I love being sold to…when selling’s done well

This is an unusual post from me as it relates specifically to a personal B2C experience, but one so good I had to share…and as you’ll see, when done well, delivering customer value is immune to B2B and B2C boundaries.

The story starts in December last year when, being the well organised guy that I am, I was shopping for a Christmas present for my wife on December 22nd (well at least it wasn’t Christmas Eve!). Knowing pretty much what I wanted I wasn’t expecting a problem, but I was in for a surprise; in fact a couple.

I was looking for a small, high-quality digital camera with zoom and a view-finder. My wife wanted something better than a phone camera but didn’t want to be dragging around her SLR digital when on holidays. I’d done the research and had a clear idea of what I wanted. However, while the internet provided me with good knowledge of what I should be buying, allowing only 2 days to complete the buy, wrap and place under the tree ruled out an online purchase (Note to self – shop earlier). So off the local retailer with my short-list of options and a good idea of what I’d have to pay.
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Lean Selling

Lean Selling: Qualifying to reduce waste

Did you know that Businesses regularly spend up to five times longer losing a sale than winning a sale?

Wayne Moloney explains why this is so – and what we need to do about it.

In Wayne’s recent appearance on Strategic Selling Group he emphasises the need for a stringent qualification process to ensure we know our opportunity is winnable.

Wayne suggests spending more time on opportunities that have got the greatest chance of success and to help make these decisions he offers some simple qualification questions that will assist in determining if you should invest in furthering opportunities.

Is Relationship Selling Dead?

Is Relationship Selling Dead?

Despite all the hype that face-to-face selling is dying, building strong relationships is more important then ever. But maybe it’s just done differently…

Inform Partner and member of Sales Masterminds Australia, Wayne Moloney, shares his thoughts why he believes relationship selling is still as strong as ever. Click here to read his article recently published on Strategic Selling Group’s website.

Sales Managers LEAD!

Last week I was asked to comment on a query from a new sales manger who wanted to know how best to establish himself as a leader when moving into his new role. I recently wrote a post of ‘leadership vs. management’, but his question prompted me to respond more specifically with respect to a sales manager’s leadership responsibility.

Leadership has many definitions, and sadly many of these suggest manipulative behaviour that is as far from ‘leadership’ as I believe you can get. The definition I find most palatable, valuable and applicable to sales management is…

Leadership is the art of getting people to willingly strive to achieve team goals

My experience in many organisations across various countries suggests, perhaps more than anything else, that great leadership is about dealing effectively with people in a particular situation. A leader is only a leader if they have followers, so leadership is not about competently holding a position of authority, but having an understanding of the principles that underpin the actual development of, and interaction with people in relationship to achieving a goal. Read more

Thinking Outside the Box to Win Sales

In both our personal and business lives, the decisions we make today are largely the result of past experiences, relationships and the values that were ingrained in us as we developed.

Good or bad, our past will have an impact on our future and all too often restrict the decisions we make and limit our growth. This is natural and many of us are aware of this and actively work to address the issue.

From a business perspective, such thinking can limit our careers and our personal and business potential. As markets change so to must the way we approach business. A lot has been said and written about disruptive innovation, and what has happened to those businesses that got stuck in the past (think Sony Walkman, Kodak, Swiss watches), but ultimately it may just be a case of changing the way we think about the obvious.

I came across this story on a friend’s Face book page today which I think demonstrates this idea perfectly. Now I think the story has been around for a while and I am unsure whether this is a true story or not, but it does highlight just how we can be constrained by not thinking outside the box.

Consider this:

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

2. An old friend who once saved your life.

3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? Read more

Leads are the Raw Materials of Selling – Manage Them!

There is a quote in business that has been attributed to many people over the years…“Nothing happens until someone sells something” But from a sales perspective, the reality is..

“Nothing happens until you generate a lead!”

And this is just the start of the sales process and in turn, lead management process. Leads are the essence to generating revenue in business and for as long as I, and many older than me can recall, the responsibility for lead generation has always been clouded. Marketing is traditionally seen as ‘selling to the masses’ and therefore bringing opportunities to the door. Sales is seen as ‘selling to individuals’ (persons or businesses) but still with a need to generate opportunities through various means such as traditional cold calling and these days through social engagement. Regardless of where this responsibility lies (and there is a valid argument that the most successful businesses have strong collaboration between sales and marketing), the fact remains that at some point early in the sales process, a lead must be generated. However, generating leads is only the first step – to have any value to the business the leads must be appropriate and they must be managed. Leads need to be contacted, qualified and depending on the result of the qualification they then need to be removed or put into your sales process to convert them into customers. Further, once converted they need to be managed to ensure opportunities for further engagement are maximised. So, while it can be said that ‘nothing happens until you have a lead’, any lead is only of value if qualified and managed into and through your sales process. Throughout my career, as a salesman, a sales manager and consultant on sales development, this is where I see most businesses getting the sales process wrong. All too often businesses look to generate as many leads as possible and then waste time on those that are unlikely to deliver a positive return on further investment. Read more

The A-B-C of Selling

In the 1992 film, Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin put the ‘A-B-C of Selling’ into folklore, ‘Always Be Closing’.

In the movie, Blake (played by Baldwin), an aggressive ‘son of a bitch’ trouble-shooter from head office, is sent to an under-performing real estate office to motivate the sales team. His motivational approach was based on ‘fail and you’re fired’. This threat together with his ‘Always Be Closing’ approach pushed the team to questionable and unethical sales behaviour to avoid the chop.

This is how many salespeople are seen by those not familiar with ‘good selling’ and sadly, it is also an approach adopted by those in the business who don’t treat the role of sales as a career and are looking for the ‘fast-money’. The ‘Always Be Closing’ approach requires the salesperson to be unrelenting in their efforts to close the deal.

Fortunately those who are professional in their approach to sales understand what good selling is about and do not adopt this definition of the ‘A-B-C of Selling’. To be successful in sales, we need to be professional. We need to treat our customers with the respect they deserve and we expect. We need to develop a level of trust. To achieve these things we need to be good communicators.

So let’s redefine the ‘A-B-C of Selling’ to ‘Always Be Communicating’. Read more