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Add Value, not Tax!

Once, I was pretty late into an Account. The deal was almost signed when I entered.

Can’t change it.

But I did the unusual.

I didn’t walk away.

Instead, kept in touch. Shared some interesting anecdotes from other customers.

Over time, I became the most trusted advisor.

The customer wouldn’t buy anything without consulting me.

He called me one day & reminded me about what I had told him months before about how a particular solution can save them money & time. I had almost forgotten about it.

The rest is history.

I closed that deal.

I even sat in discussion with their ISP, negotiated a good deal for them.

Implemented the solution. Customer realized ROI in no time.

It was a feather in the cap for him internally.

My learning:

1. Never underestimate the potential of any customer.

2. Just because you lost a deal, it doesn’t mean you will not win any future deals.

3. You can’t win without playing the game.

4. If you add value, you will win.

5. Show up everyday, deal or no deal.

6. Keep rocking, be energetic, smile always. They will like you if you do.

#HappySelling

#b2b #changethegame #scienceofsales #prospecting #sales #underdog #marketing #ABM #rapport

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Conversation Starters!

How are you?

That’s weird & not what you should be asking your prospects or customers.

It doesn’t mean anything. Certainly not a conversation starter.

For you to have a fruitful discussion over phone or in person, you need to engage your customer in a way that sparks his or her interest.

If you understand their business & the person, you will readily have a range of things to speak about.

Some ideas:

  1. Innovations in their domain
  2. Pet projects they are working on
  3. What they truly care about
  4. Ask, what they are working on right now, in a non-intrusive way
  5. Milestones reached by them
  6. Their Products/Services
  7. Their People
  8. Their Work culture
  9. Their CEO
  10. Their campaigns & all the noise they are making in the marketplace

You got it.

It’s out and out their Story, their Show and your love for their Company.

Get them talking.

You shouldn’t be talking.

You just listen. And. Take. Notes. In your Mind.

#HappySelling

#b2b #sales #enterprisesales #business #changethegame #conversationstarter #engage #people #customers #prospects

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Optimism can win business!!

Little bit of negativity is enough to spoil.

Imagine two glasses, half-full, one with water & another with coffee.

Take one spoon of water & mix it into coffee.

You don’t see any difference.

Keep mixing spoons of water into coffee.

At one point, you will see that the coffee has become transparent.

Now, do the reverse with two fresh glasses of water & coffee.

Take one spoon of coffee & mix it into water.

What do you see now?

You are right. You are able to see the difference immediately.

#Negativity is like that. A little bit is sufficient to spoil the show.

Whereas, #Positivity takes time to show results.

In our interactions with our Clients, we should always be optimistic even though it takes time to show results.

Every interaction can translate into Sales if we have the right attitude & perseverance. I am assuming, product fit is present & the lead is qualified.

Post qualification, optimism & energy can win you business.

Thanks to Peggy McColl for the story.

#HappySelling

#b2b #changethegame #business #optimism #entrepreneurship

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Track your competition!

Those were the days I was hungry for leads.

I used to trouble my tech support guys for leads.

Not a good lead source, you say. Hang on.

One such day, my tech support guy said “go to xyz [name of a place]” unable to bear my pestering.

Not knowing where to go, I knocked on all doors & accidentally found a training institute & met few people. Left my cards with every other department where I couldn’t meet anyone.

Two days later, the unimaginable happened.

I got a call.

Rest is history.

That turned out to be a very big order for many software for multi location.

My colleague had been in touch with his ex-colleague & friend. He casually heard him say that he had been to that place but didn’t tell him the client name.

I found it out.

Later, I asked my colleague how did he get that lead. That’s when he told me about his conversation with his ex-colleague.

This story helps me work with optimism till date.

Takeaways:

  1. Follow your competitors, if you cannot be there before they do.
  2. Be optimistic.
  3. Ask your colleagues, if you are stuck somewhere.
  4. Be at the right place at the right time. If you cannot be early, that is.
  5. Highlight your strengths.
  6. Allow the buyer to contact you & help them make it their decision to choose you. This is very important.

