Infocusselling’s Blog

July 26, 2009

Selling before Negotiating?

Filed under: INFOCUSSELLING BLOG — Educated and Aware @ 10:58 am
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I read an interesting Twitter post that negotiation starts after selling stops. I respectfully disagreed and said that true sales professionals do them concurrently.

Selling is uncovering need, understanding value, and building urgency to make a buying decision. According to dictionary.com, negotiation is the “mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement.”

Let’s look at two scenarios. In one scenario, you stop selling and start negotiating which is discussing terms. This must mean that you are no longer going to mention or reflect on the prospect’s needs, or time frame of delivery, or the value that he mentioned during your selling time. You are strictly limited to discussing price, payment time frame, and delivery time frame. Any discussion of need, why it is needed, discovery of impact of various deliver schedules, or other people who might be involved are not allowed because you are done selling and are now negotiating.

In the other scenario, as you are working through your sales process, you are uncovering the value of solving the problem and the loss of value in not solving the problem at hand (the “C” part of INFOCUS™) then you move to what is in the way of solving the problem and what block or obstacle you must jointly solve or resolve before you can secure final commitment (the “U” and “S” of INFOCUS™). During this dialogue (which by definition means two people are talking), you have the prospect prioritize options and characterize implications of various delivery time frames. As you secure final commitment, you continue to discuss all of the above as you settle on the investment and delivery time frame which satisfies buyer and seller, which includes ongoing discussions of trade-off in the value the prospect sees until a final agreement is reached. No matter how well you do during “selling,” negotiation uncovers more value trade-offs which impact how much the prospect is willing to pay and, in many cases what level of service may be included after the sale.

Negotiation is about continuing the process of discovery of value and continuing to build urgency for a positive decision now, until a decision is consummated with whatever form of agreement or contract exists  in your business. If that’s not sales, then I’m really confused.

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July 11, 2009

Sales Training Assignment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 4:10 pm
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Stay tuned, on Monday, July 13 there will be a special posting right here to help you focus your sales.

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July 7, 2009

Uncapped Earnings in B2B Sales

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 10:45 pm
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We have been engaged to help build a local, then regional, and then national sales team. Actually, we have been engaged to build two such teams for two different companies!

If you have a thirst for setting your own future, working with business owners, and finding and getting commitments in usually one or two meetings, one of these two opportunities could be for you. One opportunity is in the media/advertising field and the other is in the computer/IT field. Both teams will receive up front and on going sales training and coaching, direction, management, and strategy. CRM experience and cold calling experience would be very helpful but these are not full time cold calling jobs–these are professional sales positions from prospecting to contract signing. From new to sales to seasoned and experienced, we are looking for current and future performers.

Email jeffbowe@actumgroup.com confidentially for more information.

July 3, 2009

Social Media–Social or Media?

Everyone has an opinion on social media today. Some feel it is the future of all communication and sales, while others feel it is a fad that is already passing. My concern as a sales trainer and coach is whether your social media strategy is working for you. How do you know?

Here is one post from someone I respect as a marketer. She was upset regarding a recent Twitter experience. Here’s the one sentence summary: auto responders are fake and do not help you build relationship and can work against you. Read the details yourself, and I bet you will agree. Karen’s new non-friend.

Other marketing experts claim that social media works for B2C markets but not B2B markets. One problem with social media on B2B markets is whether your target market is watching the social media mediums you are using. Here’s a thought from a marketing expert on why and how social media is not all it hypes itself as in B2B markets.

Here is someone who talks about how not to use Twitter, which is what I see way too often–blatant repetitive advertising, that, wow, look at that, repeats every so many days because it is being done by a program and not a person. Gee, is that a relationship?

I don’t have hard stats but from regular discussions, I think I personally know one person who is making a reasonable ROI on his or her social media time. One. And I’m not 100% positive that person is really profitable. I don’t mean “yeah, I’ve made some money from social media” as in you’ve sold a project or two. I mean you took your net margin (that would be sales less direct expenses) and took the hours you have invested in social media, totaled them all up, and then divided your net margin by your hours invested and found out that your net hourly rate for your social media time was as good or better than your other marketing efforts. Just for fun, try it out and see how much you make per hour.

I’m not saying social media is dead or even dying. I’m just glad more people are starting to question if it fits and how to get a measurable return out of it for the majority of people on it. As more true success stories filter out from the masses still looking, I’ll be the first to post them here.

July 2, 2009

Halftime

Filed under: INFOCUSSELLING BLOG — Educated and Aware @ 11:32 pm
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July means we are more than half through 2009. Amazing or not, it’s true. When sports teams go into the locker room at halftime, they regroup and rethink their second half strategy. Whether or not you like sports, we should learn from them and ask when you look at your first half performance, what do you need to change for the second half to win the 2009 game?

Good strategists look at offense and defense. Offense is what you are doing to get in touch with your target market and how you are actively converting prospects to customers. Your strategic change is what you are going to do differently to get in front of more prospects. What are you going to do differently to convert more prospects to clients? Look at your sales activity and identify the weak link. If you have more than one weak, pick the most important two aspects and address them. Don’t try to change more than two aspects of your sales process at one time. If you try to tackle too many things at one time in your sales process, you will most likely end up not doing any of them…and you will finish 2009 the same way you are at halftime.

Defense is what you do to protect your market from competitors. Are you losing projects that you should get? How and where are they beating you? What do you need to do to alter that balance? Just like changes to your offense, defensive strategy is to identify the one or two things that you need to do to re-position yourself so that you are in a stronger position relative to your competitor. Don’t try to change too many things or again, you’ll end up 2009 the same place you are at halftime.

Your game is sales and your goal is to sell the volume you projected in January. The good news is, no matter where you are today, you have the time to still win the game. Strategists, like winners, act, evaluate, adjust, move forward, and repeat the cycle. Be a strategist, be a winner.

July 1, 2009

Here’s Help for Businesses Feeling the Pinch

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 10:32 pm
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by Chris McEvoy, Wingspan Thinking LLC

www.gowingspan.com

Banks swear up and down they are lending, but who do you know who has gotten a loan recently? The bar is pretty high for those that are lending.

As part of the 2009 Recovery Act, the Small Business Administration has a new program called the ARC Loan Program. Go here (http://www.sba.gov/recovery/arcloanprogram/REC_WHATISARCLOAN.html) to learn more.

The ARC Loan program differs from the normal SBA guaranty loans in many ways.

The purpose of the loan is to enable you to make payments of principal and interest on one or more existing, qualifying small business loans for up to 6 months. Here are some of the goodies:

• Maximum amount: $35,000

• No FICO score requirement

• Interest-free to the borrower (see WARNING below)

• Carries a 100% guaranty by the SBA to the lender (i.e., risk free to the lender)

• Requires no fees paid to SBA

• Loan proceeds provided over a 6-monthy period

• Repayment of the ARC loan principal is deferred for 12 months after the last disbursement of proceeds

• Repayment can extend up to 5 years

The website cited above provides additional information for both borrower and lender.

The program has funding of $255 million, and when that runs out no more loans are guaranteed. So, if you have an interest, visit the website and find out how to apply.

WARNING: this is a very new program, and not everyone is up-to-speed on the details. If on the website above you click on “About the ARC Loan Program,” you will find the statement: “ARC loans are interest-free to the borrower.” If you go to http://www.sbaarcloans.org/, you find this statement: “You don’t make a single payment for 12 months (plus NO accrual of interest for the first 12 months).” This makes it sound like it isn’t totally interest free.

You can also call the Indy SBA office: 317-226-7272, extension 115 for more information.

Act now!

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