Guest post written by Heather DeMore, VP of Sales & Marketing for DataComm Plus. Heather is also a member of our Alliance Breakfast Club planning committee.
The Waukesha County Business Alliance never fails to impress with all the Networking and Educational programs that they offer. The Alliance Breakfast Club presentation on January 5 was presented by Mark Rodgers author of Accelerate the Sale. Mark was the perfect speaker to set the tone for the Alliance Breakfast Club series for 2012. The topic was “12 Ideas for a Faster, More Productive 2012.” This was the perfect topic to get the crowd revved up and ready to go for a successful year of selling in 2012!
A lot of times when you hear a presenter, you’re left feeling like you got the mile high view, but not any useful real-life material that you can really use. This was the exact opposite of what Mark’s presentation was. He gave real examples and verbiage that you as a salesperson can use to role play and practice the ways that you can say things to accelerate your sales.
I want to highlight some of the 12 ideas that I have already begun to focus on after hearing Mark last week. The first is to make sure that you and your sales team 100% believes in what they are selling. If management or the sales team is not convinced of something, it comes across to the customer and they will most likely not go with your product or service. You might say well “Duh!” Well think about it in terms of an extended warranty. You maybe believe in the product, but think the warranty you offer is a waste of money. If this is the case how many warranty plans do you think your company is going to sell?
Secondly, we need to create more “Ah Ha” moments for our customers by asking the right questions. If we don’t ask valuable questions how are we differentiating ourselves from our competitors? We need to ask the right questions to add value for our customers no matter what product or service we are selling. If we can’t provide this then it becomes all about price and we all know where that leads. If you can win a customer over price, you can lose a customer over price. This is scary to think about since over 80% of our salespeople feel they need to discount our product or service to be able to sell it. So do you still truly believe that your team is 100% convinced in what you sell if they feel they have to discount your products and service to make a sale?
Thirdly, communicating with the “C-suite”. Mark had a few pointers here that I wanted to share. Find out the way that they like to communicate. Don’t assume that they like to communicate the same way you do. Some people will only meet face-to-face while others prefer to text message or email. I pulled these two examples because of the night and day difference. If you prefer to communicate by text or email and the person you are communicating with prefers to communicate in person you could see why emailing them maybe somewhat offensive. As salespeople, we also need to be willing to respectfully disagree. With this level of management people are always looking to please them all day long. However, if there is a reason to point out something that they haven’t thought of and you can do it tactfully, you just set yourself apart from the competition and created an “Ah Ha” moment.
These are the sort of things that throughout Marks presentation got me thinking about our company and what we need to make sure we are doing and paying attention to as Managers.
What I have briefly shared above is just the tip of the iceberg on what Mark covered at the Alliance Breakfast Club presentation. By now if you did not attend this morning’s event you maybe wishing that you had! Don’t worry though – this time you have a second chance! The Waukesha County Business Alliance will be hosting a book discussion on Mark’s book, Accelerate the Sale, on Thursday February 2nd from 12-1 at their office. When do you ever get a chance to read an amazing book and then meet for lunch with other well-respected business people in the community, with the author of the book present and discuss it?? Never except for this rare opportunity! Plus, I know that it is an amazing book because I have already read it! I look forward to seeing you on Feb. 2nd for this amazing book discussion!
Note from Carolyn: As Heather mentioned, you can register to attend the book discussion with Mark at our office on 2/2. Sign up here. Also, Mark recorded his presentation at ABC, and you can download the MP3 here.