#HappySelling

#b2b #changethegame #sales #marketing #leads #business #leadgeneration #competition

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Copy the kids!

“Get up, Son!” called out a mom.

“It is getting late for School, Son”, she said.

You have to take bath, say your prayers, eat breakfast. Get up!

I don’t like to go to School, mom.

Why dear?

Nobody likes me there. My teachers don’t like me. Students don’t like me too.

I understand son. But then you have to go to School.

When you are the Principal, everyone will be waiting for your orders and hence you cannot bunk school.

I can hear you say “that was a good one”.

It is essential for us adults to copy the kids. Kids have abundant energy and drive. Why shouldn’t we have them too?

It’s in our minds.

Let’s get back to our childhood.

And get back our phenomenal energy & drive.

Happy Kidding!

Happy Selling!!

#sales #b2b #marketing #leadershiplessons

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Rediscovering the “Art” of Prospecting!

John Barrows & M. Jeffrey Hoffman conducted the webinar “John Barrows Goes Back to School: Rediscovering the “Art” of #Prospecting” yesterday or today [depending on where you live :)].

I enjoyed it thoroughly. What an energy & insight. Learnt about “Why you? Why you now?” technique to turn cold calls and cold emails to hot ones. How to get them to call you back?

It is important to connect with the C level but start from bottom. Bottom-up approach. That Fedex story is going to stay with me forever.

My takeaways:

1. Fake it to yourself until you actually make it.

2. Connecting with the non-buyer first to learn something that you can use when you have the live conversation with the buyer.

3. Prefer live conversations with a non-buyer over email interaction with a buyer. [more relevant now, when all of us are getting thousands of emails]

4. Look for triggers while prospecting.

5. Energy and enthusiasm are important in Sales.

6. Keep yourself busy always.

7. Do not jump on the inbound leads at once. Give it some time before you do that.

8. Do not use all that you have learnt in an MBA when you interact with the C Level.

9. Have the maturity to walk out of a deal early if there is no fit.

10. During discovery & prospecting call, disqualify more than you qualify.

#Happyselling #b2b #sales #salesprocess #changethegame

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Networking in Sales!

That was Year 1996.

I had just then started selling to Corporate. Until then, I was selling to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Selling to corporate called for lot more skills than selling to entrepreneurs & small businesses.

Networking skill is one of them.

We didn’t have #LinkedIn then.

I was hanging out where my clients met.

Road shows, seminars, conferences, product launches, workshops and any event where the corporate was in full attendance.

In most cases, the event would be conducted by our Principals – Microsoft, Oracle, IBM etc. We used to get a stall outside the hall to showcase our solutions.

Do you know how and when I met my clients?

During tea breaks and lunch time.

I sacrificed my lunch to go around and meet people. When they were having their lunch.

It used to pay off.

I would introduce myself. Exchange business cards. Would ask them if they are looking for some help.

I then promise to visit them soon and talk further. They’ll agree.

If there were 2000 people in attendance, I would have met at least 40 customers. That was just 2%.

But I have 40 contacts now.

I would start my outreach immediately after the event.

I provided value to my prospects before they bought anything. And I provided more value after the sale.

Coming back to networking, I networked not just with prospects and customers but also with competitors, partners and principals. Literally, anyone in the Eco-system.

I would know about the purchase of Air Conditioners by my prospect through the AC vendors, even though I was selling only Software.

All those strategies apply these days as well. On LinkedIn as well as otherwise also.

Stay tuned for more stories.

Happy Selling!!

#sales #customers #prospects #networking #skills

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How to make friends instantaneously?

My better half & I had been to a hospital recently. Ok, don’t panic. Nothing related to the pandemic. Far from it. We were waiting in the reception for some tests and watching everything roll by.

