It is my firm belief that all large sales engagements absolutely must start at the very top. Make the effort to develop an executive "C" level interest and relationship. The goal is to keep the "C" level person in the sales process as much as possible. The ability to gain 'C' entrance has a lot to do with how strong the opening statement is. A good example is as follows. Mr. "C" we saved Xyz company, (competitor) 5% on fuel costs, I don't know why we aren't working with you? Would you like to know the benefits of working with us? Always treat a "C" level administrative assistant the same as a CEO. This person is crucial to your success. This person is typically undervalued and marginalized, by most, the reality is this position is very high level. Make sure to make the executive assistant feel important.
If the solution you are proposing is large in size and crosses departmental lines, it is imperative to have a well thought out process thoroughly mapped out. The process checklist needs to start with gaining a detailed understanding of the crystalized benefits of the solution you are proposing. This is divided with both hard and soft value. Connect the benefits with the executive audience. The modern-day decision-making process typically crosses multiple layers or a committee. Make an authority and influence chart. You need to know each person’s role in the decision making process. Each role has its own departmental mindset. Make sure when you meet collectively with a decision-making group to always collectedly make a clear time to meet next. It is really important to offer insight to and understand each departments objectives.
Over 80% of all CEO's came from a sales background. The top officer’s day is highly calculated and planned. The CEO's avoids time wasting distractions. Be brief Be brilliant, Be Inquisitive. The main objective is to get a conservation going. CEO's are focused on tangle financial benefits in a short distance, be prepared to explain your benefits in a flash. Be brief and incisive You have about 8 seconds to peak interests. Make your opening statement as a headline. Set up an upfront contract if the executive bites on your opening statement. Ask for 5 minutes of time to discuss your idea and initial proposition. Be prepared to lay out a brief 3-4-point benefit statement. Clearly ask what the CEO would like to do next. Listen and absorb then reply. Let the CEO take control and close it or obtain a clear next step.
Strategic sales requires a full understanding of the organizational chart as it relates to the decision making process. Make sure to keep the CEO involved with your sales process and this is how you do it. You can use this on the executive and the executive assistant As you open the door with the executive and gain entrance it is likely the C level person will send you a rank down the line to a senior manager to evaluate the risk and reward of the solution .Take full advantage of this short time with the CEO and set up an upfront contract in order to keep the 1st point of contact involved by leveraging the 'C' level power to impose your will.
People absorb information typically in small chunks The brain retains more data at the beginning and the end of an explanation. I like using nothing more than a flash card of information when trying to help an audience comprehend concepts. The simplest model typically works best. I like breaking down complex information into the most basic terms in order to get an idea across the layers of the decision-making process. The higher up the totem pole the more the explanation needs to be tied to easy to understand related benefits. .
Develop unshakeable confidence, embrace change, criticism and pressure. These all make diamonds out of us. Don't fret the overbearing boss, rise above it. If you have ever seen a marine after graduating training, the results are obvious. As God's creatures on this planet we are by nature supposed to be challenged and grow. The more we face our fears the better. Getting involved with public speaking and perhaps martial arts will help build great confidence. Feed your mind constant affirmations of strength and confidence. Talk to yourself and say "you are" and " I am". Work on your mind, work on feeding it good information..
The key to good presentations are to roll stories into the content. This helps people absorb information especially if it is funny. It critical to keep the audience on their toes by keeping the presentation interactive. Use spontaneity and get the participants talking. Take it slow and always maintain eye contact. Demonstrate conviction, put an emotional flare of absolute belief in what you are trying to convey. Do not use a PowerPoint as a crutch.. .
Use examples of other clients you have worked with and problems solved while you are discussing a potential solution. Listen to understand, listen with deep empathy. Be courteous and request the executives time. Use good posture in an effort to build equal business stature. Maintain direct eye contact and take notes. Play into this persons ego and accomplishments. Do not interrupt them and let them talk.
A good sales person will do everything to not appear as a salesperson. You will highly accelerate your deal flow by spending time educating your customers. It is imperative to become fluent in the solution the solution being proposed. The objective is to truly understand how the solution solves pain. Being viewed as a trusted advisor positions you for consummating's relationships and transactions. Instead of using an assumptive close ask the client what they want to do next. Let them close the deal and explain the decision making process.
Networking is really important for a number of reasons. The benefits are clear .Your game will get sharper, confidence, connections, inside information and the holy grail, opportunities, There are two primary networking angles consider. Outbound, which is targeting specific events. Inbound which is highly effective at making yourself viewed as a trusted resource and a leader. In order to create a successful inbound networking event, you have to have a topic that is highly interesting to your target audience. Hosting a networking event with desired information will draw your customers into an environment that will help drive and forge relationships You will be seen as an industry expert.
If you really want to accelerate your value and add deals to your pipeline I greatly encourage people to publish industry articles, This is not only a great exercise but will clearly separate you from the rest and add tremendous credibility to ones stature. Writing articles will establish a person as an industry expert. It will add credence to your sales efforts and help validate concepts that a sales person is trying to convey. .
The absolute best leads will come from referrals. You may never be able remove cold prospecting from your workflow however you will reduce your sales cycle time by leveraging your current customer base and network. This will have a doppler effect and create an inbound flow of fresh opportunities especially if you solved a big problem. Warm leads are sweet and savory breaking down the walls of fear and uncertainty. .
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