Mindset Shifts for Understanding Your Customer.

An interesting point of view is – what is your point of view or reference when listening to your customers? Are you only listening for things that fit your agenda to make a sales? If so, you need to review some basic references for active listening.

These listening tips also relate to when you are in negotiation phrases with your prospect or customer. So pay attention to where your mindset is focusing.

Most b2b sales people have their point of view at the center of everything they are doing. How they interact with their customer, what they actually hear the customer say, and their overall purpose of just getting to a close with this customer. All these references are based upon YOUR point of view.

Actually, there are three points of view and the other two are understood and practices by the b2b sales superstars on a regular basis. So, what are the other two points of view you ask?

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How Do You Get to Customer Loyalty in B2B Sales?

In this day and age of commodity pricing and reverse auctions, it is a wonder we have an opportunity to keep a customer from one sales to another. The thought of developing customer loyalty just feels like a pipe dream for most b2b sales people.

And, I will say if you are making price the only differentiator available to your customers – then loyalty is a pipe dream.

You gain Customer Loyalty due to a focused effort by you to create positive experiences for your customer. Believe me when I say it is hard work. Some recent research shows it takes a minimum of ten positive events to offset one negative event a customer receives while doing business with you and your company. Sounds like another reason for sound team selling.

Okay, so are you curious as to how you can develop customer loyalty with your customers? Here are  the five major steps to gaining customer loyalty…

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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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“Door Openers” are Needed for Hot Leads

One thing I know – b2b sales people are always wanting new “hot” leads to place in their b2b sales pipeline. Right?

I know I’m always looking and several of my closest clients tell me the same thing. They want more “hot leads” for their sales pipeline. You know these types of leads, the ones who are actively looking for a solution to their problem or critical issues.

So how do they know you can possibly solve their problem or critical issue?

You must use what is know in the marketing world of classic “door opening” strategies. This is not a complex thing. Just a little personal mind-storming or group brainstorming to develop a list of problems you regularly solve for your customers.

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First Thing is Build a Business Case

Now to the B2B Sales Superstars this is a know advantage for their sales process. So then the question comes back to you…

Are You Building a Solid Business Case for Your Potential Customer to Buy?

That is the key for your consistent and on-going b2b sales success. Unfortunately, I keep running into b2b sales people who do not use this critical foundation step with the key decision makers.

No, the poorly informed average b2b sales people rush into the presence of a key decision maker and begin doing a power point PRESENTATION. They do this before engaging the decision maker, asking business oriented questions,  building interest with success stories with similar business issues and even scratching the surface of the business case.

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B2B Sales Presentations – When to Do It?

I’ve been getting a number of requests for information lately for how to do B2B Sales Presentations. Therefore, I will be adding some new information regarding b2b sales presentations over the next few weeks.

First, let me start by talking about When to do b2b sales presentations. There seems to be some confusion regarding the use of b2b sales presentations.

The best time to do a b2b sales presentation is never. Okay, you can quit screaming at the computer screen about how stupid that sounds.

Well, the truth is most of the average b2b sales people attempt to create a sale using the sales presentation as the tool for their success. Is it any surprise that this old school sales tactic has an extremely low success ratio?

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Five Techniques to Improve Qualified Leads

Those of you who are regular readers of my b2b sales tips know I believe sales AND marketing should be tightly aligned in you want consistent increases in your b2b sales results.

Qualified Leads are one of the most important elements for improving sales results. Why? Because b2b sales people only have one precious thing to trade – their time. If a b2b sales person is chasing every lead they get without qualifying the lead – the b2b sales person loses their irreplaceable time they could have spent on a qualified potential customer.

Therefore, if Sales and Marketing are tightly aligned you will see these five techniques providing the majority of the new b2b sales leads…

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Product Pusher or Solution Puller – Which Are You?

This question is one of the more interesting questions I want answered when working with a sales person or a sales team.

Product Pusher or Solution Puller?

The answer lies based upon two factors…

  1. How much traditional sales training has a person had?
  2. What is the sales model for the organization?

When looking for one of these factors, it gives insight into how successful a b2b sales person will be – overall. Let take a closer look at what these two factors are actually telling us.

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BS Reasons Buyers Use to Stall the B2B Sale

Occasionally, I get into discussions with b2b sales people regarding possible stalls tactics used by buyers and decision makers. Now the reality is sometimes these tactics are just part of their unique buying process. However, most of the time these tactics are at best stalling tactics to chase the b2b sales person away.

So here are the eight major offenders used by buyers and decision makers to stall your sales process.

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Vision, Vision Who Has a Vision for b2b Sales?

I keep getting a question from sales executives and sales people regarding the value of having a vision. Is having a vision all that important in b2b sales?

And, the answer is a resounding “yes” if you want to be a b2b sales superstar.

So who has to have a vision and why? This is the simple part. There are two people who must have a clear vision of their future. Those two are…

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