Storytelling: Cash for Characters

The meeting’s location is SkyDeck Chicago!! Yes, four states are literally visible from this room! Whether the meeting’s purpose is social, financial, or strategic, the environment exudes power. The mood and mindset of all participants declare achievement. Realize that the location and the individual characters contribute to expecting enormously successful outcomes. Who would not want to experience conducting business in this room? Specifically, the reason that the location, ambience, and characters are so important is because those details are essential in creating an unforgettable story! Furthermore, any money involved with agreements during this gathering will undoubtedly be large, grandiose, and memorable. The deal’s value elevates with each character’s profile and presence. Anyone can recognize $10 million when it is written in an article. Nevertheless, it takes a special individual to spend $10,000,000 knowing that they will be fully responsible for the transaction’s outcome. Consequently, because of ego, gravitas, and reputation, the cash figures continue to rise in alignment with the characters and their reputations. Furthermore, the characters that boldly take responsibility for such enormous sums of capital better have exceptional stories that justify responsibility for such amounts.

Realization

According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, “Realization is the action of converting an asset into cash.” Business assets come in assorted sizes, shapes, and ideas. Even intangible, great ideas can be packaged and exchanged for cash. When incremental value is created through strategic execution, or tangible transactions, then enterprises flourish. A long-haul truck full of marketable goods is obviously much more valuable than an identical, empty long-haul truck sitting at a loading dock.  Realization initially establishes itself at the forefront of business needs because value can be deployed for different amounts, at different times, as well as under different circumstances. Finance theory states that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Realization manifests that belief by demonstrating that earning a dollar immediately results in recognizing that currency more quickly. When human personalities and egos enter transactions, then recognizing tangible wealth sooner equates to greater emotional and financial value. Basically, more money, more quickly, is better!

Creating business deals and interactions that factor the value of time leads to higher priority transactions that aligns with generating greater returns. Consequently, human involvement in transactions facilitating the ability to recognize value more quickly, in turn results in incremental wealth for involved individuals and entities. Whether looking reputationally, financially, or egotistically, realizing value quicker yields more money! Furthermore, business leaders that are adept at achieving quicker closure in transactions, ultimately create incremental value that slower transactions forfeit. Speed and judgment matters. The opportunities that generate cash more quickly, in the long run create better returns for their efforts. Realization must be factored into the negotiated and ego-based calculus because the business professional that uses time efficiently, while generating greater values more effectively, ultimately secures more cash to enjoy personally and organizationally. To maximize such opportunities, create stories and scenarios that progress toward “yes”, fastest. Clearly, time is money!

Resolution

The aforementioned process points directly to the financial impact of quick resolutions. Again, time is a factor in concluding business transactions. Equally important, rewards are recognized sooner when closure is expedited. Sustaining a consistent narrative via storytelling helps facilitate quicker understanding and consequently, quicker resolutions. “We have a deal.”, while shaking hands speaks to closure of a transaction. However, closure really does not occur until funds are exchanged and agreed expectations regarding goods and services are satisfactory. Consequently, terms must be negotiated, and agreement attained. That outcome returns attention to storytelling. What facts can the service-providing side establish and accomplish? How believable are expectations? Until satisfactory execution, uneasiness remains to a certain degree. What narrative prevents trust from eroding?  Agreement and transaction take a different course until evidence and understanding reaches a certain point. Progress requires trust, so what vehicles enforce that need?

Clearly, cash and character never truly stray too far from any commercial interaction. Moreso, technology, artificial intelligence, algorithms, automated triggers are increasingly prevalent in transacting business. Nevertheless, at some point a human being introduced the algorithm, formula, or commands so that the transaction can execute quickly and logically. Speed and predictability still launch from a human introduction of logical protocols. Resolution, or agreement between two entities, still find their beginning in a human interaction that features trust. Simply put, someone programmed the computer or installed the intelligence for the technological solution. Furthermore, a human being is going to reap the reward from the technology that was intimately involved with executing the terms of the agreement. Machines may perform the necessary steps. Humans ultimately reap the financial benefits.  The story benefits the individuals by communicating trust, belief and execution!

