In many events, the difference between the treasured gold medal and not placing at all is nearly undetectable. A first-place finish often can be measured only by going out into the hundredth of a second. Many of us remember watching Michael Phelps win his 7th Gold medal by a finger tip. Without the power of technology, and slow motion replays, it can be questionable who won an event.
“You become a champion by fighting one more round.” –James Corbett
That night, as I enjoyed a memorable dinner with the unique, powerful sound of an African choir ringing in my ears, I reflected on this proverb. Its wisdom struck me in a new way at a deep level. So many major corporate initiatives are stymied because one person wants to act alone. The motivation to act alone may be rooted in the idea of a hero, or it may be simply because someone wants to demonstrate personal accountability.
Still, going farther requires collaboration.
“The best sales-driven companies have developed the habit of conscious collaboration.” –Tim Sanders
Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges is a monumental book not only for sales leaders but also for all corporate leaders. Whether saving, reclaiming, or winning new business, the techniques Tim shares are proven and actionable. Every organization wants to improve its results, and this is the best blueprint for achieving higher growth that I’ve seen in years.
But, beyond the dealstorm, the techniques in this book teach collaborative practices. The relationships built in this process do not stop with the sale, but continue, fostering a sense of purpose well beyond the deal.
I’m convinced that the techniques in Dealstorming will help you close more business, build better relationships, and increase your organization’s creativity.
“Innovating is not a way of doing things; it’s a mode of thinking.” –Tim Sanders
Many people think that the sales process is impossible to define and one where you just go with your gut. In your new book, Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges, you reveal that the sales process is just the opposite: a structured, repeatable process any team can use to win the large, complex sale. What experience and research led you to this conclusion?
Over my 30+ year sales career, I’ve noticed that despite the sharpest of perspectives, without a process you get a mess. The Funnel Activity Management System has been in place for decades, where managers focus on key metrics like cold calls or closing ratios in order to produce a predictable level of sales. Or so one might think.
Throughout that process, the rep used his or her gut feeling to determine which product to pitch, how hard to close and when to move on. But today, that system is necessary, but no longer sufficient for landing high quality sales.
Around the turn of the 21st century, I began to develop the sales collaboration process I call Dealstorming. At Yahoo, while leading the ValueLab and then serving as Chief Solutions Officer, I had the opportunity to participate in 40+ strategic selling situations, where theories were tested and then measured in dollars and cents. Over the last decade, I’ve refined this process through my consultancy, where we’ve participated in 60+ dealstorms at a variety of business-to-business companies. The range of experiences has helped me create a scalable process where managers could leverage a few successful Dealstorms to train the Account Executive on how to run their own.
In writing this book, I have interviewed 200+ sales leaders to understand how they’ve approached problem solving at the deal level, and what works in today’s global-social-mobile world. Collectively, all of these experiences have produced a way of innovating at the deal level that will work for small businesses and enterprises alike. Sometimes the ‘storms will be terrific trios and in other cases, an alliance of many.
Copyright Tim Sanders. Used by Permission
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This is a guest post by Paul Trevino and TheGapPartnership. Paul offers some first thoughts on some important aspects of business negotiations.
When negotiating a deal or sale, it is important to consider the skills and trades you’re offering and what you hope to get in return. When offering your services, it is recommended to refrain from giving “too much” away. What this means is not over-promising or giving away something too valuable without getting something back in return.
In high-stress sale or negotiating situations, it is easy to unload offers to try and appease the other party member. This is a self-defeating method, as it devalues your services and leaves you vulnerable to unwanted concessions.
If you plan to offer something, make sure there is a return on it. It is not undesirable to make the other party member ‘earn’ the concessions you have access to, as opposed to simply giving them to them. This will result in a more satisfactory experience for both individuals.
“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy
If you’re the head of a company, it is recommended to establish a quality negotiating plan among your employees. A good negotiating strategy can help improve customer satisfaction and potentially boost sales by implementing strategies that adhere to consumers’ wants and needs.
A poorly implemented plan may lead to conflict within a company or to disenfranchised employees frustrated by poor communication among their peers or superiors. With most organizations, negotiating is a daily business at every level. Whether it’s designating tasks for employees or handling customers, the ability to properly negotiate affects all areas of the workforce. A consistent and well-designed plan reduces stress among employees and lets staff learn proper negotiating tactics applicable both in and outside of work.
