A Step Ahead
with
Skip Miller
 
March, 2009 Vol 3, Issue 3
                     Ok, Game On
 
     It's now almost through the year.  Yeah, I know, if you don't know where you number is coming from by theGame on end of March, you better be lucky.  As this is being written, I am actually on my way to Las Vegas.  Fate?
 
     You have heard these are extraordinary times. The smart people are buying and investing, the nervous are panicking.  Guess I am a little of both, depending on the day and the news.  That said,  where are all the smart people who are spending all the money?  Can they spend some with me?

Right now, smart people/companies:
 
  - Have cash.  Look at balance sheets and see who has cash.
  - Are in industries that are in demand
          - Medical
          - Services
          - Lead Generation
          - Anything that can generate cash
 
     Have you're A player create a list of targets for the next three months.  The belief that Q4 will be a good quarter still holds true.  It's the companies that make Q2 and Q3 are the ones who will be ahead of the game.  It's that time to go broad and deep in majors and target 1-3 new prospects/territory.
 
     It's time to disqualify rather than qualify.  You don't have the time to waste.  Q2 begins now.  Game on!
 
Skip 
Tools
    The Art of DISqualification

     Your pipeline looks OK.  Just cannot afford any fallout.  It's a tough economy, and you are lucky to get so many in your sales funnel as you have.  A little thank you would be nice, since filling the funnel in an accomplishment nowadays. 
  
     Ah, but will they buy something?  How can you disqualify an active account?  Who is kicking tires?  Here are your big three.  Run these by your current accounts and see what happens.

1.       What is the process of making a decision?  Not who, but what.  Why?  Companies have a well defined process for making a decision; it is rarely up to one person.  If they can describe the decision making process, they are more than just lookers.  They have at least given it some thought.
2.       What is the process for obtaining and committing budget?  Again, if they can describe it to you, who is in involved and why they would quantifiably cut the check, you may be on to something.  It's not that they have a budget, that's easy, it's defining the process that's the disqualifyer.
3.       I-Date.  What date are they going to start using what you are selling?  Why couldn't it slip a month or two?  What would happen if it did? Who would be affected with a slip...anybody?  Everybody? 
     The more who will be affected with a slip, the better chance you have.  Not what date they are going to sign, what date are they going in production with whatever you are selling?

     Cash is king.  What's the return on the investment they are making with you?  How much risk or assumed risk are they thinking your solution is worth?  Show them lower risk than they perceive and a quick return on their money....better. 
 
     Oh, by the way, the risk and the ROI numbers come from them, not from you.  Ask them...they'll tell you.  It's the Maybe's that will kill you.  Get rid of the maybe's early and shrink that pupeline down to a realistic amount.  The deals are out there, just get rid of the smoke.
In This Issue
Tools
Take Action
Tips and Things
M3 Learning Links
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It's Here, it's Here!!!
 

More PSM

 
More ProActive Sales Management is out.  Just re-read it...not bad if I do say so.  22 mistakes sales managers have made and what to do about them. 
 
 
Mistake# 1 (excerpt)
 
 We are a Prospecting Machine!
"Of course my sales people prospect.  That's what they are paid to do.  At least that's what I tell everyone."
 
            Sales Management creates compensation plans, contests, and rewards for sales people who go out and find new business.  They have 33 motivational speeches why their organization has to go broader and deeper in current accounts as well as take the business away from the competition.  They spend gobs of money on training the sales team to get new business. The entire company is counting on sales to get new revenue streams from new named customers.  Someone needs to tell this to the sales people however.
 

                                       Sales people hate to prospect.
 
 
           Oh, oh.  Train wreck coming.  It's that simple.  Sales people would rather do anything than cold call or do heavy prospecting.  Sales people would rather do anything else, and usually do. 

      Lead Generation vs. Prospecting
 
            Lead generation - Targeting the resources.  Figuring out where to hunt, what gun to hunt with, what to hunt and when to hunt. 
            Prospecting - Hunting.  This is the act of going to hunt, going through many fields and bushes to flush out the game, finding the game, and pulling the trigger.
 
           A good lead generation machine is no excuse for lack of prospecting. 
 
You have to measure prospecting, even more than you do revenue.


 
 
Call now - 408.399.9243 or go to Amazon and get it today!
Advanced Sales School
         The next Advanced Sales School is right around the corner.  Give you top sales people the advantage they need for 2009.  We have been doing this school for 13 years, and we still get letters on how the students use the tools.  SIgn them up now! tass
 
The Advanced Sales School 
 
April 6-8, 2009 - Saratoga, CA
 
Call Ann at 408.399.9243 or go to www.m3learning.com and register now.
Tips and Things
  
 
Which No are We Talking About?  
 
(from KYSO Prospecting)
 
Targeting the right prospects
 
 
 
The Four No's:
 
1.      No Trust.  The prospect may have a need, but something about you, your approach, or your proposal has led them to feel that you can't meet the need.  The prospect doesn't trust you and/or your company to do what you say you will.  Salespeople from small companies selling to prospects in large companies encounter this doubt all the time.  It's a legitimate fear-and one you particularly need to anticipate when cold calling to a prospect who is unlikely to have heard of your organization before.No Worry
 
2.      No Need.  You may not be speaking to a legitimate need. If that's the case, you aren't talking to a real prospect, so move on.  But it also may be that you have not sold the prospect on the idea that he has a need -- even though you're convinced the need is there.  When that happens, it's called denial.  Doctors run into denial all the time.  "Geez, Doc, it's just a headache.  Brain surgery?  I don't think so."  Sometimes your first sale is selling the prospect on their own need.
 
3.      No Help.  Sometimes there is a legitimate, important need to be met and the prospect knows it.  But something about your proposal or your company or your call feels "off".   They don't see your proposition or product working the wonders you're promising.  You have a solution, they have a need, but they don't see the two meshing.  And they aren't ready to let you convince them otherwise.
 
4.      No Hurry.  There is a need, you have a good idea, and it probably will work. But what's the rush? Somehow, you and the prospect don't see eye to eye on the urgency of doing something.   Rearranging one's retirement plan to downplay stocks, particularly technology stocks, didn't seem an immediate need to most investors in early 2000. It is often incumbent on the socks-off prospector to create the motivation to act in one's own best interests.

Plan to hear the Four No's throughout the prospecting process, and be ready for them-especially at the end of a cold call. If the Summarize-Bridge-Pull technique explained in the previous chapter produces a No, it most likely will be one of these four. 
 
"No can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship."
Mark Twain
 
Handle those objections...all of them. 


      If we have learned on thing thing this month, it's that business is out there.  Your funnel has up to 30% smoke, and sales people are not prospecting.  They believe they can handle it (denial).  Measure prospecting to the right accounts, and you'll get through.
 
      Get to know more people (prospect) than rely on your current friends.  You need both, and remember, if companies can make a profit in Q1, they are selling something.  Keep your head down and be positive.  People want to talk to positive people.
 
                
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