In Sales Conversations

Skip Miller, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastSo you’ve gone through your customer discovery phase, now what?

Today’s guest is William “Skip” Miller. Skip was previously here on the show back in Episode 639. If you haven’t yet, listen to it as he talked about effective discovery. Today’s episode is Phase II where he talks about value below and above the line, creating transfer of ownership, and being intentional and directional in your sales calls.

But first, I’d like to announce that our new semester of the TSE Hustler’s League is coming up on September 21, 2017. We will be having two courses –  one for foundational selling and the other for more advanced sales training focused on building value and increasing your close rate.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Skip:

  1. Honor the split.

There are two value propositions in the buying process:

  • “Below the line” buyer is the technical buyer, the person responsible for using what you sell.They want to know about us, our features, benefits and who we are, etc.
  • “Above the line” buyer doesn’t care what they’re buying but they just want ROI, save time, and mitigate risks. These are usually the executives.

However, we go below the line, walk through the sales process and as we get near the end, we then talk to the “above the line” executive. So we end up giving them a review of what we’ve done to the “below the line” buyer which they could care less about.

  1. Go after both value propositions as early as possible.

This means speaking the right language to the right people at the right time. Capture both. Don’t do demos and trials until you can capture “below the line” and “above the line.”

How to talk the language of executives:

* Find out what concerns executives.

Google “what keeps executives awake at night.” You’d be surprised how much literature is out there relative to what keeps a top executive in the industry as well as their top initiatives for the year as they look into the following year.

* Do an immersion program.

Go out and talk to somebody’s people. Every salesperson has a customer base and every customer base has some high level executives. Just do an informational interview. Don’t sell them anything. Just ask about their agenda for the next six months. Just listen to what’s important to them. Do not relate it to how you can sell. Read stuff so you have something to give on top of just your features and benefits.

An interesting fact:

47% of salespeople on sales calls listen for a keyword and then jump!

  1. Proactively induce the transfer of ownership.
  • Make sure the buyer goes from “I get it.” to “I get it.”
  • Transport people into the future..Make them travel through time by asking them what could be the scenario six months from now. Make them imagine your potential impact in the future.
  • Let them tell you how they’re going to use it rather than you tell them. (Above the line buyers don’t like to be told too much.)

Destroying the Term “Decision-Maker”

It’s “below the line” and “above the line.” You have to win both value flags in the middle of the process. Don’t think one value prop is better than the other. They are both important.

  1. Be intentional and directional.

The Next, Next Tool

In the middle, make sure you’re in control of the process. Provide the next step and then follow up with another next step in a set period of time. This shows you’re being intentional and directional.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Skip through email at skip@m3learning.com or visit his website on www.m3learning.com.

Skip’s books:

Proactive Selling

Selling Above and Below the Line

TSE 539: Interview with Skip about “This Is How You Discover”

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

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