He has also worked with LLC, where he was the CEO until it was acquired by Corporate Visions in 2008. Before CMM Group, Tim was CMO and VP of Strategic Services for Ventaso. Tim is also an author and has co-authored serval books. He brings a lot of great insights to a sales conversation and during this episode, he offers some great thoughts relative to his book.
Here are some of the takeaways:
“Value is created when a salesperson’s lips move.” – @TRiesterer
Salespeople are still needed when a solution is complex and difficult to make a decision on. As a sales professional, it’s your responsibility to educate people and offer value to the prospect.
Most salespeople get stuck creating enough pipeline. They also get stuck at the proposal stages because they don’t establish enough value. Another place is getting caught up on margins and prices.
How to create enough pipeline:
Your biggest enemy is status quo. Help your prospects recognize they need a change before you can get them to buy.
Learn people’s situation.
Help your customers create a buying vision
Why should I change?
Why should I do it now?
Why should I do it with you?
Help the customer understand why they need to change NOW!
Customers may think they are different, but many of them are the same. Sometimes you try to reinvent the wheel as a seller, but in actuality, you can lead with the same story.
Known problems won’t kill people, it’s the unknown problems that you need to point out. When you can do this, you become unique.
Whiteboard vs. PowerPoint
People will follow the visual whiteboard stick figure story more than the clicker with a PowerPoint. This makes you have more credibility.
Learn How Your Prospects Make Money!
80% of business deals need to be signed off by a CFO. However, only 10% of most opportunities have a CFO as a contact. Learn to speak the language of your CFO prospects. Become versed in their story.
If you can’t have a big boardroom conversation, you will get delegated to lower level folks.
Executive buyers value people who can bring value to a conversation above someone who has good relationships.
When the customers ask for something, have something for them to do in exchange.
If the prospect asks for pricing, references, pilot programs, etc. it doesn’t necessarily mean the deal is moving forward.
Great conversations can purposely move people. It is way more science than we think.
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing one of our Sales Evangelizers! Martin Clay applied a sales presentation method he learned from one of our guests, Patricia Fripp (TSE 020), and was able to see remarkable success in the first application.
Martin is a medical equipment sales representative, selling to clients in the North American market. The challenge he faced was the fact that every time he met with doctors to do a sales presentation, it was inevitably always in the afternoon, after lunch, and the doctors would fall asleep during the presentation or get “pages” and had to go. This left his presentation feeling unfulfilling and incomplete.
As Martin listened to our podcast and heard Patricia Fripp, he found a better way to demonstrate his product that was guaranteed to engage the listener and cause them to recognize more value.
As you listen to the episode, you will hear the steps Martin used to see remarkable success. Here a few of them below:
-Don’t thank them for their time, thank them for the opportunity to be there
-Congraulate them on something they have accomplished
-Publicly recognize your champion
-Clearly paint a picture of the challenges
-Present viable solutions
-Encourage them to take action
Martin’s major takeaways:
Follow the process and incorporate it! These steps will drastically change your results right away.
Remember, until you apply what you have learned, NOTHING will happen!
We are joined today by our guest co-host Todd Ervin. Todd lives in Wilmington, Ohio (just north of Cincinnati) with his wife and 2 sons. He works as a Regional Sales Manager for Crouzet Motors, a French electro-mechanical company, covering the eastern half of North America. He enjoys waterskiing, boating, softball and anything else outdoors. (See image to the left)
Today’s special guest is Jim Jacobus, who is a very knowledgeable when it comes to DISC profiling, our main topic for today’s show, as well as its importance in the realm of selling.
Jim has 17 years of experience as a major account rep. In the last 22 years, he has been a consultant, speaker, and trainer in a broad variety of fields, primarily in the sales field, designing large-scale sales training programs for clients like Halliburton, Price Waterhouse Coopers, ExxonMobil , Mercedez-Benz, and Cadillac to name a few. When properly done, Jim believes that sales is the most honorable profession on the planet.
Jim also manages a website called The Sales Gladiators, a content marketing site that provides an armory of resources which salespeople need so they become better equipped in the sales arena.
Here are the highlights of our conversation with Jim:
The Sales Gladiator’s four primary buckets:
A-Players Only Core Skill
Measuring personality/behavior styles
A great tool for understanding communication style, how people go about doing things and manage them, and how to motivate people
DISC does not, can not, have not, will not ever predict PERFORMANCE. It does have awesome applications when it comes to becoming more effective in selling.
What DISC stands for:
D – Dominance
I – Influence
S – Steadiness
C – Compliance
How to take advantage of the knowledge of the personality styles:
Understand your own style.