Conclusion

Cash for characters ultimately focuses on competing parties willingly ready to transact money for goods, services, and/ or results. The characters are the involved professionals. Their ingenuity, intelligence and acumen drive value. Whether the purchase involves goods, services, individual talent, or an invention, the sales process eventually triggers execution. And, execution dictates commercial transactions! But, the process, or individual can only perform according to instructions. Consequently, an agreement returns to storytelling in order to establish expectations, warn against potential risks, and manifest fulfilling happy endings that result from successful transactions. Effective storytelling establishes the positive expectation and communicates the transaction’s jubilant completion. Success depends on clearly articulating the value and delivering to that expectation, if not beyond it. Winning businesses deploy characters that can deliver. Yet, people who effectively convey the story that features expectations, fulfillment, and satisfaction are equally important. Effectively deploy both realization and resolution, so that both financial outcomes and operating execution results in consistent business success. Be certain in selecting the right character for every job, interaction and transaction. Pay close attention to what characters are involved and what they are doing, because the money matters.

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements

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Grinding For New Revenue

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Remember, the customer may not always be right. However, their perspective will prevail! Create a dialogue that gives the buyer as many opportunities to prevail as they reasonably can, until achieving, “Yes, I’ll buy it!”. Undisciplined sales reps often win the argument and lose the deal! Continue reading

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Conversations Start Commerce

“Have I got a deal for you!!” This fast-talking salesman reflects a comical stereotype that suggests that business deals include sales professionals talking an unsuspecting customer into buying what they really do not need. Like many stereotypes, a piece of truth resides there somewhere. Unfortunately, snake oil salesmen still exist. Fortunately, genuine business professionals solving real customer problems largely reflect the current reality. Reaching agreement requires that trust and integrity enter the conversation eventually. The wheels of commerce struggle to sustain progress in dishonest environments. Efficient markets quickly spread bad news. Successful sales professionals realize that over the long-term, communicating value and meeting expectations deliver the most profitable outcomes. Consequently, honesty and accuracy enjoy staying power. In turn, staying power builds wealth for businesses and sales professionals. Still, to start and sustain positive results, buyers and sellers must operate with integrity and efficiency. Positive series of events launch once genuine conversation ignites chain reactions for buyers and sellers to connect and generate commerce.

Conversation Drives Connection

Starting a commercial transaction can be as simple as starting a conversation with, “How can I help you?”. The process of a commercial transaction progresses with insightful questions that bring into focus a problem that the seller potentially can solve. Then, communication concerning goods, services and solutions emerge in the context of social and business conversations. Ideas concerning a specific business problem can also be identified by media or marketing pieces. Content, commercials, and word-of-mouth are additional ways for information to circulate concerning new products and applications.

Professional communities, represented by specific marketplaces, help introduce discussions, images, and problems that lead to desired solutions. Then, the wheels of commerce start turning as ideas evolve into valued solutions. Ultimately, the community percolates and innovates new applications and solutions which drive new sales. The connection between any buyer and seller fundamentally starts with a business community articulating new solutions and products that are available to satisfy specific problems. The resulting connections spread, then launch new growth opportunities and markets.

Community Drives Commerce

Commerce does not launch until the fundamental question, “What do you want?” connects with the response, “I can deliver that”. Again, the solution does not reside in one location, or with one person. The days where the local dairy farmer provides all the eggs for the local community are long gone. Different providers have different points of distinction and value offerings. Likewise, they present different personalities so that they can relate to different customer profiles with sufficient commonalities to create trustworthy exchanges. Without diverse personalities, skill sets, commercial advantages, and individual strengths, then singular offerings will represent the entire marketplace.

The problem with that alternative is that as soon as enough customers realize that the singular provider sucks, then innovation and ingenuity ignite to identify superior ways to deliver better value, services, or products than previously available. Innovation emerges to fill the market’s hole left by the inferior provider. The entrepreneur clearly acknowledges, “Poor performance ignites opportunities”. For innovation to take root and flourish, the marketplace needs to recognize available gaps and possibilities. Specifically, communities in aggregate acknowledge that a hole in the marketplace has produced an opportunity. When that opportunity to improve elevates to the broader community’s line of sight, then innovation leaps into action. Successful innovation results in new avenues for commerce. Literally, the community’s attention exposes the opportunity. The successful entrepreneur then delivers commercial innovation to the marketplace. Clearly communities benefit when conversation drives needs, then new commerce.

