Forget Selling: 12 Principles of Influence and Persuasion in Sales, Leadership, and Life

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After all that minute micromanagement, the team could still end up with a disaster! So the right question to ask on sales management is this: Am I supporting my team to become independent and self-driven? Or am I just supervising?


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It's management by support that can guarantee long term sustainable sales success. Picture this: Your sales pitch was mouthwatering. Customer just loves your proposal. And the Customer's wallet seems locked.

What do you do now? Here's a possible strategy. Facing price resistance? Here's a possible answer. Present price positively. Be sincere and truthful but don't miss highlighting positive aspects of your price. How do you do that?

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Use positive language. Chunk the price to a smaller number, showing benefits in usage. One good idea is to spend time in groups where your prospects are. Here are 3 more. Within a social media platform, people can be hard to find. So, spending time in the groups where your Customers are, is a smart idea. Otherwise, you could risk missing your Customers. Here are 3 more ideas for prospect spotting : 1 Follow companies reported to be evaluating your product line 2 Post content likely to be helpful in procurement decisions and 3 Become active in online interactions with key decision makers and influencers.

Go ahead, discover the power of the digital marketplace! In the Trojan Horse story, Greeks pretend to abandon war on Troy leaving a wooden horse behind.

Persuasion

Trojans take it as a trophy. Greeks hiding inside defeat Troy. That complex deal you just bagged, is it a gift or a Trojan horse? Large deals usually involve complex business relationships in pre-sale, sale and post-sale phases. So, they need to be carefully assessed in advance for the sales effort and resources needed. Large, complex deals have 2 dimensions — a The Selling Dimension where the sales situation could be anywhere between monopoly, captive sales to intense, white-hot competition b The Problem Solving Dimension, which can range from offering plain vanilla solutions to specially crafted, tailor made solutions.

In any large deal, you should study competition-intensity to appreciate likely impact on pricing and offer terms.

How to persuade without pressure

Then you must understand solution complexity to get clues on the organisational resources required for the deal. Studying these 2 dimensions can help you decide whether the deal is a gift or a Trojan horse! Did you check that drill before starting work? That can save you loads of time and help you do a perfect job. This works for sales as well. Here are 3 sales areas to plan ahead. Make a habit of planning ahead in all 3. Area 1 - Sales Talk: Or exchanges between a Customer and salesperson leading to an action or a reaction. If you plan Sales Talk well, you can comfortably generate and influence a need, and get better conversions.

And all your Customer contacts will become way more efficient. Area 2 - Strategy: There can be 2 types of preparation here. One is to improve the way you work with each customer especially large ones for better success. Area 3 - Total planning: - How balanced are you in giving attention to all activities required to achieve the above. He was big, bad, crafty. He set his eyes on a little white lamb' And then? From 'once upon a time' to 'happily ever after', all well-told tales follow a structure. There is context, conflict, rising action and resolution.

This makes the story memorable. Sales presentations need a structure too. Specially those made to a buyer group. Of course your structure must suit your objective. But a helpful general structure could be: Buyer's brief Or situation as you understand it Customer's needs Or how you view them How your proposal will meet the situation and needs Why you Seller's Company Questions Next steps. Offer a preview of this structure. It generates anticipation, like a movie trailer. Plus sharing structure upfront preempts questions till you are ready to take them.

So, next time you present to a buyer group, add structure and preview.

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Magic will happen. Guaranteed Selling is Beautiful! Will you reach for a second slice? We know, you will, if you close your eyes in ecstasy after the first bite. Does that give you a clue into whether or not your expected B2B rebuy will happen?

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Do you see these signs in your existing Customers? If you are spotting many or all of them, prospects are bright that the Customer will come back to you for rebuy. Ace of Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds. That gives you an almost unbeatable hand. Now if you want to be a sales winner, what's your Ace of Sales Skills? Each profession has its set of definitive skills.

For Sales, the core skill is Sales communication. Seemingly easy and simple skills. But actually rare to find, because they demand relentless practice. That's the direct impact of sales communication. No surprise, it is seen as the Ace of Sales Skills. And the good news is, sales communication skills are learnable! You are all set for a mountain trek. To collect medicinal herbs - Some in lower slopes and rare ones higher up.

If weather gets bad, you'll return with whatever you picked. Can you spot the sales-visit parallels in this? If your trek is to collect, say, 4 varieties of herbs at different altitudes, each collection is a stage in your mission.


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  7. We can call them Stage Goals. Ultimate goal is to collect all 4 varieties. If weather forces you to return mid-way, you will still have collected some varieties. Those are your Retreat Aims. A sales visit plan too, must similarly identify sequential events or Stage Goals to complete. If you encounter problems or resistance, your plan should have successively lower, yet acceptable objectives or Retreat Aims to achieve. For example, your aim for a visit is to close a sale via incremental Customer acceptances.

    Each acceptance is a stage goal. If sale can't be closed in one visit, some retreat aims can be: part order, trial order, approval, generating interest, re-tendering and so on. So, every sales visit must have one main aim, several stage goals and at least 3 retreat aims in order of priority.

    Then sales visits become as much fun as a mountain trek! What's your audacious sales goal for the year? Are you done, doing small deals? Feeling the hunger to hunt big and scale the summit? Here are some tips to help you in your climb. If you are looking to shift to a higher gear, start by converting large opportunities into orders. Large opportunities involve large volumes.

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    There might also be large margins at stake. It could also mean selling a strategic product or picking up a strategic client. You should make wise and appropriate use of all available resources.