A Step Ahead
with Skip Miller
July, 2009 Vol 3, Issue 7
Who Wins the Gold?

Start of the 3rd quarter, the second half of the year.  You have your territory, your prospects, new packaging, new products, and new prospects.  Marketing is gearing up and the economy is somewhat getting better.  You have your plan to make the year.  You want to finish #1.   Ready, get set, .......hold on?

gold medal

How much time have you spent seeking to understand what your potential customers want in the second half of the year?  It's all about them, and since they are the ones with the gold anyway it's time to do some research.
  • Ask your current customers what's important to them for the next six months.  They have plans too.  Chances are your prospects have the same priorities as well.
  • It's all about revenue, not about cutting costs.  Everyone has already cut out the fat, and anything that will help get revenue and avoid more cuts will be looked at.  Stop pitching your cost savings so much, and listen to the prospects plans to get revenue, and see if you can help them.                                             
  •  Go on the Internet and ask what is important to your main buyer.  If you sell to the CFO, CMO, CIO, or executives at small companies, do a search on what's important to them in 2009 or 2010.  You will hear from people who ask and answer these questions for a living what they want/need.

As you plan your prospecting blitz, remember to ask and listen what's important to them over the next six months, and then determine if you can help them.  Pitching and hoping something sticks may have worked in the past, but not anymore.

Help your prospects and current customers win their race.  Let them get the gold medal.  You will win your race, only if your customers finish first.  They have a plan.  Find out what it is, see if you can help, and if you can, you both get the medal.  Now that's victory.
In This Issue
ProActive Selling Tool - IQs
ProActive Sales Management Tool - The Law of the "A" Player
Take Action - Advanced Sales School
It's Tool Time!
Ultimate Sales Tool


Sales Tools that every professional salesperson should have at their disposal. 

This books gives 15+ powerful, effective tools for use in prospecting, educating the client, and closing.  You'll instantly possess a range of new techniques and proven methods for identifying buyer's needs, speaking their language, getting them involved in the sale and much more. 
"Skip, you are doing a disservice to what you have created.  These are not tools, they are game-changing weapons"
Mike Heylum - VP Sales - Cosentino USA
Just Published!                      Get MORE ProActive!
More ProActive
The long awaited sequel to the first blockbuster on ProActive Sales Mgmt.  is finally here! 
Skip's follow-up will help you avoid the mistakes even great sales managers make and help you get EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS! 
Whether your company's sales efforts are humming along, need a tweak, or are desperate for a complete overhaul, the first step in the right direction is to eliminate all the many possible wrong moves.  If you liked ProActive Sales Management, you'll love this indispensable guide to avoiding every conceivable sales management mistake, great and small. 
Tailor your presentation to the buyer with two                    Immediate Questions (IQs)
ProActive Selling Tool 
        What's on a Prospect's Mind Right Now?  
          *** Excerpt from the Best Seller "Ultimate Sales Tool Kit ***
No, this is not two IQ questions about you, your product or service, or why the prospect should take your call.  Nor is it about "what keeps them awake at night," but that's closer than you think.  You have to be the buyer. 

What is she thinking about?  What worries her?  What are her goals right now?  Why does she get up in the morning and go to work?  What does she think about as she drives to work every morning? 

     Sit at her desk and think what her
     #1 priority is?....
     Or even better.  What's her boss's
      #1 priority? 
IQ's are the questions that are important to buyers right now.  They are working on a solution to something right now and they are missing some pieces.  Imagine a jigsaw puzzle that's supposed to have 500 pieces, but came with only 481 in the box.  Buyers need to know where to find the missing pieces since they do not want to throw away the entire puzzle.  They've worked too hard on it to throw it all away and start over.  That's what most "push" salespeople assume buyers will do when they hear how great their product or service is. 

This is called a Solution Box.  The prospect's version and your version are different.  You believe the prospect has a NEED, and if you can solve 90+ percent or more of the need, you'll get the order.  Well, prospects don't' think like that.  Prospects already have 80+ percent of their jigsaw puzzle complete.  If you can just supply them with ONE OR TWO of the missing pieces, everybody wins. 

What are you, the ProActive Salesperson, going to do about it?  Click here for a few tools....

The Law of the "A" Player

ProActive Sales Management Tool  
"A" players take one year to learn, one year to master, and one year to get bored and look for something else to do. 
*** Excerpt from the new Best Seller "More ProActive Sales Management" ***
Knowing this, managers do very little to keep the skill sets of their sales team up to the level needed.  Sales management is screaming for sales teams to sell value; at the same time, managers make salespeople sit through hours of product training.  It doesn't work.  What does work is a basic understanding of the 20 percent gap. 
"A" Player's 20 percent gap

During years one and two, the salesperson is motivated and successful - surpassing expectations and on the rise.  At about year three, everyone is telling the salesperson, especially a top performer, that he or she is doing really well, the salesperson, of course, believes it and begins to develop " success patterns."
"A" players have a certain presentation they are confident in.  They make good contributions in those key meetings.  They use specific marketing collateral; they have certain internal people they call on for customer-facing events.  They know current accounts or territories well; they can always get a reference.
Whatever these patterns are, they were good enough to get the salesperson to her current level.  But they're not necessarily the skills needed to keep this person motivated and going to the next level.  The salesperson becomes complacent and really believes he is that good.  The talent, drive, and questioning ability that got him to points of success begins to diminish.  There is no need to work as hard, because everyone is saying, "You really are that good."
"A" Players have a book of business that needs to be maintained, so they focus on that.  Oh, and by the way, they get new business too.  But the energy that was working for the "A" player has dimmed a little.  That's the 20 percent factor.  Your "A" players could be using 20 percent more bandwidth than they're currently using. 

What would a ProActive Sales Manager do about it?  Click here to find out... 
Advanced Sales School
The next Advanced Sales School is planned for the fall season.  Give your top sales people, your "A" Players, the advantage they need for 2009 and 2010.  We have been doing this school for 13 years, and we're still getting letters on how the students are using the tools.  SIgn them up now! 
The Advanced Sales School
October 12-14 - Saratoga, CA
Call Ann at 408.399.9243 or go to www.m3learning.com and register now.
Remember, to start the second half of your year off right, do some research on your customers and prospects.  They hold the key.  Get going before the dog days of August approach.  Summer will be over before you know it and you don't want to be left shortchanged. 
Prospect and Qualify.  I know I say those words a lot but they really are the portals to your success.  Prospect and Qualify and you will have a great second half!  
All the best!