Conclusion

Active economies continuously innovate. New ideas, lower costs, more efficient value all result in better solutions for customers. The innovative entrepreneur wins upon developing breakthroughs that produce utility at lower prices, or through more efficient output. Frankly, needs are identified by conversations among professionals dreaming of more efficiency or better profits. “Eureka, I found it!” has become a fairy tale announcing innovation. “Hey, will that let us do it cheaper and faster than that other guy?” is now the language of business innovation! Entrepreneurial zeal to produce more cheaply or create output more prodigiously represents capitalism’s ongoing mission. Yet, without conversation, real problems are not shared, nor solved. If the marketplace does not look for faster, better solutions, then progress never emerges. Fortunately, the rewards of entrepreneurship and capitalism continue to motivate new solutions. Bring together ambitious people looking for profitable solutions that they can replicate, then watch entrepreneurship effectively launch! The conversation, the details, the efficiencies, the value creation are all ingredients for better production. Collaborate, then exchange desires, ideas, and solutions. Identify more efficient outputs, deliveries, or solutions. Reap the entrepreneurial bounty. Then, watch a community thrive! Conversations start commerce. Start talking!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins the Best Engagements

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Storytelling Produces More Than A Happy Ending

Once upon a time, I win! That is the whole story. This short story completely summarizes the emotion, tension and finality of an epic adventure. From a business perspective, a great story incorporates a foundation for intelligent planning, strategic processes and detailed execution. These story elements are essential to business success because great ideas are only recognized with proper execution. Essentially, the business team must buy into the vision, then fulfillment begins. Storytelling articulates specific and powerful roles in connecting multiple sides toward a mutually desired and emotionally binding outcome. Yet, the only way to achieve the desired outcome, better known as the happy ending, is through incorporating specific elements that execute a satisfying story for customers.

Storytelling Is Content

Too many business leaders mistakenly approach business growth as logic-driven activities where superior reasoning dictates outcomes. This common belief suggests that the best facts in a proposal, or pitch wins. In reality, the winner typically involves emotional connectivity. Written words and communicated attitudes resonate loudly. Truly, how often does a high-powered executive enter a high stakes meeting while wearing the most practical shoes? Success explicitly communicates boldness! To influence, persuade and impose one’s will, somehow the story must articulate the winning side’s superiority. Style, price, brand name, and swagger communicate specific images that reflect perceived value. Communicated stories across visual, audio, or written channels extend beyond verbal communication to include cues that express emotional connectivity. The logic will eventually justify the decision after the emotional experience has dictated it!

Simply, stories connect people because they strike at emotions. Even when logic completes the decision, emotional triggers have already been integrated. In “Storytelling Wins the Best Engagements” by Glenn W Hunter, a critical point emerges as both parties approach entering the engagement: “it is important to realize that the customer has the most important item in the transaction. The customer has the seller’s money!”. This reality applies to goods, services, and ideas. The seller must extract what he believes to be his money from the buyer. Consequently, whether the customer makes a rational, emotional, quantitative, or whimsical decision, understand that the story must communicate decision-making information in a way that the buyer wants to receive it. Otherwise the deal goes nowhere. Eventually, the connection must be established where the buyer trusts the seller, so that the transaction can close. Above all factors, the decision really must feel right!

Storytelling Is Nuance

The next key to engaging under the cloak of Storytelling is the communication’s nuance. Honestly, facts do not execute transactions. Communicated value executes transactions! Interactions get interesting when communicated value reflects subtlety! For example, a customer enters a commercial equipment retailer for a specific machine part. On the surface, a buyer seeks a specific piece of equipment to resume manufacturing. In reality, the buyer desperately needs a piece of equipment ASAP so that manufacturing can resume! Furthermore, the buyer knows that every minute that he spends negotiating on price is one minute of revenue generating productivity that the buyer’s business loses! The reality of commercial transactions are often more complicated than “Give me part number 12 in blue out of the catalogue.” It is terrible business to spend time negotiating $500 in savings while foregoing $10,000 in revenue productivity!

Regarding business dealings, the “Happily Ever After” typically occurs after much work and sacrifice. Whether the deal involves products, services, or the latest, greatest acquisition, integrating the purchase into established processes comes with challenges. Routine products most likely integrate seamlessly into their designed function. However, innovative services or products may involve training, adjustments, or additional headcount. Because storytelling is designed to create more vivid understanding, it helps in navigating complex entanglements. Furthermore, creating a culture that emphasizes information moving from person to person, much like a memorable story moves, results in significantly stronger outcomes. Literally, regularly reminding an operations team about the company’s equivalent to the “Three Little Pigs” story could be the vehicle to create stronger physical structures that insure safety. No one wants to be involved in having their house blown down because someone was lazy!