Don’t take it personally
Dealing with rejection or potentially rude customers is an expected part of negotiating. However, being sidetracked by personal conflict loses sight of the original deal or offer and results in time spent on unrelated issues. Understanding someone else’s personality or demeanor requires patience and sympathy. Peaceful negotiation requires focusing on the problem at hand and providing a solution irrespective of someone’s personality. Coming to a conclusion that satisfies both parties successfully defuses personal conflict and keeps the discussion civil between both parties.
“You do not get what you want. You get what you negotiate.” -Harvey Mackey
Negotiating can be an emotional investment among people, which can be a powerful tool to utilize. A common mistake among businesses is that they rely on logic or rationale to drive the negotiation process. Communicating ideals or values is almost always an emotional experience, with decisions being made based on greed, fear, ego, status or a desire to please.
An important tactic in negotiation is to show the benefits of a product or service, perhaps by painting a picture in someone’s mind or alluding to potentially successful scenarios or situations. This provides a visual imagery without actually spelling it out for someone, a clever tactic in challenging the other party member.
“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” – Sir David Frost
What makes some messages stand out above the noise?
Marketers everywhere have been busy in the past several years keeping up with mobile, new technology, and the fundamental changes in a social media world. Though the pace is increasing, it is also important to review the basics of marketing to ensure that what you do matters. Linda J. Popky, in her new book, MARKETING ABOVE THE NOISE: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters goes back to basics and offers an approach that combines timeless principles with today’s technology. Linda is the president of Leverage2Market Associates, a firm that helps transform organizations through powerful marketing performance.
“Asking for input and not using it is wasteful and dangerous.” –Linda Popky
How has social media changed the way companies interact with individuals? What are companies doing well? What are they not doing well?
The good news is that social media opens the possibility for powerful real-time communications and conversations between companies and their audiences—including customers, prospects, employees, and the local community. The bad news is that social media also raises expectations amongst those audiences, while creating distraction and noise that often makes it harder to be heard.
The result is many organizations do not use these channels effectively. The key point about a conversation is that it’s two way. It’s not a monologue of marketing or sales messages from a company to customers. And it’s not an opportunity to bombard them with information that doesn’t fit the audience.
More and more companies are using social media to engage with their customers, and they’re learning to listen effectively. However, they also need to bring back what they learn to the right groups in the organization to effect change. Too often this is still lip service.
For example, several months ago, I had a very negative experience with a major national retail chain. I tweeted about this and almost immediately received a response and apology from their Twitter customer care manager. The problem was they assured me I’d be hearing from headquarters soon to resolve the issue. Not only didn’t that happen, but the Twitter customer care manager moved on and left me hanging—a huge missed opportunity on their part, which is indicative of how much room there is for improvement.
Last year, I was at lunch with an extraordinary networker. Almost everyone passing our table would stop and say hello. I don’t think there was a single person in the restaurant who didn’t know her. It wasn’t superficial either. I watched with great respect for her ability to recall details of the person’s family. She would ask questions about health issues, about family members, about friends.
It’s no wonder that people call her for connections. Her list of friends seems to have no end.
“Language designed to impress builds a gulf. Language to express builds a bridge.” -Jim Rohn
Fast forward to a different day, a different scene, and a different person. This time I was observing a business meeting. One of the men had an incredible ability to build rapport. He was reaching people on an emotional level. His ability to quickly build trust was amazing. Two people would argue and he would synthesize the arguments and find common ground between them.
Both of these people are bridge builders. They are able to build connections with people. Because of that, they radiate positivity, success, and confidence.
Contrast this with people who are divisive and negative. They seem to repel people and not even know it. Instead of building bridges, they create gulfs. Many people say not to discuss politics or religion because the topics can be divisive. I have never followed this advice and find it easy to discuss sensitive topics. Why? Because I am genuinely interested in people’s beliefs and opinions. That’s how I learn. The key is to do it with respect and to borrow techniques from the world’s greatest bridge builders.
“Got it,” you think, “negative versus positive.” Not so fast.
Driving Others Away
Some people who build gulfs are actually unknowingly repelling people in a different way.