Best Business Tips and Strategies information channel:
We would like to thank the local libraries, schools, and universities for recommending students
to visit us when doing research on any of our information topics.
Ever lost a sale you thought was in the bag? Not an unfamiliar feeling for many businesses large and small. No matter how good you think your product or service is, everything finally boils down to your ability to convince others that it is good for them. It is all about getting the decision makers who matter to say "Yes".
In major sales the whole approach is fundamentally different to small scale selling and requires a very different set of skills and techniques. Being competent in the small, simple sale is no guarantee of success in larger scale selling. The traditional techniques and "tricks of the trade" such as closing don't seem to work in quite the same way in the more complex large scale sale. They are replaced by precise planning, information gathering and behavioral skills that build trust in the minds of the decision makers. Fundamental to this is the development of a detailed understanding of how decisions are made in your target customer and who the key players are.
So what constitutes a major sale? For most businesses they have a number of characteristics:
1. A lengthy sales cycle. This can vary from a few days to a few months or more depending on the industry.
2. Multiple decision makers. Any decision becomes complex as soon as more than one person is involved in making it. Understanding who these people are and their role in the process is vital if you are to improve your chances of success.
3. High potential value/importance. This varies from business to business. If your turnover is £250k an opportunity worth £10k might be considered very important. If your turnover is £50m it might not.
4. Time consuming and costly to pursue. If the business is worth winning it is worth investing the time, money and effort that is required. However, because major sales can be time consuming and costly it is vital to identify those opportunities that are worth pursuing i.e. those that you have a chance of winning. If you adopt the lottery ticket approach and pursue every opportunity you will simply dilute your resources to the extent that you don't have enough left to win the business you really want.
5. Competition. The sale immediately becomes more complicated when the buying organization has a number of options. For example, in a bid/proposal scenario you could be up against a number of competitors. How you go about managing the sale can have a huge effect on the potential outcome. Additionally, never forget the hidden competitor - the "do nothing" option for the customer/client.
It is clear that in major sales there is a need for a simple, structured approach that maximizes your chances of success. By their very nature major sales are too important to be left to chance. Despite this very few businesses seem to have a robust approach in place and every new opportunity is greeted either with unfounded optimism or utter panic.
So what is required?
Step 1: Before you even begin it is important that you decide whether the opportunity is worth pursuing or not. If you haven't already got selection criteria in place to help you to decide don't delay any further. Get your key colleagues together and agree what the selection criteria should be. If you want a generic "Go/No Go" checklist visit our website at www.fieldofdreams.uk.com where you can download one for free. You should then tailor this so that it reflects your business and its' unique requirements.
Step 2: Identify the people in your target customer who are going to influence/make the decision and ensure you have the right people (skills and personalities) to deal with them. It would be helpful at this stage to have unlimited talent available but I accept that this is most unlikely! However, you should ask yourself "Do I have the team in place that can realistically be expected to win this piece of business?" If the answer is "No" you should revue your decision to pursue the opportunity.
Step 3: The Customer Contact Meetings. There are three activities that are encompassed within the Customer Contact Meetings:
i. Covering the Bases - this is all about ensuring you have identified all the people at your target customer who are going to have an input into the decision and then ensuring they are contacted by an appropriate member of your team
ii. Understanding customer needs - ok, I know this is obvious and no-one would seriously try to sell anything without understanding their customer's needs would they? At this stage it is vital to recognize that there are two groups of needs that should be understood and addressed:
a) The corporate need. This is the detailed understanding of the business needs that require addressing and how they can be best approached.
b) Personal needs. "Businesses don't make decisions - people do". What are the personal needs of the individuals that make up the decision-making team? Understanding and addressing these can be crucial in coming up with a winning proposal.
iii. Testing out potential solutions/propositions. Assuming the process includes a formal proposal document and/or a presentation, there is a temptation to store up your solutions/propositions in order to deliver an exciting proposal. This is the "rabbit out of the hat" approach. It is based on the assumption that the decision making team will be somehow impressed by all of this and that it will provide you with some sort of advantage over the competition. All too often it has precisely the opposite effect, with solutions presented that are simply unacceptable, or that have already been looked at and ruled out.
Given that this is likely to be the case, it is increasingly important that we constantly consider and discuss potential solutions with the customer/client. In this way we will be able to develop and hone our overall proposition to address the real needs, rather than those we have assumed exist. Additionally, it allows us to demonstrate our competence on an on-going basis.
Step 4: Your Proposal. You've done your Customer Contact Meetings. Now make sure that your proposal reflects the needs that your client expressed during those meetings and the solutions you have tested with them. Don't let it read like a solution you just picked off the shelf. The proposal should clearly demonstrate that:
a. you have understood the key issues that the business faces
b. you have clear solutions as to how those issues can be addressed
c. you can demonstrate the benefits the target will enjoy as a result of your solutions
d. you can demonstrate your competence in these areas
e. Be concise. If you're in a competitive situation and you turn in a short proposal, that's the one that's likely to be read first, which means that all others will be judged against it.