There was a tiny cafe tucked in one corner of the reception. A doctor walked up and asked for a “kashayam” and kept asking “is it ready” every now & then. “Kashayam” is nothing but a herbal drink. We Indians [that includes our Doctors too] strongly believe that our traditional herbs will help us build up our immunity.

Another doctor who just then walked in, saw this and was curious what it was. The first doctor said what it was and advised him to take it as well. The second doctor asked jokingly if he would survive taking it. He asked the cafe staff for its contents, in a typical medical style. They showed him a list on a mobile phone. Convinced, he ordered one drink for himself.

He got his drink and walked up to the reception counter and told his staff jokingly that he had not had “kashayam” after his childhood and asked the ladies there to take a photo of himself, on his mobile phone, to capture his first reactions sipping the herbal drink. They did. And he said “not bad” after tasting the drink.

He then looked at his photo, laughed & said “my face looks crumpled”. He promised to post it as his status. Then he walked up to me, a complete stranger, showed his photo on his phone & smiled. I got up and said it was looking great.

All this while, my wife and I were smiling & laughing looking at his antics. The Doctor & I became friends in a split second. He advised me to have the drink as well.

When you like someone they like you back as well. Thanks to Vanessa Van Edwards for that learning.

In #Sales, we should use #humour to make friends with our #customers and #prospects. We should do it subtly. The relationship will stay strong for the rest of our lives. I have experienced it.

How are your numbers looking up for the month? Forget the #numbers for a while, use humour and build up strong #relationships now.

Three cheers to you in advance for building up Strong Relationships!

Happy Selling!!

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Startups know how to use time wisely!

3:55 pm is your appointment. Be specific. Ms.Jules has another meeting at 4 pm.

That was a scene from the movie “The Intern”.

The movie captures the #startup scene quite well.

Among all that,

  1. The #speed with which the entire team operates,
  2. The founder getting into customer service calls,
  3. The founder taking special efforts to ensure that a customer, a would-be bride, receives her dress on time in an impeccable manner,
  4. The founder visiting the warehouse and teaching the staff how to pack the stuff after ordering an item from the company herself &
  5. Congratulating someone in the team by ringing a bell when he/she achieves some milestone

are some of the great moments to learn from.

A lesson in #customerexperience #timemanagement

And if there is one difference between startups and big businesses, then this is that: Startups know how to use their time effectively and they don’t do long meetings. Decisions are taken on the fly. People are empowered to take decisions.

In contrast, when we want to reach someone in big businesses, you always hear that they are in a meeting.

Let us pledge to use #time effectively.

Happy Selling!!

#happyselling #b2b #changethegame #sales #marketing #customerservice

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Heard of these cutting-edge tech startups?

They are all #hiring.

  1. Algolia – https://www.algolia.com/ – Search as a Service
  2. ASAPP – https://www.asapp.com/ – Create better customer experiences
  3. BigID – https://bigid.com/ – Data Discovery, Privacy & Protection
  4. Dialpad – https://www.dialpad.com/ – Business VoIP
  5. Frame.io – https://frame.io/ – Video Collaboration Platform
  6. Gong – https://www.gong.io/ – Revenue Intelligence for Teams
  7. Loom – https://www.loom.com/ – Video Messaging for Work
  8. Sendbird – https://sendbird.com/ – Chat Platform
  9. Tray.io – https://tray.io/ – General Automation Platform for Business
  10. Webflow – https://webflow.com/ – Responsive Web Design Tool, CMS

Try to use these tools for improving your marketing & sales effectiveness and also improving your customer experiences.

You can also use this list as Sales leads.

#sales #marketing #customerexperience

Happy Selling!!

#customerexperience #CustomerExperiencetools #Cuttingedgetech #Marketingtools #Salestools #Startups #happyselling #b2b #changethegame #b2bsales #newtech #fundedcompanies #hiring #jobs #cx #marketingautomation #saleseffectiveness #gong #bigid #datadiscovery #leadgen #leadgeneration