One of my newer clients has asked me to help coach someone that is new to a selling role. This individual is very bright, seasoned and articulate. His role in the past was more of a technical problem solver and he was successful in this job. He asked binary type questions and received binary type answers to quickly get to the root cause of the problem and suggest a potential solution.
A sales role is a little bit different because you want to take the time to understand the nuances of the situation to reach a buying decision. My mentee’s specific concern was identifying the real decision maker.
We reviewed this topic during a role play. We used a script to guide the discussion. It is extemporaneous not a rote template or process that needs full completion. Open ended questions work best. One must ask leading low trust level type questions before the prospect will respond to higher trust level questions. it is important obtain this information using voice not written communication e.g. text, e-mail so you can go off script and get deeper into a conversation.
My mentee would straight out ask if the contact, usually a Purchasing Agent, was the final decision maker and of course he received a reassuring positive response. He then respectfully devoted his full attention to that person because they were the decision maker. This worked great until decision time came and the PA replied that he had to “run the decision up the ladder.” My mentee then realized that he was back to square one and needed to rerun the pitch up the ladder again with no help from the original “decision maker.”
How could he have saved time and avoided this unfortunate situation?
Taking on a new role, particularly one in sales can be exhilarating and challenging. Having a role play is a great way to save time and improve your performance. You need to dive in. Do you want to have a free fifteen-minute role play? Sign up on my web site or contact me directly by phone.
It is the fourth quarter and you want to make sure you hit your annual plan. Look back at some tips from 2017 on planning 4Q activities: https://www.jimthomasintl.com/blog/archives/11-2017
I recently participated on a panel at my alma mater. We, the panelists, were complimented by some audience members that we were great extemporaneous speakers. I, for one, was not that great.
We were just led by a great moderator who prepared us well for the discussion. The goal of a panel discussion is to provide a forum for experts to relate experiences, favorable and unfavorable, for others going through similar business issues. Although the Tradewinds Council https://www.jimthomasintl.com/the-tradewinds-councilcopy.html is not a panel, there are common themes we use. Moderators or facilitators with subject matter expertise lead discussions in a structured and planned methodology but are not entirely scripted. A more lively and free flowing discussion ensues when the panelists are comfortable with some preparation and structure. The key is to engage the panelists early on so that they are at ease when they receive questions and comments from the audience.
The best moderators:
The best panelists:
Do you want to have a free fifteen minute discussion so we can discuss an upcoming panel discussion? Sign up on my web site http://www.jimthomasintl.com/ or contact me directly by phone.