Browse Tag

understanding a prospect’s needs

How to Sell Your Customers More of What You Sell

SQC smallYou know the issues; you see how you have the solution but the problem is your customer doesn’t.  You’ve tried all your closing tactics and nothing is working.  It’s as if they are immune to your efforts.

So it seemed to Phil as he explained during one of my sales training sessions.  Phil sells machine tools and he shared his frustration; “I have this customer who buys a new piece of machinery every two years like clockwork.”  “My problem is that he rotates his business between vendors.”  “I can’t seem to get him consistently purchase our machines even though we have proven to be the most efficient.” read more

Set the Trap… for Yourself!

SQC smallProblem: Jack had been with the company for only two years, yet he was considered their most technically competent salesperson. He was the “go to guy” when the other salespeople needed someone to talk to about solutions, specifications, and competitive information. He was an expert when it came to product knowledge, yet he had the worst closing rate and was the lowest paid salesperson. read more

Begin With the End in Mind

SQC smallProblem: The biggest challenge salespeople face is closing more business.  Typically, the problem is not the lack of closing skills per se, but rather the job they’ve done prior to the presentation and close.  Would anyone disagree that the better the prospect is qualified, the easier the close will be? read more

It’s Always About Timing

Problem:  Cal was a machine tool sales engineer.  One day in sales training class he lamented about his inability to get a prospect to make a decision on the proposal he had given for their new parts project.  He had provided some relatively attractive incentives to encourage his prospect to accept the proposal now, but couldn’t get the prospect to move.  I told him, “Go back and dig a little deeper as to when they would need the new machines for this new parts project.”  Upon further questioning, it came out that yes; it was true that they needed new machines to manufacture the parts.  However, the order from their customer had not been finalized yet and even if they did get the order today the first production run would not be due for five months! read more

The Price Trap

SQC smallProblem: One of the most frequent complaints we hear from business owners, sales managers and salespeople is the following: “Price is the primary focus of the sale these days–all of our prospects want the lowest price.” It starts out innocently enough. Buyers lead with questions and comments like these: “How much is it? Can you give me a quote?” As the sales discussion proceeds it gets more intense: “That seems like a lot.” or “Why is it so expensive?” or “I saw it for less.” Salespeople often respond by cutting price thus giving away margins and commissions. read more

Leave Your Agenda at the Office

SQC smallProblem:  Alligator Software had just introduced a major revision to their software but, in spite of tremendous initial enthusiasm, sales fell far short of expectations and management started to receive complaints about the conduct of their overzealous salespeople.

Analysis:  Alligator was proud of their latest upgrades, so much so that management was convinced that they were finally in a position to overtake their primary competitor who owned 60% of the market.  A national sales meeting was held and the entire forty person sales team converged on San Diego for a quick one and a half day meeting to introduce the “new product.”  After the proud techies got their chance to demo the software, the marketing department spent a half-day helping the salespeople understand all the features and benefits and how the new product would help their prospects reach new levels of efficiency. read more

“We Like You the Best, But We Are Staying Where We Are At”

SQC smallProblem: Recently a sales engineer called for some coaching.  He had been having a dialogue with his prospect for several months and had offered several proposals for the business, all of which had been rejected as “just not compelling enough” for them to change.  He complained he was getting a little frustrated especially since the prospect had said to him on several occasions that they “liked him the best.”  When I heard that, I knew he was in trouble. read more

Closing More Deals at the End of the Quarter

SQC smallProblem: Steve called us the other day, frustrated with what he called the usual “end of the quarter scramble.”  In an effort to make their numbers at the end of every quarter, his reps were resorting more and more to pricing concessions to get business closed.  What was worse, Steve felt that many of his company’s customers had begun to expect these discounts and were waiting until the end of the quarter to place all but their most critical orders.  In the last several quarters, nearly 60% of their deals were closed in the last week of the quarter and the trend was getting worse.  The results were becoming disastrous to the bottom line and Steve usually had no idea of whether his group was going to make quota. read more