Conclusion

Ultimately, business operations should be designed to perform smoothly. The content that is involved with instructions or processes works best when readily available and easily digested. In most cases embedded operations already know how specific widgets interact with the adjacent functions’ responsibilities. That is training’s job. Regarding nuance, proper repetition is the secret sauce for business operations to continue performing according to plan. Ultimately, happy endings result from executing according to expectations. Expectations regularly extend beyond targets because true competitors realize that complacency can lead to elimination. Frankly, disobeying operational content, or being lazy toward urgent business processes, results in consequences without a happy ending. Any functioning business can perform ordinary tasks consistently from procurement to delivery. To achieve consistently happy endings, business leaders must enforce cultures that innovate, follow directions, and work cooperatively. Choose happy endings!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements

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Find The YES In The Room

“So Bob, what’s it going to take to get you in this beauty today?” While this cheesy sales line is a classic, it does have merit! Closing the transaction is clearly the point. And in any sales opportunity, “Yes” represents progress. While many “Yeses” may be involved in a business transaction’s ultimate closing, make no mistake that the final “Yes” indicates success! This fact becomes even more important during more complex transactions where multiple milestones and ongoing communication are part of the process. With so many milestones to meet and opportunities to fail, each step toward progress is essential to the goal. Ultimately, enough “Yeses” results in closure. And closure means revenue, then compensation!

ATTITUDE ENJOYS BETTER MARGINS

However, before maximizing compensation, numerous detailed steps are required. Confidently setting aggressive targets is a great place to start. “Your attitude determines your altitude.”, is a clever reminder for sales professionals to remember how they influence their own success. Realize that this simple saying has multiple layers contributing to its fundamental truth! Consider that a positive attitude can have a positive impact on a transaction’s success. Also, as like and trust grows in the relationship leading to the transaction, price becomes less critical. Value and intangible benefits begin to carry more weight. Potentially, the seller’s margin, become less contentious once value is established.  

On a deeper level, as positive attitudes emerge in the potential transaction, stories are repeated and shared. Connections strengthen. While this process could be brief, time invested in strengthening “like and trust” creates more straightforward paths to “Yes”. At no point does a sales professional want to rush prospects, and especially not established clients. Nevertheless, a significant part of sales success is a keen awareness of invested time.  Beware that on the way to “Yes”, a pleasant interaction throughout the sales process often results in cross-sales and referrals. Consequently, a healthy respect for time during the process must be managed masterfully. Success requires finding the “Yes” in the room and methodically moving the emerging customer toward it.

ACTION SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

Phrases like “No Problem”, as well as, “Yes, and” are particularly effective in developing a sales pipeline. Besides representing a can-do attitude, the phrases create a favorable environment for future possibilities. As these affirming phrases’ positivity permeates the atmosphere, the expectation of additional interactions escalates. From a psychological perspective, each “Yes” acts as a steppingstone toward the next “Yes”. Essentially, repetitive positivity facilitates more potential future outcomes in the positive. Include positive body language like displaying an open stance, and gently nodding while listening, then the environment has evolved into a space where success and agreement flourishes.

Now, actions speak for themselves because the conversation has evolved to facilitate agreement. From a communication perspective, posture, visuals, and language have become conditioned for agreement. These tactics are not hard rules to be manipulated by the crooked salesman. Instead, these affirming communication techniques facilitate agreement at a human level. Realizing that the exchange now expects that a “Yes” is in the room, these verbal and non-verbal communication techniques make it easier for both parties to find it. Still, the professional must communicate value. Likewise, the buyer still must maintain trust in the professional. Nevertheless, a path toward agreement has been subtly established so that the engagement can transform into a transaction!

CONCLUSION

Ultimately, finding the “Yes” in the room focuses on establishing common ground. The sooner that the seller can identify the most valued benefits for the buyer, the quicker the buyer can establish closing. Time is a crucial factor in any transaction. The quickest, best offer does not necessarily win the deal. Yet, locating the “Yes” from both sides of the transaction communicates knowledge and value so that the transaction can conclude. Realize that posturing remains a necessary factor in locating the “Yes”. Nevertheless, guessing and shooting in the dark are inefficient uses of time with regards to the current transaction and probably the next one. Ultimately, the seller who knows their target market’s industry as well as their industry benefits from efficiency leading to successful transactions happening faster. From the seller’s perspective, that means that referrals and cross-selling opportunities happen faster, too. More customers to serve are clearly the ultimate reward for finding the “Yes” in the room!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements”

Available on Amazon

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The True You Comes Through

A persuasive, well-trained, eloquent subject matter expert confidently glides into a polished conference room. Although the audience of mid-level leaders sees a salesman, the visitor brings specific, game-changing solutions to the waiting assembly. From his dress to his vocabulary, the visitor exudes authentic, genuine success. On the other hand, the audience simply awaits the dog and pony show. Regardless of how large the portfolio of goods and services appears to be, the best sellers must always present the goods or services that they absolutely believe in the most for every prospect.

