B2B Sales Negotiation Tip

Recently I have observed several interesting sales negotiations taking place whereby I could make the call on who would lose any major points. Strong statement? Yes, I know it is. The reason for my prediction was quite simple. One of the players broke rule number one of b2b sales negotiation tips. Okay, so what is … Read more…

How to Talk to Your Customer about Themself

Okay, so you have done your homework with research and visiting with different people within a major account opportunity. Now you have the first opportunity to visit with The Decision Maker about what you have found.

One thing I have to make clear at this point, I’m talking from the framework of a Consultative B2B Sales Person rather than a commodity positioned b2b sales person. Since the latter is only talking about their product or service along with features and benefits, they usually is no discussions with higher level decision makers.

Now is the time you have been waiting for, the opportunity to prove you are the right person to be involved with this company. So, how do share your knowledge with the high level decision maker?

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The Four Customer Perceptions of Your Role

Every once in a while I have to take a moment to get my bearings regarding how are my customers seeing me?

This is important since through the years I have labeled by my customers in one of four boxes. And, each box carries certain characteristics that are helping or hindering my results.

So, let’s explore the four customer perceptions as they see us…

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What is a “Business Fit” in B2B Sales?

Okay, some sales people questioned my business fit example in an earlier b2b sales tip. And, good for you. The ones who questioned it most be in the b2b sales superstar group and knew there were some missing pieces to my earlier explanation.

Well there are a number of key issues to resolve when working toward a true business fit and surprise – it has little to do with your product or service.

I know the traditional trained sales people are thinking I have lost it when I say it has very little to do with your product. Well, somebody needs to tell you this before you start losing business due to positioning mistakes.

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Six Techniques to Improve Effective Listening

As a big believer in the use of the questioning model for b2b sales success, I need to share the other side of the equation. Making the environment safe for the customer or potential customer to truthfully answer your questions.

Your ability to effectively listen is a major contributor to both making it safe to answer your questions and most importantly allowing the better rapport to be built during the question and answer process. For the corporate customer, being in a safe place is one of the most important concerns they have. And, the ability to listen (you are not talking or telling) allows for a feeling of “I’m important” for the customer.

So here are six techniques designed to improve effective listening for you. Use these techniques and you will be seen as a true sales professional.

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How to Learn if You Have a Business Fit with a Prospect?

Last week I had a couple of people ask me about “how do you know if you have a business fit with a prospect?” Which I thought was a good question and there are probably a few others out there wanting to know the answer to this question.

So, let’s discuss a business fit. What exactly is a business fit? I feel there are actually two levels to consider when answering this question.

The first one is about having a ROI for your outcome to assist the potential customer or prospect in making a decision. Therefore, this answer is more about business acumen and knowing the financial results of your offering. This is more of a logical approach.

The second is -in my opinion – more important to discover and reflect upon during your visits with a potential customer. What I’m talking about here is more of a psychographical point of view. This is about the potential customer’s ability to fit with your company and especially your offer.

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Six Levels for You to Master to Become the Best in B2B Sales

Recently I had some long discussions about individual sales people and how to realize talent levels of b2b sales people. While this topic covered many levels of thought and subjective as well as objective ideas, it was exciting to note…

“People really control their own level of success.”

With that being said, I began to look at what an individual needs to master or understand to be fully capable of controlling their own destiny. Obviously, the starting point to be self aware of your natural strengths and weaknesses – which can be verified (or discovered) using some of the excellent assessments available today.

The second part of becoming the Best of Sales or whatever profession you choose is to master your own thoughts. This is the source of the mastery of the six levels of self thought. I heard that snicker!

Okay, so why am I writing about thoughts or the modern term – mindsets – for improving your b2b sales?

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Opportunity Plans – Questions to Ask Yourself

Whenever I get into a situation where my b2b sales pipeline is getting a little slow, I know it is time to begin thinking about where are my current opportunities. As I make a list of potential targets – both current customers and targeted prospects – I’m looking for the best opportunities.

Now, best opportunities actually depends upon your current level of business.

If you have little business or are new to b2b sales, then you need a strong – qualified is best – list of potential customers to focus your efforts.

If you have a current book of business and just need a pick me up of new opportunities to fill your sales pipeline, then include current customers with expansion opportunities as well as some prospects – again, targeted and qualified prospects are much better than random list of names.

Okay, back to the topic today. Your need a structure of targeted questions for each company placed on your targeted opportunity list. And, here are the best four to use…

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Questions Designed to Uncover the Decision Making Process

It appears to me there are many b2b sales people who are looking for a blueprint regarding what questions can I ask to uncover information. Since the decision making process is one of the most important piece of information to learn, I am providing a list of four good questions to ask.

Why is it important to understand the decision making process?

Because first you need to verify who will be making the decision. Second, you want to know about who could step in at the last minute and unravel all your previous hard work. And finally, how many people are going to be involved in the process. You may have to make more calls than you expected to insure a valuable decision.

Okay, so what are these four questions to ask? Here are my four favorites…

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Five Strategic Questions to Ask Your Customer

To join the ranks of the b2b sales superstars, you need to know more about your customers than your competition and in some cases even more than your customer knows about themselves. True b2b sales superstars are consistently told by executives “you know more about us than some of my direct reports.”

Being told by an top level executive – you know more about their company than others – is a sure path to gain immeasurable credibility with the decision maker. Therefore it is imperative you learn as much as you can about you customer.

One area I consider a vitality important area is their strategic position in the marketplace and how your customer ranks against their competition. This information gives you insight into the progressive or regressive nature of management decisions. Your customer’s ability to grow – thus growing your business – is critical to your success.

Therefore, here are five strategic questions to ask your customer in order to learn about how they are positioned within their industry and how the marketplace is recognizing their position…

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