real opportunity, it’s because of a poor follow up. You sales rep couldn’t touch base either in the right manner or failed to follow-up enough.  

Time kills deals!

Professional sales people know time kills deals and deals get stuck in the infamous black hole where nothing happens for days weeks and months. This is the moment when it is more important than ever to touch base.

The Follow-up challenge!

Although sales managers would argue some sales reps are simply lazy and refuse to follow up, the problem for the majority of salespeoplesales people is more about effectively following up rather than the will to follow up.

An effective follow-up strategy gets a sales deal out of the black hole and back on into the light (the sales process).  We use the term black hole because sales have no idea what’s going on with the buyer and the deal, all they know is the deal is slowly getting out of their control and getting harder and harder to touch base.

This lack of information about the buyer leaves salespeople following up blindly which ends with disengaged Buyers who get spammed and annoyed.  We delved deep into thousands of deals and got an insight into what was happening on the Buyer side.

Know when to Follow up!

Opportunity win rate  for our customer is between 8%-40% for all new sales. At least 60% of buyers were never going to buy and ultimately waste the reps time.  We then measured how much time buyers spent on reading the sales and marketing content shared and discovered hundreds of Buyers often show initial engagement, then drop off, however, come back at a later stage. Without these insights, sales reps were often touching base at times totally out of sync with the when the buyers are most interested.  Imagine a Buyer that is disengaged during the month of February yet receives seven follow-up emails from the sales rep.  The sale is lost in the CRM. However, there is no follow up when the buyer come’s back to the shared marketing content months down the line when the interest is real and sale is back on.

Give your Buyer a reason to act now!

There is another 25% of Buyers that are genuinely interested in the problem you are solving! They simply do not have a compelling reason to act now.  In this scenario, the touching base is mostly about being consistent with the relevant content that either generates a compelling reason for the buyer to act.  

Helping your buyer sell Internally

Finally,  prospects who are struggling to sell your product internally. There are other stakeholders they need to bring into the picture, and they need the right messaging and content to capture these stakeholders interest.  Can you help your champion get their interest with your content and follow ups?   

Professional sales enablement organisations understand that an excellent follow-up strategy is a must for success as 80% of closed deals require five follow-ups before close. Although this Data for why sales reps need to follow up is evident still 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up.   BuyerDeck provides sales reps real data about where the buyer is in the buying cycle (Not the sales process ) and suggests the perfect content/message to follow up effectively.

If you are interested in helping your sales teams better follow up with technology that is fully integrated into your CRM here is an opportunity.  We are now giving away 5000 free licences to broaden our feedback pool. Visit our giveaway site to see if you qualify.*

About Gerald Vanderpuye

As a proud co-founder at BuyerDeck, I have three passions: I love sales, technology and creating happy customers. I have been in sales, marketing and delivering remarkable customer experiences the last 10 years. My last position was at Rackspace where I was responsible for  developing sales strategy and driving business growth through existing customers and new Logo acquisitions in key markets. I was leading and managing a diverse team to deliver on new growth targets for both Enterprise and SMB’s. I am now leading the team at BuyerDeck to bootstrap the distribution of our B2B SAAS product beyond the initial traction of 12K buyers and sellers.

 

* I do not receive payment of any sort from BuyerDeck, just looking to help them give away 5000 licences. Tibor Shanto

 

Richtung Pfeil

A Sweeter Approach To Prospecting Success4

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

As we head in to the second half of the year you realize you need to prospect and get some more opportunities in your pipeline. As you seek advice from your peers, one veteran tells you “You gotta buckle down and make more calls”, sage advice from someone who is under quota. Then you turn to a younger colleague and ask, not direct but by text, what she does, she tells you “OMG, get in to the 21st century, forget that calling stuff, you need to be a social seller.” But looking at the leader board, she is not making quota either. The guy at the top of the board, the one you really want advice from, is out of the office, making quota.

Forget the “us and them” of the chattering class. Stop being conflicted, stop wasting time and brain cells, do what the silent successful minority is doing, Reese’s Selling, where they combine the best of many viable selling approaches to deliver more than any can on their own. Safe, easy, tasty and quota satisfying!

As with most things in sales your only limits are your imagination and willingness to execute.

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16e083ee-9dc0-4e1c-91fa-2f33b6a4bd07

Are Your Sales Relationships Painful?1

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

People ask me why I focus so much on prospects’ objectives, after all if you can find a pain and play to it, you are bound to get a sale.  Well maybe.  I always find it amusing that when I ask people what do they want to know about a potential buyer, too many say “I want to know what their pain point is, their needs, the problem”.   When I ask what they want to achieve in a first/second meeting with a prospect, they start gushing on about wanting to establish a relationship.  One guy at an IT consulting/systems integrator, said this to me literally when I asked what his goal is for a first meeting: “I want to find the soft underbelly of the beast; stab it; then serve up the cure”.  While you may be shaking your head, and rightfully so, I hear this same type of thing said differently by so many in sales, including pundits, I worry.

You Don’t Have To Hurt The Ones You Love

So maybe I am missing the point, but how does one go from poking (or probing) for pain, latent or other, and in the space of one hour or so go to forming a relationship?  Maybe it is a Bizarro sales version of the Stockholm Syndrome.  How else can you explain the expectation that one can search for or deliver pain with a blunt instrument, and establish rapport or a relationship, even if you hand out Aspirins.What I see as being more effective, even with buyers who are screaming with pain, is to focus the buyer on a point down the road, a point in time 18 – 24 months in the future. You want the buyer to “see” themselves, their aspirations and their opportunities in your narrative and experience. Your ability to create an authoritative dialogue aligned with their objectives, based on specific instances where you have enabled and enhanced clients’ ability to reach their long term objectives, but to speak convincingly about specific impacts and outcomes.

While there is no doubt that in the near term pain relief is paramount, it does beg the question what then?  Pain is short term, usually negative, and limiting. While objectives are long term, tied to other initiatives, uplifting and positive, and as a result have an energy “pain” and “needs” don’t.

By marginalising the “pain”, and focusing on the big picture beyond the current pain, you can create a level of involvement and emotional commitment that is not available when it’s only about solving an immediate problem. Long term relationships should be tied to the long term, be that goals, objectives, etc. Clearly you want to address and resolve immediate “problems”, but you need to position that is but a small line item in a much bigger plan. To do that, you need to open up the conversation to align it with the big picture.  As mentioned, pain discussions are narrow and limiting, so in conversation with a client, assume you will solve the problem, and steer towards the long term.

A Primer

I have written about this in the past, but I find a two-part question to be an effective way of practicing and fine tuning this. You will need to make it more specific to your buyers over time, but use this as a primer.

Once you get past the usual social element at start of the meeting, ask:

I am curious Jane, if we were sitting here 18 months from now, and you were telling me your team had hit a grand slam, what would that look like?

The goal is to get them to look past their current positions pain or perhaps problem, and refocus the on their success plan, hence the grand slam reference. You’ll find that there is a moment of reflection, a couple of basic things, and then it gets interesting when they start detailing what their equivalent of a grand slam is.  Once you have let them share their vision, you really do need to shut up here and intensely listen, you can the ask the second question:

Help me understand why we are not there now?

You will often find that they reflect again, and start telling you about what’s keeping them from hitting grand slam.  What you’ll also find is that they will talk about many of the same things you have helped other achieve, and build a relationship around.

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