Belief

Proposed goods and services need to align with the seller’s personal strengths. They must become the driver for anticipated success. The emotional investment must be sufficient enough so that successful execution conveys inevitable financial rewards for all parties. Products and/ or services need to be aligned with individual sellers’ interest so that success ties in psychically and tangibly. If the sales gig’s purpose is to “fake it until you make it”, then work to make it soon! Otherwise, first interest will wane and then possibilities will wane shortly afterwards. Remember the prospect and its leadership are aware of productivity. A hostile and temporary interaction awaits the pitch that fails to communicate belief in future accomplishment.

Authenticity within a successful approach is undoubtedly essential. While belief demonstrates an individual sales professional’s confidence, the authenticity and detail conveys that confidence to the buyer! Authenticity facilitates connecting emotionally to other people who are exposed to the presentation. The emotional connection is important because it enhances persuasiveness in the presentation. It facilitates an intangible attraction between the buyer and the item for sale. In reality, that explicitly crafted attraction attaches to the decision makers’ heart strings that largely drives the final decision. Buyers purchase according to inner motivations. If the lowest price drives the decision, it is because the decision maker believes that thriftiness will provide the most security and satisfaction for his role.

Persistence

Realize that at some point this go-to item may not be the solution that the customer needs. Under any circumstances, do not sell something that does not help the prospective client. Yes, it is the end of the month. Yes, that exact amount of revenue gets to the next bonus tier, or meets a recognized accomplishment. Of course, in specific instances practical perspectives must prevail, so seal the deal. But, what must not happen is to allow desperation to become the common mode of operation. Saving one’s butt for monthly targets is one matter. Making that decision a way of operating is a clear path toward disingenuous sales tactics and eventually poor performance. The next step features selling for another organization!

Remember, poor preparation promotes poor performance. Poor performance promotes pain! Ultimately, enough pain results in separation from the organization. High performance professionals do not sell their principles. Likewise, they try real, real hard not to loan them out or rent them, either. Integrity is more than honesty; it is also the path to principled longevity. Along with adhering to principles, apply insight to discern between genuine opportunities and false prosperity. While persistence means pursuing opportunities with confidence and tenacity, it also means cutting dead ends quickly. The polished professionals’ experience and confidence realizes that equally attractive opportunities have been strategically established in the pipeline over time.  Consequently, mature sales funnels produce at a pace that is designed for longevity.

Conclusion

Ultimately, vetting opportunities so that personalities and similar business styles align with prospects, increases the likelihood of successful results. Additionally, the importance of emotional connectivity must be recognized. Realize even in connecting with organizations where models and quantitative analysis drive decisions, people who are led by their emotions and biases are building these models. The human condition is inescapable in commerce. Consequently, the individual contacts and their personalities never stray too far. Likewise, the individual personality that drives the purchase decision ultimately has influence on the process. Allow the experienced decision maker, who eventually influences the selling process in whatever capacity, do the job that they are empowered to do. Connect with that true person for success!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements”

Available on Amazon

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Did You Catch That? Sales via Ears, Eyes, Heart

Great sales professionals realize that low prices do not always win. To maximize revenue several factors enter the sales equation. Emotion matters! Successful sales professionals realize that they must first tug on the heart strings before they can pull on the purse strings. At a certain point, price matters. But common understanding, credibility and relationship matters a lot more. What good is an initially low price if the buyer now owns an item that must constantly be repaired? Successful sales efforts recognize that contribution based on value creates the most profitable engagements. Did the seller pay attention to all inputs to get every need met for both parties? Were ears, eyes, and heart really working together?

