Tuesday, April 16. 2013
A competent sales manager wouldn't send a sales person out without making sure they understood what they were selling so why do companies set telemarketing loose on potential prospects without adequate briefing?
If you don't take the effort to write down the key lift statements, the needs you can address, propositions and success stories how can you expect good results? Writing up a telemarketing brief may be a pain but it’s critical to success!
Thursday, January 31. 2013
Do they think that salespeople should only be paid for doing something really tough? Do they think that the delivery and service team can sell to customers without help?
It’s always easier to sell new business into your existing accounts where there is credibility and an established relationship. So why make life harder than it needs to be to make the numbers?
Monday, December 10. 2012
Merry Christmas from Steve and David
Wednesday, September 12. 2012
Listening to Today on Radio 4 early this week was annoying, hearing intelligent, articulate people saying "how long will it be before the Olympic effect wears off and the usual cynicism kicks in?" with no audible signs of irony.
There is a time for British self-effacing humility, gentle national mockery and wry self-deprecation but now is definitely not that time. Markets and successful businesses thrive on positivity. In these tough times one thing is clear to those in the selling game, confidence, genuine confidence, in your product, your service, your team, yourself, is a winner.
We want to believe in better, if you don't feel confident about what you're selling why should your potential customer?
Friday, August 3. 2012
It never ceases to amaze, the number of sales folk who, almost without realising they're doing it, identify to their potential customers their main competition.
Invariably it's not who you'd expect, it's internal, it's group, it's finance, it's HR, it's procurement, it's the accounts department.
What signals do they think this message sends to their possible clients? "Hey, look, we all suffer from stifling bureaucracy don't we?"
Well, as a client I might just be looking for an organisation that can fix my problems, and if I hear that you can't get your accounts department to chase an invoice, I might just think you're not the problem solver for me.
It's summer now and maybe, as your clients queue up to get past the lone G4S chap on duty at the synchronised swimming, you should be applying your much vaunted selling skills to converting your colleagues, peers and those "whose job it is to help you succeed".
Persuading them that, like charity, client credibility starts at home.
Monday, June 18. 2012
We’re fed up with having to separate out plastic wrappers from paper to re-cycle stuff we didn’t want to get in the first place.
If only higher postal rates meant Royal Mail addressing its addiction to junk mail we would all be better off.
Thursday, April 12. 2012
Don’t miss the opportunity to step away from the coal-face for a few moments, take a little time out with someone you trust to ask the difficult questions that will point to how you can do better.
Or maybe you’ll just enjoy the sunshine now and have exactly the same problems next year.
Friday, January 20. 2012
Wednesday, December 14. 2011
With only a couple of weeks to go before Christmas (and the end of the quarter!) you may be thinking of sending out Christmas Cards. We hear of many firms that are just opting out...
It’s all “a bit of a pain really” and the Adara inbox is pinging with the repeated arrival of unremarkable e-xmas-cards. Perhaps it is is tempting to forget about it all and just concentrate on making the numbers.
What a shame! Everyone knows that making a sale to existing contacts is easier and more cost effective than breaking new ground, Everyone needs to build and strengthen relationships and this is one very clear opportunity to say
that you’re interested in clients, partners, suppliers, whoever. Turning the
handle and producing the same old formulaic “Seasonal greetings” card
will add little value, but make it personal, make it something that’s a
bit different and it will make an impact, so, why wouldn’t you?
Even better, tough times are here; they're not going away soon, resilient business relationships will be a survival factor, if a customer or contact matters to you, call them up and tell them so.
Thursday, November 17. 2011
Recently they had a particularly bad outage with all dedicated server and cloud-based users unable to access their systems or the service desk. Throughout this the 1&1 website clearly stated that the service was normal!
Despite the lessons from the ‘arab spring’ they just don’t understand that the power has moved to the people, their users immediately started to make the news themselves on the company’s Facebook page. An outage like this can be understood but their lack of honest communication in a world which now thrives on instant observation, feedback and comment is inexcusable and has done serious damage to their brand, their reputation.
Friday, October 14. 2011
Sometimes one makes a sales call, as I did this morning, and one comes away, (as I did this morning) with an agreed way forward, an expressed need and an ability to address it, agreement on costs, budgets and timescales and a clear and quantified understanding of the value to the business. But there was something missing, and I couldn't quite work out what, until I bumped into an old friend, who shook me by the hand, and looked me in the eye, and asked me how I was.
And suddenly I realised that despite the firm handshake, the agreeable coffee and the business-like discussion of my previous meeting, the man had never once looked me in the eye. Now, there may be valid reasons for this, I'm no oil painting, he might well be aware of my notorious hypnotism skills, but it drove home the fact that face-to-face, much of our communication is non-verbal, intuitive, and hard-wired. And now I'm by no means sure that I'm comfortable doing business with him or his company.
Watch out for the subtle signals, the ones you give, the ones you receive.
Sunday, August 14. 2011
Amongst all the revelations of the ‘just won’t lie down and die” News International story there’s one aspect that applies to most businesses, the folly of burying bad news, and hoping that no-one will ask the tough question.
Isn’t there a lesson for us, shooting messengers and supporting a ‘less than honest’ approach will inevitably, and quickly, build a culture where trust is missing?
Trust matters, customers will buy from those they trust, opportunities will be given to those who’ve proven worthy and a salesman who can’t be trusted to ask for help when it’s needed will put a business at risk.
Bad news needs to travel just as fast as good news, but it helps if it arrives with “and here’s how we can fix it!”
Tuesday, August 2. 2011
Synchronicity is splendid, I was struck by the happy alignment of a Question (my capital letter) which arose over a fine lunch and subsequent jam session with the brand guru and best selling Author (his capital letter) Scot Mckee and a subsequent conversation with a long-time chum who's now a very senior buyer for a monolithic US megacorp.
The Question was prompted by a shared dislike of the 'beauty parade' type of pitch to which both Scot and I have an aversion, an aversion best summed up as " you asked us to tell you how we can help you solve your problem, why do we first have to reassure you that we're somehow inferior to you?"
The Answer, or rather, the better buying approach, came into view when I was asked to identify why my procurement chum was very, very good at the buying thing, and it seemed to me to be down to two factors, she's worked for years with practicing consultants and thus spends a lot of time, firstly listening to people and secondly, actively looking for the ways she can help them, this translates into an informal but inevitable approach to any dialogue (notably sales calls) as a rare genuine example of the oft abused 'win-win' approach.
The increasing professionalism of corporate procurement functions has sometimes made for a mechanical and process-driven approach to the purchase of goods and services but the lack of dialogue and, dare I say it, humanity has resulted in the commonly held view amongst suppliers, (of things the business needs, remember) of the "Business prevention Manager".
My friend is valued, not for the fact that she negotiates really well priced deals, (although she does) but more for the longevity, amicability, lack of pain and lack of risk in the deals she makes.
We spend a lot of time helping sales and marketing folk to listen better... Maybe that's not where the biggest problem is?
Thursday, July 14. 2011
As a direct result of most of the country having 11 days off last May one of our clients lost 30% of that month’s business, this, unsurprisingly, had a major un-addressable impact on their financials.
There will always be holidays, public or private, but business doesn’t have to come to a standstill. We’ve now got six weeks of holidays in prospect but not everyone will be away at the same time (unlike May) so it’s vital to keep the pressure up.
There’s a long-help and popular belief that you don’t do any lead generation in July and August as everyone is on holiday.
Tosh! They don’t all go away, it just changes, maybe a different approach, a staggered contact plan, a different call to action, maybe a few less calls but often ones of better quality.
Don’t let vacations vandalise your value