December 2014 | Click links (>>) below to read articles
  • The Best 15 Minutes Of Every Selling Day by Jim Meisenheimer >>
  • Ever Have to do a C-Suite Presentation...on short notice? by Michael Nick >>



The Best 15 Minutes of Every Selling Day
by Jim Meisenheimer

Here it is plain and simple, short and sweet. Another example of Selling made simple.

Imagine you are working with your sales manager and as you recap the daily schedule for him, he asks one or more of these questions.

=> What's the purpose of the sales call?
=> What do you want to accomplish here today?
=> Why are we making this call?
=> What's the reason for the call?
=> What's the primary sales objective for this sales call?

How would you respond? Would your response include vague and general comments such as:

=>> to make a sale
=>> to introduce a product
=>> to demonstrate a product
=>> to do a review
=>> to find out about the customer's needs

Or would you respond with very specific sales call objectives that are so specific they could pass through an eye of a needle? There are several key advantages to preparing specific sales call objectives for every sales call.

But first, when should you plan these objectives? There's no one good time; however, the best planners always try to set aside the same time each day to map out their sales call objectives and strategies.

You may want to devote fifteen minutes at the end of each day preparing the objectives for the next day. Some reps prefer to do it the evening before, and still others like to do it early in the morning.

How specific should you be when planning your sales call objectives? Consider this: how specific would you want to be if you knew there was a very high correlation between specific objectives and desired results. When you plan exactly what you want to achieve during the sales call, you become incredibly focused and so does the customer.

Here are five reasons why you should spend at least fifteen minutes every day planning specific sales call objectives.

1. You'll achieve "definition of purpose."
2. The objectives will direct and guide you during the sales call.
3. The customer will know why you're there.
4. Your focused efforts will eliminate wasted time.
5. You'll be able to measure results on every call.

The better your plan, the better your selling results will be. If you'll invest fifteen minutes every sales day to setting specific call objectives, you will turbo-charge your selling effort and dramatically improve your sales performance.

Remember... It takes the will to prepare to develop the will to win.

Make sure you check out Jim's Sales Trailblazer program:

Jim is a Sales Strategist and is the creator of No-Brainer Selling Skills. He shows salespeople and entrepreneurs how to increase sales, earn more money, have more fun, and how to do it all in less time. His focus is on practical ideas that get immediate results. He offers Advanced Sales Management Workshops, Sales Coaching, Consulting, In-house Sales Training Programs, and a wide variety of Learning Tools i.e. books, special reports, sales manuals, and CDs.Jim Meisenheimer is a member of The National Speakers Association, where he earned the C.S.P. designation, Certified Speaking Professional. He has authored five books including, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers," and the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life”.



Ever Have to do a C-Suite Presentation...on short notice?
by Michael Nick

If you have been in sales for any length of time you know the stress you are under to perform a C-Suite presentation on short notice. That being said, I believe there are a few sales facts you are going to have to deal with when selling complex B2B solutions now and in the future. They are:

  • You will likely have to deal with the C-Suite (probably a finance person)
  • You will have to provide financial validation and justification
  • To be effective you must be able to articulate your value in terms of economic impact
  • You will have to produce a high quality Business Case to close a sale

The one factor all four of these points have in common is their reference to something relating to finance.

The C-Suite speaks a language of their own that is typically foreign to the average sales professional. They communicate with each other and the outside world using terms like, economic impact, budgets, Earnings per Share (EPS), or EBITDA (Earnings before Interest Taxes Depreciation Amortization), shareholder value, etc. They have financial ratios they keep a very close eye on, and they are always looking at the impact (a purchase will have) on their cash flow.  When you are presenting to the C-Suite it is critical that you understand these facts. If you expect to be successful when presenting your solutions, you must learn and speak their language. You must be able to articulate your value in terms of economic impact.

Before meeting with the C-Suite you must be very well prepared. Wasting their time will likely be fatal. As part of your discovery preparation you should include questions about the ratios they use to make strategic buying decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like, “What ratios do you use to evaluate the impact of a major (strategic) purchase?” You may ask about the process they use to make a buying decision, and what impact if any does a Business Case has on it. Discuss their buying strategy when you talk about the process they are going to take to make the purchase.

To be sure you are able to express economic impact in terms of their ratios it is crucial you understand how your value will actually impact a prospects financial health. Great discovery may not be enough. There is the additional step of applying your value to the issue and measuring the overall corporate economic impact, then converting the impact into a ratio your prospect will understand and appreciate.

Discovery is one of those differentiator's in the sales process that you can still make an impression. Even when products are more of a commodity, people however, are not. Implementing and using sales tools for discovery during the sales process could be the difference between winning a deal and coming in second, or perhaps third. How you collect information and what information you collect are the two most important parts of the discovery process. If your competition shows up to meet with a prospect using only a legal pad and “wings it”, then you most likely have an edge when you show up using a sales tool (like Value Hypothesis or Discovery Questionnaire) that keeps the conversation focused on identifying the prospects issues, pains, and goals. A discovery tool will shine a very favorable light on your organizations capabilities and skills, especially when you provide the prospect with feedback detailing your conversation.

To my second point, what information you collect: Asking open ended questions like, “Tell me about your problems,” or “What are your goals for cost reductions?” are old and passé. Asking very specific questions about issues you already know you solve tells the prospect that you are focused, knowledgeable about them and their industry, determined to help, and able to resolve their issues, no matter how complex. If there are specific issues they want to ensure you know, don’t fret, they will bring it up if you don’t.

Remember discovery is a two way street. Your mission is of course to identify issues, pains and goals, determine current cost of status-quo, and make a decision to move forward or not. Without this goal an opportunity is not always an opportunity, it’s a distraction. For your prospect, they of course want to learn about you, your products, process and pricing. The buyer is making the determination on whether they can work with you now and in the future. People still buy from people, and most are willing to spend more for expertise, and those who speak their language.

Ask yourself would you pay more for a physician that speaks your language versus one that doesn’t? Would you prefer to work with someone that speaks your language and understands your vernacular? Remember, when you communicate with the C-Suite in a language other than their own, they too are frustrated, because you don’t appear to understand the issues they personally are facing.  It is important to be able to articulate your value in the language of the stakeholders…all stakeholders.

Finally, discovery is the foundation for success in sales. Without a good process, questions and tools to help you, it is highly unlikely you will be successful. Discounts will increase, deals will drag, and the C-Suite will intimidate you into believing you are not worthy of their business. It is very important to understand what your value is to the market, who your stakeholders really are, and tying that value to a set of C-Suite metrics used to identify the financial health of the organization.

Bottom line on this one is simple; you need to use great discovery questions to identify issues, pains and goals. Next you will need to capture the cost or potential revenue losses that directly relate to the issues defined. Finally, establish your value and measure the impact. These measurements as part of your discovery process will then be used in your Business Case and proposal.

About The Author:

Michael Nick is considered to be one of the foremost authorities in the world on the subject of value estimation selling. Michael’s first book, ROI Selling (Dearborn Publishing ©2004) was a business best seller. In 2010, Simon & Schuster picked up the reprint rights giving ROI Selling another five years of availability in the market.

Over the past 13 years Michael has worked with Companies like, HP, Autodesk, Fiserv, Ingersol Rand, Trane, NEC, Checkfree, Bomgar, Rockwell Automation, Oracle, Great Plains,and more.

Visit him at:




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