Sell Through Superior Communication

How does a buyer maximize benefit for the purchase price? Simply, “Did the buyer really get what she paid for?” Every customer has an idea of specific wants and needs. Meanwhile, the sales professional desires to meet that need while maintaining integrity regarding profits and professionalism. To balance that tricky goal, listening with ears, eyes, and heart is imperative! In short, multiple senses are accepting information so that all needs are met. For the business engagement to happen, both parties need to find common ground concerning the real sales drivers. What one party wants, the other party has to deliver. Words communicate these needs. Tone of voice, body language, eye contact, even subtle physical tics reinforce them.

Regardless of products, services, or sales cycles, certain consistencies provide the sales professionals certain advantages. Emotion is part of the deal. For sellers, high prices are better than low prices when all factors are equal. Yet, all factors are rarely equal. Realize that purchases are often emotion driven to a certain extent. In commercial sales, is this transaction going to enhance the buyer’s reputation in the eyes of peers or superiors? For the seller is there confidence, or stammering while communicating? Who displays more confidence when individuals are literally looking into each others’ faces? How genuine is the counterpart’s smile? All these clues communicate comfort levels regarding the transaction’s terms, thus requiring sincere attention.

Buy With Emotion

As non-verbal and verbal communications collide, consummating a transaction requires that a moment of trust emerges. A high price can communicate bad value for the buyer’s needs, or comfort with the seller’s brand integrity. Still successful closure requires clear convergence based on emotional connectivity by both sides. Acknowledging trust is pivotal.  Especially in environments where the low price wins, the domineering emotion remains that fidelity to valuing thriftiness prevails. In all transactions, bridging the buyer’s and the seller’s culture is part of reaching agreement. The better deal goes to the party that satisfies their side’s needs with the most integrity.

Consider that listening through the heart reflects positive, fluttering feelings in the chest when good news has been received. The sensation is clearly emotional. Furthermore, listening with the eyes is a metaphor where the transaction’s value is so pleasing that the satisfaction transcends multiple senses. Consider observing someone listening to another person while watching their mouth. Subconsciously or explicitly, the viewer is watching to address verbal cues that are not aligned with audio clues. Is the buyer preparing to disagree with a key point by forming their mouth to interrupt? The savvy sales professional allows the objection to come out. The buyer may be preparing to provide essential intel that expresses their interest, or sets the stage for pushback. Regardless, winning the engagement often means seizing advantages by understanding multiple communication channels.

Conclusion

Ultimately, securing the better of any deal relies on acquiring better information. Words, body language, eye contact, even perspiration all provide clues to the transaction’s true value. Consequently, the advantage goes to the side that manages their emotions while extracting emotional clues from the other side. Consequently, in any engagement, the side that protects its intentions and satisfaction has a clear advantage. Furthermore, by catching what the eyes, ears, and heart are conveying, opportunities emerge to give the advantage to the more astute and sensory aware side. These tips are useful to figure out the underlying story. Act upon the revealed tips to win the next engagement, and the subsequent larger engagements that will certainly come forth with this knowledge.

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements

Available on Amazon!

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Selling Services – What Do Customers Get Again?

How do certain business development professionals seem to demonstrate excellence and to enjoy superior rewards with relatively basic skills? Insurance agents, enterprise software sellers, professional speakers, and life coaches all make amazing livings when they perform their skills at reasonably competent levels. Clearly, off-the-chart excellence in a given profession provides opportunities to enjoy significant rewards through their efforts. Yet, why do professionals with seemingly basic skill sets find ways to prosper beyond apparently more brilliant peers?

Efficiency

The old saying goes, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” In the business development arena, this fight has a time clock and it is relentless. Every minute that a sales professional is not prospecting, selling, or closing, equates to a minute that is not directly impacting their progress toward their revenue targets. In the sales field, achieving revenue targets ultimately takes precedence over everything. This priority toward closing transactions clearly does not eliminate the need to sharpen the saw, or re-energize personal energy sources. However, time that is not re-energizing, prospecting, selling, nor closing represents time that is not contributing toward explicit, quantitative results. Ultimately, investing in these results are the difference between success and failure!

Highest Value Contribution sounds like another nerdy concept, yet it makes a big difference on the commission report. Unsurprisingly, wasted time is extremely hard to recoup. Specifically, inefficient time usage is detrimental to achieving time-based goals. Highest Value Contribution plainly comes down to spending time that results in reaching a desired level of accomplishment. Specifically, if selling a $100,000 policy takes the same amount of time and energy as selling a $25,000 policy, then for goodness sakes sell the $100,000 policy! Of course, other factors play into the calculations of how allocated time, future sales value, or potential for referrals equates to the likelihood or urgency of closing the deal. Still, without overthinking the matter, invest highly valued sales hours to opportunities that will yield larger tangible, financial results.

