This is a summary of Paul Kenny‘s Business of Software 2012 presentation.
The job of a sales coach is to listen to lots and lots and lots of pitches. After listening to sales calls for a while you develop a sense for how it’s going. Therefore, you should start listening to your interactions with your customers.
Create a sales culture in your business that allows you to repeat your successes.
Habits that matter (from Paul’s previous presentations):
Resistance happens for all sorts of reasons. Resistance feels like hitting a brick wall. You have to think about it because it will define what type of business you are.
What is your sales super power? Use sales Jedi mind tricks to manage resistance.
There is no such thing as the perfect product, even in your imagination. Even if you build a fabulous product some people will say no. Nobody gets 100% market share. So you have to know how to respond when your customers say no.
The path of least resistance – salespeople go for the easiest deals. Most resistance is mundane and manageable.
The people who are awesome marketers are really bad at dealing with no. When a client says no, you say OK, but ask questions. You’ll end up with a meandering path that may lead to a yes, or at least to a better understanding of why the no. When we decide to be a little pushy we can learn a lot. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities are lost.
The reason we resist new and different products is because when making buying decisions we use our lizard brain first.
There’s more to learn from a qualified no than an unqualified yes. All the people that say no are the ones you will learn the most from.
Sometimes clients have delayed reactions. If you put enough cracks in their doubts you will end up with an easy sales in the future.
A sales conversation with no resistance rarely ends in a deal being done. If it’s too easy, it usually means they’re not going to pay.
Resistance is the beginning of disengagement. You must push back on customers, but you shouldn’t do it in a pushy way. If you win the argument, you lose the sale.
Three forms of resistance:
Two types of objections:
Two traditional responses to resistance:
The top sales people have one effective response – they treat resistance as a huge game. They’re explorers. They treat it as a natural and necessary part of the sales process. They believe that no real deal will be done if there is no friction.
What makes a brilliant objection handler? Basics – client awareness, market and product knowledge, etc. More important is speed of thought, persistence, reframing, attitude of thinking on your feet and looking for the best way to articulate the benefit. For example, “Wow! That’s really interesting. What is it that makes you feel that way?”
General principals of handling objections:
Don’t ask “why.” Instead probe deeper by understanding what is the underlying problem. For example, ask “What are your objections?” instead of “Why don’t you like my product?”
Every price objection is about relative value. When confronted with price objections:
If a client responds with “I want to think about it.”, the sale almost always goes down after the client has thought about it.
Within your organization:
BUSINESS OF SOFTWARE – FOR PEOPLE BUILDING GREAT SOFTWARE BUSINESSES.
This year will be the 7th Business of Software Conference – 15-17th September 2014, Boston.
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