The Coach's Corner

Archive for October, 2015

Strategic Selling: The Big Surprise About Motivating Your Business Developers

October 26th, 2015 // Tom Doescher // 1 Comment

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

I will definitely be providing some suggestions for motivating rather than demotivating your business developers in my blog series related to best practices for obtaining new customers/clients. For now, in my final post based on The New Strategic Selling, by Miller, Heiman, Tuleja and Marriott, I will provide another direct quote from the authors. In listening to business owners/CEOs for years, I believe this quote will come as a big surprise:

“In every survey we have seen, the researchers reach the same ‘surprising’ conclusion that what really turns good salespeople on is not their six-figure commissions but job satisfaction, recognition and challenges. The popular belief that the top salespeople are in it just for the money always turns out to be a misconception.”

I would suggest this may even be a controversial conclusion. What do you think?

Strategic Selling: Hucksters

October 19th, 2015 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

As I continue my series, here’s a quote from The New Strategic Selling, by Robert B. Miller, Stephen E. Heiman, Tad Tuleja and J.W. Marriott: “If you are to be successful in strategic selling, you’ll have to leave the old-time huckster philosophy where it belongs — in the past — and learn how to dig for a real fit between what you have and what your customers need.”

The authors provide the following common-sense advice:

  1. The only competitive strategy that can bring you success is a strategy in which you keep your eye on the customer.
  2. A Hollywood agent’s advice to his actor client was, “We’re in Tinseltown. If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.” The authors’ response is, “Maybe in Tinseltown, but not in the world of selling. Not if you want to build a reputation for credibility — which, as we’ve said, is the one thing you cannot do without.”
  3. By establishing low-pressure relationships with numerous buying influences, you’ll be positioning yourself to capitalize on them when they’re ready to buy.

If you’re responsible for business development, is this how you think and behave? If you’re an owner/CEO or a sales manager, is this the advice you offer to your new-business developers?

Strategic Selling: Competitors

October 12th, 2015 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

I have commented on this subject before. In my May 13, 2013, post, “Talking Down About Competitors,” I recommended not bad-mouthing your competitors. Then, in my April 23, 2012, post, “Create Your Own Path,” I recommended the book Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, and the concept of listening to your customers/clients and providing them with something new and different to meet their needs.

Here are two quotes from my newest favorite book, The New Strategic Selling:

  1. “We have long held that one of the commandments for losing in business is to concentrate on the competitor rather than the customer.”
  2. “The alternative is to think far less about what the competition is doing, has done, or might do, and more about what selling is about in the first place — the providing of customized solutions to individuals’ problems.”

My question is simple: “Where is your focus — the customer/client, or the competition? What would I hear if I listened in on your Leadership Team meetings?

Strategic Selling: Influencers

October 5th, 2015 // Tom Doescher // 1 Comment

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Probably some of the best advice given in The New Strategic Selling, by Robert B. Miller, Stephen E. Heiman, Tad Tuleja and J.W. Marriott, is that they offer their readers a way to understand how companies buy products and services. The authors suggest there are four buying influences:

  1. Economic Buying Influence — Who at the customer/client will give the final economic approval to buy? There have been plenty of situations over the years where people have missed this one. Is there money in the budget? Will the owner/CEO have to approve? Is someone else’s approval required? Do you know that individual?
  2. User Buying Influences — This one is kind of obvious, but here’s a recent example. I have a client who has strong relationships with the owner/CEOs at many companies, but he doesn’t know the users yet. He needs to identify the users with buying influence and develop relationships with them, too.
  3. Technical Buying Influences — These are the gatekeepers. They may not always have big titles, but they have veto rights.
  4. Coaches — The role of the coach is to guide you in the sales process. I like to call them “insiders.” I would highly recommend that you establish an “insider” relationship with every major customer/client. This should be someone who, for whatever reason, likes you and your company, and wants you to be successful. I am NOT suggesting anything unethical. I will probably touch on this subject more in my upcoming series of best practices for obtaining new customers/clients.

The authors do a great job of explaining each role. In my experience, many sales have been lost because there were not relationships in place with all four types of influencers.

Have you lost any sales due to this?

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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