Mark I’Anson

Think Big, and Smile..!
Area Sales Management & How to Outperform

Mark I’Anson 4/23/2009

Think Big, and Smile..!

2009

Introduction

The author, Mark I’Anson spent 12 years in the Armed Forces after leaving school. I had an exciting time, learnt loads of skills, had fun and had an extraordinary career. At the ripe old age of 27, I had to forge a second career. Following a short time in retail, I chose sales. I cut my teeth in the home selling bedroom furniture, then moved onto professional sales in business. I spent the next 3 to 4 years selling products to retailers, left to sell big ticket scanners to NHS and private sector hospitals. I broke into sales management and managed the best sales team in my industry. A contact head hunted me into corporate sales management and after another 4 years of life at 120mph I discovered property. International property was my first step. A sales team that sold more property than any other before them. I set up my first business, a website design company, a small company that paid the bills and brought in cashflow. More international property, then UK property to investors. I am now working for myself, of course I’m selling. It’s what I do. Before reading this book, and I hope you enjoy it. You have to have a single minded passion to succeed in sales, to become the best. Think about nothing else apart from your next sale. This is a workbook, you don’t have to read it all at once. Choose parts to read and practice, practice, practice. You will succeed, of that I have no doubt, Think Big and Smile..! Mark I’Anson

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Contents
Chapter One Back to Basics – The accompanying notes to the Standard Sales Training Course. Chapter Two The Selling Model explained - The sales model in. Chapter Three Questioning Skills – Fact Find questions and role played. Chapter Four Telephone Sales Skills – Incoming calls and how to up sell effectively. Chapter Five Presentation Skills – Effective presentation, get your message across! Known as the Match stage during our sales model. Chapter Six Key Account Management – Get the most from your top buying accounts, notes to accompany the course. Chapter Seven Negotiation Skills – Do you price crumble? Get the highest prices for your product with this intensive negotiation course.

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Chapter One

Back to Basics

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Back to Basics
Decide to be outstanding. Thousands of people feel that they have great potential, but just don’t know what it is. They read books on how to discover the ‘self’. Some go on courses for guidance on how to develop this potential. But they never find it because nothing is there. The self isn’t found it’s created. We don’t discover our potential; we DECIDE on it and then go to work to develop it. So: Decide to be outstanding Decide to become an enthusiast for your profession Selling is simple. Keep it simple. ASK for the order. People buy people first and whatever else second. We must sell ourselves first. This is done through identification. Whenever we say something which gets the reaction “He is just like me” or “He thinks like I think” we are identifying. People like people who are like they are, who think like they think. Avoid: Avoid: Instead: “I don’t agree with that because” “Let’s agree to disagree” Agree and outweigh

Sell results not products. Convert features into benefits, what the product will DO.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Given a feature, do not automatically assume the prospect will see the benefit, explain it to him. FEATURE = = = = = which means that = = = = = BENEFITS BENEFITS = = = = = because of = = = = = FEATURES

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 The most common mistake is being an excellent presenter with poor sales figures. Try the “So what” test. Selling is NOT about proving a need; it’s about FINDING a need. This sounds obvious, but research indicates that this is one of the principal reasons for ineffective selling. Differentiate between Motivation and Manipulation. MOTIVATION getting people to do what THEY want to do. MANIPULATION getting people to do what WE want them to do. No one is interested in what WE want, they are interested in what THEY want, so: Step 1: Step 2: “Priceitis” Everyone suffers from this occasionally. It means believing that our products are somewhat over priced. It’s highly contagious – if we’ve got it, our prospects will catch it. Cure: Rebuild belief, the first sale we have to make is to ourselves. Think about all our satisfied customers and the benefits they have received Before presenting a solution, make sure you UNDERSTAND the problem. We all sell solutions, but different problems require solutions. Be like a doctor – he spends time asking questions, probing, exploring and find out what they want, and then: show them how to get it.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 then matches the CORRECT solution. Only when he fully understands, does he prescribe. Don’t necessarily accept the prospect’s idea of the solution, until you know what the problem is. Prospect: “What it is I want is X and you’re in competition with 3 other people.”

I.e. Prospect has in mind what he thinks the solution is – he has thought about it. Seller: “Fine, what do you want to achieve?” There may be a different solution or one we can do exclusively. Build VALUE of the solution BEFORE offering it. A common mistake is offering the solution too early. Offering premature solutions to half-developed desires simply produces objections. We must build the value of THE solution before offering OUR solution. Put the emphasis on objection prevention not cure. Obvious objections should be pre-handled early in the presentation. E.g.: Product shortcomings – keep in mind that the prospect will accept a products shortcomings, so long as it DOES what we want it to do.

