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Why Selling Sucks
. . . the Life Right Out of Your Consulting Business
Foreword by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
2012 Book design by Ryan Scheife. Why Selling SUCKS! © Copyright 2012 by Jay Niblick All rights reserved. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Mayfly Design ISBN-10# (0-615-45268-X) ISBN-13# (978-0-615-45268-5) . The Four Buying Styles™. www. Your support of the author’s rights is sincerely appreciated.com Printed in the United States of America.consultantgrowth. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from Jay Niblick.Why Selling SUCKS™. First Publication: January. The CGS Diagnostic Sales Process™. uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. except as provided by the United States of America copyright law or in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews. The scanning. Diagnostic Selling™ are all trademarks of Jay Niblick. The Seven Buying Motives™.
. mentors. independent business consultant and coach. the professional. advisors and teachers out there who so selflessly shared their experience and wisdom and made such a wonderful donation to the pool of knowledge I now hope to share with others in our honorable profession.Thanks to all those consultants. I sincerely hope this book helps in no small way with your achieving that dream. coaches. to chase our dreams of owning our own business and delivering value to those we serve. We have all taken that “bold step” Thoreau speaks of. This book is dedicated to my peers.
not persuading. Jay firmly believes in diagnosing before prescribing through online assessments and good questioning/listening skills. Bestselling Author and member of the NSA Speaker’s Hall of Fame “I believe in helping. effective and surprisingly simple alternative that just works!” —Anthony Robbins. Why Selling SUCKS. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any professional engaged in business development. This is a new mindset. And I’m here to tell you it’s true! This book shows how you. one which is totally compatible with my concept of “Selling. In other words. Jay Niblick’s newest book. not pitching a stock solution. Instead Jay shows you how to make selling an integral part of all that you do so that you never experience those sweat-producing moments of ‘call reluctance’ or feeling inadequate. do NOT need to learn scripts or develop a steel-will to go out and sell. not selling. since I know and trust the author. Entrepreneur.” Get a copy of this book today. preaches all these same philosophies. as a consultant or coach. in collaborating.“Why Selling SUCKS takes a hard — sometimes brutal — look at the logic behind how consultants have historically tried to grow their business and offers a refreshing. in problem-solving. I read on. Tony Alessandra. Author and Peak Performance Strategist “I was a bit shocked when I first saw that title but. Author of Collaborative Selling and The Platinum Rule for Sales Mastery .” —Jim Cathcart. all of us!” —Dr.
simply because they won’t be able to hide behind the excuse of ‘I am not great at sales’ anymore. I had one ‘aha’ moment after another. It provides the missing piece that I’ve never seen anyone else reveal. The first time I saw Jay’s work. stop searching — this book is the answer!” —Greg Habstritt. John. consultants. I immediately realized its sheer power and brilliance. Jay reveals a fascinating but simple strategy to be yourself. He just wants to enhance you and the way you do business. Author of The Secret Code of Success . As I read this book.” —Philip McKernan. There will be a LOT of consultants that will not like this book. Founder and President. If you’re looking for ways to grow your practice. Speaker and President at Philip McKernan Inc. International Bestselling Author.“About time someone stepped up and took on the way ‘selling’ is meant to be and turned that on its head. Jay does not want to change you. study this book and put Jay’s methods to use. and still dominate your market at will. professionals and entrepreneurs. That’s why we now make his work a mandatory part of all our training programs for coaches. Instead of teaching you how to change yourself to become a great sales person. In Why Selling SUCKS. it’s heart breaking how many never achieve success because they never figure out how to sell. SimpleWealth Inc. His method to attract more clients is both simple and amazingly effective. This book challenges you to be you and simply communicate what you do and how you do it and therefore the ‘hard sell’ is not required. “Having worked with thousands of coaches and consultants. enjoy the process. “Jay Niblick has cracked the code when it comes to growing your consulting practice.” —Noah St. If you want more clients and more time to do what you love. It will change your business — and your life.
or at least not one specifically designed for consultants and coaches. Founder Traffic Geyser . Why Selling SUCKS provides a system. a methodology to sell better and sell faster — if you are a consultant/coach. ‘I hate selling!’ Why? They don’t have a great system. It just might be the best business investment you’ll make all year. Most importantly Jay introduces the powerful psychology every consultant. best practices or a methodology to do it.“The number one complaint my customers have is. —Mike Koenigs. coach and expert needs to break through and become a six-figure earner or go from six to seven figures! Do yourself a favor and adopt these concepts.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Five Simple Steps (an Overview) . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Cause #2: Selling isn’t right for what you do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . People buy for their reasons. . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Cause #5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The “Die-chotomy” of being an independent consultant. . . 24 Cause #6. . . . . . . . . . . . . not yours. . . . 1 Chapter One: The Problem with Consulting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 29 30 31 33 Chapter Three: The Diagnostic Sales Process. . . . . . . . . . . . The ABC’s of traditional sales must be re-written! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the more you collect! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Three Basic Truths of Sales Psychology . . . . . . . . . . . . xvi Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Truth #2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The more you connect. . . . . Truth #3. . . . xvi Who is This Book For? . . . . . . . . . 14 Cause #4: The myth of strengths and weaknesses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Cause #1: Selling is a full-time job. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Cause #3: Selling isn’t right for who you are. . . . . . . . . . The Old Way is Dead. . . . . . . . . . Truth #1. . . . . . . . . . . . 7 To Sell or Not to Sell . . 39 The Physician Analogy . . . 26 Chapter Two: The Psychology of Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . 105 The Option of Multiple Yeses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Step #1 — Induce the customer to come to you. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 72 78 86 95 Chapter Four: Squeezing the Trigger . . . . . 111 Chapter Five: Putting it All to Work for You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Connecting the dots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 Buying Style Fit & Compatibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step #5 — Negotiate the Appropriate Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 The CGS Diagnostic Sales Process — A Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Who’s on First? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step #4 — Recommend Diagnostic Profiling. . . . . 131 Buying Style Communication Tips . . . . . . . 122 The Seven Buying Motives (WHY people buy) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Connection Versus Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step #3 — Advise them of Possible Causative Metrics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step #2 — Establish a Concrete Power Source. . . . . . . . 115 Effective Communication = Effective Persuasion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Don’t Forget to Close . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Overview of all combinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 The Four Buying Styles (HOW people buy) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Foreword Dr. it holds them back. Perhaps they don’t want their clients to think of them as one of these distasteful people. Marshall Goldsmith Selling can be uncomfortable for professional business consultants and executive coaches.selling -. They believe that their work should “speak for itself ” and that marketing and promotion -. One of the things that I frequently tell people when they ask me for advice about how to get a job in consult- .is demeaning. Possibly they see self-promotion as a reflection of professional or personal deficit. I’ve known many coaches who want to be “above” selling their services. Whatever the case may be. Maybe they don’t want to be associated with those pushy or annoying people that so often garner the title “sales person”.
New York Times and million copy bestselling author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. We’re in a different field than typical sales people.” Most people aren’t really sales people. Jay Niblick rewrites the sales playbook for the consulting and coaching industry. So. What we need isn’t conventional sales techniques. stop struggling to grow your practice and pick up Why Selling SUCKS — you will be glad you did! —Marshall Goldsmith. Why Selling SUCKS will give you that help. it’s a sales methodology specifically designed for us — independent business consultants and coaches — and that’s what Jay gives us in Why Selling SUCKS. yet you still must sell. . You have to develop the [You] Brand. The trick is to do it in such a way that you are not seen as a sales person. Taking traditional beliefs about how best to “sell” and turning them completely upside down. and that’s where people need significant help.xii Foreword ing is: “You have to sell yourself.
The CGS Sales Formula .Foreword xiii The Diagnostic Sales Process™ The Proven Five-Step Sales Process for Professional Consultants and Coaches Created by consultants — for consultants.
. advisors or any other title you choose? The answer is yes. mentors. Can these lessons be applied to life coaches. privately held practice. These lessons were not learned from.Who is This Book For? This book speaks to “professional. as long as you are: 1. independent business consultants and coaches. Independent — you work for or by yourself or with a very small group. consultants working in large corporate consulting firms where you have separate sales staff. A Professional — you make your sole living providing such services 2. nor do we know them to work for. provide consulting and/ or coaching services — professionally — to businesses.” By this I mean it is for those who are self-employed or work as part of a small. trainers.
A coach — either exclusively. I will refer to this population simply as “consultants. “independent business consultants and coaches” throughout the rest of this document.” . or in addition to being a consultant Note: while this book is addressed to both consultants and coaches. they are more specific to business environments 4. so as not to drive you crazy with constantly writing. A business consultant — while these same lessons could easily apply to a life coach.xvi Who is This Book For? or employees who provide in-house coaching to other employees 3. mentor or other advisor.
perennial Forbes. some of the top executive coaches in the world. In that work.500 independent business consultants around the world in our software and profile methodologies. and multiple New York Times bestselling business authors. Fortune and Wall Street Journal interviewees and contributing authors.Introduction In the course of doing business over the past twelve years. These experts include a world-renowned personal excellence coach. I have been privileged to certify over 1. multi-million dollar management consultants. I’ve also been blessed to work with some of the best consulting and coaching professionals in the world. one of the most published sales experts on the planet. Every one of these pros has generated literally millions of dollars through the application of their savvy and .
from an independent coach who makes $300. these experts have made significant use of Innermetrix methodologies and tools as an integral part of their businesses and how they grew them. As a surgical sales professional for years with Johnson & Johnson.000 USD annually to. The CGS Diagnostic Sales Process™ you are about to learn is the distillation and compilation of these experts’ best practices and methodologies. . and our tools. .2 Introduction expertise . two independent consultants (coaches. It soon became very clear that these consultants were practicing some new form of selling. one more ideally suited for the profession we all share. . I realized I wasn’t seeing any of the more traditional sales methodologies I was used to. working out of their houses. . . As I watched these consultants work their magic. I learned most of those sales techniques — and they were absent in what I was witnessing. That’s right. The level of success I’m talking about ranges. technically) who make between $2MM and $4MM per year . on the high side. on the low side.
likely through much trial and error. Furthermore. The addition of our profiles played a vital role as well. In a way. . and it is designed to teach you the lessons learned from those hyper-successful consultants and coaches. This book does that capturing and sharing. As I realized I was watching a new model of selling that had not yet been formally structured or even named. each had arrived at the same methods on their own. It is peer-created. I also realized it needed to be captured — and shared.Introduction 3 While each had their own unique way about them. they were indeed all practicing a common set of rules. this sales method is not one borrowed from another industry and applied to our world of consulting. Somehow. It is created specifically to consultative selling. so you can trust that you’re learning a process that actually works — not some theory. because this gave each of them something new to leverage that they hadn’t possessed before. fieldtested and results-proven. it’s fair to say that this methodology was developed by consultants — for consultants. as you will see me rail against in these pages.
If you’ve been guilty of masquerading as a sales person just so you can be the consultant you want to be. The title. meant to grab your attention. could be further from the truth. I’m sure I will offend or irritate a fair number of people. If you’re tired of “putting on the sales hat” when you neither want to.4 Introduction If you are an independent business consultant or coach and you’re struggling to grow your practice. just for the record: Given everything I’ve said so far — and will to come — some might assume I’m condemning the act of selling altogether. Nothing. . And. this book will show you how to throw that hat in the trash and still grow your practice to incredible heights. with the title of this book. however. nor feel it looks good on you in the first place. however. Why Selling SUCKS isn’t meant to be an insult to anyone in the profession or the role itself. shock you a little and hopefully cause you to realize the contrary nature of this text and the process contained within because your belief system on how to grow your practice needs this shock to its system to knock it loose. both sales professionals and consultants. this book is for you. It is. this book will help you reach your objectives.
.com www. Inside you will find everything you need to stop sucking the life out of your practice and instead start growing your client base and increasing your profits . while you need the benefits of sales. Ironic as it might sound. Whether a novice or experienced expert. you can’t commit the typical acts of selling. today! Enjoy! Jay Niblick. The moral of this story is that. .com . .Introduction 5 While I am not condemning the profession of sales. . sales may be the objective . I am arguing that “sales” is for sales people — which you are not.consultantgrowth. I’ve witnessed both types of consultants achieve significant growth for their practice by applying the lessons contained in this book.whatsyourgenius. but “being a sales person” is the enemy. Founder — Consultant Growth Systems www. as a consultant or coach.
my company. This simple survey was designed to help us understand how satisfied the general consulting community was with their dependence on selling to grow their practice and how satisfied they were with the results of their sales efforts.000 consultants. conducted polls of over 2. While 99% of the respondents felt that “increasing sales” was their most critical issue.Chapter One The Problem with Consulting To Sell or Not to Sell In both 2009 and 2010. Innermetrix Incorporated. 98% felt an equally . but they highlight a critical issue. The results of that survey should come as no big surprise to anyone in this field.
the mistake most consultants make is that they fail to recognize that they are NOT sales people. This is because they know that sales people are best at . Simply put. a bit of a dilemma. Cause #1: Selling is a full-time job. that’s what I would call . But.8 Chapter One strong dislike for the act of “selling.” With such a significant problem. “The Problem: Independent consultants need to sell to grow their practices — but they hate to sell. . Otherwise you are treating the symptoms.” Now. before you can fix a problem. Professional sales people are just that — professionals. how to fix it. it is tempting to jump immediately to the solution. Look at any large and successful company and they have a dedicated sales force. Below are the six leading causes of poor sales for the independent business consultant/coach. . Only then can you hope to fix the problem. you have to understand its cause. whose primary role is to sell.
educating. it takes constant attention to keep that skill honed and sharp. and the best practices for professional sales people aren’t something you can just pick up and transport to another role. . training and practice to become a great professional sales person. while other people are better suited for other roles like servicing. the results are typically equal to the attention put into it. reading a few books or attending a short course on sales isn’t going to work. It takes years of education.The Problem with Consulting 9 selling. When “sales” is treated like a collateral duty. etc. Unless you come from a professional sales background. The best professional sales people have spent years getting to the point where they become incredibly effective. It takes years of practice to become a very good sales person. Treating sales as something else you have to do in order to do your real job will only result in mediocre results — at best! Furthermore. It takes a specific personality type (more on that later). And. thinking you can “pick up” sales in a few courses or as an ancillary skill simply won’t work. manufacturing. Salesmanship isn’t just some sideline skill you pick up in order to become better at some other core job.
you need to sell. who would you consult to?). Sure. you may make some sales. Cause #2: Selling isn’t right for what you do. Just as assuming that the best sales techniques in retail will work for selling to the government is wrong. Not when it comes to my life’s work. and I know this makes rational sense (I mean. in order to grow your practice. you will struggle. I personally don’t like having those kinds of odds be the norm for the growth of my own consulting practice. You’re using someone else’s tools. as a consultant. until you realize that your core profession is being a consultant. so too is it wrong to assume that the best sales practices — of . How does the saying go? “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while?” Even a novice sales person can get lucky sometimes. without customers. struggle with selling lies in your realizing that you’re borrowing best practices from another role. The key to understanding why you. It’s like the carpenter borrowed your plumbing wrench to drive some nails.10 Chapter One While I know that everyone out there has probably told you that.
A very common mistake I’ve seen our consultants make is to try to emulate other sales people they’ve known. you undermine your prospect’s belief in you as the expert. They try to switch the sides of their old desk and remember (imagine) what it was like to sell to themselves. the person you are trying to copy was a professional sales person. or the expert. the other reason you should stop playing sales person is because you. they try to copy what they saw other sales people doing to them. . must be seen as the authority. Now that they are independent consultants who need to start selling. “Do unto others as you have seen them do unto you. the general perception of a “sales person” is not that of a respectable authority in your field. the thought-leader. in most cases. It is like some perverse Golden Rule. they have had lots of exposure to sales people trying to sell to them.The Problem with Consulting 11 professional sales people — will work for you. is that. The moment you start selling. You are not! Outside of the fact that your “full-time” profession isn’t selling. though. the professional consultant. As executives in their former lives. however. the consultant. While it isn’t fair.” The only problem with this.
unethical or worse. It’s called a “tie-down question” and it goes something like this.” Really? All this poor physician did was try to promote his business to you (by acting like the best sales person he knew) and all of a sudden he is deemed incompetent. that would meet your objec- . Mr. author of over 11 best-selling sales training books and one of the most successful sales consultants of his time. Would you hire a corporate attorney that you saw advertised on the back of a bus? Would you trust your life savings to a financial advisor who cold called you or pulled out a pitch book at some networking event? Bill Brooks.12 Chapter One What words come to mind if I asked you to describe a physician who called your house offering you a free office visit. When I ask this in the classes I teach. “If I could show you something today. Smith. the opinions range from. With no more knowledge about the physician than this. the results are remarkable. “not very good” and “bottom of his graduating class” to “hack” and even “he probably killed someone. had a list of the top mistakes professional sales people make. On that list was one of the more common “old-school” ones I’ve seen in the consulting community.
they exist nonethe-less. . and you must deal with this fact. .The Problem with Consulting 13 tives. A professional sales person’s sole objective is to sell. a sales professional is using consulting as a means to an end . It’s that simple . to sell. While consultative selling does seek to replace selling activities with consulting ones. ?” Immediately. and authentic. are seen in a completely opposite light. however. . . how do you feel in response to this question? More importantly. it is still something a professional sales person does. Some have played around with what they call the Consultative Selling model. . . what happens to your view of the person who is asking it? Exactly! Experts. While neither perception may be justified. but even this isn’t the same as the Diagnostic Sales Process. Instead of sales people acting like consultants to sell — or consultants acting like sales people to sell — I champion the radically simple concept of consultants acting like consultants to sell. Thought-leaders. authorities and experts enjoy the very opposite perception in the public eye. would you . Here. .