D above the midpoint: Handles problems head on; my way or the highway; risk-taker
D below the midpoint: More cautious and reserved; let problems work their way out; consensus type of person
I above the midpoint: More outgoing personality to influence people
I below the midpoint: Influence people; backs figures, data, logic
S above the midpoint: More cautious, slower to do things
S below the midpoint: C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!
C above the midpoint: High attention to detail; high compliance with rules
C below the midpoint: Less attention to detail
What are the strengths that come with that? What are the challenges that come with that?
Understand the style of your client.
This is important for you to learn how to deliver the things about your product or service they’re most interested in.
Accept people how they are created. We are all created phenomenally, to do phenomenal things, not the same things, not the same way. Embrace how you are created and start to figure out how to get the most out of that. Embrace who you are created to be.
One of the big plagues for sellers is taking notes or updating accounts in their CRM (Customer Relations Management). Many of us love to visit with clients and prospects to learn their challenges, but when it comes to taking notes or writing a recap of what was discussed it is torture! I have heard my fair shares of “logical reasoning” (aka excuses) why sellers have tough time doing this.
Here are a few of the common ones that I came across:
Don’t need to take notes, I have a great memory.
Taking notes will take me away from giving my clients/prospects my full attention.
It takes too much time to write notes or update my CRM (Customer Relations Management).
My personal gripe with taking notes was that it took me away from actually selling. I wanted to be out there visiting with client, doing demos, networking, you know really doing sales stuff! Over the years though, I came to realize that I was totally wrong! Taking effective notes is a key part of any sales process. In this podcast episode I go more in depth about this.
Here are some reasons why I started taking effective notes:
Why Note Taking Is So Important:
No matter I hard you tried I could never remember everything if I did not write t down. As a result, often times something important about the account would fall through the crack.
Taking notes on your visit with clients or prospects also made it easier when updating the account information in your CRM (Salesforce, Goldmind etc.).
Taking great notes is beneficial for the clients/prospects because it provides an effective way for them to remember details. They tend to forget details as well. They are humans! It is awesome when we can review key information we discussed during our last visit and remember the plan instead of playing the memory game.
In relation to the previous bullet point, you should send an email, post your meeting and provide a summary of your visit. You can even put it in a calendar invite as well for your next visit so they know what you discussed and what you are going to discuss on the next visit.
Taking great note does not require much time. You can simply just write down key things in bullet form. (i.e. What are their challenges and how is it effecting their organization, who is going to be apart of the demo, when is the next meeting etc. ).
To contrary thinking, taking notes will not take you away from focusing on your clients, it will help you focus more on them. How? Simply ask them if it is okay for you to take notes so that you can remember important things from their conversation. I never had anyone say no. This shows them you care about what they are saying.
Easy Ways To Take Notes:
You can use a good old fashion paper and pen. Make sure it is something small that it doesn’t become distractive.
Evernote is also a great tool to collect information or a note pad on your tablet.
I don’t use a laptop on a visit because makes a barrier or a wall between us. They also can see the screen and see if I am really taking notes or not.
Depending on the circumstances, you can also ask if you can audio record a key part of the conversation. This is different based on legality in your county, state or industry. Make sure to ask someone in the legal department from your organization. But if possible, you can use a recorder application on most smart phones.
If you don’t like the actual process of writing, simply pull up Evernote on your phone and there is an audio record tool that allows you to speak and it will transcribe what you dictate. This is also for easy note taking after an appointment.
Well I hope that this is able to help you as much as it helped me. All the excuses that I have heard are no longer valid. I saw amazing results from my efforts to properly tack key information.
Another benefit is that it also allows for your supervisors to easily review account information without the need to bother you on next steps or why the account is not moving.
Okay, I got to admit something to you. At one point in my sales career I thought I was a psychic! Well, not exactly, let me explain further. As a new seller I always assumed and tried to predict what I thought my prospects were thinking or going to do. As a result, I lost a lot of money and wasted tons of time. If you are experiencing these “psychic” problems, I want to help you over come it and make more money. Here are some of the takeaways from this episode.
DON’T assume! You are a professional seller, not a psychic!
Ask specific questions that probes and reveal the reality and not vague assumptions.
Ex. “No two organizations are alike, can you explain to me what your “take it to the board” process is like exactly?
Keep asking them to tell you “what happens next?” Keep going till you get to the root of the situation and have a crystal clear understanding of what is to come.
When you get vague answers from prospects, if you feel that they are going to get offended that you are probing, try adding a softener before your questions. Something like “If you don’t mind me asking”… or “Just so that I understand”…Try them, they are fun!
Here are a few common unclear comments that I hear from prospects, where probing questions can be used.
The project is on hold…
This is not the right timing…
We have to wait for it to go to the board…
We have to get our lawyer to review the contract…
Call me back in 6 months and we will have a better idea…
You get the picture. Well, listen to the episode and hear my personal story in details.