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Selling against Competition
Whenever possible, never mention your competitors by name. It’s free advertising It raises the prospect’s confidence in your competitors Don’t always assume that you are up against competition. Just because you are in a competitive market, don’t always assume that you are up against competition. You might be or you might not be. Business is often lost because the seller is too aware of the competition and consequently inadvertently suggests it to his prospect with the phrase: “Are you seeing anybody else?” Never use this phrase as the prospect thinks – maybe I should! Try these alternatives: “Have you done anything about this so far?” OR “How far have you got with this?” OR “What plans have you got for solving this situation?” What is the one exception when it is permissible to use “Are you seeing anybody else? Wherever possible don’t talk about your competitors at all. If you must talk about them:

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Think Big, and Smile..! Don’t call them “Our competitors” Don’t say “The competition” Don’t say, “Compare with us”

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All these phrases simply add credibility to the strength of your socalled competition.

Don’t knock your competitors. Knocking is unprofessional and most people regard it as such. It also breaks the basic rule of business – what you hand out, you get back. Establish your unique sales points (USP’s) Selling against competition is all about selling the difference. Take your product out of competition by accentuating the difference. Build desire for the difference.

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Psychology of the sales process
Objectives: To ensure the structure of the presentation is “action producing”. If someone acts,

Action is only ever the result of motivation. something at some stage motivated them to act.

So sales presentation should always obey the rules of motivation, which is a two-step process. Step 1: Step 2: FIND OUT what the customer wants SHOW HOW he can get what he wants with our product

These two steps represent the basic structure of any persuasive process. DESIRE: Building desire is often talked about. Salespeople are usually aware of its importance, but are usually unsure exactly how to go about it.

It is useful to look at building desire through the eyes of the above two steps. Step 1: We find out what the prospect wants. We build the importance in his mind of the value, the benefit of what he wants. We then show how our product does what he wants, how it matches his requirement. This translates desire for A solution into desire for OUR solution. So: Matching builds desire.

Step 2:

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Sell Matching Benefits
In back to basics we discussed the importance of converting features into benefits. However, research indicates that the concept of selling benefits, which for years has been the key to effective selling, is incomplete. The subject of selling skills like most other disciplines has progressed. The modern approach is to sell MATCHING benefits. What makes product A superior to product B is not the fact that it does more, but that it does more of what the customer WANTS it to do. Anti-aircraft systems Consider a parallel between a World War II anti-aircraft installation and a modern surface to air heat seeking missile. The old pom-pom guns turned the air black with airburst explosive but you saw very few hits. A large amount of energy was expended in the general of the target without much accuracy. This is similar to the “canned” presentation of the so-called “representative”. It is inaccurate and consequently difficult to close. The heat-seeking missile has a sensor, which detects heat produced by the enemy aircraft. This feedback enables the missile to continually adjust its trajectory. The result is greatly improved accuracy. The same principle applies to professional selling. We must continually ask questions throughout the presentation and so ensure accurate matching.

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Think Big, and Smile..! FOUR CONTROL AREAS

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It is useful to visualise the complete presentation as a conceptual, portable black box with 4 controls representing the four distinct control areas of the sales process. Each control is designed to achieve a certain reaction and we keep turning it until we get that reaction. Control area 1: Meet and greet

Mr Customer, we have been able to offer some of our customers a great deal on soft luggage that saved them over 15% on their present supplier. At this stage I have no idea whether we could do something similar for you. So what I would like to do is ask you one or two straightforward questions. How does that sound? Control area 2: Fact Find

Find shape and guide what the customer is looking for. Define the doorframe, which the presentation will later close on. Control area 3: The match

Sole purpose is to show how our product does what the prospect wants (determined by control area 1). Only mention the benefits that match. People buy by their eyes. So a useful tip is to begin with the phrase: “Let me show you what we have”. And then show HOW it does what he wants.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Control area 4: The close We should only close when we have a match. So at the end of the presentation: TEST THE MATCHING FIRST. This is called the TEST CLOSE. Examples: How do you feel about that? How does that strike you? Are you happy with everything? If we get a positive answer – THEN CLOSE If we get a negative answer – DO NOT CLOSE Find out what he is unsure of.

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Closing questions
Close business by asking for it. Always ask a closing question; don’t hint at a close. Questions demand answers – don’t make the error of closing with a closing statement. Customers EXPECT a good salesperson to ask for the order at the end of the presentation.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 If you don’t ask for the order, you’re working for the competition. Never let a sale you’ve worked for go unasked for. Don’t mistake hesitance for refusal – it’s natural for people to hesitate before making a decision. Shut up and wait for the answer after your closing question!

Tactics and psychology Selling is all about MATCHING what we are offering to what the prospect wants – his criteria for ordering. In establishing criteria for ordering our objective is two fold: First: We want to assist the customer to draw up a set of criteria, which we know we can subsequently match.

