The Art of Winning
When you speak to a room of your peers there is the worry that you are giving away a secret that gives you an advantage over someone, else but in this bloggers opinion – that's simply not true. You are selling services that your company provides. If your services
or your delivery model, do not match up with the needs of a prospect, you will not be selected. But HOW you get to the point of even being able to explain your services is different for everyone out there. How do you get them to take a meeting? How do you get included in on an RFP? There is enough business out there for everyone, and what works for me may not work for others, so I was happy to participate in this session. Hopefully, some fellow industry sales veterans in the audience picked up some reminders, and maybe some newer into sales picked up some good points. It was a well-received discussion per the feedback, so I thought I would share some takeaways:
- Get Known. Understand that most prospective clients will not pick up the phone, answer an email, or meet with you unless they somehow know you first. Think about it, when you are getting a “cold call” at dinner time, or you get an email with someone selling you a service that is not on your radar right now, are you likely to grant them your time? These days many people wear multiple hats so we don't even have 20 minutes on the phone to entertain something that wasn't already on our docket for the day. However you choose to get known, whether it be by attending industry events, or getting introduced by a mutual friend, you are more likely to be granted a discussion if you have a personal connection. Make an impression.
- Be A Resource. Don't go into any prospective client and talk at them. Listen to them. What are their needs if any? What are their pain points if any? Think of ways you can help them and their overall goal. Don't just talk about how great you think your company is. Listen with the intent of hearing, not with the intent of responding. And when you know how you can help them, act upon it and they will remember that when they have a need in the future.
- Use Your Internal And External Resources. This does not mean you are “using” anyone to get the business. It means you know your own strengths and weaknesses and know how to pull in further resources to solve problems. It means that externally, you keep yourself on top of the industry’s happening and trends which a prospect will be interested in hearing. Using your internal resources is key because the strength and depth of not just your knowledge, but everyone in your company is something that should be shown to a prospect. They’re not hiring YOU – they’re hiring everyone in your company.
- Ask For The Business. So often sales people get so caught up in the mechanics of a process that they forget to ultimately express genuine interest for the business. You don’t want them to feel like you just want to sign another client for your portfolio. You want them to know your company would be a good extension of them. Show confidence and go after what you want.
As mentioned, at the end of the day, there is enough business to go around. What is important, is to represent yourself and your company in the best possible light.
If you don't love where you work and love what you do, make a change because you will never be a successful salesperson if you don't…and you will never get the win.
VP, Global Business Development
Arpin Group, Inc.