).000 people around the world and I can state with great empirical confidence that there are defined and different natural talents or traits that lend themselves to success as either a sales professional or a consultant. dominance. aggressiveness..g. And.). Most great sales people love the hunt but hate to think they would then have to spend months servicing that new client (unless they see another sale nearby.g. Why do you think larger companies have a .. of course). tactical versus strategic outlook.14 Chapter One To grow your practice you will learn to use consulting to sell consulting. There are definitive traits that exist in the best sales people (e. etc. Cause #3: Selling isn’t right for who you are. there is an equally strong trend in what traits show up in the most successful consultants (e. etc. facilitation. The big problem is that the traits in each profession aren’t the same. cooperation. economic drive. strategic versus tactical outlook. We’ve profiled over 500.
but usually aren’t great at delivering unconditional service and support.e.. allowing your practice to depend on your selling).e. then you have created a sig- . coach and consult) than it does fill the role of professional sales person. While there are always exceptions to any rule. So when I say that selling is “not right for who you are” I mean that your personality profile is probably much better aligned with being a consultant or coach than it is for being a sales person. values and behaviors that are seen driving success in the typical sales role are not the same as those driving success in the typical consultant role. but usually couldn’t sell if they had to. the natural talents. And when you allow your success to become dependent on your non-talents (i. the great majority of consultants I’ve certified have a set of natural talents that makes them much more ideally suited to do what they love to do (i.. In other words. it has less to do with a scale issue and more to do with the fact that each population is ideally suited for delivering a different core result. most sales people deliver great sales.The Problem with Consulting 15 dedicated customer service department? Trust me. And. Customer service people deliver great support.
but these are not the same as strengths and weaknesses. it supports the incorrect view that someone can fix a weakness by developing a new natural talent for something.” I actually dislike this phrase. In reality. Cause #4: The myth of strengths and weaknesses. I’m not one of those who thinks it is too negative to tell someone he or she has a weakness and wants to call it “an opportunity for development. Don’t get me wrong. You’ve created a weakness by allowing your practice’s success to depend on your becoming the best sales person — not the best consultant. There is a myth about strengths and weaknesses that states that we all naturally possess them. we don’t. . because more often than not. What we do possess are natural talents and non-talents. I tell him or her straight up. it is manufactured. If one of my clients is suffering from a weakness.16 Chapter One nificant problem for your business. But the key is that this weakness isn’t natural. No human possesses any single strength or weakness.
you are ultimately in control of your strengths and weaknesses. but I assure you that this is much more than a simple play on words. In this way. they create them. if I don’t rely on my talents then they are never strengths for me.The Problem with Consulting 17 Weaknesses and strengths don’t exist naturally. only talents and non-talents. The power is theirs as to whether these strengths and weaknesses exist. This might seem like I’m talking about some minor. then I create a weakness for myself. If. You may be born with talents and non-talents. . semantic difference. but you are in charge of whether or not those talents and non-talents are used to become strengths or weaknesses. When you allow your success to depend on your non-talents. you create strengths. however. you create weaknesses. I manufacture strengths and weaknesses. Likewise. Most people buy into the myth that they possess their strengths and weaknesses and fail to understand that they don’t actually possess them. Understanding this concept requires a total change of perspective. In other words. I rely on a non-talent. When you allow your success to depend on your talents.
” so you. Beth spoke up with a challenge and said that sometimes you don’t have a choice but to rely on a non-talent. But instead of trying to take them out by developing new natural talents. bring your weaknesses into this world. can take them out. as we talked about the concept of manufacturing weaknesses. and that it was “just a part of [her] job. in order to grow her practice. you’re simply going to remove your dependency on them — by not making your success as a consultant dependent on your success as a professional sales person! A great example of a consultant manufacturing a weakness by allowing her practice to depend on her becoming a great sales person can be found in the story of Beth. On a recent teleconference with Beth and twelve other coaches. and I can take you out.” As an independent business consultant. she had to find new clients.18 Chapter One The thing that controls how these potentials turn out is how you apply yourself. however. Just as Mom used to say. and you. “I brought you into this world. didn’t support the typical def- . too. too. She went on to explain that she couldn’t avoid having to sell as an independent coach. Beth’s natural talents.
and tried everything that other consultants had said worked for them. As a result. read sales development books.” She didn’t like prospecting. Even though she knew selling wasn’t her strength. Her natural talents were such that much of what it takes to sell was just not a strong suit for her. and if she wanted to be an executive coach she was just going to have to sell—even if it meant manufacturing a weakness. she wasn’t comfortable cold calling or closing aggressively. . she bought into the same belief that so many others do—that the role is the role. that there are just certain aspects of a job that are beyond choice. she didn’t see any real improvements. though. She had taken sales training programs. By the time we were talking she had reconciled herself to the fact that sales was just a part of the role. No matter how many times she tried. she had been trying to fix herself and create a natural ability for selling where none existed previously.The Problem with Consulting 19 inition of “selling. and there is nothing you can do other than develop your ability to excel in all areas.
Even though she knew she wasn’t very good at selling. “If something isn’t right. “Why do you try to be a sales person?” she said. and with so many people telling her the same thing (e.” Then I asked her.” When I asked Beth. it never really dawned on her that she could eliminate that aspect of her role altogether. “So I can grow my coaching practice.20 Chapter One Think about it. “How do I achieve my objective of growing . Like many of us. She had not asked herself. she never imagined questioning it. That’s how programmed we all are to think. The simple solution for Beth was to stop trying to be a sales person and instead just focus on being what she wanted to be—a successful coach. Beth had fallen into the same trap so many others had fallen into. “If your objective is to be a great coach. That’s how ingrained the belief is that the role is the role. Beth was conditioned to believe there was only one best way to fulfill her role. then why are you trying to be a great sales person?” Beth’s reply was. “Because that’s what the job requires. you have to sell).” And there you have it.g. it’s me that has to change.
she started coming up with all kinds of answers. she found a whole host of resources to help her create an education-based marketing program that had her authoring articles. lecturing as an expert. It wasn’t that the answers were terribly difficult to come by. . It turns out that most successful coaches do very little sales-based marketing. figuring out how to grow her business without selling). but not so much for professional services. Instead. Once the right questions were being asked. Ask yourself.e.The Problem with Consulting 21 my practice in a manner that doesn’t involve my having to become a great sales person?” However. Sales-based methods may work fine when you are selling a commodity. once she focused on the overall objective instead of the conventional path to it. though. have you ever gone to a physician whose office called your house to ask if you were sick? Once Beth was focusing her effort in the right place (i. and sharing a newsletter with a growing subscription base in which clients were coming to her. they follow the education-based marketing approach. the answers started to flow. just that she hadn’t thought to ask the question. once she asked that question.
Her practice is up 250% now.22 Chapter One Was it any less work? No. Imagine you are a soldier tasked with getting from point A to point B. Beth learned that by changing her focus from being a sales person to being a coach. she’ll tell you that it felt like a whole lot less effort. I like to use lots of physical analogies. When it comes to understanding the general concept for the two different approaches for dealing with weaknesses. In the classes I teach. Along the way. I like to think of two different paths through a minefield. compared to this time last year. but if you ask Beth. because they help you connect a new concept to one you either already know or can more easily understand. In the end. by the way. You look at your map and determine the best route to take to achieve your objective. you come upon a minefield. happy and satisfied with what she did. however. and you start out on that path. educate) and growing her practice at the same time. it wasn’t. lecture. because she was relying on what she loved to do and did well (speak. At this point you . she was much more successful.
Or you could choose option B. Unfortunately. The process of becoming a great consultant doesn’t lie in becoming an expert at defusing mines or fixing weaknesses. If along the way they realize that they have a weakness (a mine). so they can be great consultants. If you choose option A. This is exactly what consultants do when they try to be great sales people . you manufacture a liability or a hazard. whereby you stick to your original path but stop to defuse each mine as you come to it. the mines are still dangerous. they remain only potential hazards.The Problem with Consulting 23 have two choices. They are given an objective. You could choose option A. Which would seem the most advantageous and expeditious? Most people would choose option B because it is faster and less risky. It comes in being an expert in plotting a course that bypasses the mines altogether. but since your path to success doesn’t take you through the minefield. . instead of changing their path they stop to try and fix that weakness (defuse the mine). When you choose option B. determine a path to it and start down it. whereby you simply walk around the minefield. . . in real life most people are taught to choose option A.
Cause #5. The “Die-chotomy” of being an independent consultant. if you are a follower of old-school sales training you may have heard that “you have to sell your- . That’s what I call the “die-chotomy” of being an independent consultant . easier and less likely to blow up in your face. Now. having to be both the seller and that which is sold. I can’t be an idealist. The real problem is. this course is much faster. . you are selling you.24 Chapter One This book is about helping you discover potential mental obstacles so you can plot a course around them instead of through them. In the end. The one doing the selling is you. is not right for what you do and not right for who you are. as an independent. unlike any other sales role. . I appreciate that. if you don’t bring in new business — you don’t survive. I appreciate that you are the only one in the business and it falls on your shoulders to grow the practice. but the thing being sold is also you. While I’ve been talking about how the act of outright selling undermines your success as a consultant.
as the consultant. by taking any actions that position you as a sales person in your prospect’s mind. . This is the very essence of the problem. Bear in mind that they appreciate the sales person’s role to sell because he or she is the conduit to something the buyer wants. The key. In reality. as I’ve already said. trust is far more important than just being liked. is that the sales person is not what the buyer wants. thus creating confusion and reducing the chances of the sale. The dichotomy of being both expert and salesperson will kill you in the end . It’s not about being “liked.” And. . So. if you let it.” it’s all about being “trusted. YOU are what they want to buy. every poll I’ve ever seen shows that sales people just don’t generally engender trust in the mind of most consumers. you erode their trust in you as the expert you hope to sell them. however. . never realizing the diametrically opposing view that each role creates in the mind of their prospect.The Problem with Consulting 25 self ” in sales. nothing could be further from the truth! In your world. In your case. Most consultants will die trying to be both. just the conduit to it. When you take up the sales person role you become both the product and the conduit to it.
you use a DVR to record what TV you do watch. The old way is dead. Old sales-based methods of marketing are. That belief is that you market AT people. If you’re like most people. If you’re like me. Along with any preconceived ideas about having to be a great sales person in order to be a great consultant. you recognize an ad in your mailbox instantly and throw greater than 90% of them away without even reading them. DEAD! If you need perspective on this simply ask yourself how effective any of this old kind of marketing is on you. there is one other legacy belief you will have to get rid of if you want to truly grow your practice to incredible heights.26 Chapter One The key to your success lies in your ability to pick just one of these two professions. If you’re like the average human. you employ software specifically designed . simply put. so you can skip commercials. Cause #6.
In today’s market. networking. In other words. while it still may work for select kinds of products or even services. You can only pull it. You can’t push on a rope. on the other hand. Just remember this simple phrase.The Problem with Consulting 27 to destroy any email marketing — and any that gets through pisses you off and alienates the sender in the end. involves attracting the prospect to you through a broad-based program of methods like authorship.” . Today’s consumer has gotten way too smart. Think of your prospect as having a rope tied around his waist. speaking. referrals and being established as an expert in your field. This is marketing at people. all you’re likely to do is push your prospects away. Pull marketing. and. you have to attract the prospect to you. you must understand the difference between “push” and “pull” marketing. direct mailing or phone solicitation. “When you employ push marketing. it just doesn’t work effectively for the kind of sale you must make. anyway. way too overwhelmed and way too tired of such marketing practices. Push marketing is where you proactively contact prospects through such methods as cold-calling.
” Stop Pushing and Start Pulling .28 Chapter One To make sure you always pull the rope. you need to switch from a sales mentality to a marketing one. Marketing focuses on the needs of the buyer and the need to satisfy the customer. aptly described the difference between sales and marketing: “Selling focuses on the needs of the seller and the need to convert product to cash. onetime lecturer on business administration at the Harvard Business School. Theodore Levitt.
Hundreds of models exist. it’s important that you understand a few basic truths about the underlying psychology of sales and purchasing behavior that drives its effectiveness. consultative. farmer. There are a lot of variables when it comes to selling.Chapter T wo The Psychology of Sales Three Basic Truths of Sales Psychology The first thing you need to understand about the Diagnostic Sales Process is that it is based on the psychology of sales and the buyer’s perspective. Therefore. and there are a great many different kinds of sales as well (e.g.. each with their own pros and cons. hunter-gath- .
there are four basic “truths” about the psychology of sales that you must know: Truth #1. it’s still a very good one because it keeps you centered on the core of your value as a sales person. They know you are a sales person so it’s okay. “Always Be Closing” has existed for years.30 Chapter Two erer. etc). to be seen this way. The ABC’s of traditional sales must be re-written! The old sales adage. is very well defined. however. to be seen in this way as a consultant because your primary . and appropriate. when what is expected of you in the eyes of your prospect is to sell. however. And it’s NOT okay. technical. inbound. relational. outbound. and if you are a professional sales person. or appropriate. The common mistake most consultants make. and deals specifically with selling consultative services. The specific type of sale we’re concerned with. ordertaker. And when it comes to doing just that. This oldschool approach only works. however. is that they apply the rules for sales people to themselves as consultants or coaches.
as a thought-leader.” you need to substitute “consulting” to this sentence so you will “Always Be Consulting” when you are in front of your prospect. Instead of “closing. they want you to help them. as an expert. remember to NOT sell them. There is a direct positive correlation between how well you get to know your prospect . The more you connect. as an advisor. just CONSULT to them — because that’s what they want from you and that’s what they must experience. It’s to help them. Truth #2. Summary: In the spirit of Truth #1. Remember to always be demonstrating your true value.The Psychology of Sales 31 value to them is not to sell them something. Any time you interact with a prospect. nowhere is it truer than in selling professional services like consulting or coaching. resist the urge to put on your sales cap and stick with wearing your consulting cap throughout any and all contacts with prospects. They don’t want you to sell to them. the more you collect! While this is true in almost all types of sales.
the sales person 2. the more you know about them. we used to call this “show up and throw up. or selling their tools or services. the more effectively you will understand their truest need. Many consultants. Remember.32 Chapter Two and your ability to successfully offer them the appropriate solution. and there are truly only four things that an individual can focus on: 1. They get so focused on explaining their solutions. the more accurately you will be able to identify the causes of their problems and the more efficiently you will be able to help them solve those problems. Your product or service . At Johnson & Johnson. fail to really connect with the prospect. unfortunately. In short. You. an individual can only focus on one thing at a time.” where you would get so focused on quickly sharing (throwing up) everything you had to offer that you failed to truly understand the core problem or seek to understand before being understood. that they fail to stop and question their way to the sale by being the consultant they are supposed to be.
the prospect) will lead you away from the sale. away from the core problem and away from success. There are times to focus on the other areas. Summary: The more you know. It’s common sense that people are different. . Your organization 4.The Psychology of Sales 33 3. not yours. But.” Truth #3. it is really easy to forget it. we’ve learned that the focus must stay on the prospect as much as possible. the farther you go. which leads to Truth #4 coming up. but in selling consultative services. not your own. People buy for their reasons. it’s to identify the problem.. will drastically improve . Remembering that your prospect will only buy for their reasons. while it’s not hard to remember this fact . The key objective is not to sell the prospect.e. They each have their own buying motives. Themselves Failing to keep the focus on #4 above (i. drivers and interests. .
The odds. are only 14% (one out of seven). you may think that everyone prefers to stick to the top-level discussions. up front. In other words. however. And you must replace how you would prefer to talk about it with how they would prefer to hear about it. that your prospect shares this same point of view and preference are only 25% (one out of four). so you can communicate the core value in the correct way for their specific styles. however.34 Chapter Two your results when it comes to converting prospects into paying clients. To effectively garner trust and commitment from your prospects you must replace what you think is important with what they think is important. Based on your motivators and drivers. it’s all about identifying their values and behaviors. you may believe that it is your price (being drastically lower than your competition) that holds the most significant value. . Based on your natural behavioral style. The odds that price is the most important concern for any prospect. big-picture concepts and move quickly — refraining from too much detail and minutiae.
. helping her identify the cause of her problem. Summary: Failing to accurately understand the drivers. preferred communication style and needs of the prospect is a sure-fire recipe for failure. the primary objective with any prospect shouldn’t be “to sell them.” it should be “to solve them. Truth #4. Many consultants create an artificial barrier to their success by placing the objective of “selling” in front of their client.” Instead of focusing on selling solutions. 14% and 25% isn’t good enough when it comes to growing your practice.The Psychology of Sales 35 A cornerstone of the Diagnostic Sales Process involves a unique and foolproof way of securing this information about your prospect before you do anything else. motivations. This model will give you a guaranteed way of knowing exactly what the prospect’s strongest buying motives and communication style are so you aren’t left assuming. In reality. seek first to identify the problem and its cause. He who identifies the cause of the problem gets to solve it. guessing or using your own.
” Once you change your legacy thinking from. then you automatically position yourself as the expert. but the impact of such a shift in thinking is immeasurable. “I need to sell” to a focus of. The moment you learn to wake up seeking to go out and help prospects (yes.36 Chapter Two If you make your primary objective to identify the cause of their core problem. NOT paying clients) to identify the cause of their problems. As you read through the rest of this guide I’d like to share with you one of my personal mantras. prospects. “I need to solve. . create favorable influence and know exactly what to make your proposal about. establish rapport. Making this your daily mantra will help remind you of your true value proposition. much more successful and much happier! It may seem like a subtle difference. you will witness significant growth in your practice. It is: “He who identifies the cause of the problem gets to fix it. instead of going out and selling them services.” I promise you will be better off.
the effect you are after is. is that you identified the cause of their problem (pain) — all before even asking for the business. There is a causal relationship between identifying the cause of the problem and getting to fix it. “getting to consult to or coach the client.” The cause of that effect. There are many “causes” one can employ as a sales person.The Psychology of Sales 37 keep you focused on the actions necessary to deliver that value and steer you away from most distractions that will take you down the unsuccessful “selling” path. but we’ve found that by far. however. Here are some of the most common causes consultants try to create in order to achieve that endeffect of getting the business: • You had the best price • You had better marketing collateral • You related better with the prospect . Let’s stack this cause up against some other common causes. In this cause and effect relationship. It’s vital that you understand the cause and effect relationship in selling consultative services. being the one who identifies the cause of the problem is the one that creates the greatest effect.
There is no more powerful a cause leading to the effect of your being hired then actually helping your prospect to identify the cause of their problem. in my experience it is the last one that has the greatest effect on the prospect. understand some of the sales psychology and understand why your problems in sales exist in the first place. Trust me! Summary: It’s not about getting to the bottom of the sales funnel. and they will become your client! Okay. Do that. Do that and they will ask you to help them fix it.38 Chapter Two • You had the best credentials • You had the best references • You showed them the actual cause of their problem While all the causes above are pretty good. It’s about getting to the bottom of the problem. . let’s learn about the Diagnostic Sales Process that will alleviate those problems. In addition. it is the one least likely to be replicated by your competition. now that you’ve learned some of the basics.
Chapter Three The Diagnostic Sales Process Five Simple Steps (an Overview) The Diagnostic Sales Process consists of five simple steps. • Step #2 — Establish a Concrete Power Source: The critical issue (and its implications) in the mind of your prospect that drives everything. that keeps them up at . They are: • Step #1 — Induce your customers to come to you: Replacing old-school push marketing with contemporary pull marketing techniques. education-based marketing must replace sales-based marketing. Here.
g. taking your client through it step- .e.). These variables must be measurable. • Step #3 — Advise them of Possible Causative Metrics: Key variables that typically cause the critical issue identified in Step #1. personal competencies. training or coaching.. • Step #4 — Recommend Diagnostic Profiling: The actual diagnostic profile from IMX that you will use to quantify the variables and help you diagnose the cause of the critical issue (e. Attribute Index. OHC. By “walking this process” (i. or any valid psychometric profile you have access to).g. DISC.. typically through one of the IMX Profiles (e. behavioral style. etc.40 Chapter Three night and that will be the source of power needed to fuel any call to action you will give them.. your proposal for consulting. Values. natural talents. • Step #5 — Negotiate the Appropriate Solution: The recommendation you make to address the causes of their specific critical issue. Each of these steps feeds directly into the next. In other words.
