Selling Techniques for Managers

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					essentials                                          MANAGERS’ CORNER                TIPS        MOTIVATION     SELLING SKILLS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      develop a language with which platform
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      managers could sell naturally and com-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fortably. Many platform managers said
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      later in their course reviews that, since
          “Managers can pick and choose the                                                                                                                                                                           taking the course, they now do not feel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      like they are selling. But they are.
      techniques that work best for them and                                                                                                                                                                             Baldridge merged her own sales lan-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      guage with bankers’ language to develop a
           customize them for their strategy.”                                                                                                                                                                        way of speaking naturally and effectively
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      during initial phone calls, while leaving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      voicemails, when asking for decision mak-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ers, and when dropping into a prospect’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      office – all steps of the sales cycle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PRESENTATION MODE
Sparking Sales                                                                                                                                                                                                        Then she moved into the presentation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      phase. Here, she emphasized discussing
How a community bank grew market share and didn’t                                                                                                                                                                     the “can“ features of a product, rather than
even need a federal cash infusion to do it                                                                                                                                                                            “can’t” features. For example, the com-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      munity bank could not offer the interest
When a community bank that sells its ser-       remembers. By emphasizing those two                                                                                                                                   rates that its global competitors could. But
vices to businesses through about two dozen     qualities she could make sure she could                                                                                                                               it could clear 90 percent of depositors’
platform managers learned that it had to        work with the managers effectively.                                                                                                                                   checks instantly, which was very appealing
compete with global banks for business in          Meeting with sales leaders taught                                                                                                                                  to local businesses.
the new financial world, it had made the        Baldridge another fact to consider during                                                                                                                                The bank had many such special advan-
transition to actively selling its services.    the implementation of the project: the                                                                                                                                tages, but Baldridge discouraged a simple
However, the community bank wanted to do        bank delivered good customer service and                                                                                                                              data-dump of benefits. “No one wants to
a better job of protecting its existing         did not want to lose that as it sold more                                                                                                                             hear all those differentiators, because no
accounts while penetrating new ones.            effectively. “That was a fine line we had to                                                                                                                          one wants them all,” she says.
                                                walk,” she says.                                                                                                                                                         Differentiators must be introduced in
THE SPARK                                                                                                                                                                                                             response to prospect needs, which are dis-
In 2005, Joy Baldridge, president of            SIX STEPS FORWARD                                                                                                                                                     covered in questions. “And they should
Baldridge Seminars International and            In 2006, Baldridge began conducting a                                                                                                                                 not be cliché questions,” Baldridge
author of The Fast Forward MBA in Selling:      series of classes, each attended by plat-                                                                                                                             emphasizes. “For example, ‘What keeps
Become a Self-Motivated Profit Center and       form managers and branch and regional                                                                                                                                 you up at night?’ Cross that out. ‘How
Prosper (Wiley, 1999), spoke before a local     managers. There was about one meeting                                                                                                                                 much do you know about our bank?’
networking group. About eight of the            every four to six weeks through October                                                                                                                               Cross that out, too.”
community bank’s top managers were in           2006. The meetings covered a six-step                                                                                                JOY BALDRIDGE                       She urges salespeople to use common
attendance, and the bank’s director of          sales process from greeting to close.                                                                                                Title: president
business development approached                    Baldridge focused on the psychology of                                                                                            Company: Baldridge Seminars      to think about!
Baldridge afterward and requested a meet-       selling and dealing with the fears of rejec-                                                                                         International
ing. During the meeting, the exec said she      tion, to remove negative feelings these fears                                                                                        Product: Sales management        • Steer clear of gobbledygook
would like the sales expert to work with        can generate. She moved on to the chal-                                                                                              training and consulting            jargon and buzzwords.
her team members, “to put a spark in            lenge of better managing time in order to                                                                                            Market: Corporations worldwide
them,” as Baldridge recalls.                    see more prospects. The platform man-                                                                                                                                 • Use common and natural
   “They wanted to gain market share, to        agers had other responsibilities in addition                                                                                                                            language.
protect the core and go for more. They          to making sales, so she had to teach them
knew that if they did not grow their cus-       to block out time for contacting prospects.                                                                                                                           and natural language. “Conversations with
tomer base, they would be chipped away.”           Call preparation was another topic                                                                                                                                 prospects should be highly structured but
   Baldridge first spoke to the crucial plat-   Baldridge focused on. She believes that                                                                                                                               not canned or pat.”
form managers at an informal holiday            most successful sales calls are well pre-                                                                                                                               Structurally, Baldridge says the job of
meeting. Many of them had come into             pared, but salespeople cannot take too                                                                                                                                salespeople is to help prospects think and
banking two or three decades ago as tellers,    much time for preparation. In banking,                                                                                                                                improve. The right questions help
when selling was a kind of blasphemy in         with so many details to review, it is tempt-                                                                                                                          prospects think, while the right answers
banking. They were now salespeople and          ing to spend too much time preparing.                                                                                                                                 aid in the improvement. Doing both nat-
knew it but did not necessarily have all the       Baldridge put great emphasis on not                                                                                                                                urally builds trust, and prospects buy from
                                                                                                TRACEY KROLL