Step 5: The Presentation. Some major sales culminate with a proposal and/or a presentation. Whilst this article is not about presentations per se, you will not need reminding that some people would rather die than give a presentation. These are not the best people to choose to present your proposal. I take the view that in many situations the decision as to who is getting the business has often been made by the time the presentation arises. Under these circumstances the presentation becomes not the opportunity to win the business but the opportunity to lose it. The three key rules for effective presentations are - rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. If you are not comfortable presenting you may need help - go and get some! You cannot afford to fail at this late stage.
Step 6: The Follow Up: Once you have presented your proposal document and/or your presentation the question is "What next?" You could sit back, congratulate yourself on a job well done and hope for the best. A more proactive approach is usually the best. Someone should contact the customer and make sure they have everything they need in order to be able to make an informed decision.
Step 7: Process Review: Win or lose, it is important that lessons are learned from the experience. The whole team should get together for a de-brief as well as an appointment being made with the target customer to understand how well/badly you performed in key areas. Why did you win/lose the business? What were the key issues? What did our competitors do that we didn't? What could we do better next time? Ideally, put together a question checklist of the things it would be helpful for you to know and develop this list over time. Success is a continuous process of learning - this is a good opportunity.
Winning new business is the lifeblood of any B2B organization and yet many simply do not give this absolutely fundamental area of their business sufficient thought and consideration. Business winning skill is critical to a company's on-going success. If the skills and processes are not in place in your business you could pay the ultimate price.
Ten Ways to Manage a Rapidly Growing Business
While some new business owners face the issue of not enough customers, others face the issue of too many customers/clients. Both are serious issues and must be dealt with carefully.
Top Ten Listening Skills for Speakers
Good Speakers need good listening skills to become Great Communicators. Speakers spend a lot of time developing speaking skills and often don't focus enough on the equally important communication skill of listening. As a Speaker trained in the art of listening I have put together the tips below.
Seven Keys to Get Out of a Rut
Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way of life that has become uninteresting and tiresome..
Performance-Stress-Motivation: 7 Sanity Saving Business Boundaries
The lack of strong boundaries is one of the chief causes of stress, overwork and overwhelm in the business environment. What are Boundaries? Clearly set boundaries help other people to understand how you want to be treated.
7 Ways To Get One-way Links To Your Site
One way links will help you gain better rankings in the major search engines. Here are 7 ways to get them :1.
Ten Tips for Working at Home
1. Maintain regular working hours and stick to them.
Top Seven Questions for Starting Projects More Effectively
We all are project managers. Some of us manage projects like vacations or reunions, while others run implementations of new software systems, consolidation divisions of companies, launch new products, or build buildings.
Business Meeting Etiquette
Business etiquette is essentially about building relationships with colleagues, clients or customers. In the business world, it is these people that can influence your success or failure.
10 Reasons to Use Online Banking
With today's technology and people's need for more information it is no wonder that online banking is growing as one of the most popular uses of the internet. Here we have listed the 10 biggest benefits to start using online banking.
How To Make Money With Your Junk Mail
The term "junk mail" is a well-known term. To the common guy or gal on the street, "junk mail" to them is advertising flyers from the local grocery store and pizza shop that arrive in their mail every day.
Top 7 Business Tips For Small Business Starters For Online Business
1.) Brainstorming for an idea - You must select what interests you in any field and put together 5 to 7 possible ideas that seem viable as a source of income.
Top 10 Steps to Build Your Professional Practice Now!
1. Examine everything in your office from the view of a new client! If necessary, spruce it up.
The Hidden Power Of Understanding: A Secret To Building Massive Momentum In Your Business
You're busy with your business today, aren't you? You're pushing your mind and body to the limit just about everyday to handle all the activities that need to be done. But something's missing.
10 Things To Do When Business Slows Down Over The Holidays
I'm sure you've seen it happen every year: your business slows down during predictable times, like the summer vacation months or year-end holidays. For the self-employed who rely upon steady cash flow, this can be a disconcerting time.
Ten Tips For Staying Connected While Working Alone
Ten Tips for Staying Connected. Many of my business clients tell me that what they missed most when they started their businesses was the camaraderie of an office setting. Small businesses often start with the owner as the only employee.
Ten Tips For Starting A New Job
1. Get to know people.
10 Dos and Don'ts Of Customer Services
Email etiquette is the key to help calm down anxious and impatient customers. People assume that once they press the "send" button that we will get everything sorted out in an instant! Of course we all know that this is not an accurate representation of how things work.
The Top Ten Ways to Stop Procrastinating Now
10. Procrastination Condemnation - Lose the Labels! All those things you call yourself, such as lazy, scattered, disorganized, not good enough, incompetent, or stupid, for example, aren't helping you get things done, are they? You've learned to believe them, and you think they've become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Top Seven Reasons to Publicize your Business with Articles
Do you want to be #1-10 on Google and other search engines? Do you want quadruple your Web sales in five months? Promote your business to the top with these 7 reasons to write and submit how-to articles. 1.
The Warning signs of Online Fraud and How To Avoid It
The number may seem grim for Web-based commerce. In 2004 in the Unites States alone, computer users logged in more than 207,000 Internet fraud reports to the U.
Akron City Directory
© 2012 - 2020 All Rights Reserved