This approach isn’t new to you. There is a natural progression to this model. To show you what I mean let’s use the analogy of a trip to your physician’s office. let’s witness it from a real-life scenario that all of you have actually experienced in some form or fashion. I will unpack the entire thing in the role of consultant later. . you will hone in on the exact problem that will drive your successful sale. Word of caution: never skip a step. as you read through this analogy. It starts small and uses the client’s own needs to drive to the next step. For practice. you’ve actually been on the receiving end of it before.The Diagnostic Sales Process 41 by-step). While you will be tempted. see if you can pick out the equivalent actions you would take as a consultant walking through a similar process with your prospect. for reasons you can’t appreciate at this stage in this guide — DON’T! The Physician Analogy Before we walk through the steps of the Diagnostic Sales Process. Don’t worry. though. and the prospect will give you the signs (so you think) that they are ready to skip to the end and buy.
you are sitting in the exam room and the physician walks in. when does it hurt. however. This is the equivalent of Step #1 (Induce your customers to come to you) in the Diagnostic Sales Process. This is the equivalent of Step . Take a minute to ask yourself why you wouldn’t call that physician and understand how you want to make sure you don’t position yourself similarly. Notice.g. etc. how long has it hurt. or it may be because you’ve come to view this physician (or at least the medical group) as a respected authority in your area. So.). It may be through a referral from a trusted friend. where does it hurt.42 Chapter Three Step #1. Step #2. Her first objective is to ascertain exactly what your pain is (e. You have a pain in your knee so you schedule an appointment to see a physician. how badly does it hurt. You don’t respond to being pushed to a specific physician because she called your house. The key is that she will conduct a very thorough exam to make sure she has a complete understanding of the pain. how you would not be likely to choose the doctor you saw advertised on the back of the bus in front of you on your morning commute.. You were induced to reach out to this particular physician because of the education-based marketing that she has done in your local community.
The Diagnostic Sales Process 43 #2 (Establish a Concrete Power Source) in the Diagnostic Sales Process. Mr. “So your knee hurts? I have no idea what could cause such a thing. in order to establish herself as an authority in your eyes. The importance of this step can’t be overemphasized. this reinforces her expertise in your mind. Your physician’s next step is most likely to put forth some possible causes of your pain.” Or “So your knee hurts? I’d recommend we schedule exploratory surgery next week. she has already . “Typically such pain is caused by a meniscal tear. Smith”). Psychologically. that she educate you on the most common causes of such pain..”) you would feel she is taking action without the full story. something absolutely crucial happens in your head with respect to her ability to help you. Whereas you walked in with pain of an unknown origin..g. Step #3. but let’s schedule an MRI to see if we find anything.g. the most common reasons why others have had similar pain (e. Were she to jump straight from inquiring about your pain to recommending some tests or treatment (e. Doing so establishes her as someone with enough experience and expertise to have seen this kind of thing many times before. By stating some potential causes of your pain. It is vital.
Mr. Now. “While it sure sounds like a meniscal tear. Any good physician will make a similar statement as those above. While I strongly suspect this is the case. you would gladly comply with her recommendations to do further testing — because you want to stop the pain. it would be malpractice for me to just assume so and prescribe treatment. the key is what she does next. Step #4. Smith. That’s why she will make a statement like. This might have been inferred given her title and reputation.” And. So. you get your MRI and find yourself back in the physician’s office waiting for her to go over the .44 Chapter Three offered up some possible causes. Being something you didn’t know when you walked in. she is immediately positioned as someone who knows more about the subject than you do. but now it’s made concrete with a literal example. This is the equivalent of Step #3 (Advise them of Possible Causative Metrics) in the Diagnostic Sales Process. I’d like to order an MRI (diagnostic test) to prove that this really is the cause of your pain. we need to be sure. like 99% of all patients. but they would never act on a “possible cause” without first verifying or proving as much as possible that such a cause really is to blame.
in the hope that she will have discovered the cause of your pain once and for all. the fact that she is showing you (not just telling you) is incredibly powerful. they believe your interpretation much more because you showed them something tangible. While you don’t really have any idea what the images mean.” you wouldn’t have near the belief or conviction as you would when she shows you the actual images. Were she to simply walk in and say. This is the equivalent of Step #4 (Recommend Diagnostic Profiling) in the Diagnostic Sales Process. you come to the point where you look at her and ask. Your doctor brings with her the actual results from the MRI and displays them for you to see — with your own eyes. as she interprets the results of your imaging studies she tells you (and more importantly shows you) what is and isn’t correct. which way is up or down. finally — having come to believe in your physician as the knowledgeable expert she is. “So. And. . “I looked at the results and they show . And. Step #5. . Even though you yourself don’t understand the results. . or what is right or wrong about the inside of your knee. The key here is that even though the patient (prospect) doesn’t understand the results. your physician does.The Diagnostic Sales Process 45 findings.
If she recommends surgery. whatever her recommendation is. it would be most unlikely that you would say. that she is the best person to help you correct the problem and cure your pain. and the belief that has been created in your head. I’m going to get another doctor to fix my knee. Hand over those MRI results. She doesn’t have to sell you on anything. This is the result of her education-based marketing that conveyed her expertise in the first place. “Thanks. you are not being sold — you are begging for the solution. Doc?” With absolute conviction you trust her advice and actively (desperately perhaps) seek it out. If she suggests physical therapy. you will be prone to follow it. In a sales analogy. by all of this. you’ll take it. her ethics in not acting recklessly by prescribing treatment before definitively identifying the true cause. Doc. . In all likelihood. With all that she has put in to establish herself as the expert. her having demonstrated her expertise by identifying possible causes right off the bat. you find yourself literally asking for her help and recommendation. you’ll take it. Quite the opposite.” You’re going to “hire” her. her thoroughness in identifying your core pain. This is the equivalent to Step #5 (Negotiate the Appropriate Solution) in the Diagnostic Sales Process.46 Chapter Three how do we fix it.
Every step. It is especially poor in your profession as a consultant. is what is called education-based marketing. so as you learn it. I wanted you to see it in action first. So that’s the physician analogy. It alienates the prospect. takes you farther away from where you want to be — not closer. positions you as a sales person. and the psychological underpinnings that made it work. Now let’s really get to know the five steps of the Diagnostic Sales Process. however. every cause. you can immediately connect each step to something you actually know quite well.The Diagnostic Sales Process 47 Unbeknownst to you. Step #1 — Induce the customer to come to you. This is what all . As we’ve discussed. in the end. attempts to push on the rope and. every effect and every nuance perfectly fits the exact process as you’re about to learn it. What does work in your profession. traditional sales-based marketing just doesn’t work well anymore. you just witnessed the Diagnostic Sales Process in action.
48 Chapter Three
the successful consultants I know do, and, by doing so, they induce their prospects to seek them out, find them when they have a need/want . . . pull the rope, if you will. So, what exactly is education-based marketing (EBM)? There are really only two broad categories of marketing: sales-based marketing, in which you take on the role of a salesperson and deliver a sales message, or education-based marketing, in which you take on the role of an expert, consultant or educator and educate prospective clients about their problems and the solutions for them. Sales-based marketing is built around a sales message or sales pitch. The sales pitch is delivered using methods that reach out to prospective customers, such as telephone selling, direct mail and door-to-door sales. Marketing experts like Seth Godin and Donny Deutsch call these kinds of activities “interruption-based marketing,” because they interrupt people. They also talk about how the market is becoming way too savvy and inundated with such interruptions, and the effectiveness of them is decreasing rapidly. Simply put, interruption-based marketing is DEAD! That means things
The Diagnostic Sales Process
like cold calling (phone, email or in person) and mass mailings seeking to “sell” are dead. Don’t bother. Don’t do it. Did you know that the average response rate for direct mailings has dropped below 1%? Our own EBM seminars, however, commonly see conversion rates as high as 55% and 60%. EBM is built around an educational message instead of the old sales pitch. The educational message is delivered to prospective clients through educational means. These include written materials, media publicity (articles and interviews), advertising, seminars, newsletters, audio and videotapes, and websites. Typically, EBM programs work like this: You create an educational message, which you first put into the form of a written handout. You share this article everywhere you can (more on repurposing later). Submit it online at article sites, or to magazines and newspapers. Make it available at every networking event you attend or BNI conference you are a member of. Then you turn that into a podcast recording for your website. Then you break it up into a couple of blogs or newsletters. You even turn that article into a speech that you make readily available as a free teleconference
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class, free video on YouTube or free power point presentation that is available for download for free off the Internet. Finally you contact any and all associations that have anything to do with your target market and offer to present this work for free at their next conference, as part of the “Executive Education” series your firm puts on for free. There is a great deal that could be discussed about creating a super-effective education-based marketing program, more than I can share in this document. But, suffice it to say that wherever and whenever you can you should be finding ways to speak to the public to educate them about some ill they may be suffering from. Your objective is to become an established authority on a topic. For some, the idea of becoming a celebrity is off-putting, but you don’t have to become the star. Just the expert. Sales-based marketing creates the following problems: • Clients go out of their way to avoid you because they are tired of being sold to and sales-pressured. A basic tenet of buyer psychology is that you have to give before
The Diagnostic Sales Process
you receive. You can’t be successful simply asking to receive with sales pitches. • Clients don’t think they can trust you because you immediately position yourself as a “sales person” associated with all the other perceptions of sales people (true or otherwise). • Clients are defensive and protective because they expect you to try to pressure them into buying something they don’t want or need. EBM provides these solutions: • You give clients what they want (i.e., information and advice), and you remove what they don’t want; a sales pitch. • You establish yourself as an authority, a reliable source of information and an expert. • You don’t seek out clients; instead, they are induced to seek you out. • You reach clients during the first stage of the decision-making process, often before they call your competitors.
. • You receive calls from clients who are genuinely interested in your services and you screen out people who are not real clients. You must become the source people look to on a given topic.52 Chapter Three • You identify even marginal clients who suffer from phone-call fear. EBM is all about being seen as an expert. Here are more specifics on ways you can position yourself as an expert to your target market. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Now you understand why the American Marketing Association featured this innovative method on the front page of its national publication. even if he doesn’t become your client. • You begin to earn your client’s loyalty because you’ve made an effort to help him. MARKETING NEWS. both by Seth Godin. For some great additional resources on education-based marketing and positioning. but who aren’t afraid to call for your free information. check out: Unleash the Idea Virus and Purple Cow. Chan Kim.
but again. or schedule a dedicated event yourself in partnership with a local bank or other organization that shares similar but non-competitive interests in the same market. This means you can speak on webinars or telesemi- . The reason you don’t have to become a “great” speaker is because you’re not trying to develop a business as a professional speaker. Offer to speak as an expert on something you know a lot about at their next event. If you want to join Toast Masters or the National Speakers Association that’s great. You can create a speaking business if you like. in this instance. or anyplace else where your target audience congregates. and they are constantly looking for new content and benefit. professional associations. Speaking. is only a means to an end. you don’t have to become the most polished speaker on the planet. That end is establishing yourself as an authority and speaking is just one vehicle for communicating that authority and building that credibility.The Diagnostic Sales Process 53 • Speak: Contact all the local member-organizations. Chambers of Commerce. these associations are expected to provide value to their members. but you don’t have to become the world’s greatest speaker for our purposes here. As part of their corporate charter.
You can speak in the form of a video that you record with a $150.00 HD camera (I recommend the Kodak Zi8 as it’s the only one on the market in that price range that comes with an external mic port so you can plug in a $20. TV. select a significant problem you know your target audience suffers from. Then.e. causative metrics). print. journal). to discuss causes that you are able to measure. • Write: Submit articles to local outlets (e. When you write. For example. Anything that addresses your target market’s issues and positions you as a source of expertise on that topic is fine. if the problem is poor customer service. I mean start by stating a problem (i. talk about the cause of that problem (i.e. in the spirit of the formula. some .. Try responding to the editor on articles of interest (either with a supporting or even dissenting opinion). Power Source)..g. Basically.. but make sure. listens or congregates and figure out how you can find a way to speak in front of them (on and offline).54 Chapter Three nars (that you host on your own web site for free or fee).00 lapel mic and sound MUCH better). For example. however. or speak at local events. find where your target market lives. make sure to FOLLOW THE DIAGNOSTIC FORMULA! By this. radio.
then the profile as the call to action afterward. poor people skills (very low I as measured in the DISC Index). offer them a call to action to get their own free profile to see if this is really the cause of the problem. The only trick when writing. training. at the end of the article. but only allude to it and not to “give it away” or they won’t need you. because you’re not interacting with a live individual. And.The Diagnostic Sales Process 55 causative metrics might be: poor emotional intelligence/empathy (low Empathy in the AI profile). lack of motivation to serve or help others (low Altruistic or S as measured in the DI or VI profiles).. discuss ways of combating that problem (e. and I will in Rule #1 in the very next section. make sure your writing is about helping solve a problem. is that you flip the last two steps by offering them some solutions first. but whatever you do. I know we haven’t talked about it yet. Don’t worry.g. Many old-school advisors will tell you to talk “about” the solution. because when they take you up on your offer and inquire about how they can take that profile for free you will have that chance to walk through the process in the right order — from scratch. coaching). Then. If you follow this . better hiring practices. not selling anything.
. As a result.” then your education-based article just became a sales article and nothing — repeat NOTHING — pisses your prospect off more than feeling like they were misled into thinking you were educating them. Use your network to generate buzz about what you are doing. When people are looking for help. “The solution involves training. But. here’s where you can witness an excellent example of pull-marketing or EBM. Having bothered to put in the effort to read your article. and here we find ourselves seeking him out because he has induced us (at least one of us) to come to him. Here at Acme Consulting we’ve developed the best training methods in the industry and we would be glad to talk with you about how we can help you with your training needs.56 Chapter Three path and try something like. here you find me recommending him as the go-to-guy. Ivan Misner has positioned himself as the undisputed authority in all things networking in my mind. then giving the ole’ bait and switch. Do that and I promise you they won’t become your client! • Network: There are way too many books on how to effectively network for us to cover much of it here. That’s education-based marketing. they will feel cheated and angry.
the more rare. Being the general consultant is just okay at best in my opinion. that relationship can be perceived to exist even if the prospect has only read something you put out. . who typically makes more money and is seen with greater esteem. whatever . . psychologically. You need to be seen. but becoming an expert requires hyper-specialization. Ask yourself. And. Interestingly enough. This is one major reason why statistically over 95% of consultant growth is through referral.The Diagnostic Sales Process 57 familiarity is key. or knows someone who has benefited from working with you. just make sure you are out there as much as possible. a newsletter. the general practitioner or the neurosurgeon? Obviously. If it’s a blog. Future clients are ten times more likely to reach out to someone who they have a relationship with when they need help. • Be prolific: Whatever you do. The trick is to get out there talking about matters of the heart to your target market. speaking. • Niche: One simple concept: you can’t specialize too much in one area. make it consistent. One reason is rarity. Plus. specialized or elite the area you specialize in is. do lots of it. writing. it doesn’t do any good to specialize in something with little . the less competition there is.
His reading an article from you that speaks to reducing turnover in the banking industry. Instead of starting from scratch. reading an article on improving hiring practices is somewhat relevant. this doesn’t mean you have to become specialized in just one area. or so infrequently needed that they never need you. you just need to speak as closely to your prospect’s world as possible. get the maximum exposure for your thoughts (your expertise. as niche as you can get without becoming irrelevant is the ideal. Also. sales and hiring in a single industry. however. customer service. There is nothing wrong with you being seen as the expert in leadership in multiple industries. Repurposing is all about building something of value for your prospects (that positions you as the expert.58 Chapter Three to no relevant application to your clientele. of course) and then finding as many vehicles to stick . your genius) by disseminating that expertise out to the world in as many channels as possible. resonates a whole lot more! • Repurpose: The key to repurposing is to maximize your efforts on as many fronts as possible. You don’t need to restrict yourself. If your prospect is an executive in the banking industry. but. or leadership.
Turn it into a blog posting. journal article. Now take that thing you wrote and turn it into a Power Point presentation (or Keynote if you’re a Mac user like me).authorstream . magazine article. If you write something. Getting the picture? Not done yet. though. your Twitter .The Diagnostic Sales Process 59 it in as humanly possible. All computers nowadays have software that will allow you to record your voice and export it as an MP3 file (audio file) that can be posted on your website.slideshare.com (which are basically like YouTube for PPT presentations). tagged in Facebook/Twitter and Linked-In. hyper-linked to in your newsletter.com or www.net or www. You can post it to free. online article. etc. newsletter. online-article submission sites like www. Of course. you’re going to be linking all of these to your Facebook page. downloaded from a link in an email. Turn it into a spoken message with any computer and a microphone.ezinearticles. sites like www. figure out how to repurpose that effort and disseminate it in at least three other ways (although you could probably think of 20 if you’re really good). By doing so you can actually post it online at sites that allow you to upload Power Point presentations for search by the general public online.maximumarticles .com.
record your voice over it as you click through the slides (something both Power Point and Keynote allow you to do easily by clicking the “record” button) and when you click the “share” button you can export that presentation as a video (it does it for you)! Post this video on your YouTube account (something else you surely have) and give it a great title that is based on what your target audience is likely to be searching for. but now you have two (or five) articles without having to do that much more work. it will troll . video. I think — you take that presentation.60 Chapter Three account and your LinkedIn profile (and whatever other social media you use). how little of it would you have to change to speak directly to another industry you target? Could you take that article (blog. YouTube and Google make this video searchable to the 7 billion people on the planet now. presentation. speech) and tweak it slightly to talk to manufacturing executives instead of banking executives? Wouldn’t take too much work. Then — and this is the really cool part. be strategic about how you title it so when you post it to your YouTube account. Lastly. in most cases. because if you “niched” that article to the banking industry. Think you’re done repurposing? Not yet.
to help position you as the absolute authority in your field.The Diagnostic Sales Process 61 the internet helping pull leads to your site where they get to know even more about you as the expert. I’ve learned these lessons by investing tens of thousands of dollars on experts who sell millions of dollars a month (no. Your mission is to find 10-20 topics about which you could speak with authority and get started on at least one of these vehicles. when done properly. I’ve learned these lessons from other consultants who have perfected their craft. Education-based marketing is the most effective way to grow your consulting practice. Check out the EBM template in Appendix F in the back of this book for a guide to creating one of these campaigns. Of course. and. Below are the three biggest rules I’ve learned when it comes to doing it right. consistently and prolifically. however. and I’ve learned these . When butchered. it can do you just as much harm as good. you can always post these videos on your website for anyone to learn from. it will be a great benefit to you. working 24/7/365. that isn’t a typo) using education-based marketing. All of this is designed to create a viral machine.
provide 15 minutes of bland. the moment you do this. Doing so will close the door on that prospect forever because nothing reinforces the image of the slick sales person like hiding sales pitches in educational gift wrapping. If you promote an educational event. pitch your wares and sell them. ¯¯ Jay’s Golden Rules of EBM ¯¯ EBM Rule #1: In order to effectively use EBM to grow your business. obvious and easily available content as your “educational” message. there is one incontrovertible. Simply put. inexplicable. then .62 Chapter Three lessons the hard way as well. This is easier said than done. unavoidable law that must NEVER be broken: SEEK TO EDUCATE — NOT TO SELL Warning. you have moved from education-based marketing to sales-based marketing. and error. You will have to undo years of programming that has taught you that you must close the prospect. and error. through my own trial and error.
notice how in all of his educational material he doesn’t sell. Notice how he gives away a ton of free advice. and give freely. He typically only coaches top executives from the Fortune 500 as a result. Does he have a marketing blurb at the end? Absolutely! But notice how it isn’t about selling you as much as it is offering you more resources. Do you need to close them? Yes. and most relevant examples I can think of. That is a part of a sales process.The Diagnostic Sales Process 63 switch to pushing registration for your upcoming leadership boot camp you will forever be seen by those in attendance as not trustworthy. Make your education-based messages educational. Bear in mind. content and his pure expertise. The key is that he doesn’t tease you with some hints about what you can do and then hit you with a sales offer that . but we’ll talk about that more in a few moments. Go to Marshall Goldsmith’s website (http://marshallgoldsmithlibrary. Check out a friend of mine’s website as one of the best. Marshall is an executive coach who has built a very strong image as an authority in his field. this is marketing and the two shouldn’t be confused.com) and check out his free resources section. Anyway.
pay attention to how. Here you can create your own private username and password and actually get access to a ton more educational content — all free. Also. Something I’m particularly proud of is under the “workbook” section (same “resources tab”). But. like Marshall. It’s educational. Wherever I’ve placed any one of these on the internet.com). Here’s another example of positioning myself through giving away tons of strong content that makes a differ- . Go to the “Resources” tab and look under the “Genius Files”. where he gives you his free educational content. there has been a link leading them back to all the rest. prospects) in a way like no other. he does make his sales pitch (for his book) readily visible.64 Chapter Three you must follow if you are to actually gain any benefit. Do I have a sales pitch on the page? Absolutely. He doesn’t force you to pay him to get his expertise.whatsyourgenius. I refer you to my own public website (www. I’m offering them additional resources. interactive and powerful stuff that allows me to connect with prospects (yes. but it’s kept separate. At the risk of being egotistical. and you’ll find a long list of educational articles.
