A Step Ahead
Skip Miller
April, 2009 Vol 3, Issue 4
Qualify, Coach, and Eat Well
April showers bring May flowers.  Great...what does that mean for you.  Prospects are going to start knocking at your door.  Heck, after the last few months, any knocking at the door is a welcomed sound.  When they knock at your door, they will want your time, best efforts, and best resources.  So, that means the question for you is,
"What do you want, hamburgers or steak?"
steakIf you are a sales person:
- Get to the right level - Now is the time to practice your Russian skills.  Go call on some C levels and ask them future based ValueStar questions.
- Get the right I-Date - It's not what they say, it is what they have committed to.  I-Dates need dragons.
- Get the Cause - What is causing them to talk to you.  Not the effects, but the cause.  If you have a list of needs or requirements, you are dealing with the effects.  What is causing them to talk you vendors like you is the question you need to ask.
If you are a sales manager:
- Coach - Stop taking over sales calls and telling everyone when the month/quarter is over.  Coach to the tools, not to the results.
- Set Metrics - R=F+C.  Measure the Frequencies and Competencies.  Number of prospecting calls to VP and above per week.  Number of ValueStar or Solution Box discussions per week.  Increase competency by reading a book on Value, a web event on prospecting, or even teaming two or more reps on a week prospecting adventure.  Not revenue per month since revenue is a reactive measure, remember? F+C are the manager's coaching tools.
- Reward for Activities - See above.  Measure by individual or by team.  Make it a contest.  The quarter ends on June, and now is the time to get the maching going.
The work you put forth over the next 60 days will make or break the year.  The knocking at the door is starting and it's up to you to know how "hungry" you are.  The question is,
"Do you want a lot of hamburgers, or just a few steaks?"
The answer is possibly a mix of both, but the last thing you want to do is over stuff yourself on cheap hamburger. (cheap hamburger = takes 3x to close, they slip and slip, and then want a 35% discount!)
The prime steaks are out there, and they have problems that need to be solved, and they are finding the money.  Qualify early and you will not have to wonder why you are so busy trying to make a living going from McDonalds to Burger King and back to McDonalds again, while others are making their number hanging out at Morton's.
Tools - They are Working!!
You asked for some feedback following our training and I wanted to provide some directly.
The comments back from Team Denver have been excellent.  The reps, overall, saw real value and take-aways that were immediately applicable to their sales job back home.  And talk about ROI?  A few points:

"I used the TripTik in practice with a prospect and it helped navigate a 4 week internal process to a 5 business day close and a $220,000 booking."
"One simple question of finding the "I" date also helped to validate that, aside from discounts, we were dead on with the customer's timeline-- crucial!"
Gail applied your tools to go broad and deep in an account and she found one extra deal that needed to get pushed through for an additional $30,000 that got her to President's Club!
Take a look at Bill Kotch's use of the TripTik below in e-mail form-- awesome application to help drive a $100,000 add on sale to a major account.
In short, these are just a few stories that had a high dollar ramification directly out of the gates.  John Groll has already started to script a program around the messages (ppt attached) and we weaved the take-aways into our team meeting this week.  Rest assured that the themes will prevail in 2009 as we talk about value-star, 30 second speech and otherwise.
I look forward to continuing our education at kick-off.
Thank you Skip!

The tools...they work!  Thanks!!
In This Issue
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Tips and Things
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It's Here, it's Here!!!

The new website, M3Learning.com is up and running.  It includes a store where you can buy our books, as well as a place for our e-learning program which will be rolled out in the next few weeks.  Check it out and let us know what you think.
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
Use Time as a Sales Weapon

TimeZonesTool - Buyers purchase to satisfy needs; and time considerations are a critical deciding element.

           How can I create a sense of urgency with my prospect?  How do I understand what time sensitive issues are really driving this buying decision?  What do I need to know about the prospect's timing? 
            Why are you always running out of time?  Why do you always look at your watch, clock, cell phone, or PDA to make sure you have enough time or can make time, or perhaps even save some time?  It seems you run your life with respect to time. As do your prospects. So use time to your advantage and get the prospect to start talking about what is important to them.

            Your prospects, when they are making a business or purchase decision, use the entire time spectrum - past, present, and future. Usually they use more than one time element in their decision. Your job is to help the prospect to use these time elements to your advantage.

            The TimeZones tool recognizes that time has three zones: Past, Present, and Future. Prospects use these zones to justify their purchasing decisions. They rationalize or compartmentalize their needs, place a priority on them, and then go forth and try to make a decision. Their TimeZone priorities fall into three categories. Each one - Past, Present, and Future - will cause a different motive for buying.

Time Zones

            Past - Decisions made for past motivations are restorative. They are being made to get something back up to speed, to atone for a mistake, to catch up to a standard.

            Present - Present decisions are made for present or current reasons. These are ones that take advantage of a current opportunity or a planned scheduled event.
            Future - There are a few decisions that are strategic, where prospects will invest now so they can save money or time later, or even defer their risk
The Restorative, Current, and Strategic needs of your prospects are all very different. The question is how you can determine what TimeZones are critical to your prospect for making a purchase decision.

The answer is all of them. During a sale, the prospect will give hints and sometimes more than hints that she is looking at multiple TimeZones. It is really quite simple: The more TimeZone issues you face, the more value you create.

"They said they need it right now because it's holding up production of their new plant."

"He told me, in a very direct way, the reason they are so hot on our solution is they have tried three other options, and this is their last attempt. They need to get back on track, and they see us as the way to do that."

"Strategic. I just know it. They are telling me we are critical to the successful launch of the new product they are rolling out in a few months."

            Placing your sale just in one TimeZone has limitations. It limits your value and your competitive standing, while it minimizes the justification the prospect is trying to obtain to make a purchase decision. You will have a much better chance of success if you incorporate multiple TimeZones into your presentations, so you can find out the value the prospect is placing in each TimeZone.

            Questions with a time element in them will give you loads of information on where the prospect is in each TimeZone. You need more to your sale than just your product's features and benefits. You need to find out the reason your prospect is willing to make a commitment right now.
            An important note on who sits where on the timeline: The higher you go in the organization, the more toward the future they will be. A senior manager's job is to live three to six months in the future, and delegate present and restorative tasks to junior managers. Senior Managers' issues and needs live in the future and present, while Lower Managers' live in the past and present. If you are going to talk with a Vice President or above, make sure you have the timeframe that is most important to them. You can get that by using TimeZones.

            Now that you have determined where your prospect sits in relation to time, map it out so you can ask questions about the time situations that are most important to them.  A good rule of thumb is to ask future-based questions to move the prospect off their current objection.
"I really am happy with what we are using currently."
"That's great Mr. Janovitz.  However, over the next 6-12 months, how do you see your business changing, or your customers' requests changing that may require you to do things a bit different than you are currently doing?"
Move them into the future, and watch their needs grow, and your solution appear.  Just in time.

      Yep, we are heading out of this mess.  All our customers are heading in the right direction.  The 2008/2009 "restart" is just about through, and a revival is about to happen.  Companies have jettisoned their redundant players and cancelled their projects that were going nowhere.  They now are getting serious about the year.
       Keep your self and your team away from the TV...misery loves company....and make the year.  It's out there.  Just because they said go away a month ago, does not mean they are a jerk.  They just didn't know....they do now and need your help.  Go make it happen.