skills and habits of top salespeople.           just what to say, but how to say things.                                                                                                                              people they trust.
   “It was a one-hour holiday party empha-      “Language is behavior and behavior is lan-                                                                                                                              “Your goodbyes are as important as
sizing attitude and motivation,” Baldridge      guage,” she notes. Her overall aim was to                                                                                                                             your hellos,” Baldridge stresses. Many

2   MAY 2009 SELLING POWER                                                         You can't make everybody love what you do, but you   can know how great you feel doing it.– Michael Bolton                                        SELLING POWER MAY 2009     3
essentials                                         MANAGERS’ CORNER                              TIPS          MOTIVATION         SELLING SKILLS

                “Remember, I am always there                                                                    avoid the hard work of sales. Platform man-
                                                                                                                agers deliberately scheduled time for sales
         for you,” and “If you decide to change                                                                 calls and were using these scheduled blocks
                                                                                                                of time. Business was up significantly.
            your checking account or payroll, I                                                                    Baldridge attributes much of this success
                                                                                                                to encouraging an approach, not enforcing a
         really would love to be your first call.”                                                              script. “We offer a plethora of ways to listen,
                                                                                                                and our glossary has terms and tips that
                                                                                                                amount in the hundreds, so managers can
prospects blow off a first sales call and                                                                       pick and choose the techniques that work
then feel too guilty about it to call the                 MORE ON THIS TOPIC                                    best for them and customize them for their
salesperson back when they do need                                                                              strategy. Within every category, there are ten
them. The aim of the right goodbye is to         Good customer service – some                                   or thirty techniques so they can choose the
remove guilt and encourage that possible         say it’s hard to find nowadays,                                ones they feel comfortable with.”
callback. Baldridge taught platform man-                                                                           The banks’ sales staff has now developed
                                                 but dedicated sales leaders
agers to emphasize future services with                                                                         its own internal language around the new
such phrases as, “Remember, I am always          know that’s not always so.                                     approach, and this helps extend and enhance
there for you,” and “If you decide to            Visit                                    the progress. When Baldridge works with a
change your checking account or payroll, I       may09 to hear entrepreneur                                     large sales force with a lot of turnover and
really would love to be your first call.”        T. Scott Gross relate stories                                  new hires, she often continues training after
                                                 and lessons on service well                                    the initial sessions. But the community
RESULTS-ORIENTED                                                                                                bank’s sales force was small and stable
By 2007, the bank reported it was reaching
                                                 delivered in the Selling Power                                 enough, so this was not necessary.
its goals. Platform managers were no longer      audio file “Unforgettable                                         To learn more about Baldridge’s ser-
hesitant to get out of the office and make       Selling and Service.”                                          vices, visit
calls. There was no more procrastination to                                                                                               – HENRY CANADAY

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