Read yesterday’s Inc blog here: “What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling” Enjoy!
Latest "Sales Presentation" Posts
Check out my blog on Inc.com today! Which are you?
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Check out today’s blog on Inc.com – what you need to know to make a great first impression. Enjoy!
Check out today’s blog on MoneyWatch. Enjoy!
(image courtesy of flickr user Monica’s Dad cc)
New blog on MoneyWatch today! Enjoy.
I read a lot of books in my line of work, but as you may have noticed, I recommend hardly any. However, the best book I have read on selling this year so far is Oren Klaff’s “Pitch Anything.”
When I first heard from my friend Daniel Waldschmidt that I “…had to read this book, it is the best ever…” I was immediately skeptical. I have a lot of respect for Daniel, but he’s a superlative guy and things are measured at “worst” or “best” only with know other evaluation scores considered.
But, he was right.
Klaff takes the reader through his core ideas of gaining the upper hand in tough sales presentations, recognizing dead-ends and idea-stealing meetings. As well as how to keep your composure when the buyer is hoping to break it. Trust me, it’s not all negative and fighting for your life skills training. However, Oren comes from the world of pitching ideas to the jaded venture capitalist and private investor market and these guys are “Shark Tank” on a cocktail of steroids and RedBull™.
If you sell complex deals to very senior executives, you want to download or order this book today. I am working through my 2nd reading of it, (never do that), and I have highlighted something on about every page.
Oren’s site is: http://www.pitchanything.net
You can buy “Pitch Anything” on Amazon:
I have spent a lot of time this week preparing for a speech in Tucson next week. I am speaking at the NSGA (National Sporting Goods Association) annual convention. My audience is made up of owners of sporting goods dealers selling to teams/schools/school districts as well as manufacturers. I’m in a tough spot…I immediately precede Erin Andrews as the Celebrity keynote speaker for lunch. There may be a stampede at the end of my speech to get good seats…(I think it is bad form for me to lead the stampede, but I am an Erin Andrews fan and I may look for a back exit to get there first…I’m just sayin’).
The core idea of the speech is Relationship Selling vs. Organizationship Selling.
Relationship selling is about one-to-one selling. Very risky. In the buying world of today, everything is in flux, including:
- Buying processes
Developing just one relationship in a company or organization is a bad strategy because too many things are moving beyond that one person’s control. Organizationship selling means changing the key relationship dynamic from one-to-one to either one-to-many or even better, many-to-many.
Specifically, for my audience this coming week, as a manufacturer’s representative, a dealer or distributor, your number highest value is found in the dimensions of service, which include:
- Accuracy – Orders are right, on time, delivered correctly.
- Availability – What the customer wants they get.
- Accessibility – Customer can reach her rep when she needs too.
- Choice – Customer has options of brand, color, product and so on.
“He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing.”
- Muad’Dib as quoted in Frank Herbert’s book, Dune
In the 90’s, geeks owned the world. The rise of the uber-nerd was embodied in the power given to all things tech. CIOs and CTOs were included in most high-level decisions and rightfully so- with the installation of enterprise management platforms like ERP, SCM and CRM systems, the point of constraint was with technology. In addition, the promised performance for reducing waste, managing Six-Sigma initiatives, just-in-time inventory models and so on all hinged upon IT people. They were absolutely the most powerful people at the decision-maker’s table.
Things have changed.
It’s now the time of the bean-counters. The finance people have all of the purchase power. To think otherwise is to deny the simple fact that the power to say “no” trumps the power to say “yes.” In the modern complex sale, “no” always wins over “yes” at the final hour of decision-making. The biggest, most powerful “no” out there today comes from the CFO.
An interesting point of reference: Boards of Directors hire 2 people who both report to the Board, the CEO and the CFO. Everyone else in the publicly traded companies reports to one of these two people. The CFO no longer typically reports to the CEO.
For this reason, I advocate starting all large account sales hunts with the strategy for landing the CFO. It does not matter if that is your first point of contact or your last, he or she is the only decision-maker when it comes to signing the deal who will matter.
Try this – Put a black dot in the middle of a whiteboard and ask people what they see. The most common response is “A black dot.” That’s an interesting response considering that 99.99% of what they are looking at is whiteboard, not black dot.
Sitting in a preparation meeting for a big presentation often feels like the focus is on the black dot instead of on the whiteboard.
The whiteboard in the pitch is not us, not our PowerPoint, not our samples or demonstrations. That’s black dot. The whiteboard is the audience- all the focus needs to be on the whiteboard. What I teach companies in their presentations to an audience includes the following:
- Breakdown the audience - I hear too often when I ask about the key meeting, “Who’s coming from their side?” The answer “Our champion, and the technical person we have been talking too and 2-3 other people.” You need to know who is coming, name/title/role/length of service. You can’t prepare adequately for the presentation if you are preparing for the company rather than preparing for the people, one by one.
- Pick 1 point per person - Each person who is coming will remember only one, (maybe two…but no more), points that you make. If you just present and don’t design the point you are making for each of the people individually, you are hoping that they “get it.” Focus on the point and then deliver it to that person in the meeting.
- Pull through the threads - In previous phone calls, emails and meetings there has been a lot of communication.