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M3 Thought of the Day

"People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you've figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence."

Jack Canfield  

INSIDE THIS MONTH'S ISSUE OF M3 TOOLBOX
Skip Miller

The Lost Art of Reference Selling

People buy from people they like and they trust. If this statement is true, what are you doing during your prospecting efforts to make sure you turn those cold calls into warm calls so you get a better response rate? Read more »

Tool Review – Decision Options (DO's)

What decision options does the prospect have? Think about it. Your executive level (Russian) prospect has a problem, which is why they agreed to meet with you. They are trying to weigh their options. Read more »

A Mid-Year Evaluation of the Most Successful

Q1 was good, but marginal. Q2 looks the same. The economy is turning and there are quite a few companies doing quite well. What separates the OK sales people from the really good ones? Right now, we see three differences that are easy to spot. Read more »

Advanced Sales School

The next Advanced Sales School is September 19-21, 2011 in Northern California. Make you're A players better. Get them ready for the Q4 push so they can work on the deals that will close in Q4, not the ones that are going to slip. You can help them close the closable business in Q4... send them to the school. Read more »

Skip Miller

The Lost Art of Reference Selling


People buy from people they like and they trust. If this statement is true, what are you doing during your prospecting efforts to make sure you turn those cold calls into warm calls so you get a better response rate?

I find it fascinating that sales people are all over Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the other social media tools, but have a tough time asking for a referral.

We constantly hear from sales people that reference selling is a great way to prospect and overcome cold call rejection, but ask a sales person to ask their customers for a referral, and they will look at you like you are asking them to request “the biggest favor in the world” from their best and most important friend.

Think like a customer. Customers, especially executives, love giving worthwhile referrals out, since, if the person who they refer you to actually buys and uses what you are selling, they probably:

  • Got rid of a problem
  • Reduced their cost
  • Increased their revenue

Which is the only reason they would buy from you.

Say you ask a good customer, Barney, for a referral. He gives you a referral, say Fred. You help Fred solve a problem, make money, or whatever. He’s happy. He calls Barney up and says thanks. OK, so Barney knows that Fred owes him one. This ‘owes me one mentality’ has been around for a long time. The Romans used to call this a chit, which is like a favor marker, good for one favor.

Executives are always looking to collect chits, so you, by asking for a referral, are really helping your customer collect chits.

Bottom line, ask for referrals and help turn that cold calling chore into a networking juggernaut.

Good luck and use the tools.

Skip

Tool Review – Decision Options (DO's)

What decision options does the prospect have?

Think about it. Your executive level (Russian) prospect has a problem, which is why they agreed to meet with you. They are trying to weigh their options. They are going to:

  • Do nothing
  • Buy the most expensive one because their choices are limited
  • 80/20 the solution
  • Get the one that can solve the problem the fastest
  • Implement the one with the best return on the investment

They are going to come up with some Decision Options (DO's), and only one will be with your solution. No we are not talking about them adopting a potential competitive solution, since you will fight that battle on a feature/benefit playing field, which is where your marketing department wants you to fight, but your executive level prospect never does.

What are some Decision Options the prospect has, and what would be the outcomes of these? That's what they are racking their brain on, and could use some help. Imagine they called you in for a consultation, and gave you an assignment to come up with three recommendations. They would pay you a commission if they buy your solution, but they will pay you five times your commission if you came up with three recommendations they could pick from.

Only one of the DO's has your solution, and all three have to be really good. What non-competitive options would you recommend? What decisions would you and they make, and how would you both get to a decision point?

Your prospect always wants options or choices. Working with them, you will be seen more as a partner than a pushy sales person. So don't just ask them what are their problems, get an answer, and then pitch your solution. After you hear an issue, concern, problem that you could help with, ask them:

“What are some of the more feasible options you are looking at to address this problem?”

Remember Decision Options is what your prospect is thinking about. Do the 2-step:

  1. Ask for problems/issues/challenges
  2. Ask them what options they are considering

That will get them talking, and give you an opportunity to transfer ownership and create an opportunity for you. Pull options; don't push your solution.

