(edited by Leslie of Ewriteonline.com)
Jill concluded our book club discussion by asking us the top lessons we learned from her
book. My group will probably add theirs as comments. Here are mine:
1.)Clients make three key decisions when you get their time:
B.)Initiate change- Move them to commit to change. Is the value of the change your product
brings significant enough?
C.)Select resources/select you!
2.)Jill reminded us that because our clients are busy, we need to add value when they give us time. This is the only way we keep their access. We need to get to know their problems and
discuss only relevant case studies and metrics. We need to know their industry and trends and discuss only their needs and their desired outcome. We need to establish credibility by referencing a referral, citing our research, and mentioning our trigger. For instance, a voicemail would sound like, “Mike referred me because of the work we do for Halliburton. We know in your manufacturing industry SAP does not attach to operations… We solved this for Halliburton by…” If you get them on the phone, great questions to follow these are, “Are you finding these same challenges? If not what are your
priorities?” (See also, “How to Add Value Instead of Check In”: http://leads2fullcycle.com/snap-discussion-how-to-add-value-instead-of-%e2%80%9ccheck-in%e2%80%9d/).
3.)In this busy world what you are selling has to align with their priorities. You also have to become a trusted advisor. @RobertTerson gave me some invaluable time in which he told me to read this book and offered two of the best sales questions:
- What’s the problem you would give almost anything to solve?
- What’s the most important thing I need to know to be of service to you today?
The above can sound cheesy, but between Jill and Robert, you get the point of what to ask.
4.)Jill repeats that we have to keep our messaging simple. How can we appear simple? We
have to make sure:
- We appear easy to implement
- We are easy to decipher and our messaging is simple
- We have to know their business and tie our product to it/know where we add value
- We have to help simplify their decision process and other processes such as purchasing
- We need to do this in phone messages, meeting plans, presentations, and proposals
5.)Jill talked about “becoming a decision guide.” She said painting the picture/advising them through the decision process and implementation is key to your sales success.
- Guide them on weeding through the clutter and on limiting their options and risk
- Ask tough questions and figure out their decision making criteria
- Be consultative and helpful and get them to experience you as their value ad that makes their life simpler and removes their complexities.
Other favorites from her book:
- Her buyer profile and value prop generators
- I liked the book she referenced on proposal writing, Writing to Win More by Sant.
- Tools she mentioned that provide invaluable information and triggers is a prospect’s investor relations page and InsideView. A member of my book club
also suggested Yahoo Finance.
- Some key questions to learn who all your decision makers are/who to advise include: 1.)Have you done anything like this? 2.)Who else should be involved to implement in a workable and manageable timescale?