Just look at some of the power in these statements. . though. is the responses from the viewers. The main reason I’m sending you here. however. all before I’ve even taken the first dollar. you will see four lengthy videos that I created using my Mac and Keynote program mentioned in the previous section on EBM. It’s 100% pull-marketing and lead generation. . http://bit.The Diagnostic Sales Process 65 ence in the prospect’s life .ly/dqerR9 When you land here. What I want to point your attention to. From there I simply made the equivalent of a Power Point presentation. is that this site has been made available for free to prospects only. and I’ve never physically met any of these people. No one who gets sent here is a paying client. I set out to position myself as an authority by giving (and giving and giving) loads of free content that held the potential to change someone’s life for the . I sketched out some images I had in my head. scanned them into the computer and loaded them into the Keynote software on my computer.
your articles. Never thought about this and really looking forward for the next videos. can’t wait for them. great video . the assessments. . the worksheets. • “Smart and successful entrepreneurs offer something for free to attract traffic to their sites and increase sales.66 Chapter Three better and in doing so I’ve seen thousands of people respond in positive ways. remember): • “Hey.” Note how they have become excited about watching more — being pulled? • “I think this concept is brilliant it makes so much sense. . You gave out a piece of yourself with the sincere intention of serving others. Jay. Just priceless!” Just .” Forget being pulled. that’s what I received out of your whole project (the videos. but you did something more. now they are helping pull others virally. Here’s just a sample of some of the more powerful statements (from prospects. At least. everything). I have already started to spread the word. your ideas.
The Diagnostic Sales Process 67 an example of how EBM works when done sincerely. “So this is all great. And I’ve sold a hell of a lot from this fourth page. And. that . I have spent this whole Christmas week watching all the videos. went on to opt-in to a program I was offering for $3k per head. and we’ve established a relationship of value. They start asking me questions. Watch the fourth video in this series and you’ll see where I do make a sales offer. They contact me looking for what I have to offer. The end effect is that these people now view me as an expert in this one small area. others see those comments and immediately the psychological rules of social proof come into play and that credibility and expertise rises even higher. and the others. as more of them leave such comments. The writer of this comment. by the way! Depending on when you read this. doing the tests and listening/watching. but what good is it if I give everything away?” I hear you asking. • I genuinely think that you and Tony Robbins may have saved my life.
and it’s a big but. The more unique. Get it? Remember. given them value and helped them and as a result they seek out my recommendation. not the other way around. EBM Rule #2: You don’t get paid for telling someone what to do. You are actually giving them actionable content they can use tomorrow to improve some aspect of their life. But. They are actively seeking me out. You get paid for actually showing them how to do it. While you want to truly educate your market. I have given them an incredible amount of value already and all up front. but make an obvious link to your ability to show them how to actually do it. Tell them what to do.00 for an e-course. or as high as $3k for a group coaching program. you are not educating them on what your company can do for them (that’s sales-based marketing). I’ve built a psychological connection with them. easy-to-apply and effective that content is.68 Chapter Three final offer might be as low as $47. the whole purpose is to get them to pay you to help them . the more valuable an expert you become. I actually get emails throughout the week with people asking if they can get the fourth video now (I make them wait two days before sending them the link for the final video).
they listen to the same thought leaders. As Dr.” Also. “Knowledge is power. They need his help figuring out how to actually do it. Goldsmith says. “You give away knowledge — but you charge them to help them apply it. I’ve learned a valuable lesson that anyone who takes the knowledge I share and decides to run with it themselves is not a good client anyway.The Diagnostic Sales Process 69 do what you are telling them to do. When it comes to EBM. not about learning the practice. Where I make my living is in the fact that it’s not about understanding the practice of leadership — it’s about learning how to practice that understanding.e.” The reason you want to give away your expertise is because it’s not about selling knowledge. Making a real living as a consultant lies in clients who pay you to actually show them how to do what you tell them to do (i. it’s about practicing that learning). only applied knowledge is power. and they all have access to the same educational content. There is actually a sort of filtering aspect to this kind of approach wherein those cheap prospects who are only looking . “All the leaders read the same articles.” In reality.. Marshall does this because he knows that his clients don’t need him to educate them on what to do. Sir Francis Bacon was wrong when he said.
“I just want to own the blood bank in a time of crisis. select themselves out of contention for my business by taking the knowledge and deciding they no longer need me. Example #1: If your topic is. or the knowledge. albeit morbid.70 Chapter Three to invest the least amount possible. EBM Rule #3: Own the blood bank. long-range planning. I thank the good Lord above and count my blessings that they didn’t go from a cheap prospect to a cheap client. You would want to highlight those specific competencies (e.. Your objective in your lecture is to create a significant demand for something you control. “The core competencies of effective leadership” then being able to actually measure those competencies would become of vital importance to your audience.” What’s meant by this is that you want to control the supply when demand is at its highest. There’s an old.g. etc. and it does.) in the body . Examples can be for a very specific set of developmental steps. only focused on the activity not the objective. training and experience to effectively coach someone or even diagnostic metrics that you can measure. empathy. When this happens. quote that says. self-direction.
simply provide a call to action. simply provide a call to action. Example #2: If your topic is. ask yourself. in the body of your lecture so the demand to know the specifics becomes high. offering to give them a free consultation to evaluate their needs.The Diagnostic Sales Process 71 of your lecture so the demand for being able to measure such things becomes high. and any proprietary materials. They key is to weave your core value into the body of the presentation. At the end of your session. So. At the end of your session. “What is it about this message that only I can provide?” . You would want to highlight those specific steps. cost effectively or in a timely manner. what you’re educating them on is something that they need your help to accomplish completely. “The keys to building customer loyalty” then having a structured process to train and develop such loyalty would become vital to your audiences’ ability to achieve greater customer loyalty. In other words. offering to give them their own free profile (with debrief ) so they can put your good education to work. whatever topic you pick in the next section.
. That said. they make up an easyto-remember formula (Figure 1 below). The power source (and its implications) is the critical issue in the mind of your prospect that drives everything.72 Chapter Three Note: an effective EBM campaign can take some time to build momentum. The truth of the matter is that an EBM program can start paying dividends quite quickly. Don’t worry that this entire process will take you months to start benefiting from. however. but it will take time and effort to build it — along with your reputation as the expert. that keeps them up at night and that will be the source of power needed to fuel any call to action you will give them. Step #2 — Establish a concrete power source. the following steps are things you can apply tomorrow with the very next person you meet. Steps two through five can start generating results for you instantly. Together. and they stand somewhat apart from Step one.
All power sources (e. Second.) should have two key things well fleshed out: • A financial value — it’s vital that you establish a specific financial value (i. Actions mean nothing — only results — so don’t start focusing on actions (solutions) too early. by the way. Using this term helps you to remember to always remain focused on solving the core problem first. or coaching is only a means to an end. it’s easy to get off track and start focusing on the solution too early. desires. is two-fold. The thing that will drive their actions is their pain. actual monetary amount) to the core problem. so by remembering that their pain is the power source. It is the Power Source (or correcting it) that is the end. critical issues. you will always remember to connect any call to action you give them with the source that will power it.g.. Delivering training. consulting. etc. pains.e.. Doing so helps you better understand the scope of the issue and it will be . and action requires energy. First. I use the term Power Source because soon you will be giving them a call to action.The Diagnostic Sales Process 73 The reason I call this the Power Source.
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instrumental in Step five when you move to your proposal phase. Also, there is one pretty cool little side effect of getting this information. It actually helps position you even more as the expert. If the prospect has a concrete answer for this question, great. Believe it or not, however, more often than not my prospects don’t have a solid answer when it comes to the question of exactly what this issue is literally costing them. While I seek to establish this for my own benefit as much as theirs, I’ve found that in insisting on getting a number before moving on any further in the conversation actually allows me to deliver my first value to the prospect. By forcing them to stop and answer this question I’ve shown them something that they didn’t really know, and which they almost always feel silly for not knowing. The response is typically along the lines of, “Wow, I guess we haven’t stopped to assess it to that actual level but I see why we should have.” Thus, in the very first interaction with them, I’m already providing value and positioning myself as a valuable asset. I know you’re thinking that any good executive should already know exactly how much the problem is costing them, but just watch what happens when you start making
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this information a requirement. The corresponding impression in the mind of the prospect is, “Hmm, if he is already asking us stuff we didn’t stop to answer — how much more value can he provide once we start to actually pay him?” Note of caution here: whatever this number is it must come from them. You can help by asking the right questions (e.g., what his sales quota is and how much he’s off by, what’s it cost to get the client back, if turnover costs X% of annual salary per year and you lose 20 people a year that equals exactly how much) but whatever they say is the number I use. I say this because many times I think the number they give is way off (e.g., “turnover is worth annual salary multiplied times 1.5 — yeah right”) but I can’t get into an argument here. I can advise, I can suggest, but they need to be the one who physically states the actual number and whatever it is that’s what I’ll use moving forward. • An emotional value — it is equally as beneficial to make sure you get some emotional cost qualified as well. While this will also be useful in the proposal stage, it’s more important that you have a good understanding of the real power source, because you will need to refer to it multiple times
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in the process to come. You can’t use your words or emotions either. The words and emotions you will record here must come from them. Many times it’s not the financial ramifications that will drive the sale, it’s the emotional toll. For example, in addition to the big money being lost on this one sales person, the business owner you are talking with is often more concerned over the emotions involved (e.g., the security of his company, his ability to provide for his family, the satisfaction of his customers, his reputation, his plans to retire in five years, etc.). It is these emotions that will drive more action than anything else. Also, don’t forget that people buy what they want, not what they need. While the money may speak to what they need, it is the emotions that will speak to what they want. A common mistake of many consultants is to try to educate the prospect on what they need (in the way of training, coaching, etc.), but you haven’t gotten to that point in the process yet. Don’t worry, as one of the formal steps in this process involves you making just that kind of recommendation, but not here. For now, stick to focusing on what they want.
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If you fail to identify a problem (power source), you’ll fail to get any significant business . . . period. If you do get business, you’re one lucky SOB, so rejoice in it, but don’t count on it repeating with any regularity. If you establish the problem (power source) but don’t clearly identify it, you’ll have trouble finding it in the dark later when you need to plug into it (to get the power you need for the call to action you will be giving them). If you establish the problem and the financial ramifications but forget the emotional side, you will struggle with getting the really big business because, in the end, the most power comes from emotions. Also, make sure you have their true “biggest issue.” Plugging into a less significant power source will only deliver less powerful actions. The bigger the power source, the bigger the call to action can be (i.e., the larger the proposal they will act on). Once you feel you have a thorough enough understanding of exactly what the biggest problem is, and its financial and emotional ramifications, you’re ready to move to the next step in the process.
technical name? I use these words because they define exactly what you are doing here. I use the word “causative” because you have to give him the likely causes. This is your title. etc.. These variables must be measurable. by the way. Wow. now that’s a title. not treatments or simply restate the problem itself (as many consultants are prone to jump straight from problem to solution without ever stopping to identify .78 Chapter Three Step #3 — Advise them of possible causative metrics Causative metrics are key variables that typically cause the critical issue identified in Step one. natural talents. based on what you’ve seen in other situations.g. not anything you ever say to the prospect. behavioral style. and the title helps remind you of this because it’s so easy to skip right over cause and go directly to solution. what has caused similar pain/problems. personal competencies. huh? “Causative metrics?” Why give it such a convoluted. This is where you will tell the business owner. typically through one of the IMX Profile (e.).
without first understanding the reason they might deliver it. “So you aren’t selling effectively? I’d recommend sales training”). I’ve had so many examples of consultants who were talking . you will not make the common mistake of prescribing treatment before identifying the underlying cause of the pain (e. And. This is analogous to treating the symptoms in medicine). To do so would cause you to be guilty of treating the symptoms without understanding what it is about the person that is causing them to perform poorly in the first place..g. Remember the psychological impact it had on you as the patient when your physician gave you some possible causes of your pain (e. if you don’t know what’s broken. You don’t have to worry about being irresponsible here because you’re never going to act on these potential causes without proving they exist first. By following Step #4. how can you fix it? Also. a common mistake consultants can make is to jump at any request a prospect makes.g. “That sure sounds like a meniscal tear”)? It builds confidence in your prospect’s mind when you are able to offer up likely causes of their pain..The Diagnostic Sales Process 79 the root cause.
80 Chapter Three with someone who asked. people love to share dissatisfaction with others they know. “So. Being that the odds are very unlikely that your undirected training will really solve the problem (the one you never identified). And as you know. “absolutely” and immediately they’re sending over pricing and proposal sheets. Your leverage is shot and you are likely to become a commodity. fighting over per-person prices with a competitor who is offering the training at a lower cost. Second. you’ve created a less-then-impressed former client. in this case) without understanding what the problem or cause is. First it isn’t a good practice because you have failed to establish the true power source and when the prospect sees your prices you will likely have a hard time getting them to buy into any large amounts. I don’t know where to start. instead of creating a power advocate that could generate significant value for you in testimonials and referrals. could you provide sales training to our staff ?” To which they reply. Pretty soon you will have someone who is busy telling everyone else they know how they paid X number of dollars for you to come in and deliver no real . This is so wrong for so many reasons. it is wrong because your reputation is priceless and if you prescribe treatment (training. you’re very unlikely to deliver any real value.
The Diagnostic Sales Process 81 results. You’re the authority here.” I use the word “metric” because whatever causes you put forth. that doesn’t mean they are always right. show them something concrete) is vital to your success. Just as I could no more walk into a reputable physician’s office and order surgery. I’ve found that one is too little and makes me sound as though I’ve decided before investigating. did when your physician showed you the MRI results. I try to limit the number of causes I give the prospect to no more than three. The only thing the market will hear is them saying you took their money and delivered little in return.e. the patient. you too must be the expert who walks the prospect through this process — even if at times that means telling them “no. giving them five or more causes makes it sound as if I don’t have a clue and am . It’s all about turning something that is intangible into something tangible and real for the prospect.. Being able to actually quantify or measure the cause (i. you must be able to actually quantify or measure them so the client can see them and have as much belief in them as you. and while the customer is always the customer. Also. It doesn’t matter that they were just as responsible. Similarly.
given what you’ve said about John. I’d like to give John a diagnostic profile that is specifically designed to measure these kinds of sales traits — then we’ll know for sure. I don’t know if I have any solutions to offer. “why guess when you can know.82 Chapter Three just tossing out anything I can think of. I couldn’t be sure any of these were the real cause behind John’s poor sales performance until I actually measure them. Here’s a common statement in Step three. so it’s just as much of a benefit for me to know as it is for you. Smith. To help you decide which causes to choose from and which profiles to use I’ve created a library of all the causes we can measure in Appendix I. Of course. lack of emotional intelligence or a lack of aggressive closing. Well. While I’ve got some strong suspicions that a couple of these are behind the problem. by the way.” I don’t charge for these tests. It’s a simple online profile that takes 5-10 minutes to com- . coaching. because until I know what the cause of the problem is. As I always say. And I wouldn’t be ethical if I were to just assume any of these were the problem and recommend generic sales training. Mr. I’ve coached hundreds of sales professionals and in my experience some of the most common causes of poor sales performance are: call reluctance. whatever. Three causes is the ideal number.
ability to handle rejection. “I’ve coached hundreds of sales professionals and in my experience some of the most common causes of poor sales performance are: call reluctance. lack of emotional intelligence. because there are some absolutely vital pieces to it that. which you also know that you can measure in an IMX profile. even his clarity and confidence in his role will allow me to help explain the real reason why he isn’t selling effectively. 1st Segment.” The key objective here is to create that psychological belief that you can help by offering up some common causes to the problem at hand. were you to leave them out. Notice how I establish credibility by letting the prospect know I’ve coached hundreds of people in this situation. but being able to identify traits like aggressiveness.The Diagnostic Sales Process 83 plete and I’m the only one who would see the results (which I would share with you of course). This is where you state three or four common causes. emotional intelligence. . would reduce your success rate drastically. Let’s stop here and break this statement down. an inability to adequately connect with the customer or possibly a lack of aggressive closing.
While I’ve got some strong suspicions that a couple of these are behind the problem. and by making a rational argument that it is irresponsible to treat the symptoms without understanding the underlying cause. because until I know what the cause of the problem is. why guess when you can know’. coaching. by the way. 3rd Segment. not to mention the fact that this actually helps make sure you actually fix the problem. And I wouldn’t be ethical if I were to just assume any of these were the problem and recommend generic sales training. given what you’ve said about John. whatever. As I always say. .” The key objective here is to demonstrate your professionalism and ethics by not jumping at the sale. I’d like to give John a diagnostic profile that is specifically designed to measure these kinds of sales traits — then we’ll know for sure.84 Chapter Three 2nd Segment. “Of course. I couldn’t be sure any of these were or were not the real cause behind John’s poor sales performance without measuring them. I can’t tell you how many times your competition will not follow this step and jump at the chance to recommend a solution or switch into sales mode. Resisting that urge here will significantly differentiate you from your competition. “I don’t charge for these tests.
it’s important that you make sure to connect it for them.The Diagnostic Sales Process 85 I don’t know if I have any solutions to offer so it’s just as much of a benefit for me to know as it is for you. which I restate specifically (e. most importantly. Why let some $300. . but being able to identify traits like aggressiveness. “. .00 profile block the path for your $10. even his clarity and confidence in his role will allow me to help explain the real reason why he isn’t selling effectively. connect the call to action to its power source! While we can hope they make that connection themselves. If you don’t “plug the call . ability to handle rejection. . I do that by ending the sentence in a way that restates the reason for taking the profile is to identify the cause of the pain.” Key objective here is to remove any obstacles or barriers that automatically pop up in the prospect’s mind relating to costs.g. “poor sales”). it prevents them from seeing you as a sales person whose ulterior motive is really just to sell them a profile.. .” The key objective here is reinforce the potential causes you already provided and. It’s a simple online profile that takes 5-10 minutes to complete and I’m the only one who would see the results (which I would share with you of course) . emotional intelligence.000 coaching solution? Also. and more importantly. 4th Segment.
e. This step involves selecting and recommending the specific diagnostic profile from Innermetrix that you will use to actually quantify the variables and help you diagnose the cause of the critical issue. you’re ready to move to Step Three and recommend some form of diagnostic testing (i. and by being experienced enough to put forth the most likely causes of their pain. you have the buy-in necessary to get them to complete the diagnostic testing. Now that you’ve adequately explored the problem and sufficiently understand what it is. and by earning their respect by not jumping straight to the sale. an IMX profile).. you may not find any power to drive them through the action.86 Chapter Three to action in” as I call it. Step #4 — Recommend diagnostic profiling. Are there problems that aren’t caused by some individual’s traits like those measured by a psychometric pro- . Having psychologically gained the prospect’s belief by being the expert who stopped to better flesh out the problem itself.