 

A Mid-Year Evaluation of the Most Successful


Q1 was good, but marginal. Q2 looks the same. The economy is turning and there are quite a few companies doing quite well. What separates the OK sales people from the really good ones? Right now, we see three differences that are easy to spot:

If you have to email, here are three golden rules:

  1. Broad and Deep — they are going broad and deep in companies going after their titles, other divisions, other locations. They are investing in their prospects by holding breakfast briefings, working with their customers to develop internal white papers, and having mutual senior management review sessions to align future strategies.
  2. “We did a series of 60-minute talks in 5 other departments that lasted a full day. We targeted our top 20 accounts, and got 14 to agree. We did our homework and made the discussions all about them, and even pre-arranged the department heads to kick off the discussion. We are still following up these leads, but we see a 40% average increase in business in these accounts.”

  3. Pull not Push — It’s not about us, it’s about your customers’ needs/problems/challenges.

    “I cannot believe the response to my e-mails now. I ask questions about what may be on their plate right now, and what options are they exploring, and are they willing to look at another option? This is really working and I am having some great qualified discussions.

  4. Stage 2 Masters — In a typical five or six stage sales process, the real magic is in Stage 2; the mutual education and transfer of ownership stage. The more work you do in disqualifying, discuss value options, give homework assignments, and understand cause and effect, the cleaner your pipeline and faster your sales process will go.

    “I have a list of four or five homework assignments I have ready for my prospects and I try to get their involvement in the process as early as I can. It’s funny, but the more work I have them do, the less I do, and the more they take ownership. This is a blast.”

Working harder may not be the issue. Your customers are spending money. Are you on the right train, or are you selling to the value proposition a=of a year or so ago? Your customer is changing the way they are doing things. Have you asked them recently what are they doing different? You may be surprised at the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try It / Buy It

Tactical Lunch 'N' Learns


M3 Learning offers a variety of educational Lunch 'N' Learn sessions for you and your team. The presentations fit easily into a lunch hour or other convenient time slot and are delivered right to your workplace by M3 certified trainers. The presentations feature tool-based tactics—not theory. After the presentation, your sales reps will be able to immediately apply what they learned at the session to move a sale forward. We offer the first presentation for FREE. Each program is from 1 to 2 hours in duration and is customized to meet your goals and objectives:

 

  • Breakfast Sessions - from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Lunch Sessions - from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Afternoon Sessions - from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Contact us for more details. Click here or call 866.462.5763.

"These are not tools… these are game-changing weapons."
- Mike Heylmun Vice President Sales

ProActive Sales Management


Few sales managers are true managers, often falling back on the skills that made them great at sales. This essential book is packed with specific, field-tested tactics for making the numbers in today's competitive sales environment. It's an important resource no sales manager should be without and details how to:

  • Shorten your sales cycle by weeks or months
  • Motivate a sales team
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  • Reduce reports to one sheet of paper and 10 minutes a week
  • Forecast with up to 90% accuracy
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Click here for customer reviews

 

 

You're Invited

Join us for the 2011 Advanced Sales School

The next Advanced Sales School is September 19-21, 2011 in Northern California. Make you’re A players better. Get them ready for the Q4 push so they can work on the deals that will close in Q4, not the ones that are going to slip. You can help them close the closable business in Q4... send them to the school.

For 15 years now, The Advanced Sales School has been making sales people go back to the basics and realize all the skills they have forgotten to use, as well as learn some new ones. Look at the reviews form the last school we just had:

  • “I’m my company’s best rep, and I learned a ton. Thanks.”
  • “I’m changing my presentation I was going to have next week to one of my major prospects. I can not believe I was going in there with what I had put together.”
  • “In a word, thanks. You helped me see what I was doing was good, but not great.”

We hear this all the time, and are ready to help your sales people get better at calling high, qualifying real deals, and creating value for the sale to stand on its own.

Sign on to our website, www.m3learning.com, and check out the video of the latest school. Attendees get energized, review and learn new tools, and conquer fears. Stop settling for the skills you have now. Add to your sales toolbox. Now. Try us. Contact Kaycee Snyder at ksnyder@m3learning.com.

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