Stop Educating Your Buyer – Start Finding the Opportunity

Earlier I wrote an article about how the buyer does not need the b2b sales person anymore. And, this statement or information is true. Yet, there are some systematic issues which are creating confusion within the sales organization.

Okay, first, the amount of product knowledge training is still out of control. During the Great Recession, companies figured they could constraint expenses by using more product knowledge training – which could be handled by internal staff rather than outside sales advisers. The data has been showing organizations have been spending upwards of 85% of their “sales training” budgets on product knowledge.

Second, it is true product knowledge does help the sales person to be more creative in recognizing sales opportunities when they are dropped in their laps. And, a side effect is the higher confidence factor when a b2b sales person understanding their products and product lines well.

Third, the majority of product knowledge training is a total waste of time and resources!

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Know the Difference between Advantages and Benefits

It continues to amuse me regarding the overall lack of understanding between an advantage and benefit your product or services offers a customer.

In fact, the lack of understanding regarding these terms often lead to lost sale opportunities.

How does this happen? When a sales person does not understand the difference, they will first confuse the terminology and second they will either confuse or lose rapport with the customer.

So, what is the difference between an advantage and a benefit?

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To Make an Impact, Ask Questions to Get a Prospect Thinking

One mistake I see a number of b2b sales people do is asking simple questions a prospect can answer without any thought. Really, they go on auto pilot – usually because every reasonably trained b2b sales person will ask the same type of question.

An example of these “simple” questions are the knee jerking…

What problems are keeping you up at night these days? Or worst, how many plants do you have now? Or, is your current vendor / supplier meeting all your needs?

These questions do not get the prospect thinking about anything other than a knee jerk response usually at a minimum information flow to you. The other point – and more important point – is it shows you have done NO HOMEWORK regarding this prospect.

So what do you do?

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Types of Selling Models to Use for B2B Sales

B2B sales people are always asking me this question…

What B2B Sales Model Should I Use today for b2b sales success?

Then we get into a dialogue about the types of selling models and this is where it gets real interesting. Seems the topics all have something to do with a particular Sales System rather than the true model of b2b sales.

There is a huge number of selling systems for you – each guaranteeing you success. However, the true can be found in understanding the foundation of the system – one of the two types of b2b selling – to know if it will really work for you.

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Four Major No-No’s During the First Visit

It seems that self confidence comes to b2b sales people in different shapes and forms and when the self-confidence level is low – well certain things happen during the first meeting causing a large gap to form between you and the buyer or decision maker.

So I decided to make those of you needing a little more awareness of four major no-no’s during the first visit or meeting.

These items usually create insurmountable gaps between you and the decision maker which makes winning the account or business a low probability. However, I have also found that not knowing things is usually the direct cause of the mistakes. Therefore, awareness is something that strengthens your abilities to handle any situation to your advantage.

The Four Major No-No’s During the First Meeting are…

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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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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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B2B Sales Major Change Issue #3 – Presentation Model is Dead

Thia is part three of a five part series on major change issues for b2b sales. Today’s discussion will be on the third major issue of the movement away from the presentation model of b2b selling to the Questioning Model of B2B Selling.

I have been discussing the need for more and better uses of the Questioning Model during several b2b sales tips. Yet, again I believe it needs to be discussed continuously to show how important this is becoming.

The Questioning Model of B2B Selling is more important than ever and the presentation model of b2b selling is dying rapidly. Therefore, you must be better prepared to use the effective questioning, if you want to stay in the game of b2b sales.

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