Good Feelings

On the buying side of the transaction, besides the quality of the service, or product, another key differentiator is good feelings. In many cases, the buyer does not simply want the best deal. Many buyers want the best experience! Of course, money matters. Yet, as comparable competing deals converge, a key differentiator emerges in the form of like and trust. Beyond the good or service delivering to expectation, will the buyer want to tell the story of the purchase? Did the sales professional over-deliver in such a way that the buyer is eager to tell others about the incredible experience?

While these positive experiences seem marginally consequential to the deal’s closure, the experienced sales professionals realize that these positive experiences are exactly where their value differentiation resides! Overly satisfied customers are willing to refer other prospects. Those customers actually minimize prospecting time, because the first customer has now gladly provided that function. Having warm leads delivered to effective sales representatives results in a seasoned professional now needing to invest less time to keep the sales funnel equally full. In fact, referrals are much more efficient since they arrive with a sense of confidence in the receiving sales professional. The preceding customer has already taken care of that part of the deal. Ultimately, developing positive emotions in the sales funnel is great for business because establishing credibility takes time, unless the prospect shows up fully equipped with good feelings toward the sales representative.

Conclusion

Fidelity to successful processes is essential for exceptional results! In the aggregate, more calls typically mean more yeses. Furthemore, releasing weak prospects quickly leaves more time for identifying strong clients. Realize that the amount of time selling in a specific niche is relatively consistent. Securing a whale may take more time than getting a trout to buy. Nevertheless, this metaphor definitely does not reflect a linear relationship. Expend energy on bigger payoffs, as long as your product or service mathematically supports that logic. Finally, practice, practice, practice. Know your product, your delivery and your prospect! Those ordinary sales professionals that smear their competition simply do the mundane, busy work to understand their target market and prospective customers much, much better. Late nights yucking it up at the bar may be more memorable. But, spending those exact same hours planning your calls and studying the nuances of the industry pays better. It pays much better!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Available through Amazon: The Must Read New Release by Glenn W Hunter!!

https://www.amazon.com/Storytelling-Wins-Engagements-Glenn-Hunter/dp/B094SZRYZ5

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Growth Now! Then Connect!

This is a big deal! You have completed the preparation. You have gone through the checklist. You have adrenaline rushing through your body. You realize that you are about to jump out of the plane. After every bit of planning and precaution, it is now time to grow! Success is not recognized by boarding the plane and putting on the gear. Success is jumping out of the plane and landing safely. Feel the fear and do it anyway! If success is the goal, then connect with others after accomplishing the process to achieve success. Then, return to the plane in order to embrace the thrill again!

Focus on Action

Every sales professional recognizes the fluttering in the belly when engaging a prospect. Seasoned pros recall the old advice,”It is OK to have butterflies in your stomach. The trick is to get them to fly in formation.” When the butterflies are incapable of getting into formation, a default reaction is to remember the training. Nearly every sales professional has participated in some level of training. However, whether the training program was intense, or consisted of checking the necessary boxes, the marketplace is much more difficult than practice. Yet, still someone is actually selling goods and services! Why in the world should it be a competitor?

Natural aptitude, fearless attitudes, superior products, better opening lines are all possibile reasons for business development success. But, the truth before exploring all these tactics is simply ACTION! Success resides in the details. Product knowledge, passion for success, belief in the employer, a superior product portfolio, old-fashioned personal tenacity are unquestionably contributors. But, action makes a difference because the individual can directly influence that input. Furthermore, many intangible outcomes emerge from positive inputs because of action. Action includes proactively studying products, rehearsing winning scripts, performing intelligence on competitors, and connecting directly with prospects. All these are examples of tactics that a sales professional can do! At the end of the day, week, or month, the goods and services are not going to sell themselves.

Focus on Iteration

After action takes priority in the professionals’ activities, the desired outcomes are not automatic. Sales success leaves clues, but does not have a foolproof formula. If such a formula existed, then plenty of fools would enjoy success because many approached their sales careers with the expectation that it was foolproof. Nevertheless, persistently applying established fundamentals have proven to be successful. Assuming that the goods and services in the professional’s portfolio are competitive, the ability to connect with more prospects tends to improve the desired outcomes regarding more sales to customers.

