Three Things Your Don’t Do in the First or Second Meeting

I keep watching b2b sales people continue to shot themselves in the foot and admire their marksmanship rather than not shooting themselves in the first place. There are several things you should not be doing – that is if you want to win an account and grow your revenues.

Several of these don’t are rooted in the old Traditional Model of Selling which is based in large part on using Presentation Skills to win a sale. Note the difference of my statements – win an account or win a sale. If you are into the short term mindset of selling you will do these things because – well that is how it has been done for decades.

The real winners are the b2b sales people who know they want a long term business relationship some therefore, their game is to win the account. In order to win accounts, these b2b sales people change their old habits and focus finding and developing a business fit between the customer and their company.

So, wondering about the three things that are definite No-No’s in the world of building business relationships?

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Five Problems We Share with Our Customers

Just thinking about issues and problems our customers are experiencing and then realized most of the b2b sales people have the same issues or problems confronting them on a daily basis.

This factor is somewhat unique in we can learn from our customers and our customers can learn from us – if we choose to communicate with each other about these serious business interrupters.

If you’re interested in these five common problems experienced in the world of b2b sales, well here are the five problems…

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What is the impact of 10 percent price cut on your Profits?

Recently, I have noticed a number of b2b sales people and sales managers at these companies cutting prices on their products and services. Interesting pricing strategy in view of the reality of what it takes to make up the cut in gross margins.

The usually justification for the these “innocent” price cuts is the recession has made it difficult to sell at higher prices or we need to cover our costs during this low volume period of time or the internet has made it harder to sell without cutting our prices.

Interesting justifications with no basis of reality provided with these “excuses” for a lack of selling skills.

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Your B2B Buyers Have Changed Tactics – Are You Ready?

Looking into the competitive environment of b2b sales, I began to notice both subtle and major changes in the way our b2b buyers function and treat us. These changes will have an impact upon our b2b sales success in the future.

Have you noticed some of the changes happening in the way your b2b buyers are using your services as a b2b sales person. I know the boomer b2b sales people have seen the changes occurring during the past decade as I have. And, our success has been hampered by these changes – usually in the form of losing old customers and constantly being hammered on price comparisons.

How and Why are these changes happening in our marketplace. How and Why are these changes happening to you? And, more importantly, do you have a sales strategy to change the game?

Here are the Big Seven Changes in Tactics and Methods used by our B2B Buyers…

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Time for Serious Contingency Planning

As I look into the recent financial situation around the world and in the USA, it is time for some serious contingency planning – regarding your 2011 Sales Plan.

Look – like it or not – we are going to have another round of budget tightening, price cutting requests, and other types of fear based actions and activities.

The Professional B2B Sales Person will recognize what is happening and will take some time to develop a contingency plan of action. Yes, they will be prepared for what both their company does as possible counter measures to another recession as well as what their customers or targeted accounts will be doing in the coming months.

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Tips for Selling to Gen Y’s

One of the things I have noticed when reviewing the data about who is visiting this site, was the large percentage of Boomers. Since I’m a Boomer, I guess you like my information on B2B Sales.

However, this weekend while attending a large convention I over heard several speakers talking about Generation Y and the unique issues they present for Boomers.

Now, they were also talking about the X Generation and the main thing I learned about them is they are skeptical about everything. Again, interesting information and I have seen this occur when working with this age group. They are skeptical – particularly of anything said by Boomers.

Therefore, have your proof and testimonials ready for the Gen X decision makers and you will make more progress.

Now, back to the Gen Y buyers and decision makers. I realize these are the younger group, yet, amazingly they are fast movers and are climbing the corporate ladders quickly.

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Four Signs You Need Training or Coaching

Every once in a while I notice some b2b sales people who believe they have arrived and no longer need to go to any form of training, sales development or even be coached.

This is a common issue and one you need to watch out for assuming you want to truly be the one of the best b2b sales people in your company or in your industry.

These are higher standards of performance and require a different mindset for sales success. One of the most important elements for your long term b2b sales success, is to constantly improve your selling skills – and I am not referring to product knowledge or objection handling here.

It takes practice and continuous learning to move into the upper level of b2b sales superstars. Development is the key to move to the next level. Yet, a large number of sales people have a habit of avoiding opportunities to improve their skills and competencies.

Then there are the four signs you are in serious need of re-energizing your sales skills. Here are the four signs you will need to watch for in your daily sales routines…

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Are You Using Gap Analysis to Win B2B Sales?

Unless you are a naturally born product pusher, you should be aware of the power of gap analysis.

This tool is one of the primary techniques used by the B2B Sales Superstars. What is really great is it is a simple process. It is basically a five step process.

Yes, three steps and you can get a customer focused upon the possibilities for success due to listening and buying from you.

Here is how this simple “Gap Analysis” works…

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Are You Looking Past the Next Sale?

I find most b2b sales are only focused upon the immediate sale opportunity coming their way. Is this the way you look at sales opportunities?

The best sales people – including the b2b sales superstars – have a longer time horizon. They look at the next sale as the first step in a series of sales opportunities.

In fact, I have a friend who is always telling me how he looks at every customer with a three year INITIAL time line in mind. If the customer appears to be a one sale only – he passes on the opportunity. Could you do that?

What factors are in play to cause you to want to look into the future when evaluating a potential sales opportunities? Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned…

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Ten High-Risk Triggers Impacting a Customer’s Safety

I have shared the fact that Corporate Customers are all about Safety and Security. They base their decisions upon the degree of risk assumed to be in play when dealing with you.

Therefore, it is extremely important to be aware of the triggers used by your prospects or customers to assign risk to doing business with you or any other b2b sales person.

So here is a list of ten key triggers to watch for during your interactions with you customer and particularly the decision makers.

These ten triggers include…

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