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Part II: Where Have All the Big Customers Gone?

by Kevin D. Crone

February 24, 2014

First off, the creative-value salesperson has been on a team that is figuring out what’s going on in the market. Their goal is to find out what the most significant industry issues and trends are, through research. The team is constantly discovering what customers don’t appreciate and what they do appreciate, and next, what motivates them to buy. Then the team works on revitalizing their offering, so at least they are matching up well.

Marketing and selling must go hand in hand today. Let’s say management has re-figured their offering (the total impact they have on their customers) but their old customers, let alone their new customers and their potential customers, don’t receive the offering or hear any news about it. Announcing to everyone that “We are the best because . . . ” is noise and not interruptive and it doesn’t coach the customers on anything they don’t already know. Granted, with all the noise and messaging today, it’s hard to get attention. You might say the marketplace has an acute case of A.D.D. So this is where your research can help you state a strong point of view that interrupts your prospect’s thinking. (Again, this isn’t about the benefits of your offering). You can make these interruptive thoughts headline workshops you hold for customers, blogs, letters to long-time and new customers, all social media tools, trade shows, etc., to find those who want to hear more.

Using a strong interruptive attention-getter to targeted buyers in their industry, the skillful  salesperson or marketer can make appointments to bring this power and research and their unique perspective to their customer’s business. For example, “We’ve done some research to discover how people can reduce their costs significantly. I would like to discuss it with you.” The marketer/ salesperson is good at engaging the prospect/customer in this kind of businesslike conversation/dialogue around the research or point of view, and also great at bringing up and discussing things the customer hasn’t thought of yet. They bring immediate value and can take control of the conversation by way of their guiding and teaching. With their sense of the customer’s value drivers, they customize the message to the right person. Nearly two thirds of customers (62%) say the sales experience is the most important value-creator.

This kind of value-giver can easily talk about money and can go more directly to what his/her service costs, and can take control of the way he/she wants to be paid. Who else could do what they can? This is more than reacting to RFPs with discounts. This research-gatherer, value-driver analyst, perspective-giver, dialogue-skilled, teacher-coach, relationship builder is focused on pushing the customer out of their comfort zone. This is so different from 80 percent of salespeople who are product-peddlers, commercial/ relationship visitors, or the service providers who do everything for the customer order-taker. These value-producing, interruptive salespeople create and hold the tension between what the customer really needs and what is presently going on in his/her business. They are asking their customers to stop doing what they are doing and to do something else, to act differently, and not just buy their products.

In order to do that, the creative value-builder, dialogue-skilled tension creator needs to get people thinking differently about how they operate. If you look at your best producers, people who can bring in big complex sales, they probably fit this profile. Hiring and developing more of them is the key to the future for your more demanding marketplace. If you have transactional order-taking call centres, hardworking, focused people can still win the day. Don’t go overboard here. The two thirds of all salespeople who are not value-creators can be taught how to achieve that status. Examine how your salespeople can transition to new habits and more production.

More on this next week (Part III).

MMM Action:

  • What resonated with you this morning?
  • What do you need to study or ask to learn more about what you need to do to find more customers?

Extra value for you:

Our team is holding another complimentary exposé of our findings on Thursday, February 27th at our Center of Excellence from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. We will offer specific things you can do to move closer to getting the bigger, more complex sales that differentiate you from your competitors and increase your revenues.

My son Kevin Robert, who has been deeply involved in this research, and I will go beyond these initial thoughts and bring you to the specific strategies and skills needed. We will cover what management needs to do to coach salespeople, and how the business structure can support this new style.

This is critical to organizations of all sizes who need to not only fight their way back from tougher economic times, but need to position their outside salespeople for greater long-term success.

This seminar is booking quickly, so reserve now .  I know that you know that nothing changes unless you make it change. This is a biggie.

Have a great week!

Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
(905) 826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032
A Special Invitation from Kevin D. Crone, Canada’s Monday Morning Mentor…

There was a day when sales worked!

In those days:

  • Product peddlers could start pitching with their product benefits and people would listen.
  • Whether salespeople dropped in or had appointments to see what their prospects or customers needed and take orders, buyers would give them the time!
  • Even professional solution-sellers could stop in to see customers, and the client would appreciate the visits and the solutions that were found for them!

No more.  Traditional sales don’t work the way they used to.  How are you supposed to grow your business these days? Now what?

There was a day – not too long ago – when being a thought leader would get you fans who trusted you and eventually they would go to you, as long as you could be seen on the Internet and through social media.

Well, where are the leads now? The sales?

The Internet has changed everything. Customers already know what their problems are, and they’re looking for solutions – but not from marketing, and not even from the very best solution-salesperson. Sales and marketing have changed and a lot of traditional methods are no longer panning out.

We have been engaged in a world-wide research project to find out more specifically what’s going on. We are now ready to share some data that will explain not only what happened, but the ways in which we all have to adjust to find and keep customers.

There are new ways to sell and market. We will explain it all to you at our next business leaders dialogue. Kevin D. Crone, Canada’s Monday Morning Mentor, and his son, Kevin Robert Crone, will be revealing that research along with a possible action plan for those who can see the need to adapt.

Kevin D. has been sending his Monday Morning Mentor emails and holding complimentary two-hour meetings at their Center of Excellence since the Great Recession hit in 2008, bringing help, ideas, and inspiration to those who were figuring out how to fight back. Don’t miss this one.

Join us on:
Thursday, February 27th
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Dale Carnegie Center of Excellence
2121 Argentia Road, Suite 103
Mississauga, Ontario

As always, you will enjoy Kevin’s style, the peer conversation and the insights revealed in the new research.

If you have questions, please email Chee Vang at cvang@dalecarnegie.ca or call our office at 905-826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032.

Not a Monday Morning Mentor subscriber yet? Email to subscribe: info@dalecarnegie.ca

Read past issues in the Monday Morning Mentor Blog.

Consider this: Contact us today to speak to one of our coaches about the one or two things you need to change to have a better life/career/business.

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