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Skip A Step Ahead
with Skip Miller
October, 2010Vol 4, Issue 10









It's the 4th Quarter? Already?  Really? 

You've got to be kidding!

Yep, time to change gears.

Here is the Rule of the Fourth Quarter.

Everyone sells.  Buyers make decisions. 

No one prospects.

So if you follow the rule, whatever your pipeline is by the end of September, that's what you are stuck with.  What is really amusing is EVERYONE is going to have a good Q4.  You want some of your competitions' money...prospect now.  The customer base is going to buy a whole bunch of stuff, some of it yours.  If the other "buyers" in your world don't know of you or have not heard from you for awhile...they are going to buy your competitor!  Right???

There are two goals in Q4.

1) Get current prospects to make a decision

2) Prospect to find new opportunities

Closing deals, getting ink, finishing out the year strong are all things you can do, but what do you want your prospects to do?  Your territory to do?

Right now, your prospects want to make a decision on what's in front of them, not just "buy your stuff", and are thinking how that decision is going to impact them in 2011. As a matter of fact, they are already getting budget money to implement in 2011.  Are they going to implement your products and services?  Once the budget money is all set to go starting Jan 1...are they just going to pick up the phone and call you? Why would they?

Forget about closing deals and getting ready to party on December 32nd ...err, 31st.  Now is the time to ask your prospects:

1.       "When do you see yourself making a decision on this project that we are a part of?"

2.       "As you look at 2011, what are the top two or three priorities you will be focusing on?"

You will not ask them, "When can I expect a signed contract?", unless you are dealing with purchasing, and are so far out of the decision loop....well...

Be ProActive.  Now is the time to get rid of the maybes, not December, and set up January.  You can do it; just ask ProActive questions.

Have a great October.

Skip and team


In This Issue
The Mental Attitude of Prospecting


Michael - The office

World's Best Boss?
The Dundies are in...

Michael Scott is NOT, we repeat - NOT - a sales management  role model!

Yes he's funny.  But not on purpose.  Most times watching him manage his sales team is uncomfortable and a bit painful.     
There is a better way!  A more ProActive way.   


Sign up Now! 

Space is limited!

ProActive Sales Management Program

November 16-17, 2010
Chicago, IL

Take Charge of the Game Board! 

chess pieces

Create a winning Sales Culture

Vision: Your Wall of Principles

Motivating your sales team

Increase Pipeline Velocity

Better Metrics & Measurement

Managing up, down & around

Personal Growth

The Mental Attitude of Prospecting

You can't always get what you want.  But if you try sometime, you'll find, 
you get what you need.    
The Rolling Stones


Most pro sports athletes say that to master the sport they play and become the best in the world at it, is all about mental attitude. 


Successful prospecting is like that.  It's a mix of homework, talent, and attitude.  Homework for a ProActive salesperson is a mix of War Books, Power Hours and your ProActive Sales Matrix.  Talent comes from speaking the 3 Languages and using good Value Star questions.  But attitude is what really counts.  A salesperson must have the correct, positive attitude toward prospecting. 


Many believe the reason salespeople prospect is to make the sale.  This is a very straightforward, one sided and nonproductive way to look at prospecting.  Prospecting with the goal of having to make a sale puts a tremendous amount of pressure on a salesperson. 


"If I don't get this person to call me back, then I won't make a sale, and I won't make my number for the month, then I won't make my quota, then I will get fired, then I will be out of work and have to look for a new job..." 


Whoa.  That's a lot of pressure to put on your back.  Salespeople who are good at it have the right Prospecting Attitude: 


"I am contacting you because I believe you have a need.  I may be able to make you money and solve a big problem for you.  We might be able to help you satisfy that need.  Let's have a conversation to see if there is a mutually beneficial reason for us to start a discussion."


Quick reminder - A need and the satisfaction of that need are directly dependent on what level you are calling on in an organization.   The User, VP and C-Levels all have very different needs.  While they should all be approached in the same manner, what you say to each should directly relate to the three languages. 


Timing is a critical element as well.  Sometimes the folks you're prospecting don't have a need RIGHT NOW.  Too many salespeople say something like, "I called them a year ago and there was no interest.  I'm not going to waste my efforts on them again."  This is a poor Prospecting Attitude.  The timing wasn't right and the salesperson took it personally. 


The right Prospecting Attitude must be,


"Hi, this is what we do, and based on some homework I have done, this is what you do.  Is there a reason for us to get together?" 


If the answer is no, and your initial homework is sound, it can be: 

  • Wrong timing - try again in a month
  • Wrong person - you need to find the person with the motivation
  • Wrong approach - What language are you speaking? 

For now, salespeople MUST believe. 

Your attitude must be that you are prospecting to assist both sides mutually.  You owe it to your prospects to make what you are selling available to them!   


Fourth quarter is upon us.  The minutes are ticking away and the end is definitely in sight 
    • What's your final outcome going to be? 
    • Are you going to take every opportunity to finish the year off strong? 
    • Are you going to continue moving the chains? 
    • Taking every last shot available to you? 

Remember - the year isn't over yet.  November is approaching fast.  Finding new opportunities so you have a good size funnel is what you need to do in October.  Ready....go!

Take your Positive Prospecting Attitude and get those prospects to make some decisions to have a great finish to your year!

Have a great October!   

Skip and team