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Skip  A Step Ahead
with Skip Miller
May, 2010Vol 4, Issue 4
The Half Year Sprint
It's June.  Half of the year is over.  Didn't 2010 just start?  Guess what...your customers are feeling the same way. Right now, your customers are:
  • Getting their plans ready for the second half of the year.
  • Trying to get things done faster so it will count in this fiscal year
  • Minimizing risks so they end up with a good year
  • Cutting their losses
  • Looking to gain revenue
 What can you and your products/services do for your customers to help answer these questions?
Ah, but here is the trick.  By telling them what you can do for them, that's a push, and no one wants to return your call.
By asking them questions, watch how fast your phone rings.  (See more about this in the Questions, Questions segment below.)
Now is the time the Russian will take your call.  Everything is changing for you, and for them, so call high now and get better results than you ever have in the past.  They are getting ready to launch the second half of the year.  Will you be on board with their solutions they are implementing, or are you waiting for their call to introduce you to the higher ups?  Make the call.
"OK Skip, what do I say when I get them on the phone, or send them an email?"
You say nothing.  You ask great questions.

It's all about taking advantage of situations, and it doesn't get any better than this time of year.  Call and ask what your customers and prospects are doing to gain revenue
and make goals for the rest of 2010, and then just listen. 
The half year sprint is getting to identify opportunities in June/July, and get them closed by the end of the year.  It's certainly not prospecting in September and making a mad December dash, that's for sure.
"Hey Skip, everyone is on vacation in June and July...you can't get a hold of anyone."
Obviously not said by an A Player!
Go fill your basket in June, so the end of the year sprint finds you out in front, and not in 7th place trying to catch up.
In This Issue
Questions, Questions

"A" Player?

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Questions, Questions
Skip Miller
You have constantly heard great sales people ask great questions.  Why is this so hard?  A quick story for you.
Tom in our office went to help a company the other day interview some sales prospects.  Tom, a former VP of Sales, has always had a great track record of hiring great people.  So Tom agrees to help interview 8 prospective candidates for a typical sales job.  At the end of the day, Tom calls me up with some great insight and a question:
"Skip, doesn't anyone know how to ask questions anymore?"
I guess during the interviews, all the candidates were just so excited to get a chance to apply for a new sales job, they forgot their mission and how they were being evaluated.  They thought if they;
      • talked and talked about how great they have been in the past,
      • why Tom should hire them (he wasn't the decision maker),
      • and why they would do a great job
that would be enough.  Ah, the spray and pray approach to interviewing sure sounds like the same thing some sales people do on sales calls.  I guess it got so out of control, that they decided that if the remaining candidates even ask for a glass of water, or a diet coke, they will give them some credit for at least asking a question.
Flip forward to the emails or voice mails you are leaving for a prospect.  Are you doing the spray and pray, or are you leaving great questions behind.  Remember, the more questions you ask about them, and the more you listen and not say anything about what you are selling, the more likely the prospect is to buy something from you.
It's all about asking the right questions. What are those questions. First, go back and visit ValueStar. Second, get on the web, and type in, "What keeps a xxxxxx up at night."  You will find a host of people telling you, by title, what is important to these people right now.  Simple, but effective.
Get a job, or a sale.  Go ask good questions ...your choice.
Prospecting with Questions
You Sell Change

from KYSO Prospecting 
Companies need to change.  People need to change. The list of maxims and sayings that make the point would fill a book longer than this one. ..Knock your Socks off prospecting
      "Without change, the world will pass you by."
      "If you are not changing faster than the environment, the end is definitely in sight."
      "What was good enough to get us where we are will not be good enough to get us where we need to go." 
When it comes to prospecting, and to selling in general, two things are especially relevant about change.
                        1.      People and companies need to change.
                        2.      People and companies HATE to change.
Why is this so important? Because no matter what products or services your company has to offer, every time you contact a prospect the thing you are selling represents some kind of change. 
TIP: The challenge isn't just to help the customer solve a problem. It's also to help them through a change.

Here is the most useful and productive attitude with which a KYSO prospector can approach the thorny issue of change::
      • This company/buyer needs to change
      • They hate change
      • I can probably help them change and help them get what they really want
      • They first have to recognize they need to change
      • They then need a solution to make the change happen
      • They need to see the value in changing
      • How can I help them?
This is a world apart from a prospecting approach that begins with, "Hey, whatever I'm selling, they need it."  The seven statements on that list are "pulling" the buyer toward a desired goal. The "Hey, they need it" approach is pushing the buyer. And nobody wants to deal with a pushy salesperson.. The thing that every salesperson is really selling, always, is a change that adds value to the customer's current situation.
What are your prospects going to do differently in the second half of 2010, and what help do they need in making that change successful?

Vacation time.  Take a break, recharge your batteries.  Prospect like crazy before you go, so when you get back, you will be one step ahead. 
They are waiting for your call to tell you what they want...not to hear a pitch from you.  Make the call, ask great questions, and have a great summer. 
Have a great June! 

Skip and team