It is my firm belief that: “All performance is generated between the ears. there are not.The Diagnostic Sales Process 87 file? While some of you might be answering. Think there’s an exception to this theory? Let me address some of the more common ones people toss out in an argument against it.e. • Thinking the exception is a problem out there caused by lack of supplies so the employee can’t perform his job — somewhere down the line a person made a poor . everything that could be causing them pain comes back to the human element (i. trait.” Argue if you like. And.” in my opinion. a decision. but the reason I’m able to identify the cause of any problem my prospects might have with this process is because I’m using profiles that measure the human element involved. “yes. ultimately. motivation or behavior — either theirs or someone else’s). Now is as good a time as any to let you in on another of my personal mantras..
Just as it wouldn’t do the physician any good to recommend blood work for a broken leg.88 Chapter Three decision about how many supplies to stock so that’s the cause of the problem. . • Thinking the exception is inadequate manufacturing equipment — which human/s decided not to update the machines? • Thinking the exception is poor sales because the product sucks — someone somewhere made the decision to design it or manufacture it that way so guess where the real cause of the problem is? Get my point? • Feeling lucky? Give it a try and let me know if you find one that doesn’t somehow eventually come back to the human element and between the ears. • As to the question of which profile to recommend. Below is a short list you can use to help determine which profile to recommend. you want to get the right profile for the job. you want to use the right profile. not the employee who’s unable to perform.
they will work just fine in this model. Passing your cost onto the prospect in Step three doesn’t work well. though. For a complete listing of all the traits or characteristics that you could measure. Just make sure you can get access to them on an unlimited basis. They have best-of-class validity.com . check out Appendix I at the back of this book. Visit www. don’t you?)! I found early on that when I charged the consultants per report they restricted their use. If you already have psychometric profiles that you use in your practice. either.The Diagnostic Sales Process 89 Note: You Need Profiles to Use the Diagnostic Sales Process. or can’t get access to them on an unlimited basis for a set monthly fee. great depth and because we developed this sales methodology we decided we needed to make them available on an unlimited basis for a single monthly fee. If you don’t currently use any profiles. I invite you to check out our tools. thus limiting the effectiveness of this process. because you can’t afford to pay perprofile if you apply this process aggressively and with gusto (love that word.consultantgrowth.
dysfunctional teams (due to imbalanced teams where everyone shares the same low dimensions — what I call a lack of talent diversity) or even turnover (if I think the problem is an inability for a manager to get along well with others). not being aware of your style’s impact on others).. A final critical issue that might justify a DISC Index alone would be poor performance on the job. You have to become the diag- .90 Chapter Three Here’s a short list of IMX Profiles that fit the bill nicely: DISC Index (DI): Whenever the problem has anything to do with “communication” I immediately think of the DISC Index. lack of communication between two people).. It’s a simple report.g. diagnostic).. interpersonal conflict (e. Remember to be the physician. and don’t forget the title of this sales program (i.e. It is best suited for dealing with intrapersonal communication issues (e. not one likely to bring up potentially difficult discussions at this early stage in your relationship with the prospect (a safe aspect sometimes depending on what the results could show were the prospect to take it) and still provides you with ample opportunity to identify some core causes of a problem with an individual.g.
he is so slow to get anything done. fire or engagement. as you are expanding on the critical issue. during Step two. Values Index (VI): whenever someone has a critical issue that is at all related to motivation. I immediately start to think Values Index. she just won’t make a decision. If.The Diagnostic Sales Process 91 nostician. excitement and engagement don’t come easily. For example: being disorganized could equal very low C. being indecisive could equal very low D. passion. being too slow could equal very high S and being overly talkative and social could equal very high I. he is just so disorganized.. I hear anything that makes it sound as though . passion. For someone whose values (motivations) are poorly aligned with what they do.g. So. This is the simplest of the profiles I use and in minutes you could be helping your prospect understand how their employee (or they themselves) is very poorly aligned with their most dominant motivations or drivers. she is too busy talking and socializing) think of the dimensions of DISC and how they could relate to the problem. if you hear of a problem with the individual not doing the actual tasks of the job (e. motivation.
engaged).92 Chapter Three the individual in question is lacking motivation of any kind. For mergers and acquisitions. whenever the problem is more about . And. I’ve found it extremely valuable in hiring because it helps employers understand what really motivates the candidate. but since they can’t do the actual tasks it’s the company that asks them to leave. this is a great tool as well to help them understand what motivates each other.e. because people leave when they don’t enjoy the work (i. For newly formed teams.. Also. the Values Index is great for helping to understand cultural issues because I can model the entire culture of an organization. aren’t excited. In cases where voluntary turnover is the issue I might look at values. this is the profile I’m likely to recommend. If involuntary turnover is the issue. this is a great tool to help understand why two disparate groups aren’t functioning well together. because the person might be happy at work. motivated. I might go back to the DISC Index. team or department using this tool. Attribute Index (AI): Whereas the DI and VI are something I’m more prone to consider if the problem is “organizational” or “team-based” in nature.
So. It digs deeper than the other two profiles. Also. The only note of caution I have with the AI. Note that I said “more often than not.The Diagnostic Sales Process 93 the person I’m talking to I often go with the AI. If you are newer to using profiles or haven’t developed a very high level of comfort in using them. you may reserve the AI until a later point where you have a stronger relationship with the person. As for me. Unlike the others. and the internal section on the Dimensional Balance page is unlike anything else on the market. you increase your chances of having to tell a prospect that they are not talented in this area or that. it’s not as easy to walk out afterward with everyone feeling all warm and fuzzy. there’s nothing that states that just because you give them an AI you have to deliver every page of it back to them.” not all the time. Of course. I tend to use the AI because the “internal dimensions” of the report open more doors into coaching than anything else I’ve ever used. however. if I’m primarily interested in selling coaching services. I relish this opportunity to be honest with the prospect. This . is that this profile can bloody some noses. Not because I’m mean or anything. by using the AI. but because often times I’m the only one who will tell them they are a part of the problem — and executives appreciate that more often than not.
because as long as they are still a prospect. is to use the ADVanced Insights profile. I mean that you have to connect the reason for taking the profile to the critical issue (i.. so choosing to avoid pages that could be problematic is not being unethical when you’re in this early stage of a relationship. That means that my chances of identifying the cause of the problem are greatly increased — plain and simple. ADVanced Insights (ADV): Of course. but more on that under Step five. the best option in my opinion.94 Chapter Three is for free. If you are an existing IMX profile user. it’s absolutely vital that you “plug your recommendation in.e. While it takes a little longer for the prospect to complete. Feedback time is not a concern either. price is not a concern. and take advantage of the unlimited use plan.” By this. Asking the prospect to complete it is a call to action. Since action requires energy. power source). I’m not going to debrief the entire report. it provides me with absolutely the most comprehensive diagnostic possible on the prospect. Remember. here’s your first opportunity to plug their pain .
“I’d like to give John a profile that will help us see what’s causing his lack of sales. Here. to solve the problem. . Don’t leave anything to chance! Plus. “I’d like to give John a behavioral profile Mr. Saying. Smith so we can understand him better” won’t be nearly as effective as saying. you want to plug it in for them. all in the same step. To help you decide which causes to choose from and which profiles to use. In other words. . training or coaching. this keeps everything focused on the main reason you’re there . in this final step. I’ve created a library of all the causes we can measure in Appendix I.The Diagnostic Sales Process 95 into some action. instead of assuming the prospect makes the connection and drives the energy needed to take action. you will be debriefing the actual report and making your recommendation for action.” The latter is a “plugged in” statement because. Step #5 — Negotiate the appropriate solution. . showing them the cause of the problem and proposing the appropriate consulting.
e.g. That buying signal usually comes in the form of a question (e.96 Chapter Three The reason I put the actual debriefing of the profile in this step. in effect. . The buy-in they have for your expertise is also the greatest at this point because you just showed them the cause of their problem. So. From a functional standpoint. The prospect is the most excited at this point... it’s also very timely due to the simple fact that it is at this point (i. a buying sign. something that has plagued them for perhaps a very long time and something no one else has been able to do. “So how do we fix that?” or “What can be done to solve that?”). Any question about how to resolve the cause of the problem is. is because you want to tie the debrief together with the recommendation — back to back. putting the debrief and recommendation together makes the most sense because instead of having to switch to a sales mode your recommendation is simply in response to their request for assistance. and not in the previous step. during the debrief ) that most people give you their big buying signs. The reason for this is that the prospect’s most powerful buying emotions will exist immediately after discovering the cause of the problem.
with a prospect I might only spend 10-20 minutes maximum. however. I’m using the profile for one simple reason — to identify the cause of their problem. I’m using the profile information as part of the coaching or developmental work I’ve been hired to provide.. This is because the reason I’m going over the profile is vastly different between a prospect and an actual client. I’m not going to go through every page of the report with a prospect. With a prospect. . The reason for this is that when dealing with a prospect. Where I could easily spend up to an hour or more debriefing a profile for an existing client. Being that my objectives are very different (i. I’m not going to do all the education I would with an actual client. It’s a much more involved relationship and they’ve already paid me to provide it.e. effecting actual change versus identifying a cause) the degree of interpretation is equally as different. When I am debriefing a profile to a prospect I give a very different debrief than I would if I were going over the profile with a paying client or someone with whom I’m in a paid coaching relationship. In the case of an actual client.The Diagnostic Sales Process 97 Let’s discuss the debrief portion of this step first.
which means that he may not be comfortable thinking on his feet or acting decisively out in the field when handed a curve ball. I simply give them a very high-level overview of what the profile looks at and isolate just those variables that point to a cause. I don’t need to educate them on every nuance of the report. this graph (very high C) tells . Because of this. Mr. While this profile could be the center of many weeks’ worth of coaching. I don’t need them to understand what it all means. I don’t need to cover every aspect on every page. And. they know they haven’t paid anything yet so I don’t find people pushing back that they feel I have an obligation to spend two hours going over their results. for our purposes here let’s just look at what I see with regard to John’s poor sales performance. as long as I show them what the cause is. Smith. and thanks for having John complete the profile. For one. just that this profile just highlighted a cause (or causes) of their problem. Also.98 Chapter Three Since all I want to do in the prospect stage is identify the cause of the problem. This graph shows us that he has a very low level of what we call Decisiveness. Here’s an example of a debrief introduction with a prospect: Hi.
in John’s case. in summary. So. or driver. I think we see — in John — someone whose behavioral tendencies may not be as conducive to the type of sales he is expected to do. I will give them that explanation to a certain extent. the role awareness score) tells me that John has a lot of insecurity around his role.The Diagnostic Sales Process 99 me that John is likely to be very perfectionistic and overly detailed. I can clearly see why he is struggling! If the prospect asks specific questions about what any one aspect of the profile means.e. Lastly. who isn’t nearly as engaged by the compensation model as others and who has significant doubt about his role right now. Another thing I noticed is that John has a very low drive for financial compensation (Economic on the Values Index is in 6th place). this can cause a lot of problems for sales people because their passion has less to do with making commissions through sales and more to do with. At the same . he may not need to move all the way to the actual sale to satisfy his greatest motivation. causes hesitation and in general just gets in the way of optimal performance. this score (i. helping others (he had a high Altruistic on the Values Index). I don’t want to leave them feeling dissatisfied by any means. which undermines confidence. In my experience.. By simply meeting with the prospect and supporting their needs. Usually this means that the person is questioning their fit in a role.
which led her to say what she said about your MRI results. Just like the doctor doesn’t share with you her years of education. . I’m only seeking to do one thing. I don’t find I need to go into all the details when I’m in “prospecting mode. by the way. the more motivated they are to become a paying customer so I can give them a very thorough debrief. I don’t go out of my way to educate them nearly as much as I would if I was actually coaching to this profile. that leaving them with some questions actually benefits the sale because the more they want to know. then perhaps a full debrief is in order. As for me.” if you will. I just need to tell them what I see. If you prefer to give away a free coaching session as your marketing program. however. shed light on all of those areas and give them the answers they want. and that’s identify the cause (or causes) of their problem. I find.100 Chapter Three time.
Chapter Four Squeezing the Trigger Connecting the Dots Regardless of the length of your debrief. you have to let the prospect connect the dots for you. Better put.” and leave it at that. “John will likely not react quickly to unplanned events in his day. Each causative factor I point to in the profile needs to be clearly connected to the problem in your prospect’s mind. if I simply say. And I don’t want to leave the prospect in charge of . For example. there is one thing you must always make sure do to. I’m hoping the prospect makes the connection between that tendency and his performance on the job. You have to connect the dots between what you see in the report and what the prospect sees in reality.
Mr. where I’ve intentionally left out the interaction with the prospect. and thanks for having John complete the profile. Hi. I’ve highlighted the interactive (connecting the dots) portion underlined below. Let’s take the discussion above. and see what it looks like when you connect the dots. for our purposes here let’s just look at what I see with regard to John’s poor sales performance. I want to make sure they see the connection between cause and effect. In effect. It’s not unlike the “plugged in” concept from earlier in this process. Just as I wouldn’t want to hope they make the connection between what I’m suggesting and their pain. I don’t want to leave it to the prospect to connect the dots between what we find in the profiles and how it relates to the performance at hand. you are giving the prospect examples of how a particular score might manifest in reality and helping them link cause to effect for you. by the way. Is that okay with you? This graph shows us that he has a very .102 Chapter Four the sale — ever. you have to stop at each point and ask the prospect how they feel that particular finding is or is not contributing to the problem. While this profile could be the center of many weeks’ worth of coaching. Smith. To do this.
Have you noticed this with John? Does he take longer to get rolling than other sales people. How often does something like this happen in your kind of sales environment? Is it a pretty predictable scenario most of the time? Just how important is the ability to think on one’s feet in this role? Also. etc. this graph (very high C) tells me that John is likely to be very perfectionistic and possibly even overly detailed. this can cause a lot of problems for sales people because their passion has less to do with making commissions through sales and more to do with. needing more time to completely familiarize himself with the products. in John’s case. or driver. In my experience. Have you seen John do well when it comes to supporting or servicing his existing clients. he may not need to move all the way to the actual sale to satisfy his greatest motivation. By simply meeting with the prospect and supporting their needs. territory. helping others (he had a high Altruistic on the Values Index). but not so well with aggressively capturing new ones? Has he ever been guilty of giving too much away or not going for the close .Squeezing the Trigger 103 low level of what we call Decisiveness.? Does he ever get stuck following the process instead of adapting to the situation? Another thing I noticed is that John has a very low drive for financial compensation (Economic on the Values Index is in 6th place). which means that he may not be comfortable thinking on his feet or acting decisively out in the field when handed a curve ball.
Usually this means that the person is questioning their fit in a role. what I have to offer. this score tells me that John has a lot of insecurity around his role. I can clearly see why he is struggling! Prospect: “So how do we fix that. what I think will work.. in summary. Would you say that John seems comfortable in his role? How confident would you say he really is. which is another symptom of a very low role awareness? So. and based on the specific examples you’ve just given me. the buying sign) all depends on what the situation is. etc. and do you think it motivates John as effectively as it does other — more successful — sales people? Lastly.104 Chapter Four because he was more concerned with making the prospect happy then making the sale? Does he seem as competitive as others? What is your compensation model. causes hesitation and. .e. in general just gets in the way of them performing optimally. which undermines confidence. despite outward appearances? Has his performance been inconsistent. Jay? Is there anything we can do? What do we do to correct this problem? My answer to this last question (i. I think we see — in John — someone whose behavioral tendencies may not be as conducive to the type of sales he is expected to do. who isn’t nearly as engaged by the compensation model as others and who has significant doubt about his role right now.
recommending the appropriate solution. just that. is that you push for action of some sort. While others of you will stay more true to the physician analogy and go the route of the recommendation close (e.g.Squeezing the Trigger 105 This takes us to the second piece of Step five. . Smith”). would you like to sign John up for my Sales Development course?”).g. there is actually one aspect of selling that you just can’t get rid of . . Mr. Don’t Forget to Close Having thoroughly given the act of selling the boot. the actual close. You will have to make a recommendation of some sort. . it won’t come. If you simply debrief the report. The key. I don’t have a preference and I think the situation will dictate which feels right for you. thank them for . if you never ask for the business.. “I recommend John go through our Sales Development program. however. and the final step in the Diagnostic Sales Process .. Some of you will ask for their business in the form of the interrogative close (e. Smith. . Mr. Not that I’m advocating the use of some canned closing technique or anything.
” When I ask these consultants what recommendation they made. “Thanks. the reason why you can’t lose the close. they said “none. If you have any questions you know where to find me. the prospect did exactly what these consultants recommended — nothing! They recommended nothing. Smith. but if you’ve executed these steps correctly you have the newfound ability to influence their decision-making with no less scary an influence than a Jedi knight (think “these aren’t the droids you are looking for”).”) you might as well not even waste your time. at this point in the game you’ve developed something of a super power. “I don’t understand. I debriefed the report. . either. You may not be aware of it. I gave them everything and at the end there was this sort of ‘what now’ moment and they said they would get back to me and they never did. Sounds silly? You’d be surprised how many times a month I hear someone tell me. Mr.g. the prospect did nothing.106 Chapter Four their time and leave them with your business card and hope they will call you (e. Look. In effect. And there you have it..” And the prospect didn’t call you back? Shocker! I bet that when you go fishing the fish don’t jump into your boat for you. Jay.
g. whatever your call to action is. But trust me. if you have stayed the consultant. Basically. they are more than likely to comply. the “You Asked Close” is simply you making a recommendation — from the perspective of an . would you . simply make the statement as if the prospect was already a paying client.g. they will listen. I know this sounds crazy and you’re probably thinking of examples in your life where you made a suggestion to a prospect and they completely didn’t do it. the Benjamin Franklin close.Squeezing the Trigger 107 Whatever suggestion you make. though. is that in that example you were selling.” Whatever you say. weren’t you? Selling is like kryptonite to your super powers. Bring that tie-down statement back to life at this stage (e.. Smith. This will kill you faster than anything. If I could show you a solution that met all your needs Mr.. . Of course I’m not suggesting you employ some tricky sales close either (e. . I like to think of it as the “You Asked Close.) and you might as well pack your bags. Here’s a great rule of thumb to help you close the business without “closing” the door altogether. My guess. the four-square close or the puppy dog close).
