Tag Archives: sales strategy

Webinar Wed. Aug 10 12 pm: Avoiding the “So What” Response in a Sales Situation


Webinar Recording:

Avoiding the “So What” Responose in a Sales Situation

Open Discussion Forum on Consultative Selling

Panelists: Julie Fraser, Cambashi and Rick Albrecht, Dynatech Control Solutions

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:00 pm EST

How many times have you eagerly told a prospect about your products only to have them say, “So what?” Everyone wants to avoid that wet blanket during a sales call. This will be an open discussion forum about consultative selling, also sometimes called solution selling. The concept is to ask what they want rather than telling them what you’ve got. This requires a concerted effort on the part of the salespeople, but also the marketing and sales readiness or training teams.

How is it going for you?

Please come and share what is working for you, what you have learned, and in a safe environment, also discuss what the challenges and frustrations are.

Register Today

About the Presenters

Rick Albrecht – Sales Engineer, Dynatech Control Solutions

Rick Albrecht is a Certified Sales Professional with 20 years in instrument sales and service, system integration and project management. He is an ISA Senior member, currently serving on the Executive Board. He is currently a Sales Engineer for DynaTech Control Solutions, a representative and distributor of high quality instrumentation for measurement and control of flow, level, pressure, temperature, chemical process, water & wastewater. Rick is an avid mountain climber and volunteers for not only ISA, but also the Boy Scouts of America.

Julie Fraser – President & Principal Industry Analyst, Cambashi Inc.

Julie has 25 years experience as a manufacturing systems industry advisor, marketer, speaker and consultant. She is one of the world’s leading authorities on production plant software or MES. Fraser is President of US operations for Cambashi. Prior to joining Cambashi, Fraser ran the manufacturing applications focused analyst firm Industry Directions, and was VP Marketing for Baan Supply Chain Solutions, Senior Analyst on Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Integration at AMR, and editor-in-chief of the CIM Strategies newsletter. Fraser writes a regular column for Managing Automation magazine, and is quoted frequently in other publications.

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Building Detailed Marketing Profiles to Drive Better Sales

Scott Sommer and I gave this presentation during the Summit on Thursday afternoon. We had a blast, and enjoyed the interaction we had with the audience. We reviewed a process in which you can begin to think about building more useful information

in your customer profiles such as behavioral information, more qualitative and quantitative details that go beyond our traditional demographics of geography, product type, customer type, industry, etc.. I walked the audience through a campaign example that showed how marketers can use that profile data within a variable data campaign that let’s you customize communications to make a stronger impact. At this point, Scott took the floor and went through the process of what happens when a sales person is at the door of someone who potentially received a “marketing campaign”. He shared some big assumptions that can thwart any good door opening opportunity, and outlined how sales can effectively amplify the messages being shared to increase the resonance. Fortunately, you can see Scott’s presentation below, but my portion of the presentation had some technical difficulties and was not captured in this download.

Let us know your thoughts, do you agree? Disagree?

Check out our Slides on Slideshare:

Watch Scott’s portion of the presentation:

Watch live streaming video from marketingandsalessummit at livestream.com
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Planting Seeds: Moving Closer to A Sale

This is a guest post written by Scott Sommer, PA, CAP, who is an Automation Technology Manager at Jacobs Engineering Group and a business development and sales guru in the automation industry.  Scott shares his thoughts on sales follow up activities, and how to move closer to a sale.

In a time not so long ago, sales people used to knock on doors, selling everything from encyclopedias to brushes to vacuum cleaners.  Perhaps you are too young to remember those days, but the key to their success was often not the timing of the sales call, but the effectiveness of the follow-up to the initial contact.  Most sales were made during the subsequent visit, after the potential client had a chance to look over the brochure, or try the product for 7 days, or view the samples.

In the “old days”, timing was paramount.  Don’t disrupt meals.  Avoid “high-traffic” times, like right after school.  Even though the times have changed, the need for good timing has not.   In the “modern” scenario, calling on someone as they first walk into the office in the morning, or during lunch time, or at the end of the day should be avoided.  The temptation is to “catch them when you know they are in the office”, but this can back-fire if the interruption to the day is viewed as an annoyance.  Make your follow-up call strategy less of a sales pitch and more of a conversation.  Taking your client to lunch makes that “interruption” in their schedule enjoyable.  Even a well-placed voice mail during those hours when your client is likely to not be able to take your call is not only non-intrusive; it can give you the opportunity to “plant a seed”.

It would be wonderful if the first follow-up after the initial sales call always yielded a sale.  It most often will not.  But every contact should encourage the client to move closer to the sale.  So the intent of the follow-up call is not to scratch out an order (if that happens, it is a bonus!).  The intent is to continue planting seeds.  Give the client something they can think about that would help them identify your product with a solution to their needs.  Perhaps it is an email with an article that highlights how others in their industry found real, tangible benefit from implementing your product.  That will open the door for a follow-up conversation about how the product could do the same for them.  Or perhaps a phone call to invite them to a free ½-day educational seminar which presents the technology your product employs.  Engineers love to receive technical manuals, application data, and sizing software.  Seeds, one at a time, planted subtly, can lay the foundation of a winning follow-up strategy.

Every follow-up contact should give the client something of value that moves them closer to a sale.  Follow-up should be a regular part of your sales strategy.  Ask your client how often he should follow-up if there is not an immediate need for your product.  Engaging the client to help set a mutually-agreeable follow-up schedule helps establish a relationship.  Take clues from your client.  If you sense they are being annoyed with weekly follow-up calls, then they probably are annoyed.  Back off to monthly calls or try other forms of contact, such as the ones given above.  Gauge each contact by keeping a journal of how the client responds.  Remember, each contact should move them closer to a sale.  If you don’t sense movement in that direction, try something else.

Finally, use follow-up contacts to help separate those clients who will probably never buy from you from those that have possibility.  There is only so much time in the day, and sales energies must be spent on those clients who are likely to buy, now, or in the future.  Use a follow-up strategy to know when to walk away.

Follow-up must be an integral part of your sales strategy.   To get you started, the first follow-up after an initial client visit should always include a simple Thank You for the time they took to meet with you.  The rest is up to you.  Tailor the strategy to your industry and client base.  Plant seeds, and watch them grow.  Happy selling!

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Marketing Strategies That Enable Sales Force Success (2008)

Juliann Grant of Telesian Technology and Scott Sommer of Jacobs Engineering discuss pre and post-sales strategies that build a bridge between marketing and sales. This presentation was delivered at the 3rd Annual Marketing and Sales Summit in 2008.

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