I had to laugh at the three sales modes that Frank Visgatis, President & Chief Operating Officer, CustomerCentric Selling (CCS), says sales people are all coming out of at the beginning of the new year. He’s spot on!
- The Happy Camper – Through a combination of proper planning and consistency of execution, the year was done a bit early from a revenue attainment perspective, so sales people in this category took time to relax and charge the batteries during the last of December so they can rocket out of the gate in 2015.
- The Hail Mary – These sales people were doing everything they could possibly think of to somehow bring in every last bit of revenue in an attempt, albeit usually a futile one, to make the number for the year.
- The Dead Man Walking – With the recognition that nothing was going to salvage the year by mid-December and, even worse, with prospects not looking good for 2015, resumes were being polished and LinkedIn probably was experiencing a spike in activity.
What mode are you in? Hopefully, you are a happy camper, but that’s the exception and not the rule, according to CCS Index research. If you are a happy camper, you can stop reading because you’re already off and running for the year. But if you’re in the two latter categories, as are most people, it’s time to start thinking about what will change this year.
Visgatis offers three tips to take control:
- The helping hand you need is probably at the end of your own arm. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring, start dialing it instead. It is only the salespeople who consistently and aggressively prospect for new business, even if their pipeline is already full, who are the ones who sleep well at night.
- Prospects focus on cost when there is no value. Remember that the cost of pain always has to be greater than the cost of change. Unless and until the prospect understands that it is costing them more to do things the way they currently do them versus what you are asking them to spend, price will always be the issue.
- Finally, if you can’t differentiate yourself using what you sell, think about differentiating yourself by the way you sell. Rather than being the stereotypical salesperson eager to do a demo as soon as possible, think about focusing on your prospect’s business goals and objectives first, and only introducing product once you understand their desired business outcomes and how you can help them get there.
When it comes to Purchasing Power, you don’t have to worry about number 2, as there is no cost to the employer to implement our program for employees, which certainly provides great value for the employees who utilize it. And we certainly can help you with number 3 in terms of differentiating what you sell. Being on the forefront of our industry allows us to provide tools and campaigns that help you provide your clients with a more competitive benefits package and increase your commissions.
Here’s to a fantastic 2015!