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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The When of Sales


The Sales Model still shows the best way for the salesman to spend her time.

Let’s try a model describing how prospects come to a decision for considered purchases, as opposed to impulse purchases...and what Sales should do.

I am seeing three movements to the performance.

First Movement
Due to internet and social media, prospects learn about me before I know they are looking. They know about my history, process, customers, and results before they talk to me. They have a good idea how we fit culturally. Early adopters have been finding better ways of making their story available for a couple of years. The prospects have their list of needs and features defined before we ever meet.

Do you know what your prospects are learning before you get a chance to exert yourself?

Second Movement
I am learning that when I finally get face-to-face, my story isn’t important. They already know my story. They want to make sure I know their story...and like it! I’m taking good notes, as this is the official version for our continuing relationship.

I am also alert for one way to upgrade their understanding of what they want. I figure that if I can change their understanding of what they want, all those who have gone before me are disqualified, and it would be a major job of work to track them all down for comparison.

A great example of that happened last week.
The woman I love decided she needed new golf clubs. She does that every decade or so, So two weeks ago we went to the Washington golf show where she tried all the new ladies’ clubs, and started to make up her mind. Her next available day we went to a couple of golf stores to buy some clubs. At the last one, the salesman cautioned not to buy anything that day. Her chosen brand was coming out with a new, improved model in five days. Game, Set, and Match to Kevin at Golfdom. It’s on the calendar.

The Third Movement is after our meeting, what I call, “Gotta ask the wife.” My wife does it, too, so it’s not about the wife. It’s about getting out of the room to decompress and make sure we are making the right decision. I would hate to make a foolish decision, just because I enjoyed the performance.

I’ve noticed that the good salesmen have figured out how to set up a winning presentation even when they know they will not be present.

Winning that third movement requires providing more than was available during the initial selection stage. You need something to push all the stakeholders into agreement to take the desired action.

Yesterday, I was working with a 25 year customer, still doing the same business, still running a high margin shop, in a field that collapses every eight years. It’s been five years since he upgraded his business cards, and nothing was broken, but he wanted to see what he could improve.

In 12 words, we got his tool for the Third Movement, how to bring fresh energy to the relationship. I would have thought after 25 years there wasn’t much fresh to do. Whew, I was wrong!

February 22nd Sales Lab’s Rainmaker 12 is WhatHave I Done for You Lately? at the Capital Technology Management Hub on Wednesday, February 22nd. The featured CTMH speaker will be Sean Crowley on the topic of The Open Source Web Content Management Platform, Drupal, and its Momentum.

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