Uncovering A Prospect’s Budget

File this under … Qualifying 101. The simple fact is, unless your prospect has the money needed to invest in your product or service … they ain’t much of a prospect. On top of this, you may have several product/service options available and, while everybody wants champagne, some can only afford beer.

I have consistently found two challenges associated with the budget discussion …

  • Salespeople are loath to even ask the question
  • Prospects are even less excited about sharing the answer

In many cases, salesperson fear is due to the fact that talking about money might be uncomfortable for both them and the prospect. Maybe it seems too forward. Perhaps the question is too early in the sales process. The prospect might say “No”. And, your point is … what? Without that budget you will often find yourself spinning those proverbial wheels. Continue reading “Uncovering A Prospect’s Budget”

Sales Tip – Clarify and Confirm

This will be the first of, hopefully, a weekly post devoted to short and simple sales tips. Where appropriate, we will also sneak in references to how this will apply in social selling situations. Thanks for visiting!

We’ve all been here. You ask a salesperson a question and before you have even gotten that question completely out, they are already off to the races answering … something that was not even related to your question. Then they merrily move along to the next part of their pitch. Now, be honest about this. How many of us will stop that person and raise the issue that this was not even remotely related to the question that you posed? The answer is … damn few. More likely, we just walk away and try to find someone who does listen. For our salesperson, this results in an immediate, and unnecessary sales loss. Continue reading “Sales Tip – Clarify and Confirm”

Are You Creating The Opportunities Or Just Responding To Them?

Or, to put it another way, are you proactive about creating deals or do you just sit back on your ___ and wait for the phone to ring? Are you a salesperson or are you an order taker? Sales pro’s are always, one way or another, out prospecting for new opportunities. Yes, I said prospecting.

I had actually set up a draft of this post several months ago (title only) and then had promptly forgotten all about it. Then a couple of weeks ago, one of our NetWorks! Boise Valley members, Justin Tarpley with CableOne Business, pipes up in the meeting and thanks everybody for the general shared leads that people had been providing and indicated that he had actually called on a number of these and had been able to successfully secure their business. I was floored. “Justin, let me get this right. You are actually calling on leads that were not specific referrals for you and you are making sales!!!???” Well, what a novel idea  🙂 Continue reading “Are You Creating The Opportunities Or Just Responding To Them?”

Defining The Consummate NetWorks! Boise Member

The other day I was pondering the question … “What characteristics make up the consummate NetWorks! Boise member?” Actually, I think about that a lot. Some members in our group do extremely well while others … not so much. We have guests who attend our meetings who would be perfect for our group, and who by all indications would be extremely successful, yet they choose not to join. Hmmm. Here is how I would define that perfect member. They …

Have a target market that is business – We have made the choice to focus our group on B2B vs. B2C. In this way, our members share a common target market. We do have members who do both and even have a few who I would say are primarily B2C. B2C members will rely largely on referrals and introductions vs. general leads. That’s great but, those do take more time as our current members will need to get to know that new member fairly well before they will directly refer them to one of their accounts or friends. At the same time, this B2C member will be expected to contribute B2B leads as that is the focus of our groups. Continue reading “Defining The Consummate NetWorks! Boise Member”

If We Were The Lowest Price, You Would Be A Trained Monkey

For the majority of my career, I ran sales teams. I was constantly amused and perplexed by the statement that most, if not all, sales managers have heard over and over again … “I lost the deal because our price is too high!”.

I can only speak for myself but, about the only time that I buy an item based on price alone is if I do not perceive that there is any value associated with paying more. Canned corn comes to mind. I buy store brands. So what do I tell these salespeople?

“If we were the lowest price, I wouldn’t need you. All I would need is a trained monkey to take the orders.”

And, if you could process the paperwork correctly, that would make you a highly trained monkey. Seriously, what are salespeople good for if they can’t properly justify the price we are asking for our product or service? They expect us to be the lowest price and still pay them the highest commissions? Don’t answer that (smile). Here is another one of my favorites …

“There is no honor in being low bid”

Why? See trained monkey. Conversely, there is great honor in being high bid. You have demonstrated that you have a superior product/service and that it presents a better value than that which was offered by your competitors. And regarding your competitors, they have been stunned! They are forced to go back to the barn with the full knowledge that they could not even make the sale based on being the lowest price. How demoralizing is that? Things that make me (smile). Continue reading “If We Were The Lowest Price, You Would Be A Trained Monkey”

On Being The Bearer Of Bad News

For the majority of my professional career, I was plagued by two overwhelming deficiencies – I was a terrible procrastinator and whenever something went wrong with a project, anything went wrong, I was struck by a paralyzing fear and panic that precluded me from taking any meaningful action to correct it let alone bring it to my customer’s attention. Of course, my procrastination was often the cause of these issues and they also carried over to my personal life. Approximately six years ago I experienced a life-changing event and, for whatever reason, my procrastination and fear disappeared practically overnight. I really can’t explain it other than to say that it did involve a “spiritual awakening”. The benefits soon became apparent in many ways.

Prior to this, if something went haywire with a project, I was consumed with: “How and what do I tell my customer?” “Will I lose the deal?” “Will they yell at me!?” My fears were generally far in excess of reality, however, there were a number of major opportunities that I had to literally scramble in order to salvage. The worst part of all remained my fear, the panic, and my paralyzation. Continue reading “On Being The Bearer Of Bad News”

Yet Another Post On The Topic Of Referrals

This is not the first time we have written on this topic and it certainly won’t be the last. Referrals are a hot topic. Everybody wants them and nobody seems to think that they are getting their fair share.  Unfortunately, you can’t just show up at a meeting or meet somebody for the first time and expect to receive a referral for your efforts. Referrals must be earned and, like anything worth having, that takes time, patience, and effort. Read W.O.R.K.

Today I would like to examine referrals from a couple of different angles. We will discuss earning them, training your good sources to give them, and a few of the missed opportunities where you can turn general information into potentially powerful referrals. Specifically, we are going to talk about getting referrals in a networking group from other group members.

Start by looking in the mirror…. Continue reading “Yet Another Post On The Topic Of Referrals”