Two huge issues related to negotiation and deal timing that commonly plague most sales organizations are waiting until the end of the quarter / quarter-end promotions; and waiting until 30-45 days out to plan for renewals. Sales professionals have actually trained buyers to ask/wait for discounted promotions! So now, what can we do to fix that?Read More
Filtering by Category: Brian's thoughts
We win deals when we: “Show customers how we meet their business needs at higher confidence and lower risk than alternatives.”
Winning has become more difficult: close rates are at an all-time low (49.6%), and actually lower than the odds at a craps table!
Why is this?Read More
Have you been wondering or been frustrated with the ability to implement sales training programs and get them to “stick?" We were too, so we underwent an exhaustive search to determine: what drives implementation and adoption?Read More
We’ve consulted on over 20,000 negotiations in over 45 countries for 16 years. The most common issue we see is:
“Very seasoned negotiators having a price conversation absent of the value conversation.”
What does this mean exactly? Imagine for a moment that you work at a high-end steak house and you encounter this scenario:
You are seated a table and are ready to order. You order the Filet Oscar, the house specialty, which is listed at $42 on the menu.
You continue that you would like to pay $16 for it because that is what you paid last night for dinner (you fail to mention it was a plate of tacos at the restaurant down the street).
Your server goes to find the manager to ask for an adjustment to the bill to give you the discount.
That is crazy, right?Read More
Some of you know that I post quite a bit about working with procurement. There are a couple reasons. First, it’s mostly a painful and dreaded experience for those of us who sell. Second, because we’ve been consulting for over 20 years to both buying and selling teams, this practice has provided deep insight into the nature of that relationship.
I want to share an experience from last week. We brought together sales and sales leaders, as well as a chief procurement officer and two of his buyers. In this day-long session, a great deal was learned from both sides. It was one of the most gratifying sessions I have facilitated in a long time as the value was extremely high for all.Read More
Sales reps need to evolve or they will go extinct; some already have. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story. It is a bit long, but I promise the payoff is there.
I am confident that most of you reading this have had the “opportunity” to buy a car from a traditional dealership? I needed a gently used 2017 truck. My favorite car to buy is usually less than one year old and has about 5,000 miles on it. Essentially, I am looking for a new car where someone else ate the depreciation.
When I started my search a couple weeks ago, I went to both the local Ford and Dodge dealerships to look at trucks. At both dealerships, I had nearly the exact same experience.Read More
My friend and former colleague, Max Bazerman, negotiation professor at the Harvard Business School, once reported to me that:
“Opening offers have more impact on outcomes of a negotiation than all counter-offers combined!”Read More
Discovery has long been among, if not the most important selling skill. Gaining access to stakeholders and uncovering needs is key to presenting your value.
However, most discovery looks like this:
" What Keeps You Awake at Night?"
This approach makes it difficult to gain access to execute discovery and makes it harder to uncover areas to add value and differentiate. What is the value to an executive of meeting with you only to tell you what they already know? How are we going to add value when customers, who are more digitally informed than ever, are diagnosing their own needs and prescribing their own solution (many times sub-optimally)? More importantly, it has us following vs. leading.Read More
Senior executives know that, beyond mergers and acquisitions, a company’s growth is driven one deal at a time by the way salespeople sell and negotiate. That’s why American companies spend $7.2 billion every year on sales and negotiation methodologies. But beyond proprietary (and perhaps biased) consulting reports and high level-level academic papers on change, there’s little information available on whether those investing are actually achieving a return on their investment.
“More than half of the firms report investing $1500-$7500 annually per sales rep in training…only a ¼ of reps use their company’s methodology more than half of the time”Read More
Over ten years ago, after having spent more than 20 years a salesperson, VP sales and sales consultant, we secured our first contract to provide negotiation training for the procurement arm of a major US airline. I felt like the proverbial fox in the hen house!
As I was executing research to get ready for the assignment I stumbled on an article stating that this organization had just been awarded...Read More
A client asks us for a proposal. That’s a good thing, right? We do as they ask and provide a proposal. What’s next? We all know the first offer is likely not going to be the last. In fact, what many of us have done with that response is to give the client a price for products and services. The very natural inclination is for the customer to then begin the negotiations at this phase. We have DNA going back 1000 years saying that the buyer should never accept the first offer. We know what the conversation is going to be and where it’s headed, so how do we change that conversation and take control?Read More
Sellers are frequently faced with angry buyers who walk out of the room, don't return calls, declare the negotiation over, threaten and yell! Most want a list of tips and tricks to counter these tactics. Here is our list.Read More
In my last post, I reported my friend and colleague, Jim Dickie (https://www.salesmastery.com) recently surveyed sales leaders who stated their top barrier to achieving their 2018 revenue objectives was lack of coaching. That article focused on how to use virtual coach technology to address that issue. For this article, we will focus on the second issue for sales leaders:Read More
Are we preparing sales teams to be liked for better personal relationships, or are we preparing them to build better business relationships with clients?Read More
Sellers are having a reactive negotiation conversation about commercial terms with buyers - separate of the value discussion. These buyers are leveraging sellers to drive deeper discounts and concessions absent of the power of value.Read More
With all the changes happening in the world of buying (B2B Digital Revolution, Committee buys, etc.) how is this impacting the fundamental role of sellers and those who support them?
SHORT ANSWER: It is impacting them in a lot of ways.
LONG ANSWER: Looking across the changes and how they are impacting sellers, one stands out above the rest. A seller today, needs to be able to successfully “change the conversation.” Allow me to explain...Read More
There is one thing that demands attention more than all others as it drives almost all negotiation behaviors on both sides of the table. It is the single most important item in negotiation.Read More
Sales enablement and how organizations support sales teams is undergoing significant transformation and it’s an exciting time to be in this field, but this is only adding complexity for those trying to select and make investment decisions.Read More
Today’s sellers are being told time and again their role has evolved: “To be successful now, your job is to bring insight to our customers!” While this is true, with that mandate comes a new question: Insight into what?Read More