Storytelling or Story Selling?

What story did you tell to get the deal? Too often in the hyper competitive world of Business Development, the truth gets lost in the deal. Regardless, once a sale is consummated, someone must deliver. “Once upon a time… I win!” This is in fact a story. It has a classic introduction. It creates intrigue. It has a clear conclusion. From a selling perspective this story carries the day because it explicitly defines a successfully performing protagonist. The reason that this story has the capacity to work is that it first follows an established formula. The reason that this story delivers successfully is that it provides intrigue, then a solution. All that is left are characters and a plot.

Sellers’ Not-So-Secret Desires

In business and particularly sales, the characters come readily equipped. Sellers have explicit motivations. Buyers are cautious and are particularly subject to internal conflict. With all these elements going into a deal, how does business ever get transacted? Frankly, it comes down to emotion. The facts reveal that many transactions result from feelings. Furthermore, many deals are executed for self-gratification. “What’s in it for me” is constantly present on both sides of the transaction. Other deals are worked out of desperation, particularly toward month-end. Some deals are unashamedly done for greed. Yet, the most successful deals are a direct result of the desire to win. Closers are winners. It is in the job description. So, how are more winners created?

Success goes back to story. Sales training gives you tools. The desire to win is instilled in the hero’s DNA. Consequently, every sales professional is not a hero. Yet, sales heroes must still slay their dragons! Before anything else, winners must narrowly focus on the detailed process on slaying dragons. Furthermore, the hero must have a huge why! Perhaps the transaction results in the greater good. Or, it could be to build a better individual lifestyle. Self-validation is often a reason. But, in many successful cases of prevailing sales heroes, the underlying motivation is competing and executing! Heroes love winning!

Attitude, Then Altitude

With that foundation, keys to superior salesmanship feature a tenacious attitude. The story emerges once facts dictate the underlying why. Next, the desire feeds on the emotional charge toward victory. Specifically, quotas are not met by faithfully obeying the sales training. If obeying the rules were the secret to success, then everyone would be rich, thin and beautiful! The unyielding desire to win is what slays the quota dragon. Remember, the quota dragon will fight back. The best sales professionals hear the word, “No”, all the time. However, they also hear the word, “Hello”, more when communicating relentlessly and making the next contact. They also hear the word, “Yes”, when the sales professional’s ingenuity and inquisitiveness, unearths the honest-to-truth problem that the tenacious salesperson eagerly resolves. The power to chase away pain defeats discounts every time!

Finally, winning professionals do their research. They understand to whom they are selling. They understand explicitly why the prospect truly wants to buy. It is almost never primarily because of the cheapest price. It is almost always because of self-centered desire. Find that desire and feed it. If the buyer prioritizes innovation, then deliver a solution with sufficient bells and whistles. If the true decision maker craves recognition, then close the deal and blasts that individual’s success among thousands of followers. Know that money and ego always matter. Also, realize that underlying motivations matter equally, if not more. Unearth those motivations. Sales success depends on revealing the customer’s critical desire, then supersize that value to satisfy that desire in the final proposition.

Conclusion

Great sales professional clearly recognize that customers buy with emotion and justify with logic! Consequently, sales champions listen with their ears and their hearts. Make the story about the buyer. Feed the buyers inner priority! To be a true sales champion, the next step is to guarantee that the buyer’s boss has his primary needs met, too. The best probing questions involve the primary contact determining what the buyer’s superior values most. That step is quickly followed with the seller partnering with the buyer so that his internal needs are secure. The best part of this strategy is that the buyer is eager to work with the seller in the future. The reason is simply because the seller’s boss left the transaction with a win. At this point, more winning results in more selling!! Who has a happy ending now?

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships, Presentation Skills, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discipline, Success And The Grind

Grinding screams lower-level function. Repetitive action in a static operation or marketplace works just fine for bottom feeders. Inputs are routine. Outputs are predictable. This approach as a successful technique suggests a mundane past featuring an era of mass production and industrialization. It seemingly suggests an engrained mindset such that the present economy, technology, and productivity would seemingly dismiss the paradigm as outdated. Modern business engagements rely on speed and accuracy of information! Currently, innovation is valued and equated with superiority! Established routines can eventually benefit from repetition, yet typically, creativity drives mindsets that lead to productivity, improvement, and profitable ideas. Current discipline demands that established practices are perfected… then improved! The challenge is maintaining the edge in leading fresh ideas from innovation through superior, profitable outcomes. So, where does grinding fit?

TARGET

Clearly, large international technology companies have enormous resources to innovate and deploy new processes resulting in superior efficiency and cost effective solutions. While innovation may benefit from foundationally proven routines, superior performance results from outstanding innovation. “Eureka, I found it.” is no longer the battle cry of business breakthroughs. “Can we make it go faster??!”, now carries the day for innovation to turn into explosive revenue growth. Beyond innovation, identifying customers with the ability to apply innovation is where explosive value materially happens. Knowing the target for cutting-edge goods, services, and applications create better opportunities in current environments. Consequently, massive sales efforts begin with hyped projections before the solutions are even finalized. Consequently, successfully grinding through sales cycles now feature identifying potential problems earlier. The big question is now “who identifies potential problems before operators and customers realize that it impacts their business?”. The grind now demands getting in front of the life cycle to craft solutions accurately in anticipation of problems that continue to work their way through the present value chain.