The funny thing about buying psychology. In case you haven’t figured it out yet. That work I’m talking about was your fleshing out of the real impact of their critical issue. It’s in this recommendation that the work you did in Step one comes back to support you greatly. how- . Remember when you stopped to quantify their critical issue by ascertaining the exact financial and emotional toll of the problem? This is where you bring that back in because whatever solution you recommend is going to have a price tag on it. Everything you’ve done so far in this process has been carefully crafted to get you to this point.108 Chapter Four expert responding to a question from someone seeking advice. this entire diagnostic sales process is specifically designed to get the respondent to ask you this kind of question. where they ask for you help. But you still must make that recommendation! You have to give them a call to action! The absence of any recommendation equals the absence of any action.
00. intangible problem (e. That would look something like this: . you should always be able to make a compelling emotional argument. however.000. if your proposal has a tangible price and their problem doesn’t — you’re in trouble. nondescript. not rational decision-making. So.. If you imagine an old-fashioned scale and all you do is load your $5k price on one side. and all that exists on the opposite side is some ethereal.Squeezing the Trigger 109 ever. For example. according to Professor Zaltman’s research at Harvard University. your coaching program will cost John $5. as much as 90% of our purchasing decisions are controlled exclusively by our emotions. “sales are down to some big percentage”) then your side of the scale will always weigh more (which is a bad thing). If you compare the tangible price of your proposal to the tangible price of their problem. In fact.g. is that our simple reptilian brains are very much driven by our emotions.
etc.) you would have something more like this: . you would want that scale to have your $5k on the one side and their $100.000 in lost sales on the other side. If you expand this to include all variables (emotions. at risk.110 Chapter Four To make it easier for the prospect to agree to your recommendation. however.
If you haven’t defined the problem specifically enough to arrive at a real dollar and emotional amount. letting the prospect control the sale is never a good idea. all their emotional mind sees is “some unde- . the prospect isn’t likely to either. In the end. The mistake most consultants make (and sales people in general) is that they assume the prospect will fill in their side of the scale themselves. and then make sure that your side weighs a lot less. Again.Squeezing the Trigger 111 The key is to make sure that you have something tangible on both sides of the equation.
give some thought to how you could create at least three different options. Not giving options usually means you just increased your chances of not getting their business. And that’s just a small $5k proposal. You can do that by starting with . Know any stores that sell one thing and one thing only? Even specialty shops sell multiple varieties of the same thing. by the way. So make one lower-cost. Research has shown that most people like to choose the middle option of three.112 Chapter Four fined value” on the one side of the scale. and “FIVETHOUSAND DOLLARS!” on the other. Giving people options allows them to be in control and empowers them. one medium and one high-priced option for anything you offer. Imagine how much more important this balancing act is when you deliver a $50$100k proposal. The Option of Multiple Yeses Another valuable lesson I’ve learned from those consultants who do very well growing their practices is to always give the prospect multiple options. As you put your proposal together.
as you move to the next level of price down. group coaching versus one-on-one) If you’re offering training. make sure to remove value..g. Do this again one more time and you have three “yeses” the prospect can choose to give you as opposed to just one. use just a DISC Index or an ADVanced Insights profile) • Even number of people being coached (e. If you’re offering coaching. the variables could be: • Length • Numbers of people • Individual attention • Tools .g.Squeezing the Trigger 113 the highest-priced offering and working backward and. the variables you could play with to create multiple options to choose from could be: • Number of calls • Length of calls • Length of engagement • Number of tools you bring (e..
not value. as you create these levels.114 Chapter Four Get it? Almost anything you offer could be adapted to multiple options. people object to price. Read the article “Maximizing Value to Maximize Profits” in Appendix E in the back of this book to learn more on this topic. While more often than not people will choose the middle option. people love to try and reduce price. you don’t want to deliver loss-leader programs all month long. but don’t like to reduce value. Remember. Never ever reduce cost in any negotiation or program without taking value off the table as you take price down. be sure that if you reduce price you always reduce value. . Conversely. but doing this is extremely helpful in getting more business. Just make sure that. when it comes to creating multiple offerings. you don’t create one that doesn’t deliver real value to the client or pay you enough. Lastly. Tying price directly to value is a strong way to make sure they don’t try to reduce price.
but this time let’s make it germane to your profession.). (Induce the customer to come to you). Step #1. let’s give you another scenario (like the physician). etc. A business owner has read your article on “The Ten Most Common Causes of Poor Sales Performance” (or seen your YouTube video on the same subject. Let’s see what happens when you apply this process in the scenario of an independent business consultant.Chapter Five Putting it All to Work for You The Diagnostic Sales Process — A Review Now that you understand the five steps of this process much better. he . Being the smart marketer you are. or heard your speech.
You meet with the business owner and start trying to identify the real pain/problem.g. which you always put on everything. (Establish a concrete power source). “Mr. having decided he is a qualified lead. A common mistake many consultants make at this point is to get that one pain and jump straight to a solution (e. . Don’t skip any steps in this process. You do the work to qualify the prospect (more on this in the next chapter) and. who has benefited from it in the past.116 Chapter Five was able to follow the link to your contact information. attends your next free teleconference call on the topic. He emails you (replies to your website link. bla bla bla — yup you just became guilty of showing up and throwing up). We offer sales training. what is your most critical issue right now? What is keeping you up at 2:00am? If you could change anything. phones you. Smith. texts you..) stating that he has a sales person who is really struggling. you offer to meet with this business owner (for free) to explore the problem more completely. what would it be?” Let him tell you what his biggest concern in his life is right now. The simplest way I’ve found to do this is to ask the following kinds of questions. Smith. and here’s why it’s effective. Step #2. etc. Mr.
And just because the prospect tells you what his greatest desire is. Just as your doctor would seek to qualify that pain. To do so you ask the business owner to quantify more precisely how poorly this sales person is doing (e..). Again. Make sure you quantify how debilitating this problem is by understanding both the emotional and financial impact he is having on the company (e. you advise him of some of the most . isolate it and establish just how debilitating it is. losing established market share. you can’t stop there. failing to vertically integrate. Ascertain from him in which specific ways he is underperforming (e. Step #3. you must do the same.g.g. make sure to get a very specific financial amount at this point because. that is.Putting it All to Work for You 117 unless you are happy with mediocrity.g. (Advise them of possible causative metrics).). how much is he down specifically.. narrow it down. as you will see. it is vital when it comes to winning the business in the final step (Negotiating the appropriate solution). Smith shared. what percentage of your company’s sales does this person control. actual dollar amounts. Responding to the critical issue (power source) that Mr. etc. 1-10 compared to others). etc. farming but not hunting..
I’d like to give John a diagnostic profile that is specifically designed to measure these kinds of sales traits — then we’ll know for sure. Of course. Smith. I don’t know if I have any solutions to offer. in my experience with hundreds of sales companies. Step #4. . “why guess when you can know. I couldn’t be sure any of these were or were not the real cause behind John’s poor sales performance without measuring them. lack of emotional intelligence or a lack of aggressive closing. Mr. because until I know what the cause of the problem is. You need to give the key person in the problem some diagnostic profile that will measure a broad enough spectrum of traits so as to identify what is causing the problem.118 Chapter Five common causes you have seen in your experience that drive such problems. some of the most common causes of poor sales performance have been: call reluctance. (Recommend diagnostic profiling).” Besides. Here’s the short version of the example above: Well. it’s free. As I always say.
Step #5.. I’d recommend we give John a profile specifically designed to measure sales traits. It’s also okay. there’s so much more I could learn about this. It’s 100% online and only takes 5-10 minutes to complete. because that’s all the more reason they will want to continue the relationship (e. You simply need to highlight the salient points in the profile that relate to the specific problem. Mr. if you give me the email of your admin I will email a link over later this afternoon. or there are a lot of other people I’d like to know this about). would you like me to send it to him directly? Or. Remember.Putting it All to Work for You 119 In this scenario. . I’m even willing to schedule some time to go over the results if you’d like. preferable actually. Once I get the results back. you’re not going to give as thorough a debrief as you might were you in a live coaching relationship. if you generate more questions in the prospect’s mind. Smith. It’s the one profile I’ve found to be more helpful in identifying the underlying causes of poor sales performance than any other. (Negotiate the appropriate solution).g. and I’ve come to trust that it will help us understand what it is about John that’s not supporting his sales success. here’s a typical statement: Thanks for agreeing.
in our case we’re interested in just those that relate to John’s ability to sell. This will also make him less aggressive and competitive in some respects. See this dimension called Cautiousness? He’s a very high C. this isn’t something that will just go away. and often serves as the center of weeks of coaching work. Along those lines. When it comes to “rolling with the punches” or “thinking on his feet” he will struggle. The profile we used is called the DISC Index. here’s what I see. the reason we had John take it was to see if we could identify the cause of his lack of sales. . per se. That means he is a pretty indecisive guy. without a structured program designed specifically to effect change in these areas. which simply means that everything I just said will be further amplified. Therefore.120 Chapter Five Here’s a typical flow in this step: Well. however. asking far more questions about the product than the other sales people? Has he taken much longer to even get started. Smith. It is specifically designed to measure behavioral traits and. Mr. This profile has a lot of information in it. Smith. Have you noticed him being overly perfectionistic. seeming to want to get to a 99% level of understanding before he makes his first call? All of this happens naturally given the way John thinks. John can. John is a very low D. so while I won’t go into every single aspect of this report. He doesn’t do it intentionally. Mr.
You must earn their respect as a trusted advisor. Smith sign John up for your program right then and there. you have to earn it. Just don’t forget.Putting it All to Work for You 121 learn what his tendencies are and through awareness and coaching we can help him avoid these pitfalls. You can’t push them into the sale. Smith will ask you more about the program you are recommending. Ninety percent of the time. reconnect to the power source one last time. Simply give him the specifics of the program.” as opposed to “I sold them an engagement. “I EARNed their business. and make a recommendation that Mr. Mr. You have to earn their belief in your expertise. When done correctly I like to say. when you get to this point.” I EARNed: • Induce the customer to come to you • Establish a concrete power source • Advise them of possible causative metrics • Recommend diagnostic profiling • Negotiate the appropriate solution .
Here’s a basic fact. or types. those words will fall on deaf ears..e. in following the five steps of the Diagnostic Sales Process. Based on their natural behavioral style. Failing to understand what that style is and how you need to communicate with it effectively will make all the difference in the world. if not done. The most significant body of research on these different styles states that there are four core dimensions. will undo everything. the words coming out of your mouth conflict with their preferred means of communicating). Everyone has his or her own unique communication style. In fact.122 Chapter Five Effective Communication = Effective Persuasion While everything I’ve said so far in this book is very powerful and holds incredible potential to help you grow your practice. there is one final piece that. . they prefer to receive information in a fairly specific way. everyone also has his or her own unique buying motivation. you fail to actually communicate effectively with your prospect (i. In addition to a unique communication style. If. it’s possible that your way of communicating may actually repel your prospect.
Trying to compel a prospect to buy for your reasons (what excites and drives you) doesn’t work. what excites one will not excite another. Both of these factors. for a totally different reason (i. identifying the cause of their pain). Each human has four possible dominant communication styles and seven possible primary buying motives. The great news is that by using the profiles up front with a prospect. Hoping you can accurately “read” a prospect in the opening minutes of your interaction is a recipe for failure. . are at play in every single person you meet and will try to sell to. Depending on an individual’s mix of these motivations. you get to enjoy the significant side effect of learning what their buying motives and communication preferences are. It’s simply a matter of odds.e. what creates passion and desire in one person will not have any significant effect on another. the research conducted over the past 80 years states that there are seven core dimensions of motivation. By knowing these things. you will drastically increase your ability to EARN more business. and incorporating them into your approach. Let’s do the math. buying style and buying motive.Putting it All to Work for You 123 Here..
I don’t have to assume anything.124 Chapter Five With eleven variables in play. what creates passion in them — and what doesn’t — has revealed seven core categories of motivation. guessing which combination is the right one is nearly impossible. because you have their profile in your hand — so you can know. As I like to say. Our buying motives are formed through repeated experiences and exposure to our world.000 possible combinations here. The good news is that I don’t have to guess anything. Our experi- . “Why guess when I can know?” The Seven Buying Motives (WHY people buy) Over eighty years of research into what motivates and drives people. and I for one don’t want my success to depend on 1 in 39MM odds that I get it right. There are over 39. And you don’t have to guess. either.000. and I don’t have to hope I get luckier than the last lotto winner to get my business.
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ences help determine our attitude or beliefs about what is valuable or good and what is not. The more positive the encounters associated with any dimension, the more reinforced that dimension becomes as being valuable and good. Conversely, the more negative the encounters the less reinforced the dimension becomes. The seven buying motives are: • The Aesthetic Motive — A desire to buy things that promote life or world balance, harmony and peace. Also, a desire to buy things that are aesthetically pleasing, comfortable (emotionally and physically) and that provide comfort or reduce effort, tension or stress. • The Altruistic Motive — A drive to buy things that make life better — for others (e.g., the way they were manufactured, the value to aid others, the product or service’s ability to improve others’ lives). • The Economic Motive — A motivation to buy something based on its practical value, the return on investment it can generate, its overall value relative to price and based on comparative value to other similar things available in the market place.
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• The Individualistic Motive — A desire to buy things that are unique, that promise to make the buyer different or to stand apart from the rest, things that are tailored to their specific needs (customized) or that are rare or not available to the masses. • The Political Motive — A motivation to buy things that will increase the buyer’s stature/expertise, help make them an authority figure, increase their power, influence, reputation or give them a competitive edge over others. • The Regulatory Motive — A drive to buy things that are traditional, follow a well-established process or procedure, help maintain order or bring order out of chaos, or create a routine and provide structure. Also, anything that provides security, predictability and certainty. • The Theoretical Motive -- A desire to buy things that deliver new knowledge, educate, teach, instruct, or provide mastery of some subject. Also, a desire to learn something unknown and to elevate their expertise in a given subject.
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Here is a brief overview of these seven buying motives. Take note of the kinds of words or concepts you will want to connect with when describing the “value” of your service or offering.
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Putting it All to Work for You 129 If you already have a Values Index profile on your prospect you benefit greatly by knowing exactly which of these buying motives is their strongest. While two . Before you meet with the prospect in Step five. review their Values Index profile and make sure you understand what it is about your proposal that connects directly with their strongest dimension. which one you need to resonate with in order to generate the greatest passion for your services.
General Traits. this is just a small example designed to show you how much they change. For example.e. The two remaining categories (i. To help you do that. how you connect your proposal to them may vary greatly depending on their individual buying motives. Take note that even though the problem above is the same (i..e.. Learning . not give you the only set of words you need to use with each dimension. find the strongest dimension in your prospect’s Values Index and review the first three categories for that dimension (i.e. Of course.. lack of sales). the key reason your prospect would get excited changes dramatically depending on their buying motive. let’s take the same problem and see how your proposal may differ depending on various buying motives.130 Chapter Five people may share a very similar problem (critical issue/power source). Key Strengths and Motivational Insights).
WHY they buy marries with HOW they prefer to buy (i. there has been tremendous progress made in our ability to actually map or quantify someone’s natural behavioral styles. their preferred behavioral and communications style). Miss the mark here and you are putting yourself at a significant disadvantage. 1923) gave us perhaps the most prolific behavioral profile used in business to date. Dr. His theory . According to over ninety years of research into how people behave.e. Knowing why they like to buy is only the first half of the equation. they will never get that message. William Marston (Harvard.. The Four Buying Styles (HOW people buy) It is in the buying style that you will find the information you need to effectively communicate your value to the prospect. though.Putting it All to Work for You 131 Insights and Continual Improvements) are not as applicable to motivating them to buy. You may know why your solution connects with their motivations. but if you fail to communicate effectively.
They play a significant role in our ability to effectively interact with others (from friends to prospects). etc. timeline.132 Chapter Five is called the DISC Behavioral Model. but it is our own unique mix that makes us different. which stands for the first letter in one of four core categories of behavior. and they are: • Observable: Behaviors are something you see or observe on the surface actions of another. or what we speak about. These four categories drive our actions. whom we speak to. . rather through how we speak. actions. Understanding how your prospect behaves and prefers to communicate will allow you to take the right approach (words. Behaviors are a unique part of who we are. the way we communicate — and prefer to be communicated with. • Silent: Behaviors are not communicated through words directly. We all have a level of preference in each of these categories.) to ensure that your message is best received.
act. • Interactiveness — your preference for interacting with others.” so to speak. They are attentive to actions or communication that will speed up those results. live. They are more often interested in “winning” or “promoting their own agenda” so they like to buy when they feel they have “gotten their way. They are often seen as “Type-A” people. The four dimensions of behavior are: • Decisiveness — your preference for making decisions and taking actions.Putting it All to Work for You 133 • Universal: Behavioral theory is universal in that it can be applied to all people in all locations around the world. For example. • Stability — your preference for the pace with which you move. • Cautiousness — your preference for accuracy. sharing thoughts and emotions. people with high Decisiveness tendencies have a clear picture in their mind of what results they want. precision and attention to detail. Discussions about details and minu- . being outgoing. preferring to make buying decisions very quickly.
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tiae are distracting to these individuals. They prefer to discuss top-line, big-picture concepts when considering the value of any offering. People with high Interactive tendencies also want to shape and mold events and enjoy “getting their way” when it comes to negotiations or buying something. Unlike the High D, however, High I’s tend to go about this by working with or through people — much more collaboratively. They are interested in people and like to interact with others, understand others and to be understood by others. They are most receptive to making a buying decision when they feel a sense of connection with the person, are in a more social environment and have had the opportunity to express their emotions, thoughts, fears or excitement about the offering first. Like the High D, this person is also particularly inattentive to details, preferring to stick to the big-picture and emotional benefits of the solution. Persons with high Stabilizing tendencies are more passive and introverted and interested in the how and why of a solution (i.e., the details and minutiae that the I and D couldn’t care less about). Their primary
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interests are in maintaining stability within themselves and whatever situation they find themselves in. Messages that don’t address the specifics, or that champion radical change, are likely to alienate rather than resonate. They prefer to buy things that will increase the stability in their lives, provide more security, and are well known and well proven. They prefer to “take their time” more than any other dimension so any offering should give them plenty of time to decide. Those individuals with high Cautiousness tendencies are also more passive and introverted. Like the High S, they too take a much more detailed (the most) and accuracy-based approach to their buying habits. Their buying decisions are very much driven by questions of accuracy, detail, reliability, level of proof, etc. Without sufficient data to prove any statements made to a High C, you will fail to achieve their buy in. Why is a favorite question for a high C buyer. Prove it is the second most common one. They are very concerned with doing things accurately. They are receptive to offerings that provide proof that the solution works, proposals that are meticulously detailed and absent of ANY grammatical mistakes or typos.
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The Four Buying Styles
The illustration below is designed to highlight the core differences in the four dimensions. All of us have a score in all four, but for our purposes here you will be most interested in the highest scores. This chart will help you understand what happens to one’s buying style as their score goes up or down in each dimension.