No magic incantations nor wishful expectations will substitute for persistence on a consistent basis. Success results from connecting with lots of buyers who have a likelihood of purchasing the salesperson’s goods and services. The desired outcomes require more than returning to the same prospect expecting them to buy on some schedule. Customers may come and go. However, the consistency that drives excellent results fundamentally builds upon high performance habits. And, those habits require repetition with adaptation to specific shifts in taste and requirements. Essentially, intentional, proven behaviors from preparation to follow-up are the keys to consistent success. Professionals who thoroughly understand foundational similarities and individualized nuance are the winners that adapt to very specific requests for profitable excellence!

Conclusion

Ultimately, business growth generated by specific, high performance is a direct result of passion for the craft, as well as service for the specific prospect. Recognize that the specific individual may ultimately represent an entire department, region, or company. Yet, the personal interaction drives the exchange. Support systems definitely are involved in preparation and delivery. But, the voice and face that represents the selling entity drives the decision to establish the transaction. Regardless of technology, the ability to connect a person to a solution is the core of business development success. When exceptional sales professionals are ready to grow and soar, they will commit to repeatedly connecting to prospects and opportunities.

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director of Hunter and Beyond, LLC

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What’s At The Top?

Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?”, a local commentator asked legendary climber George Mallory decades ago. Mallory allegedly answered, “Because it’s there.” While the interview produced a memorable quote, actually climbing the world’s largest mountain is undeniably more complex. Even from an attitude perspective, the reasons vary why anyone would attack that task. Pure desire to defeat a unique challenge is an important motivator. Being the individual who defies death in this pursuit furthermore provides a unique rush. Ultimately, a common motivator for any singular accomplishment is the ego-driven desire to be recognized as the leader of their category. The specific drivers vary regarding their insatiable motivation. Yet, what’s at the top? Only the individual champion’s ego can accurately answer that question.

Viewpoint

Validation can be one essential driver to achieve legendary accomplishments. Prevailing conquerors can easily own the point of view that “I worked hard for it and I achieved it.” This hero can now confidently propose to accomplish the next superhuman task. “Faint heart never won fair maidens.”, according to the romantic poet, further confirms that fearless perspective to obtain glory just beyond one’s reach. While that viewpoint is easily accused of being self-centered, rarely does an exceptional, never-done-before, feat occur in a vacuum. A clear viewpoint reveals that other individuals and ideas competitively contributed to achieving subsequent, superhuman accomplishment. Fundamental items like tools, training, and inspiration are essential to perpetuating mindsets and foundations to secure epic accomplishments.

At the core of the ego-fueled drive for superiority, an individual must possess supreme confidence. Core competence regarding necessary skills runs a close second! Perspective completes the triangle because achieving singular feats require more than nerves and talent. An intelligence requirement provides a necessary level of respect for the achievement, as well as vision regarding the risks. That balance allows fearless conquerors to avoid destructively reckless behaviors while sustaining supreme confidence. That viewpoint empowers the drive for greatness to align with respect for the victory.

Camaraderie

Although accomplishing legendary feats is a straightforward way for an individual to enjoy individual accolades, an unexpected benefit emerges. Realize that world-class performers are unique by definition. The individual efforts and competence that superior performers require, make them singular, even in a team sport or endeavor. That unity reinforces aligned efforts toward singular achievement. Consequently, even group efforts that result in singular achievement still form a unique team accomplishment.

Specifically, champions are unique because they reach the pinnacle of their particular arena. Whether the conqueror emerges as a Nobel laureate or a Super Bowl champion, additional team members contribute to the ultimate win. Consequently, champions rely on teammates, trainers, coaches, strategists, nutritionists and multiple other supporters to prepare winners for their ultimate victories. At nearly every level, elite victories require several contributors, who are part of the team, that eventually unveils individual success. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the champion does not achieve the accolades associated with reaching the top alone. Anyone who arrives at their particular mountaintop, benefitted from extraordinary drive, as well as detailed attention to teamwork. As any honest champion will admit, the crowning victory was not a singular success. The event that revealed their conquest undoubtedly provided a stage for recognizing communal greatness.

Champions realize that they do not perform in isolation. Consequently, they all have a unique camaraderie among the supporters that contributed to the conquest. At the literal mountaintop, one individual places the flag declaring the victory. Yet, even at that point, the individual is not alone. The people patting the conqueror on the back are contributors, not cheerleaders. At the mountain top is a group that cooperates for victory. Still, another mountain awaits. Get a team together to conquer the next desired mountain top!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director of Hunter and Beyond, LLC

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