Monthly Archives: October 2014
Challenger® Selling: “Courageous Questions” Differ from “Grenades”
Many sales leaders are urging their salespeople to adopt CEB’s Challenger Selling™ model to ask “challenging” questions to have effective sales meetings with prospects and clients. The intent is to be more provocative, create differentiation in a crowded market, provide insight, and hopefully add more value to the conversation. This post is designed to share some mistakes I have been seeing with this approach and to offer suggestions for properly asking “courageous questions” in an effective sales meeting.
Successful Negotiations: Why it’s Critical Not to Lose Sight of the Big Picture
“Are we negotiating?”
That succinct bit of dialogue from the 1997 movie “The Devil’s Advocate” serves as a good reminder for sales professionals to heed when selling to prospects or existing accounts. Don’t take for granted that it is a mere formality or confined to the period leading up to inking an agreement. You are constantly negotiating and should not only realize this, but practice their approach.
Negotiating is certainly about prices and fees, but also about so much more. What’s negotiable? Pretty much any aspect of a sale can be negotiated from delivery date, warranty, and payment or service terms to product features, account team, and the like. What’s important to realize is that each bit of dialogue and revelation throughout the sale process enlightens both seller and buyer alike with information that will influence this deal – or the next.
Insight Selling: Essential Skills for Shaping and Creating Sales Opportunities
Opportunities to grow your business with a major account come in three different modes: Respond, Shape, and Create.
When you respond to an opportunity, the customer has already identified the issue, the solution, and the expected outcomes. Now, a provider is sought. This is the most reactive style of account development. The scope and budget are usually already set. Pressures on both price and competition are often high. By no means should you ignore such opportunities. Flexibility is a key element of business. You have to be able to respond as well as initiate. But, responding is not the best way to develop and grow a business relationship.
Why You Must View the Customer as “Them” not “It”
A theme we keep returning to in this blog is the idea that the most effective sale professionals focus on creating value and building trust with customers. You don’t just put your product or service in front of the public and say, “This is good. Buy it.” — however good your product or service may be. Other companies will also have good products. They will also be able to offer good services, possibly even as good as those offered by your company. We hear the term “solution” often today. It may even be overused, particularly as a fancier and quicker way of saying “product or service.”