One of our existing accounts was moving to a new location and wanted advice and quotes on upgrades and/or new products. Nice. In an effort to build the right solution I asked one of our technicians to be on a call to clarify the client’s needs/usage. On the call the technician instantly starts telling them what they need. Not asking… but telling them what they need. No sales strategy or care for my previous conversations or budgets discussed. In fact, most of the products this technician was selling were way over what I had thought they could afford and would have never proposed. I am now very uncomfortable with the conversation and am starting to wish I hadn’t invited the technician. What happened next was such a surprise however. The customer agrees with the technician and asks to get a contract sent over. What?
I’m in a meeting and we’re going through a thorough needs analysis. Taking notes frantically in my trusty Moleskine notebook, I realize my hieroglyphic scratchings would need to be presented later and hopefuly agreed upon. Focusing on the later I make sure my notes include their wants and haves and can be presented simple and easy later. Not an easy task to be sure. Once finished I walk away feeling secure in my information gathering. One problem however. I have no clue what to do with this newly gleaned information that would help me close the deal. How do I present, compel, for the most impact to win the sale? After years of trial and error this is what I found that works.
All through my sales career I was taught, and I have taught, to use the infamous “why” tactic. I am sure you have done the same. The potential customer poses an objection and you ask why. “Why do you say that?”, “Why would that be?” and so on. Simple and an easy way to overcome objections. It is also very irritating.
I have worked with terrible managers and have worked with a few that were remarkable. Those that were remarkable brought out a work ethic and creativity superior to those that weren’t in every case. Long term relationships were built and loyalty attained. What made them different? What management skills did they have that a bad manager didn’t?
Asking employees to become a company evangelist is at an all time high. Businesses are not only expecting this of their leaders but now they expect it from all. Everyone… from the front receptionist to the part time warehouse worker. From engineering, accounting, sales, and operations. Is that fair? Is that even possible?
Years before it was penned “crowdsourcing” by Jeff Howe in Wired Magazine I was involved with this concept and watched it work quite well. A friend’s small car dealership was looking for a new jingle for their radio ads. Instead of hiring a marketing company (or using an internal employee) they put the word out that anyone in Austin could submit a jingle and the winner would receive $1000 bucks! The response was incredible and the jingle is still being used 20+ years later. A key ingredient to this success was the location as Austin TX was/is packed full of singer songwriters. We’ll talk more about that later.