Posts Tagged ‘selling to c-level’
Why is it that individuals are so negligent to things that make a difference? As a business professional I find it vital to be attentive to nuances that aid relationships. These include graciousness, name recognition and simply being attentive.
Psychologists have studied the use of the Primary/Recency Effect, known for an individual’s ability to recall the first and last things they see or hear. If the cliché holds that people judge a book by its cover, then many will be ignored.
Business today requires being in the moment, and attentive to all things. Misspelling names, forgetting appointments, etc, do not gain accolades. If you want to leave a lasting impression and gain better relationships follow the simple suggestions:
- Follow the Dale Carnegie Rule. In 1983, I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. The first rule, “a person’s first name is the sweetest sound they will ever hear. If you do not recall, write it down. If you cannot pronoun it ask the person. Stop being lazy and make a better first impression.
- Cold Call Failure. Cold calling today is repulsive. Too many agents obtaining lists and calling prospects without preparation just provocation. If there is no want or need, there is no conceptual agreement. Stop calling people from a list and target a microcosm that might have a better need for your service.
- Email Etiquette. As the Internet developed positive and negative rules of engagement developed to help with email use. However many today continually send emails without a subject message. Unless you desire a lack of a reply, be more attentive to the subject and actions you want your receiver to take.
- Email Responsiveness. The purpose of email is to allow receivers to reply to email when they have a spare moment. However, what incites many is the general lack of a reply by receivers. People in all businesses are busy, yet this does not allow receivers to negate replies. Unresponsiveness to emails is as insulting as not saying “hello” to familiar faces on the street. No one is that busy.
- Responsiveness to Voice Mail. Similar to emails, stop hiding behind procrastination and return calls.
- Delegation without personalization. In the last few weeks I have sent correspondence to executives related to certain business matters. I realize the information will get read but delegated to a subordinate. However delegation might denote arrogance. Handwriting a simple note communicating the receipt of the letter, the importance of the query and the need for delegation is in the best interest of customer service. Arrogance and laziness trump customer service.
- Follow Up. Return calls when you say you will, send emails when you say you will and offer feedback when promised.
©2010. Drew Stevens PhD. All Rights Reserved.
Drew Stevens is one of the world’s leading authorities on business development and sales thought leadership. Drew is the author of the successful sales process book Split Second Selling. He is also the creator of the Sales Leadership Certificate one of only 14 programs in the United States offering an accredited degree in the profession of selling and has a top ranked podcast called Sales Fitness. To discover how Dr. Drew can assist your organization to increase their business development skills visit him at www.drewstevensconsulting.com.
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Winning the races at the NHRA is a TEAM EVENT. You do not enter without a team, and you do not go through the various challenges by yourself either!
Using this example gives us a great digression into deciding how to offer you advice to help grow your business. For many, running your business will take up all of your time. Some feel this is needed and some would rather free up time to focus on other things.
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For over 27 years, I have worked with numerous organizations to improve their selling effectiveness. In the last several months stemming from the recessions, my phone rings frequently requesting help. At issue, the need to move more product as firms seeks higher margins during volatile times.
Contrary to popular opinion, sales managers and CEO’s do not need to increase goals, they need to increase communication and accountability with staff. There are two reasons why staff do not perform efficiently 1) poor employer and employee relationships and 2) unacceptable accountability.
First, sales managers today do not spend enough time in the field with representatives and do not take the time to create relationships with staff. A correlation exists between the relationship between employer/employee and the degree of satisfaction and morale at the job. Simply put, when employees are happy there is better work efficiency. Aiding this effort is the use of the MBWA principle (Management by Walking Around). Sitting in the office does little for relationships, knowing staff does. Invite staff for coffee, lunch or accompany them on account visits. Taking the time eliminates insubordination, tardiness and an array of other non work related excuses.
Second, accountability begins with developing metrics that staff understand and commit to. Qualitative and quantitative are the metrics used to evaluate staff. Determine those metrics by type and aligned with your sales process. Then create milestones so that individuals commit to dates and key performance measurements. Managers must meet with staff regularly to ensure progression. That requires constant communication and not waiting until performance time to review. Accountability also requires the emulation of the best practices of the best people and employing proper staff. Nothing else matters but measurements the denote account activity.
Goal revision does not alter behavior and poor business practices. Change the measurements and relationships and watch the alterations with observed behavior.
©2010. Drew Stevens PhD. All Rights Reserved.
