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pany consolidated its operations and transferred an office that had been in upstate New York into a location in our territory.


“They transferred one person from the New York office down here, and he pulled the staffing vendor from New York to do an onsite job. So this was very difficult and frustrating, because we had been performing very well. “In order to keep the account, we spun our wheels and gave the cus- tomer lots of options for improving his operations. We did all the hard work for him, and then he took all that in- formation and shared it with the other vendor and told them to do it our way. So we learned that there should be a little more give-and-take in this kind of situation. Instead of giving away all that help, we should get some com- mitment when we provide it.”


STEVE SOFTWARE COMPANY SALES MANAGER “We sell software for collecting data that people can use to put in their bar-code scanners to scan their stock and track inventory. We have a nontraditional business model, as we sell through a network of resellers. We manage a network of 110 part- ners and work with them to pass on knowledge so they can close with the customer.


“I do not know that there is any one big challenge in this. It is more like there are a lot of little challenges in transferring product knowledge to our partners and making sure they have the information they need to close a sale.


“I worked for an environmental contractor for several years, and I did direct sales to customers. That experience does come in handy. The biggest thing I learned in doing direct sales is that you cannot waste the customer’s time and that you always need to get right to the point. “That same principle applies in


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selling software through partners. Our partners also sell other products. So, when we provide contacts to them, they may go in and establish a rela- tionship that will help the customer – and maybe solve a problem for them, even if a particular customer does not buy our product. So, indirectly, when they develop a relationship with a customer, they may still help meet the customer’s needs.


“It does not do us or the customer any good if they buy our product and, two or three weeks later, find they have new software and hardware. “We are really focusing on provid- ing a solution, something that will make our customers’ lives easier.”


EDWARD CAMPBELL REAMCO SALES MANAGER “We sell sunrooms and home im- provements to families.


“I have been doing this for years, and the one thing I always tell my salespeople is that we have a plan and a presentation. You have to go in there every single time and follow the plan and do the full presentation to show the features and benefits of the


product and to create value. “When I was a salesperson, I was going out to meet customers, and I was quite successful at it. I thought, heck, I can sell to anybody – it doesn’t make any difference what I do. Then, one day, I cut short my presentation. I ended up selling the job okay. But the customer spent the next two days calling us up and say- ing they wanted to cancel the order. They weren’t sure about this or they weren’t sure about that.


“So I called and asked them not to do anything and let me come back out there again that night. This time I actually brought the product with me and showed it to them and then we finally got the deal done. And the thing that really hurt me was that they said, ‘Oh my gosh, we are so sorry we put you through all this. If we had seen this all the other night we would not have negotiated so hard on price.’ “To me, that was a very valuable les- son. It really drives the point home.” 


CHECK OUT OUR CLOSING POSTER SET


VIDEO: SALES COACHING WITH DAVE KURLAN, CEO, KURLAN ASSOCIATES


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