Saturday, 16 July 2011

"Ask and you shall receive" but how often do we forget?

Never stop reminding yourself to ask the simple questions - and early during the sales engagement. Often the earlier the better for some questions. If you don't ask what a prospect or client really thinks about your offering, they are unlikely to tell you!

Ask questions early!

- Opinions and Impressions. "What are your thoughts so far?" "Does this look
like something that would work for you?"

- Ideas for Improvement. "What would you improve?" "If you could change one
characteristic of our product, what would it be?"

- Members of the Team. "Who else will be taking a look at this?" "Who else,
besides yourself will want to look at these ideas?"


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Don't spend a lot of time looking for new money!

Even when the economic climate is good, it can be a real sales challenge to
convince a client or prospect that they have to find money that they have
not budgeted to spend. No matter how compelling your proposition may be, the
bottom line 95% of the time is - if its not budgeted for, its not going to
happen!

So I hear you say, how does anything new ever get sold? The answer is to
always look to help your client or prospect to spend their money differently
and ideally to spend it more effectively. Try to identify where money is
currently been spent (i.e. from which budget) that you could deliver better
value against. Don't necessarily always think it has to be from an exactly
related budget. Of course if your selling IT then you would probably
compare yourself with current spends within the IT budget to start with, but
you never know. What you are selling could actually also be providing a
saving in an apparently unrelated budget area. Perhaps your IT package will
result in admin savings across a range of departmental budgets - you need to
help your client to 'think outside the box' when it comes to finding budget.

But nearly always you need to aim to deliver better value from existing
spend - otherwise you will hear a lot of "Can't justify buying now, maybe when
the economic climate improves". Or maybe never!