Viewing Posts for: Michael Dalis
Team selling today is no longer required just for blockbuster business-to-business sales pitches. Whether you are in consulting, investment banking, or technology or are a financial advisor, home remodeler, or lawyer, pivotal meetings with clients and prospects now often involve more people — on both sides of the table. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, “…the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today.”
Significant technology advances in recent years have enabled customers to gain information about their options faster, and without you. In addition, economic instability, geopolitical concerns, corporate scandals, and public relations blunders have created mistrust and heightened attention to risk and return on investment. Clients now arrive at meetings and calls ready to give all their stakeholders a voice and wanting to look behind the curtain to the people in your organization who will own the work after the sale.
This is the little-known story of how Albert Einstein changed sales performance forever*. And, though history may not be your thing, this story may help you strengthen your performance next year and beyond.
You have probably heard of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and how he defined insanity. What is not nearly as well known about Dr. Einstein is that he had a little brother named Bob. Bob sold time shares back in Germany and complained constantly about his goals, his customers, and his performance, so much so that his friends started to call him “Whine-stein.”
One year, after Thanksgiving dinner, as Albert and Bob watched football on TV, Bob begged his big brother for help. Albert promised to study the problem and get back with him before the new selling year began.
Dr. Einstein put his other work on hold and devoted himself to the study of Bob’s sales performance. What he found was that Bob put in the same strong level of effort each year; however, his quota kept increasing, and the external environment kept changing. This was the source of Bob’s frustrations. Thus, Albert Einstein developed what he called “The Theory of Sales Agility.” The theory held that:
For a salesperson to continue to make quota in a dynamic environment, he or she must continually evolve with these changes by committing to perfect one new aspect of client engagement per quarter – focusing on selling more effectively or » Continue Reading.
Who are those people on the other side of the conference table? Why are they there? Why do more of my key sales meetings seem like they involve a cast of many? And why does “my guy” seem more and more powerless? Team selling today is no longer just required for blockbuster B2B sales pitches. Whether you are a B2C home remodeler, financial advisor or surgeon; or a B2B consultant, money manager or technology provider, pivotal meetings with clients and prospects more often now involve more people – on both sides of the table.
The purpose of this post is to spotlight what’s driving this dynamic, and what you can do to adapt to this reality.
Defining Team Selling
I define team selling as when two or more people from an organization (and its affiliates or co-selling partners) join forces at a customer touchpoint, in-person or virtual, to advance an opportunity or retain an account.
Why Team Selling is Becoming More Common
You’re a good salesperson, so why the need to involve others?
Here are some examples of recent developments that have impacted how your customers make buying decisions:
Mobile communication and Wi-Fi Crowd-sourced reviews (i.e., Yelp) On-line discussion forums (i.e., LinkedIn interest groups) 2008-09 financial crisis
The first three technology advances enable customers to gain information about their options – faster and without you. The fourth event, The Great Recession, created mistrust and » Continue Reading.
How to be a Successful Salesperson (or Recognize One on Your Team)
You may recall that oh-so-70’s TV series called The Six Million Dollar Man, in which a secret government agency rebuilds former astronaut Steve Austin after an accident into a spy with bionic speed, strength, and vision that make him unstoppable.
Leaders and sales managers, when faced with a steep goal or taking on a new business, will naturally look at their sales team and think, “How am I going to hit this new goal with the same team?” First, you come to terms with the goal and that, reluctantly, surgery and bionic implants are out — budget, OSHA, HR issues, etc. So, you turn your attention to less extreme methods, such as strategy, recruiting, sales training, and coaching. And then, you begin to focus on the question what are the “8 attributes of a highly successful salesperson?”
Consider the following sets of personality qualities:
A B Social Insightful Vocal Soft-spoken Aggressive Patient Gregarious Empathetic Quick on their feet Thoughtful Funny Serious
Question #1: From which column of qualities would you choose if you were: Throwing a party? Hiring people most like you? Seeking people to do a lot of outbound calling, meetings, and presentations?
Question #2: What if we turn around the question to instead ask: If you were a buyer, responsible for making a significant and complex purchase for your organization, under great pressure and » Continue Reading.
Closing: Winning Sales Tips for Closing Effectively in 2015
As 2014 rapidly comes to a close, this is a great transition point to reflect on past, present, and future. Among the things that deserve some focus is closing. Whether the close is a client call, meeting, contract renewal or extension, or a new partnership or business agreement, each is an important transition point from the end of something to the start of something else. Done well, closing positions you for success, reinforces client confidence, and sets you up to execute on client expectations.
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.
Cross-selling Effectively into the Crosswinds of Financial Services
It is said that oak trees grow strong in contrary winds. In the crosswinds of deregulation and re-regulation, financial institutions have gotten bigger, more complex, and more attuned to risk. As they turn up the pressure to drive revenue, cross-selling effectively takes on new levels of urgency and complexity. So, how does a client-facing professional stay grounded in these crosswinds while still advocating for his or her clients?
For Experts that Sell, A Surprising Key to an Effective Sales Meeting
Experts, circa 2014, sell. Are you a portfolio manager, consultant, lawyer, investment banker, engineer, architect, or estate planner? As an expert, you are highly educated and credentialed and have deep industry and subject matter knowledge. Though not in a typical sales role, you may be asked at times to participate on a sales call or pitch. The request may be driven by clients who increasingly want to meet and gain comfort with the person who will be creating their portfolio, solution, deal structure, strategy, or design. Or, the request may be driven by your firm, which has decided that your participation is essential to win the work. Regardless of how you feel about selling, the comments below are designed to help you contribute to a winning sales effort when asked.