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Negotiating on the First Tee (Part 2)

Posted by Tony Cole on Fri, Jun 19, 2020

In Part 1 of "Negotiating on the First Tee, we discussed the practice of negotiating with your prospect before you begin your presentation.  In Part 2, we continue this discussion and add more to the conversation.

In order to increase sales and close more deals, you must understand the client's business strategy, build a strong foundation for negotiation, and cross off all the boxes for a killer Sales DNA.

green-grass-field-near-body-of-water-1608383

  1. Establishing the ground rules for time of presentation are critical. Before we get to that though, you must have a transitional discussion
    • "Let me take a minute to review where I think we are..."
    • "You have the following issues a,b, and c that if not taken care of within this time frame will cause the following to happen and this outcome is a have to fix problem"
    • "Your capacity to invest time, money and effort to fix the problem is this…"
    • "And I’m assuming for a minute that if we are able to fix this for you, in the budget you’ve identified with the right criteria and priorities, you would also want me to be in a position to answer any and all questions at that time"
    • "Did I get this right?" (Buyer says yes)
    • "Good, assuming we can do this I will be prepared to do all those things. If I can’t, I will call in advance and cancel our presentation meeting.  Fair?" (Fair)
  2. Ground rules discussion:
    • "It may not be effective here, but there is a process that we recommend to make sure we are all on the same page, can I share that with you?" (Yes)
    • I need for you to be prepared as well:
      • "As I am going through my presentation, you will be thinking one of 2 things: 1) this makes all the sense in the world; let’s do this, 2) This won’t work for me, the money is wrong or I don’t think there is a fit"
      • "When I’m finished, I’m going ask you which one you are thinking. What objections do you have to that process?"
    • Anticipate and prepare for objections when you complete step six. Keep in mind that  an objection, stall or questions does NOT mean they are telling you no. They just need more information or you need to find out more clarity about compelling issues, capacity to invest or clarity on decision making. At the end, you do your best to eliminate any TIOs (Think It Overs)
    • Let's assume for a minute that this works for you. You are not done minimizing the opportunity for negotiation at time of presentation.  When you finish this discussion, you must return to your  office and write out and send the "As we agreed to letter" that covers the 3 “Cs” and inform the buyer you will call to confirm the information you’ve sent.  Then call to confirm.
    • Presenting to get a decision is as much of a mindset as it is a process:
      • Review what you’ve discussed
      • Review the as we agreed to letter including money and decision process that will take place today
      • Ask, “What’s changed?”
      • Make the presentation starting with their priority item not the first page in your presentation
      • Answer all of their questions about each solution, get them to score that solution on a scale of 1-10. If you are 7 or better you are in good shape but still you need to get them to a ten.  Once you get the ‘10’ you check that item off.
      • Ask our closing question:
        • "What where you thinking as I went through this. Assume for this discussion they said, This is really great we should do this! 
        • You ask, what should we do now?
  • Or your alternative is:
    1. Do you believe based on what we presented that we understand your business and what you are trying to accomplish?
    2. Do you feel we can help?
    3. Do you want our help?
  1. Despite this great process and effort, you can expect buyers to ask you questions that they haven’t asked yet, raise objections, or present you with stalls.  The first thing is this: Be prepared by conducting pre-call strategy meetings and role play these challenges.  Always understand that prospects are looking out for their best interests and not yours. Do not get emotionally involved when they throw you the curve ball!

Now I bet you are thinking, Tony, where is all the negotiation stuff?  Well that’s it right there. You win the bet on the first tee.

Topics: compelling reasons to buy, communication, communicating expectations, cost of hiring mistakes, crucial elements, desire for success, consistent sales, commitment to succeed, commitment, decisions, desire, creating habits for success, coaching salespeople, evaluating salespeople, developing sales skills, evaluating sales teams, creating sales habits, core values and beliefs, creating advocates, consistent sales results, consultative selling, create & convert leads, complacency, contacting prospects, deal or no deal, creating new sales opportunities, consultative sales coaching, corporate sales training, consultative sales coaching cincinnati, consultative selling cincinnati, corporate sales training cincinnati

How Committed To Success In SELLING Are Your Sales People?

Posted by Tony Cole on Mon, Jul 02, 2018

In 1975, I was Junior offensive lineman at UConn. On the team that year were a group of seniors that knew that their playing days were pretty much over. Younger players had been recruited and they were starting ahead of them. Those seniors formed a bit of a club – the Coast-to-Coast Club

The thinking was this: “We are not going to see any action on game day but I have to keep playing to keep my scholarship though I don’t want to get a serious injury just practicing. So, I will coast from the beginning of practice to the end of practice."

coast-to-coast

Years later when I was developing our content for our Sales Managed Environment ® Certification Program, I included a segment on commitment. In this article, Dave Kurlan discusses the difference between motivation and commitment. It is a crucial difference. You can do some things to help people become motivated but when it comes to commitment, a sales manager can’t teach it, or coach it. Commitment to success in selling is something the sales person must bring to your organization. You can demonstrate it, explain it and expect it but you cannot make someone more committed to success than they want to be.

Over the years I’ve discovered there are three levels of commitment. 

The first one is Coast-to-Coast commitment. These are the people that really do coast from the beginning of the day, week, month and year to the end of the time period. They show up and look busy but at the end of the day they didn’t break a sweat, didn’t do any harm, didn’t call anyone of significance and certainly didn’t move the sales needle. In other words, they’ve retired and just haven’t told anyone yet.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the WITs – ‘whatever it takes’ commitment.  Let me be clear- when discussing WIT, or, doing everything possible to success, we always mean doing everything while abiding by legal, ethical and moral standards.These are the people that do the work, take risk, fail, succeed, exceed goals, take on challenges, push the envelope, challenge the status quo and continue to reach higher and further. They make themselves do uncomfortable things and sometimes they make others uncomfortable by asking difficult questions and having fierce but effective conversations.

Then we have the Hawaiian group – The WITALAIITU. These are the people in the organization that look like WITS but really are closer to being coast-to-coast club members.  They embrace new ideas but don’t execute. They are excited about training but never develop.  Do a great job of pre and post-call strategy sessions and role- playing but fail to execute in front of a prospect. They will give you the thumbs up when you attempt to implement a strategy of getting introductions from clients but never ask because it will make them uncomfortable when their client resists and they have to ask why.

It's important that you understand the commitment levels of your sales team and coach them accordingly.  That should be YOUR commitment.

If you’ve been in our training, you know what WITALAIITU means. If not, give it your best shot!  Email me your guess at tony@anthonycoletraining.com and I’ll give you the answer. If you send me the correct answer, I will send you a gift.

Topics: sales commitment, commitment to succeed

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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