While there is a great deal more you could learn about these theories (we have certified over 1,200 professional consultants in advanced ways of interpreting this information at much greater depths), this guide
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will stick to the specifics as they relate exclusively to effecting a prospect’s buying habits/style. Here’s another view of all four buying styles, albeit a comical treatment. Regardless of some good-natured fun, though, these over-exaggerations should help you better understand how the styles differ.
• Bill Bottomline = The High D who is very serious, always thinking business, professional and in a rush. • Joe Bagadonuts = The High I who is always looking for the next social event,
accurate. methodical and serious. With these caricatures in mind. Buying Style Communication Tips Selling to High D’s (looking for results and efficiency): • Be practical and efficient (avoid theory) • Highlight opportunities for change and adventure • Avoid overly emotional discussions or opinion-based arguments . support. disorganized and just interested in having fun. orderly. • Tom Technical = The High C who is very strict. service and not being rushed. not rocking the boat.138 Chapter Five very personal. If only someone’s buying style really was this obvious. an anchor for others. • Steady Eddie = The High S who is all about being laid back. ask yourself how compatible some of these styles are with each other.
perhaps. social standing. bottom-line business at hand • Be quick and to the point (do not waste their time) • Likes new.Putting it All to Work for You 139 • Accentuate independence and competition • Challenge their idea. approval by others • Have fun! . innovative things • Let them be in control Selling to High I’s (looking for interaction and an experience): • Avoid challenging them or personal conflict • Don’t aggressively close or push • Be enthusiastic and express emotions • Let them talk! • Highlight potential improved appearance. but not them personally • Stick to the big-picture.
modest and unassuming • Don’t get too personal too fast Selling to High C’s (looking for accuracy and information): • Provide high levels of high quality evidence and proof (data. facts. etc.) • Connect to solving problems . even those not present) • Reassure and reduce risk as much as possible • Provide structure.140 Chapter Five • Accentuate the “newness” factor • Name dropping is not a bad thing here (if done tastefully. statistics. of course) Selling to High S’s (looking for security and stability): • Avoid conflict (with them or trashing anyone else. step-by-step details and security • Give them ample time to decide (as in days or weeks in some extreme cases) • Accentuate your support and commitment long-term (think family) • Be sincere.
Putting it All to Work for You 141 • Make sure zero typos. through proof Here are some key preferences for each buying style: . reliability and dependability • Avoid pointing out any mistakes they may make • Be organized and logical • Be unemotional • Establish trust. grammatical mistakes or forgotten deliverables never happen • Ensure accuracy.
Other styles fear such things and would . Some styles love buying something new. cutting edge. innovative.142 Chapter Five Here are some key communication insights for each buying style: Who’s on First? The prospect’s buying style also greatly affects how quickly they will adopt change or take a new course.
Putting it All to Work for You 143 be pushed away from them if you tried to sell those aspects as features or a benefit. • Innovators = High D’s (they will buy unproven. if they buy in. They will want to be even . blazing new trails) • Early Majority = High I’s and High S’s (the S’s come in once they know a majority exists. will want to wait even longer. but unlike the D’s they appreciate social proof. They revel in the chance to be the first to try things) • Early Adopters = High D’s & High I’s (The high I’s are almost as brazen as the high D’s. so be sure to point out how your solution allows them to “join others” who are leading the way. the S’s prefer to wait until they can be certain that the risk has been minimized. brand new. pushing the boundaries. others have tried it first and they are joining the majority) • Late Majority = High S’s and High C’s (High C’s. cutting-edge solutions that have not been proven by anyone else in the market. Not wanting to be on the front lines like the high D’s and I’s.
proof. . here are the percentiles from over 20 years of record (variance based on multiple research): • High D =10-15% • High I = 25-35% • High S = 45-50% • High C = 20-30% The lesson here: your odds are greatest to be sitting across from a High S as you’re out there marketing . They require plenty of facts. . be even more assured that the solution is accurate. They require the most proof.144 Chapter Five more certain. data and .) And just in case you were wondering what the odds were of running into any one of these types out there in your marketing activities. Allowing plenty of time for others to work the kinks out before them ensures this certainty) • Non-Adopters = High C’s (if there is one style that may never adopt it is the High C’s. the most evidence and the most “selling to” to decide to buy.
you won’t have to guess which style they are. . The good news is that if you follow the steps of the Diagnostic Sales Process. Below is an illustration designed to help you better understand how to adjust your level of connection and the speed of your sales cycle. depending on the prospect’s dominant style.Putting it All to Work for You 145 and prospecting — so plan accordingly. You will know! Connection Versus Speed One last thought on buying styles.
146 Chapter Five Connection • When dealing with I’s and S’s. Be aware that if you take too long in your sales cycle. Actually. don’t try to connect as much. however. doing so will improve your chances of signing their business. Just connect slowly with the High S and feel free to go a little faster with the High I. or gut intuition. Not doing so with High I’s and S’s will hurt those chances. • When dealing with high D’s and C’s. may distrust you if you start asking all kinds of questions about their family and seek to become their new best friend. you will hurt your chances of closing the sale. Speed • When dealing with D’s and I’s you can move more quickly and have a shorter sales cycle. Neither require as much evidence. Both styles prefer more professional relationships. you can connect more. High D’s and I’s don’t . Coming on too personally is to be avoided with these styles. both are prone to making rash decisions with less rational thought and more instinct.
therefore. If you have to get some commitment before you walk away (you high D’s and I’s reading this) make that commitment the next date you set .Putting it All to Work for You 147 like to take too long to make a decision. become familiar with the report. recommends they take some time. High S’s react this way due to their need for certainty and stability. as good as it might be. and heighten their anxiety about change (which is already somewhat high to begin with). is still “new” to them. Your offer. they will need time to think about it. as though they are being pushed. • When dealing with S’s and I’s however. You’re not selling used cars! When dealing with a high S. and hate getting caught up in the details. the exact opposite is true. I actually have a two or three-call approach where I am the one who. Move too quickly and you will make these styles feel nervous. You should plan on a longer sales cycle (much longer depending on the height of the score in these two dimensions). Suppress any sales training you have to get the close before you leave. gather their thoughts and then “we can talk again in a few days” (or next week) to discuss whatever questions they have. after debriefing the report.
2nd easiest . study the data (which you gave them because you read their profile) and. . the term “easiest” may be up for some interpretation. . My favorite high S quote. They just need more time to investigate. basically decide if you are telling the truth or not. • As for the “1st easiest. and most pessimistic. when faced with a recommendation. data and supporting documentation you have to come up with. I will talk about how likely two different styles are to get along naturally.” Buying Style Fit & Compatibility In this final chapter.148 Chapter Five to talk more. resistance from the prospect and number of hoops to jump through. effort on your part. Don’t for- . I put the high S as the “hardest/longest” simply because they will require more time than any other style before the newness of your proposal becomes familiar enough to no longer be “new. well. I meant it to mean a combination of: time to close.” notes in the illustration above. was.” High C’s aren’t driven by becoming familiar with it. While C’s may be the latest adopters. “Let me set with this a while and get my arms around it.
In some cases. In other cases. The closer together two circles are. you have your own natural style as well. Some styles may be very comfortable with each other and others may be at odds. the less comfortable the two styles will be. however. the more comfortable those two styles will naturally be with each other. depending on the prospect’s style.Putting it All to Work for You 149 get. you may be completely yourself and the comfort between both of you will be high. you might have very different styles and your natural tendencies may be off-putting to the prospect — requiring you to adapt your behavior to meet their style. The farther apart the two circles are. . The illustration below demonstrates how two styles get along naturally.
not ask a lot of questions and won’t view the other’s actions as overly aggressive or competitive. risk-taking and a desire for . Therefore. the potential that both may butt heads trying to control the discussion. High D — High I The High D and the High I share many of the same tendencies. like urgency. they will appreciate each other’s need to move quickly.150 Chapter Five Here are all the possible combinations of all four styles: High D — High D Two High D’s “get each other. so they share the same drive to move quickly. be decisive and compete. There is. however.” They share similar styles.
in their approaches. decisively and directly. Both will prefer high-level discussions. more considerate action and to be less direct (aggressive). The High D is likely to overpower the High S.Putting it All to Work for You 151 change. causing tension and reducing the comfort further. the High S will counter with a desire for a slower pace. however. only the High I will prefer more discussion than the High D. Whereas the High D will prefer to move quickly. the High S may view the High D as pushy and controlling. High D — High S The High D and High S have only a moderate level of natural comfort with each other. . While the High D may view the High S as fearful or timid. They differ. the High I will seek to persuade rather than direct. Whereas the High D will likely seek to directly control a situation.
pedantic approach. risk-averse.152 Chapter Five High D — High C Having a naturally low level of comfort. under-planned. The High D can quickly become aggravated by what is perceived to be the High C’s overly detailed. the High C can become equally as frustrated by what is perceived to be the High D’s high-risk.” Significant discomfort can appear between these two styles and both will need to adapt their approach in order to communicate effectively. Both will seek to socialize. High I — High I Sharing the same style. the two High I’s will enjoy an immediate bond and high levels of comfort in their communications. these two styles can easily get off on the wrong foot. Conversely. get to . irresponsible level of “lack of thought.
High I — High S Whereas both styles enjoy a people-focused orientation.” or pushy. choosing to skim over the details. and seek to connect rather than control or analyze. These “risk aversion” versus “risk taking” differences can cause further tension. with the High S perceiving the High I as being overly “salesy. . both will prefer to stick to high-level discussions. on the other hand. Being fairly disorganized to begin with.Putting it All to Work for You 153 know one another and share thoughts and emotions. they only enjoy a moderate level of comfort. two High I’s can easily take each other off track with excessive socializing. can misinterpret the lack of emotion from the High S as being standoffish or disinterested. The High I. two such people can exhaust what time they had available for business by talking about everything but the original objective. Likewise. While sharing like styles will benefit their comfort with each other.
have fun. the High C prefers to remain closed. stay professional. two High S’s will enjoy a high level of comfort and communicate effectively with each other. High S — High S Like all other identical styles. these two styles must adapt significantly to get along. dig deep into the specifics and thrives on the details. While not as distant as the High D to the High C. While the High I wants to be open. move quickly. they will each pre- . stick to the big picture and avoid the minutiae. move slowly. Sharing the same style. The natural actions of both styles will tend to be the opposite of the other’s preference.154 Chapter Five High I — High C These two styles will enjoy a low level of comfort at best in most cases.
. people-orientated perspective whereas the High C is more closed and takes a task-oriented point of view. is more focused on accuracy and the rules and can therefore run afoul of the High S’s respect for others — when those others break the rules of fall short of expectations. The High C. the High S has a more open. and create order. structure and security.Putting it All to Work for You 155 fer to take it slow. Both could enable the other in their resistance to change. Both will. thus promoting too low a sense of urgency. resist change. however reinforce the potential for inaction in the other. The High S prefers to respect others and is sincere in his support of people. High S — High C The High S and High C only enjoy a moderate level of comfort and compatibility. not rock the boat. While they both share similar needs for structure. certainty and low-risk environments. however.
details. as neither is prone to admit mistakes or being wrong. two High C’s could come into conflict if their beliefs differ . however. .156 Chapter Five High C — High C Two High C’s tend to enjoy favorable compatibility with each other due to their sharing the same preferences for order. Being very sensitive about their work. . Their needs to gather data and move slowly and cautiously only serve to improve their compatibility. . accuracy and compliance with some procedure. correctness.
Putting it All to Work for You 157 Overview of all combinations .
While I’ve poked some goodnatured fun at the professional sales people of the world (myself included). you will always have to rely on yourself to bring new clients into your practice.Conclusion In the end. helping you grow your practice. If you intend to survive as an independent consultant or coach. It’s no more effective then trying to plug my US power cord into a UK wall outlet. then try to take them home and apply them in their own house. . . . That being the case. there is a world of hurt waiting out there for those independent consultants who decide to achieve that growth by paying a visit to the sales store to buy into the best practices of that community. this entire book is about one thing . the underlying message should be deadly serious.
it’s about growing — not selling. Of course. and I hope you. They have broken with any legacythinking that binds them to outdated ways. The good news is that there is plenty of opportunity to grow your practice to incredible heights without having to sell. everyone is unique and should create their own best practices. the act of “selling” is simply NOT a good fit for what you do and who you are. Unless you are a sales professional. It was my intent in this book to give you that same perspective and let you see what things look like from where the best stand.160 Conclusion The art of selling is actually very complicated and something that should be left to the professionals. modify these lessons to best fit your specific world. . I simply hope I’ve given you food for thought. “don’t try this at home. and look at the objective from a radical new perspective. Remember. too. The conventional wisdom or legacy beliefs of how we as business consultants or coaches should grow are simply dead wrong! And we can state this with certainty because those who are actually growing their practices faster and farther than anyone else practice none of that conventional wisdom when it comes to the act of selling.” For all the reasons I’ve stated herein.
If you’re not a sales person at heart. just be you! If that’s a natural born sales person. in the end. . awesome.Conclusion 161 caused you to take a look at things from a brand-new perspective and given you hope that there is more than one way to grow your practice and it doesn’t involve you struggling with becoming the best sales person in the world. and instead your “you” is a natural born coach — rest easy knowing that you don’t have to be anything else other than just that (a great coach). you can still be just as successful as you want to be. And . Happy consulting & coaching! . Look. . however. Be that sales person.
Top 10 Mistakes Even Professional Sales People Make H. Causative Metrics Library J. Just What Is a Qualified Prospect? I. Proven Methods to Increase Profits C. An EBM Guide G. Diagnostic Sales Cheat Sheet . How to Deal with Someone Who Always Wants a Deal E. Delivering superior Customer Service B. Maximizing Value to Maximize Profit F. Hourly Versus Project-Fee Approach D.Appendices Outline: A.
worth paying a premium for? After all. What Actually Constitutes Superior Service? Everyone wants to pride themselves on their service in the consulting profession. if your fees aren’t commensurate with such superb service. PhD. then what’s the point? Let’s put ourselves in the client’s shoes. but that desire is often unsupported by definitions of exactly what constitutes outstanding service. indeed. At best. I would receive return calls from you at a minimum the same day they were made (or first thing the next morning.164 Appendices Appendix A On Delivering Superior Customer Service Alan Weiss. you’d . How would we know that service is top-drawer? 1. if I called you late in the afternoon). How would you demonstrate that your service is. Response time.
working with another client. suggestions. I’m a priority. In other words. you do it as promised.Appendices 165 return my calls within a few hours. 2. heaven forbid. While I know you can’t be available whenever I pick up the phone. I expect that when we do connect I will not be competing for your focus. 3. considerably before it. . Deadlines honored. I never have to follow-up with you to obtain an awaited document. if you’ve agreed that you can do it. You don’t take my calls on a cell phone forwarded to you while you’re in an airport or. and anything else requested would be delivered in worst case on deadline and. responses. I have your undivided attention. in best case. I never feel rushed or taken for granted or patronized. Reports. This includes last-minute requests and short-deadline requests. Email responses would always occur within 24 hours.
answering service. including my own behavior. and you candidly inform me when something has gone wrong. I know I’m going to hear undercurrents of discontent from some staff members who may feel threatened by you.166 Appendices 4. or even voice mail. You’ve taken the time to learn about how we operate.” I don’t want to listen to the same 30-second commercial for your services every time I call simply to leave you a message. everything you do is compatible with my own platforms and applications. 5. If I talk to your assistant. You don’t add to my problems. electronically. I’m treated with respect and don’t have to “jump through hoops. Your assistant never slaps me on hold and doesn’t mispronounce my name. Your letters and email are error-free and. so you don’t make unreasonable demands and commit . 6. You respect our culture and operation. Your support functions are professional. but I don’t expect to find any substance behind it (such as evidence you are taking sides in turf battles). I perceive trust and candor.
so they need to be manifest from the first point of introduction to a prospective client. and/or life. High service levels always assist the perception of value. not merely met. observe office policies. . because it requires no capital investment and is often easier for a smaller firm or solo practitioner to enforce than it is for a larger.Appendices 167 silly mistakes. You provide more than I anticipate and your intent is clearly to ensure that my needs are exceeded. You are proactive. more bureaucratic organization to maintain. and request expense reimbursement commensurate with the situation (e. and other resources that are non-promotional and clearly helpful to my company. 7. position.g. The key is to be able to articulate them and extend them to every prospect and client. references. ideas. Superior service is a wonderful differentiator.. that’s the level of reimbursement you request). Your service level may well exceed the sample seven I’ve listed above. if our own team flies coach and takes taxis. You pay for your coffee. park in the correct area. I periodically receive articles.
168 Appendices Appendix B Proven Methods to Increase and/or Protect Your Profits Any two or three of these tips below will probably increase your profits immediately: 1. Add a premium if you personally have to “do it all” . Always base your fees on value. Think long-term — real revenue is cumulative. never tasks or hours worked 3. “Never” voluntarily offer options to reduce fees 8.” but then extend the engagement by determining what they “need” (sell them what they want. Start with what they “want. Never itemize unless you absolutely have to (price for value. not situational 7. not materials/time) 4. Never use time as the basis of your value 5. Work together with the client to let him establish value collaboratively 2. give them what they need) 6.
Know how many options the buyer perceives other than you 16. reply. Use proposals as confirmations. If something is not on your playing field. As early as possible. Provide options every time: the choice of “yeses” 11. why in this manner?” 15. . When asked prematurely about fees. not explorations 17. yet” 18. “I don’t know . subcontract. . Ensure that the client is aware of the full range of your services 13. If you’re forced to consider fee reduction. Seek out new business opportunities laterally during your projects 20.Appendices 169 9. reduce value as you reduce fees 10. It is better to do something pro bono and protect value than to do it for a low fee and erode value perception . Always ask yourself. “Why me. no matter how hungry you are 19. why now. ask the key scope question: “What are your objectives?” 12. Do not accept troublesome or unpleasant clients. Never turn away business 14.
Fees have nothing to do with supply and demand. Offer incentives for one-time. full payments 29. If you are unaware of current market fee ranges. “Start” with payment terms maximally beneficial to you every time 28. only with value 22. Value must include subjective as well as objective measures 25. Psychologically.170 Appendices 21. Always be prepared to walk away from business . you’re undercharging 23. It’s always easier to sell new services to old clients. At least every two years. consider jettisoning the bottom 15% of business 27. than old services to new clients 30. Introduce new value to existing clients to raise fees in these accounts 26. higher fees create higher value in the buyer’s mind 24.
000 visit or a $500 phone call? No client should ever be in that position.” They do not have to worry each time your help is requested that you might be here for an hour. not activity. They know exactly what is to be spent and there are no surprises. or a week. We strongly recommend the project or value-based fee structure and here’s why the client agrees. It always leaves the focus on results. There is a cap on their investment. 2. they’re trying to determine the impossible: Is this an issue that justifies a $2. The following are points to make to the client as to why they want a project fee: 1. Otherwise. . 4. 3.Appendices 171 Appendix C Hourly versus project-fee approach? Many of our consultants struggle with deciding whether to charge an hourly rate or a single project fee. There is never a “meter running. a day. It is unfair to them to place them in the position of making an investment decision every time they may need help.