There are seven secrets for selling effectiveness. Click here For a Free Report 7 Secrets to Selling Success
Drew Stevens is one of the world’s leading authorities on business development and marketing. Drew is the author of the successful sales process book Split Second Selling. He is also the creator of the Sales Leadership Certificate one of only 14 programs in the United States offering an accredited degree in the profession of selling and has a top ranked podcast called Sales Fitness. To discover how Dr. Drew dramatically accelerate your business development and sales skills visit his sales and marketing website.
The current recession has selling professionals and their management seeking alternatives to increase sales. One issue that continually arises is selling to the C Suite. There is a belief that if selling professionals increase their abilities to corporate executives both closure and sales revenues will increase. That may or may not be true.
The first item to consider with attempting selling products and services to corporate executives is whether the individual occupying the office is truly the buyer. Many selling professionals get fooled into believing that title encourages the sale. While CEO’s are responsible for a myriad of activities their main priority is a focus on customer acquisition and retention as well as a return to stakeholders. It is simply impossible to be involved in every vendor decision, and it is considered micromanagement. Take some time to understand your true buyer before wasting time.
Selling professionals by nature are tactical and invariably spend time with those that might influence but do not make decisions. However the approach for selling to decision makers in the C Suite must be more strategic. Before embarking on cold calling and using rote sales principles, take the time to prepare. Selling professionals must adequately prepare before calling an executive. I suggest reading current versions of The Wall Street Journal to comprehend environmental (i.e. economic, political, technological, etc) issues as well as competitive pressures. In addition, reading the organizations annual report is essential for understanding the firm’s strategy and industry acceptance. Finally a quick review of corporate, industry and other competitive issues enables a representative to have articulate conversations with senior executives.
Upon completion of preliminary reading, selling professionals must establish a strategic corporate profile in order to better comprehend the corporate structure and align products and services you offer with the prospective organization. The strategic profile removes the tactical issues of product sales and creates a better ability to create long-term relationships. Executives will trust the ability to be more consultative. Formulating a corporate strategy creates provocative questions related to objectives and measurements for success, which are the conversations that senior executives desire. Dialogue focuses on organizational results and benefits to the customer, not product/service facts. Executives desire to hear about output and results.
Finally strategic selling professionals do not visit the C Suite with rote tactics of cold calling etc. While a myriad of books, audios and other materials exist suggesting such, executives are met through referral and networking. Individuals invest in those they know and trust. This requires selling professionals to shift direction and gain better momentum with strategic ideology. It simply requires change.
We are currently in a sea of rapid change and momentum. Recessions also enable organizations to develop innovative techniques. Now is the time to be a market leader and create techniques that allow innovation and renewal. Shifting to a new sales direction will take some time but as comfort returns, the organization will gain speed and velocity. The results will be worth it!
There are 7 techniques you can use daily to assist you preparation efforts. Get the 7 Secrets to Sales Preparation by emailing me today. Ask about our Free 30 Minutes “Sales Acceleration Coaching Clinic”!
©2009. Drew J. Stevens Ph. D. All rights reserved.
Drew Stevens PhD is one of the worlds leading experts in sales and sales skills. Dr. Drew is the author of six books including Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible. With over 25 years of sales experience and business leader, Dr. Drew has extensive experience in assisting both entrepreneurs and selling professionals to experience higher efficiency and effectiveness. He is also the creator of the Sales Leadership Certificate one of only 14 programs in the United States offering an accredited degree in the profession of selling and has a top ranked podcast called Sales Fitness offering tips and techniques that immediately improve selling performance.
One of the biggest impediments to selling is abysmal customer service. Over 50% of every client interaction involves servicing the customer well. I am aghast how poor some selling representatives are. I was recently asked to call the Division Manager of a recognizable national insurance chain to deliver a keynote. I have called three times from the referral mentioning the initiating person and yet no return calls. While I understand busyness I do comprehend tomfoolery. Not returning calls, monitoring caller id, not sending thank you cards and confirming appointments are all methods that will ensure client attrition. If you want more business sometimes it is looking at the small stuff.
There are 7 for instant customer service email me today for a FREE tipsheet. And ask about our Free 30 Minutes “Sales Acceleration Coaching Clinic”.
©2009. Drew J. Stevens Ph. D. All rights reserved.
Drew Stevens PhD works with organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue. Dr. Drew is the author of six books including Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible. He is also the creator of the Sales Leadership Certificate one of only 14 programs in the United States offering an accredited degree in the profession of selling and has a top ranked podcast called Sales Fitness with Dr. Drew. To gain a free 30 Minute Coaching Session or to request Secrets of Ultimate Business Success contact Dr. Drew today get the proper prescription for your success.