PIVOT

Honestly, grind just sounds like a mundane concept, yet it is essential. In fact, it has continued to evolve into an extremely dynamic concept. Grind implies linear processes. However, grinding in current environments is exploding! The truth is that this evolution is occurring dramatically, multi- dimensionally, and dynamically. Consequently, a pivot describes this evolution even more accurately. Pivot empowers changing directions rapidly to attain alignment with customers’ priorities. Look at something as fundamental as communication. A generation ago, a telephone was the most effective way to communicate with another individual. Fast forward to our current time, and a “phone” is a colloquial word for a dynamic instrument that communicates verbally, audibly, and visually. As this evolution applies to business growth, the gadgets that entertain people also drive their creativity. Discipline becomes necessary because the distractions on our handheld devices are enormous. On the other hand, the diverse ways to connect digitally include communication via voice, text, photograph, and video. The immediacy and integrity of communication creates exceptional efficiency and clarity. Discipline is necessary! Yet, who cannot afford to communicate and create value at unprecedented speeds?

CONCLUSION

For innovators to be effective, successful grinders are troubleshooting problems ahead of potential solutions. Processes matter. Successfully identifying what will go wrong in the future enhances solutions that are effectively sold today! No one needs a crystal ball anymore, now data correctly anticipates where the latest trends and needs emerge. What new problem, or bigger, faster alternative will emerge next, as a direct result of the latest innovation? By the time the marketplace explicitly tells competitors what they need, average competitors are too late. Recognizing the next pivot correctly is the advantage for meeting customer needs. Sales teams need to have answers ready, before the next problems arise. Some wrong answers will result. Yet, upon correctly anticipating pivots, greater fortunes will be recognized! Of course, grinding and pivoting can be bypassed for more certainty. Unfortunately, the marketplace punishes risk aversion. Still, leaving a message after the beep, then waiting for a return call for the next blockbuster deal is an option. Feel free to wait!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture, Leadership Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bigger Profits By Storytelling

Let me tell you a story! Wait… first, why do stories even work in connecting people in business environments? Primarily, people communicate in stories! A good story has emotion, suspense, twists and turns. Job titles do not communicate any of those benefits. Who really gets excited to hear about some website data analyst who wants to become a vice-president? However, let that same character start moving up the corporate ladder, maybe score a popular podcast, or launch the start-up de jour, and now people get excited about the possibilities concerning this unique character. The plot thickens and listeners pay much more attention.

The Story

The stories that matter most are the stories that are rare. A character defies the odds in an unprecedented move. The protagonist captures a listener and holds their attention hostage. The listener’s time, focus and even, money represent the ransom to retrieve their precious time. Then, the listener finally realizes that their reward for grasping the possibilities for promotions, entrepreneurial breakthroughs, or a spot on the big stage, are immediately in front of them. Now, they are ready to launch toward their personal aspirations! First, the professional believes the story, then they pursue the projected outcome for themselves with unprecedented zeal. Providers want their buyers to win, so that they return for more. However, once the story reveals even more attainable possibilities, then incredible accomplishments can emerge. Plainly, the escalating emotion in the early interaction first creates attention, then participation ignites the greater possibilities.  Successful vendors, investors, advocates, and storytellers, all master attracting attention, then articulating value for communal benefit.

The Value

Yet, what is the true value for the storyteller who was weaved a web that has captured attention, and opportunity? The value is often revenue, growth, accolades, and profits. The simple outcome to drawing in attention with a superior story is that now an audience emerges that eagerly wants to benefit from that story’s magnetism. A best-selling author can sell multiple books over multiple years to the same people. Not just the same profile, but literally the same people. The power behind that magnetism includes the anecdotes that anchor each story’s specific themes. The success secrets are not necessarily new. In fact, several great business books literally take their fundamental premises from the ancient Hebrews. Many business success tips can find their foundation in Sunday School. So, how does such old stories yield new profits.

The Outcome

First, accept that there is nothing new under the sun. People, including business professionals, want to be admired and respected. Of course, titles, bonuses, toys, and awards all pay into the sensation of admiration and respect. Next, transitioning those accolades into revenue, profits, and value as a result of transactions, now builds momentum toward tangible, life-affirming improvements. Simply, the story that reveals individual success, acts like a playbook for future accolades. The numbers, facts, and figures simply keep score. Success is a byproduct of the trust, belief, and repetition resulting in subsequent accomplishments. The power and value in the story directly come from the ability to articulate, then replicate tangible results. Great storytellers in sales have enormous value because they predictably and consistently deliver results that emerge from their ability to recreate consistent stories that leads to purchases over and over again. But before the story works its magic, the sales professional must connect with prospects, target markets, referral partners, and buyers so that all characters emotionally experience the same happily ever after that the sales professional projects. When multiple sides win, then value grows exponentially for more profitable future engagements

The Conclusion

Good stories fundamentally communicate and inspire. Great storytelling encompasses characters where people genuinely want them to win. These stories encourage people to change the way that they perceive their current world. New customers change providers because they wish to change the way that they experience their world resulting in better outcomes. Change is rarely executed singularly because of price. Securing a new customer is the expected outcome for providing solutions or experiences that will make the customer’s experience more fulfilling and potentially more highly valued. Great stories supersize the anticipation of superior outcomes that the superior vendor will now deliver with excellence and profits!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter and Beyond, LLC

Author of “Storytelling Wins The Best Engagements

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships, Content Creation, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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