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Book Review: SNAP Selling

December 12th, 2014

SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers. Konrath. Penguin Group. NY,NY 288 pp. $16.00

The audience that will benefit from SNAP Selling includes sales people, sales managers and sales enablement professionals. The author, Jill Konrath, takes a customer view emphasizing the three decisions that a buyer makes before they buy:

  1. Should I allow this sales person access?
  2. Why Initiate Change?
  3. What Resources? (What vendor can help us? & Why spend money?)

The book is organized by these three buyer decisions.  This review will present you with two real life situations and an application of SNAP selling between July 2014 and December 1, 2014.

Situation One: Busy Buyer

The first time I read about ‘the frazzled buyer’ it is the night before a meeting with a new account.  The next morning, I meet with a Manager who is extremely busy.   I get right to the point and We discuss “saving time and managing resources”. My style that day is ‘to the point’ and focused on her world. Leaving the account, I smile and make a mental decision to commit to full study of SNAP selling.

Situation Two: Opportunities are not closing fast enough

It is early in the fall of 2014, and my opportunities are clogged like the highways of a big city in drive time traffic! While reading SNAP selling, sales pick up. This view should not shock us because it is the sub-title of Jill’s Book is ‘Speed-Up Sales and Win More Business’.  I adapt to Jill’s suggestion to take my customer’s view.  Jill says to focus “on your customer’s most important challenges.” Then, I started looking in ‘the white spaces’ [1] p 157 and “closing the gap” with white boarding. [2]P172. The White Spaces are the parts of a company that are not on the organizational chart. By finding areas that the buyer is not aware of, the entire conversation changes. We can suggest change because we are working on their priorities. Now, with diagraming, we can challenge the status quo!{ Do you notice that I made a decision to change my attitudes and behaviors? This small decision started some new momentum! }

One critique is that the author inserts probing questions very late into SNAP Selling (page 226). The author does point out when and where to use the questions; the very placement of the material could lead a sales person to believe that qualification is not a priority.

Can SNAP selling help you? Will you invest your hard earned dollars and time? Do you see that you are no different than your own buyers; Ask yourself: Should I allow access? Why initiate change and what resources should we dedicate? I cannot answer these questions for you.   What I can tell you is that SNAP Selling will help you get a better understanding of your buyer’s business issues and probably speed up closure of the opportunities in your pipeline. The ISBN # is 978-1-59184-470-9. As you read it, I’d love to connect with you on linkedin.com (search Charlie Van Hecke) or at facebook/salestrainer4u.com.

Charlie Van Hecke

[1] SNAP Selling. Jill Konrath. Penguin. 2010

[2] SNAP Selling. Jill Konrath, Penguin. 2010

 

Is Gratitude One Key to Happiness?

November 26th, 2014

According to the Harvard Medical School: “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” {1} So what brings on thoughts and feelings of gratitude? I believe we must know who and what we value. Further, we need to ask ourselves internal questions to build an attitude of gratitude. Yes it rhymes and this helps and reminds. It is a matter of conditioning our minds to be grateful. The next question is ‘how do we allow our gratitude to manifest?’

Say Thank You!
‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.’ {2}Alice Walker

I once watched a young sales person skyrocket into management with two simple words: Thank You! She thanked her employees, her customers, her managers and everyone else. On the surface, it might appear that this is some sort of fake gimmick. Rather, she had come from humble beginnings. Her new job meant clothes, transportation and a sense of purpose. This example of extreme gratitude suggests that our outward behavior reflects our inner attitude.

Getting to this core feeling and intuition of deep, extreme gratitude may mean we need to remind ourselves of where we came from; who we love and the blessings that we have had in our lives. Do we love our freedom? Living in the shadow of Monticello, I am becoming aware of Human Rights.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” {3}Thomas Jefferson

I am not right because I am white. I am no better (and no worse) than you or anyone else. Equality suggests respect and I believe the best way to show that is to say Thank You to anyone who serves me. Tips also help. I AM grateful for America. It humbles me to have the parents I have and hope to God I can become more like them. I pray my heart can soften to the torment of others. Life can make us tough but it must not harden our hearts.

As we move into this Thanksgiving holiday in 2014, let’s make gratitude a habit. I believe it will make you healthier and wealthier. Saying Thank You will promote better relationships and a culture of respect. If I forgot to say this along the way, thank you. Thank you for your hard work and your contributions. Thank you for being a fellow American and for your service. Let us condition ourselves to appreciate others by counting our blessings daily. If you are healthy, then smile. If your family is safe then be grateful. If there is food on your plate, then appreciate it. Live. Be Free. Be Happy.

[1] http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/harvard_mental_health_letter/2011/november/in-praise-of-gratitude

[1] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/alice_walker.html

[1] http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

Book Review: The IT Sales Challenger Guide {ISBN # 9781495963889}

October 5th, 2014

This is a fantastic example of a sales process within a vertical market. What Neil MacArthur accomplishes in “The IT Sales Challenger Guide” is to identify stages of the sale where “teaching” and “tailoring” increase repeatable, profitable business growth.

There are nuggets in this brief strategic blueprint of how to sell Information Technology products and services in the financial industry:

– Policy and regulatory change can create teaching opportunities
– The suggestion that sales compensation be based on profit and not revenue
– The role of qualifying
– The use of the word ‘dialogue’ within the sales process to encourage tailoring

In conclusion, reading the IT Sales Challenger sparks ideas and reminds us that strategy promotes tactical planning. Companies that can guide the sales force with vertical market research may find that their sales people can teach and tailor to better meet customer demands. By identifying opportunities, training our sales teams and executing a plan, sales leaders can achieve repeatable success.

Are you ZENACIOUS?

March 4th, 2013

You may have heard of Zen and I bet you have heard of
tenacity, but have you heard about ZENACITY?

It is an awareness of the customer that surpasses normal
thoughts and feelings; a sixth sense. It is a perceptual field that triggers a
compulsion to go above and beyond; to excel. Tenacity without empathy is like peanut butter without jelly.  The peanut butter is good for you! We know it
is protein and it does taste good with a banana (try it!).

Zenacity is the process of merging empathy with tenacity that multiplies
inner awareness with outward energy.

Zenacity is the use of all senses to get the mind and body
focused on needs fulfillment.

Are you observing? Do you watch not just for
buying signals but for confusion?

Have you detected clues that others miss or
conducted deep research that gives you the competitive edge?

Are you listening?

Does your focus and concentration kick in when
others speak?

Do your questions and needs analysis uncover the causes behind
the issues?

Can you listen emotionally?

Are you mature and sensitive enough to pick up
on values, passion and topics that are charged with feeling?

Do you follow up? From probing with fervor to e-mailing
after a sales call, do you really believe in your dream of success? Do you stay
with the customer through all of their doubt and fickleness? Or, are you like
the majority that give up, go home and fade away?

Sometimes people buy because a product fills a need. Maybe
they buy because the price fits the budget or someone they knew was very
pleased with a company or service.
People most often buy from someone they like!

Buyers like sales people that understand their needs and who are reliable both before and AFTER the
sale.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. For them, the sale begins when they start using your product or service. The goal is complete satisfaction.

Zenacity means that it is your mission to develop heightened awareness and drive so that you facilitate customer satisfaction.

Are you ZENACIOUS?

 

 
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