8. This is the most uncomplicated way to work together. in relation to the project outcomes to be delivered. There will never be a debate about what is billable time (e. additional work would otherwise be viewed as self-aggrandizing and an attempt to generate additional hours or days. . The overall. you can do it without having to go to them for additional funds. and at best delays the flow of important information. 7.172 Appendices 5. is inevitably less of a proportional investment than hourly billing. If you find additional work that was unanticipated but must be performed. travel. report writing) or what should be done on site or off site. This only makes them more resistant to sharing their views.g. In those instances.. They should feel free to use your assistance and to ask for your help without feeling they have to go to someone for budgetary approval. 6. set fee. legitimate.
and enjoy the work! 3. You wouldn’t advise your clients to do this when hiring. Author Seth Godin wrote a great book on knowing when to quit titled The Dip. 2. Be selective in what clients you hire. The truth is that those clients only refer you to other bargainhunting. so take your own advice and don’t do it when you are “hiring” new clients. Know when to walk away. based on your ability to help them build a reputation for success. or hungry. If price is their only objective. so you can .Appendices 173 A word on pricing 1. it’s easy to adopt a “will-take-all-comers” attitude. difficult clients most of the time. your outcome is doomed from the start! 4. not value. It also weeds out those bargain hunters who will drive you crazy and focus only on price. Many of our consultants tell me that they will take one “bargain-hunting” client in the hopes that they will refer them to more business. It’s only 79 pages long. Being high is good! Perceived subconscious value of higher priced goods or services is always higher. When you are just starting out.
Yes. but when you are selective.174 Appendices read in on one flight. by the way. and do so often. or trying to do what you can for one that needs much more than you can accomplish. Whenever a client comments on your price being high. he lost a fair number of clients. It is hard to turn away business. but he kept the ones who really understood his value. leaving the situation is a bigger benefit to you than sticking it out and not being the success you are charging them to be. was in the seven figures by the end of that year. know when to get out. you are expensive. so this can really work. The result was that his business revenue quadrupled that year. worked much less. 5. The revenue we’re talking about here. anyway. made more money and was much happier. here’s something that one of our consultants taught us that really worked for him.” instead of trying to justify . It talks about how the best know when to quit. Oftentimes. mostly because he felt it would be easier than firing clients. Whenever someone says to him “Wow. He decided to quadruple his fees one year. your success will be much greater. and he wanted to scale back. If you are hanging in with a difficult client.
you convey your value that much more.Appendices 175 that as he used to. but when you do it humbly and with confidence. “I know. He refuses to say another word after “I know.” I’ve done this myself and it actually works! You don’t want to come across as cocky.” He stops right there. . now he simply says (without being too cocky).
per se). themselves. whose ultimate job is to spend less (not deliver results. you’ve enabled a behavior that will inevitably cost you money and probably drive you crazy. The client. are constantly asked to lower price from their own customers). like Archimedes. Once you lower fees (no matter how slightly) or delay the client’s payment dates (no matter how little) you have opened Pandora’s box. and from larger company purchasing departments and low-level feasibility buyers.176 Appendices Appendix D How to Deal with People Who Always Want a Deal Many consultants fail to fully appreciate that once you make a single concession on price. There are several keys here: • Never offer a concession without a quid pro quo. Requests for price concessions generally emanate from the owners of small companies who are accustomed to haggling with everyone from the coffee vendor to the hourly employees (and who. will stick a lever in that slightly open door .
Appendices 177 and rip it off the hinges. but they’re not sure how much (so they want to hedge their bets). When buyers are especially resistant to the price. “I always ask for a concession because I believe it’s good business. they’re really saying that they believe you can help them. • Be prepared to deny the request and walk away.’” • Focus on the value proposition and the ROI. despite the fact that I’m seldom prepared to press the issue if I’m told ‘no. Whenever you are highlight- . • And. I’m shocked at how often they’re granted without any resistance. We’ve had buyers whom we have interviewed tell us. but indicate they would go ahead with the proposal IF you reduced price. Be confident in your value. Sometimes such concessions are the right thing to do. make sure that ROI is always seen in dollars. Demonstrate that even a conservative return will provide dramatic ROI. but never go into them lightly and always try to maintain a balance so if you take price down. you take something out of the deliverable of equal value.
178 Appendices ing your value. • Always provide options. “That’s why we have an option two. it must be in hard financial terms. reply with. Offer anything from a free book. Telling them that they will achieve a 10% increase in performance. • Offer non-monetary “concessions. to complimentary quarterly updates. Telling them they will achieve a 10% increase in performance is only somewhat better. Telling a company that they will achieve improvement in their performance doesn’t do much to offset the very tangible price you’ll charge them. even to small businesses.” . but the fee seems a bit high. and that represents $X amount is fantastic.” Some people just need the ego fulfillment of having received something for free or at a reduced price. If the buyer says. Provide something to salve their ego so it’s not a “win/lose” proposition. to free newsletter subscriptions. “I love option three. In other words. they have to see a greater weight in hard cash to offset the weight of your fees.
allow ten days and then stop working. each being owed over $8.000 USD! . Otherwise. you’ll be in permanent debt to the company store. “Deal-seekers” are famous for delaying payments to squeeze out extra work. At the time of writing this I can name two close consulting friends who both kept working too long after payment was “delayed” and both ended up never getting paid in the end.Appendices 179 • Stop work if you’re not paid on time. If you’re not paid in advance.000. and a payment date has passed.
etc. by fax. etc. by e-mail. documented models. Simply providing something that the prospect can use. how much would I receive if I actually hired this person?” The articles or advice don’t have to be yours.180 Appendices Appendix E Maximizing Value to Maximize Profit The key to maximizing profit is to give things away. That’s not an oxymoron. by phone. referrals. I sent along a list of an expert’s choice of the best domestic .. and intangibles. tapes. your marketing brochure isn’t of value to the prospect! You can give away only one of two classes of value: tangibles. And. The idea is to have the prospect think. empathic listening. feedback. by correspondence—provide something of value. such as advice. no matter what the source (and assuming you use proper attribution) creates value in the eyes of the client. no. such as books. When I learned that one prospect was a wine aficionado. Whenever you are communicating with a prospect—whether in person. articles. “If I received this much value in a casual contact.
bribery). in computers. and how many people are necessary to do the job. Once you let the primary focus become your fees. Most embattled consultants resort to a description of the tasks they plan to perform. and only then as a matter of detail. thereby aggravating the issue by allowing the prospect to zero-in on such irrelevant matters as how many days are to be spent on site.. you will constantly be on the defensive. how much time is required to tabulate a survey. The value doesn’t have to be business-related. but it should stop short of gratuitous gifts (i. but they are best discussed after the value has been decided upon. in sales. Just ask yourself: “How will the prospect be better off after having communicated with me?” Never allow the discussion with a prospect to focus exclusively on fees.e.Appendices 181 wines. in outplacement. trying to explain your contribution. . You can manage this aspect of the sales process. either bring something along or provide it immediately after the meeting. If you’re seeing a prospect in person. Yes. whether your consulting work is as a generalist. Prospects must see something of value beyond your charming personality. or anything else. fees are something that must be discussed.
how much training.182 Appendices Always focus on value. Which value (results) would you like to eliminate?” Prospects always want to reduce fees. Your physician wouldn’t let you tell him how to operate on you. how many people) and instead focuses on the results objectives near and dear to the prospect’s heart. You control that dynamic by managing the conversation in a given direction. but they never want to eliminate value. And it’s never the prospect’s business to help determine how many focus groups. If you’re faced with the question. Never surrender your expertise to a committee that will decide what you must do to deliver the desired result. This avoids the task and commodity concerns (how much time. how many interviews. “Can’t we do this for less?” reply simply. how much observation or how much of anything else you do in the course of gathering information and formulating recommendations. and the impact of the results on the prospect’s business plans. Move the prospect’s attention to the outcomes of the engagement. would she? . “Of course. That’s why you’re the consultant and the prospect has called you.
g. in reality it’s incredibly simple (and that’s not hyperbole). Take a minute to answer the following questions: 1. Would this topic be of compelling interest to a significant portion of your target market? rYes rNo 4. right now — on this topic (e. key points. common mistakes. Could you fill three notebook pages with notes — straight out of your head.. Would you consider yourself expert enough in one single topic to speak authoritatively to a group of friends at dinner? rYes rNo 2. tips and developmental ideas)? rYes rNo . trends. What would that topic be? ________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ 3.Appendices 183 Appendix F The EBM Guide (How to Get Started on an EDM Campaign) While starting an EBM program may sound a little intimidating at first. Let me show you how simple it is. causes.
184 Appendices That’s it! If you answered yes to the questions above (and identified a topic) then you have everything you need to kick off an EBM program and start positioning yourself as the expert you are . today. Vehicle — Select your medium (where will your message be seen? — the more the merrier): a. Message — Select your topic (what can you speak as an expert on. Newspaper article b. and what does your target market want to learn more about? HINT: make the topic relevant to a significant problem in the chosen market):_______________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ 3. Market — Select your market (who needs your expertise — make it “niched”): _____________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ 2. Your newsletter . . . Action steps: 1. Write a book (full length or e-book) c.
Ready to roll: ____/____ b. Journal article f. virtual or written. Live seminar/speaking (free or fee) 4. Website (blog. Webinar k. podcasts) g. Email invite (broadcast emails to your opt-in network) b. Online article submission sites h. Marketing affiliates (others who can advertise in their networks): ___________________________ ___________________________ .Appendices 185 d. Start marketing the event: ____/____ (live. Advertise your program (how will they know to come/read/watch): a. you should build excitement for the event/publication in advance) c. Partners: i. Social media (Twitter. LinkedIn) i. Facebook. Choose your timeframe: a. Case study/white paper e. Actual launch date: ____/____ 5. videos. Teleseminar j.
Associations (who has members hungry for your content?): ______ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ .186 Appendices ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ii. Chambers of Commerce (geographically close): ____________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ iii.
Remember. . new vehicle). Social media (twitter. EBM is about EDUCATING . etc. . LinkedIn. Facebook. Execute: you have to actually DO IT! 7. prolifically! . Repeat (go back to step one and pick a new topic.) 6. new market. Website promotions d.Appendices 187 ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ c.
. Failing to provide social proof or testimonials 9. 21st Century Selling manuscript. Quoting price too soon 6. Failing to ask for the business (i. .e. low EBM efforts) 5. close) 8. 2003. Presenting the solution you want.e. or the right questions 3.. Not creating enough value Partial Source: Bill Brooks. or canned closing techniques 4.188 Appendices Appendix G Top 10 Sales Mistakes Even Professional Sales People Make 1. Inconsistent or insufficient prospecting activity (i. not the one the prospect wants 7. Talking too much — not listening enough 2. Under-delivering on promises 10. Using “tie-down” questions. Not asking enough questions.
This problem is even more prevalent in the consulting community because the majority of consultants haven’t ever lived life as a professional salesperson.” Outside of the humor. I always start all my classes for consultants with a round of introductions. In addition to stating their name. where they are from and what they offer. the sadness of this answer shouldn’t be overlooked.Appendices 189 Appendix H Just What Is a Qualified Prospect? What makes a qualified lead? As simple as it sounds. “Anyone with a pulse. So.” it’s vital that you make sure you aren’t wasting your time with an unqualified lead. “as simple as it sounds. sometimes our passion (aka “desperation”) to close more business as consultants can easily lead us to find ourselves telling our story to anyone who will listen. I ask my students to share with the rest of the class who they provide consulting to. They have . I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat there listening to a fellow consultant answer this last part with what commonly amounts to.
always try to qualify whether this person is indeed a .” The focus of this saying is on the “no” you receive. One of the biggest dangers in sales is to invest (waste) a lot of time in a sale that will never happen.190 Appendices never attended professional sales training programs.” even if all you want to do is help someone. Prospects that are neither qualified.’ The second best thing you can tell a sales person is ‘no’ — but quickly. The “opportunity cost” of that time wasted can really add up and cost you a lot of revenue in the end. Instead of giving your pitch to everyone with a pulse. “The best thing you can tell a sales person is ‘yes. and put food on your family’s table — is to qualify the lead before you invest any time trying to sell to the lead. even if you’re not seeking to “sell. In the end you will only waste two peoples’ time. and they have never learned the very hard lesson that your first and most important action — if you are to succeed as a sales person. There’s an old saying that goes. Even though I champion the spirit of removing the act of selling from your approach. can suck up tons of time and still lead to nothing in the end. nor serious. seeking to help unqualified leads will not do you or the prospect any favors.
who believe (trust) in you as someone who can help As simple as it seems. and so on. . you would be amazed at how easy it is to invest significant time with someone who fails to have all four of these qualities. however. Someone with all four qualities is twice as likely to become a client than someone with only two of them. . So what exactly is a qualified prospect? Qualified prospects are people who: 1. . And . Have the authority and ability to hire you to help fix that need 4. Someone with only three is that much less qualified then someone with all four and someone with only two is half as qualified. Are very interested in doing something about that need 3. has all four of these. Have a need for what you do AND are aware of it 2.Appendices 191 “qualified prospect” before investing too much business time. You can turn that equation around as well and have a feeling for how likely they are to become a paying client. The truly qualified prospect.
you fail to qualify this person. of course. but when I get together with them I would want to gauge their level of urgency more. and why they are calling me (addressing #4 above) first. what the specific problem is or why they want to meet (addressing #1 above). In doing this I have — many times unfortunately — find out I was talking with someone who had no authority or no real interest outside of finding someone to provide an invoice for training so her budget was kept up. however. Number 2 in the above list is somewhat taken care of.192 Appendices How tempted would you be to schedule an appointment with someone who called you to ask. because we love to think that there isn’t anyone out there who we couldn’t benefit. Before I schedule time to meet with this person I would want to find out: what their title or position was (addressing #3 in the list above). this is one of the hardest parts of selling. and everyone can help a sale (even if they have no authority) or surely they will . Could we schedule some time to talk about how you could help our organization?” Many of you would be very tempted. you could be wasting a lot of time. “I saw your article and I love what you do. since they did reach out to me actively. Trust me. If.
So. It’s exceptionally hard when you’re hungry for business. be sure to qualify your prospects as much as possible because your time is valuable and wasting it on people who will never become a client helps no one. . Just be careful to not give too much of your time (personally) to too many people until you can qualify them very well.. This one simple issue is more often than not one of the core driving factors in a failed sales person’s career. I will create a need).e.Appendices 193 see why they need me once I get the chance to meet with them (i.
Collectively. The DISC Index.194 Appendices Appendix I Causative Metrics Library The list on the next three pages is a comprehensive list of all the 181 variables you could quantify by using the IMX family of profiles detailed on page 48 in this book (i. the Values Index and the Attribute Index). The key is that with these tools there is almost no cause out there that you aren’t able to identify for your prospects! Using the DISC Index you could measure the following 48 behavioral traits: .e. this combination of tools comprises one of the most comprehensive diagnostic kits in the world..
Appendices Ability to relate to others Ability to support others Acceptance to change Accuracy Adventuresomeness Aggressiveness Assertiveness Attention to detail Carefulness Cautiousness Charm Competitiveness Conscientiousness Consistency Cooperativeness Decisiveness Defiance Degree of optimism Degree of pessimism Dependability Determination Enthusiasm Extroversion Flexibility Forcefulness Generosity Impulsiveness Independence Inquisitiveness Introversion Modesty Organization Passivity Patience Perfectionism Persuasiveness Poise Practicality Precision Rebelliousness Reliability Restlessness Results orientation Risk aversion Spontaneity Stability Stubbornness Teamwork orientation 195 .
196 Appendices Causative Metrics Library (continued) Using the Values Index you could measure for the following 38 motivators or drivers. which drive people to be passionate for their work and fully engaged: Acquisition of knowledge Aesthetically pleasing surroundings An improved society Artistic expression Authority Autonomy Balance and harmony Benefit to others Best value for money Caring Compassion Competitive edge Creativity Discovering the truth Efficiency Ethics/Principles Form over function Generating value/revenue Generosity Independence Influence Leadership Learning opportunities Logic Maximizing gains Monetary gains Mutual respect Power/Control Practical returns Regulation/Processes Rules/Order over chaos Self-fulfillment Selflessness Status and esteem Systems/Structure Traditional ways Uniqueness Utility/Functionality .
Appendices 197 Causative Metrics Library (continued) Using the Attribute Index you could measure the following 94 talents and decision-making traits: Accountability for others Attention to detail Attitude toward honesty Attitude toward others Balanced decision.making External clarity Internal clarity Conceptual thinking Concrete organizing Conflict management Consistency and reliability Continuous learning Conveying role value Correcting others Creativity Customer focus Developing others Diplomacy and tact Emotional control Empathetic outlook Enjoyment of the job Evaluating others Evaluating what is said Flexibility External focus Internal focus Following directions Freedom from prejudices Gaining commitment Goal directedness Handling rejection Handling stress Human awareness Influencing others Initiative Integrative ability Interpersonal skills Intuitive decision-making Job ethic Leading others Long-range planning Material possessions Meeting standards Monitoring others Objective listening Persistence Personal accountability Personal commitment Personal drive Personal relationships Persuading others Planning and organizing Practical thinking Proactive thinking Problem and situation analysis Problem management Problem-solving ability Project and goal focus Project scheduling Quality orientation Realistic expectations Realistic goal-setting for others Realistic personal goal-setting Relating to others Resiliency Respect for policies Respect for property Results orientation Role awareness Role confidence Seeing potential problems Self-assessment Self-confidence Internal self-control Self-direction Self-discipline and sense of duty Self-esteem Self-improvement Self-management Self-starting ability Sense of belonging Sense of mission Sense of timing Sensitivity to others Status and recognition Surrendering control Systems judgment Taking responsibility Teamwork Theoretical problem solving Understanding attitude Understanding motivational needs Using common sense .
198 Appendices Appendix J .
He is also co-founder and Chief Science Advisor to the online coaching company InnerTalent (www.consultantgrowth.. Jay is ideally suited to help you understand your own natural talents and how to maximize them to grow your professional practice. a professional services and technology firm with offices in five countries specializing in helping professional business consultants and coaches grow their practices and support their clientele (www. LLC Inc.com).inner talent.com) As one of the world’s leading authorities on the application of Formal Axiology in a business environment. .About the Author Jay Niblick is the founder and CEO of Consultant Growth Systems.
an Amazon.com award-winning bestseller in the Business/ Leadership category multiple times. trademarks and copyrights on psychometric instruments and methodologies relating to identifying and maximizing human talent.200 About the Author He holds multiple technology patents. He has been a paid keynote speaker and lecturer around the world in the areas of strategic management. and is the author of the Attribute Index psychometric instrument (over 400. the landmark reference on individual performance and success. What’s Your Genius — How the Best THINK for Success (foreword by Anthony Robbins). executive coaching. Hartman Institute (a scholarly project at the University of Tennessee in the United States dedicated to the study of human nature. Jay also sits on the Board of Directors at the Robert S. peak performance. Jay was among only 14 renowned business thoughtleaders and practitioners commissioned to provide essays for Blueprint for Success. value and decision-making). . leadership development and organizational development.000 copies sold worldwide). He is also the author of.
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