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Sales Strategy
Sep 15, 2017 | Sales Reinvented Podcats lock

Listen to the podcast here.

Hi! This is Paul Watts from the "Sales Reinvented" podcast. Welcome to the Best Of Series, brought to you by the Canadian Professional Sales Association. In today's episode, we have Mike Kunkel, Nancy Bleaky, and Tony Hughes. We will be sharing some of our favorite do's, and don'ts. First up: Mike Kunkel.

Mike: So this is a brand buster, so I'm going to do a little added value because I can't decide, and I'm going to give you four, right? On the do list. First one is always sell with integrity. You'll sleep better, you'll feel better, you'll sell more. And I shouldn't even have to say that, but it's worth mentioning as the ticket to entry in a foundation for everything we do, especially given your mission, right? But if I had to go into the three things after that, I would say the next one is: qualify, qualify, qualify. Salespeople really need to understand the difference between a hope and a dream in the real business deal.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't nurture deals. There's a place in nurturing in your leads pipeline for sure. But not in your opportunity pipeline. And you know, I did some research recently for a post I was writing on all of the different qualification methodologies. There is BANT, CHAMP, Medic, RSVP, Anem, Faint, Scotsmen and some long one I couldn't even say from HubSpot that was pretty cool, alright? Whatever methodology your company believes in and uses for your products and your company and your services and your customers, spend the time to get really good at qualifying deals for your company with your solution set and spend the bulk of your time putting the right opportunities into your pipeline. So that would be two.

So far I've said what, integrity and qualification? Next, I would say always focus on the business needs and the personal needs of your buyers to solve their problems better than anyone else and help them achieve the real value and outcomes that they're looking for.

In that vain, I think one of the magic bullets is to focus on their buying process exit criteria or the things that those buyers need to see, hear, feel and believe in each stage of their buying journey to feel comfortable moving forward to the next stage with you.

So those are the things that you need to deliver to keep your well-qualified deal alive and moving forward. And then, the sales don't magically just fall in your lap at the end, right? So, when it comes time to influence and gain commitments, whether it's the small commitments along the way or the close at the end, I always advise sales people to remember Aristotle's ethos, pathos and logos.

I don't know how many years ago Aristotle, what 5,000? I mean he was probably the first salesperson. This is basic communication stuff, right?

You need the credibility to be believed. You need to make an emotional appeal. And you need to back it up with logical reasoning. If you deliver all three of those, you'll be far more persuasive and influential.

So those would be my do's. My don'ts okay, so I don't believe that the unexpected call, as a friend of mine says for cold-calling, don't believe that the unexpected call is dead or that prospecting is hard. Accept that you're not good enough at it and then learn from the experts and get good at it because it works.

Stop connecting with buyers on LinkedIn for crying out loud and then immediately pitching them in an in-mail. I just had this happen this morning as much as I talk about it. I call that the "pounce and pitch" and the buyers absolutely hate it.

It's great to use social for research, for connecting, for nurturing, for an awareness about yourself and your company and honestly for building relationships because I do believe that you can build relationships with people online. But you have to be more subtle through social channels, so stop the "pounce and pitch."

And this last one might make me unpopular, but I have to agree with my buddies' Townsend Wardlow and James Muir on this, I've seen posts from them recently. Stop trying to push buyers faster to increase your deal velocity. And there is some reason if a deal is stuck if it is. If you want to pry a deal loose, you need to qualify deeper. You need to dig deeper into the negative consequences of staying with the status quo and the positive business outcomes of making a change. You need to try to dollar-ize those things and then tie them to whatever metrics that matter or other things that are creating pressure on your buyers.

You can open a locked door a lot easier with a key than you can with a hammer. So if you want better velocity, pushing your buyers is just not the way to get there. So those would be my don'ts.

Paul: Next, we have Nancy Bleaky.

Nancy Bleaky:
Well, I am very fortunate that I get to observe a lot of sales situations either real-time or recorded in order to give feedback and there's a lot of things I see that are don'ts and there's things that I just wish everyone did. So let's start with the don'ts because they're more fun.

Paul: Okay.

Nancy Bleaky: So, first of all, we need to ditch the pitch. We need to stop pitching information or solutions at people without permission. That's a definite don't. We need to stop promising what we can't deliver. Somebody used to talk about the say:do ratio that people pay attention to what you say versus what you do. And if there's not a high connection to what you've said and then what you followed with action, less trust follows. Less opportunity to continue to try to work with them. And so we need to commit to what we're willing to deliver.

The other don't is don't forget it's a person that you're talking and selling with. It's not a number, it's not a contact, it's a person.

Paul: Okay, those are great don'ts. What are the do's then Nancy?

Nancy Bleaky: The do's are to prepare for each specific conversation. And people know it, but then we get sloppy and inconsistent in doing our preparation with that person, that situation, that company in mind. And we know that when we prepare, even if it's ... We call it a quick prep tool. It takes five minutes. And in five minutes you can increase a probability of achieving the right outcome in that conversation. So preparation is a definite do.

Another do is always focusing on what's in it for them. So that ties into don't pitch. If you can't specifically connect the information you want to share to what's in it for them, it's not time to share that information. So a definite do is have a focus on everything you say and do on what's in it for them. And if there is no what's in it for them that you can come up with, then they're not a good viable opportunity.

And then the third is to conclude every conversation with a specific next step and not to leave that conversation on assumptions, but to identify specific "I'm doing this," "You're doing that," what's the firm commitment or action to the next step.

Paul: And finally, we have Tony Hughes.

Nancy Bleaky: Okay, so we need to lead with insight. We need to lead with strong personal brand. And we need to invest in managing complex strategy in organization so in essence being able to map the power base of an organization and understand the value drivers. So they're the three things we really need to do.

The things we need to avoid is we need to stop leading with who we are, what we do and how we do it. We need to stop acting like the features and functions of what we offer are actually benefits. So Neil Rackham taught me many years ago, he's the author of Spin Selling. He's been working by the way with a lot of universities to help get proper accreditation for sales people. But he taught me a benefit is only a benefit if it solves a specific problem with a client.

And I can't think of a third one, sorry. They're just really my two big ones.

Paul: Well that's good enough for us and those were great examples as well. Today's podcast was produced by Rebel Soul Media, a division of Red TV, Inc. And with the help of our sponsors, the Canadian Professional Sales Association. Visit to learn about Canada's largest sales organization dedicated to advancing sales and accelerating performance. Thank you for listening and please join us on our next podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions for the show, please go to our website, Until next time, remember the A-B-C's of selling: Always Be Consultative. I'm Paul Watts and you have been listening to the Sales Reinvented podcast.

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