Second: We want those criteria to include one or two of our USP’s so that ONLY our product will match his criteria. I.e. we must shape and guide the customer’s idea of what he wants to include what our product does EXCLUSIVELY.

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Fact Find / questions not reasons
So far we have assumed that the customer has a requirement, but suppose he doesn’t, suppose he is quite happy with his present arrangements. We then have to uncover a problem and enlarge it to the point where he is willing to do something about it. The find out stage then becomes UNCOVER THE PROBLEM = = = = = = = = ENLARGE IT Step 1 – Uncover a problem In order to come up with a series of probing questions we must get ourselves into a “what will it solve?” mind set. We should analyse what we sell in terms of its problem solving capacity. Ask yourself “what problems can I solve for this customer?” LIST THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS THE CUSTOMER MIGHT HAVE 1) 2) 3) Then simply convert them into questions 1) 2) 3)

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Be careful to differentiate between “probing” and general background questions. Don’t spend too much time on general background questions: customer will find them boring to answer and will be unimpressed with salespeople that know nothing about their business.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Step 2 – Enlarge it / Make them want it more

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Your customer may accept that he has a “problem” but unless he feels that it is worth solving, nothing happens. We have to make him feel it’s more serious than he thought. The technique of “make them want it more” is straightforward. List all the REASONS you’d use to convince the customer that the problem you have uncovered is really serious. 1) 2) 3) Then, keeping in mind that questions not reasons are your main persuasive skills, turn each of these reasons into a question. 1) 2) 3) The key skill is not to begin the presentation too early. Using questions to uncover and develop the customer’s requirement prior to presenting the solution is vital.

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Objections
Don’t enshrine objection handling Over the years the prominence given to objection handling skills both in books and sales training courses suggests that they are crucial to effective selling. Many salespeople regard objection handling as “all powerful” – if only they had better answers to objections their results would really improve. One or two companies even have objection handling advisors, whose full time job is to come up with model answers to objections. This emphasis is misplaced. It doesn’t matter how brilliantly an objection is answered; it has still created a gap between buyer and seller at the end of a presentation. The emphasis should be on pre-handling. Obvious objections, which always come up, must be handled early on in the presentation. The majority of objections are not inherent to the buyer, but are created by the behaviour of the seller. Common sense suggests that for every hour of face-to-face selling time, two people selling the same products in a comparable market place would receive about the same number of objections. Research, however, indicates that this is not the case. In some sales teams one seller frequently had to handle 5 times as many objections as another, i.e. Inept selling advice creates objections. Example: Consider a computer systems salesperson making a 6 monthly follow-up call to a customer. Seller: Buyer: “Are you completely satisfied with the system?” “Not entirely the printer is a little slow”.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Seller: (Seeing the opportunity to sell a faster printer) “Then what you need is our new high speed printer, it’s 35% faster than the one you are currently using.” Buyer: “Yes, but it’s not worth paying all that extra just for an increase in speed.”

The PRICE objection! What has happened is the seller has offered his solution, a faster printer, too soon. Many salespeople make this error; they offer their solution too early. Salespeople, who hold back on offering their solutions, until they have built a strong desire, not only receive fewer objections – they close more sales. So to avoid the price objection show the customer what it will make / save in pound terms FIRST. Build his judgement of value BEFORE offering the solution.

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Objection Handling
Having discussed the importance of keeping the emphasis on prehandling, it is nevertheless inevitable that objections are going to crop up from time to time and we must be able to handle them. Every product has perhaps half a dozen objections, areas of mismatch, which customers often raise. It is essential to know how to handle these. NB. New salespeople often fear objections. There is, therefore, considerable value in training them how to handle all the different objections, which can occur. The danger point comes when the demand for training in objection handling, gives it more prominence than objection prevention. Summary Poor selling creates objections – the solution is not to become better at handling objections, but to improve the presentation so they do not occur. Answering objections 3-stage sequence Stage 1: Stage 2: Stage 3: Ask it back (you must listen first) Agree Answer (outweigh)

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Negotiation
Know your prices There is nothing worse than salesmen that don’t know how much to charge. We will make mistakes along the way, but no one will be on the phone to tell you off. Discount structure For motorcycles we have a discount structure that starts at 30% discount off the retail price for new or small customers. That increases to 40% for larger customers. Cycle dealers have a net price list for individual items, boxed rate and a bulk quantity rate. Using a calculator Learn how to work out deals on the calculator. How do we work out net prices? How to work out deals with some items FOC.

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Use of presenter
Why a presenter? We have tried using a laptop in front of customers. The batteries run out quickly, the things take ages to switch on. You will never have the right page open if a customer phones you with an order. A presenter is quick, simple to use, and easily accessible. It can contain your order pad, your calculator, your pen, and any press that we’ve had. It is part of your office so look after it and take it everywhere. What do I do with it? Open the presenter, open it out, put it in the vertical position and fasten the press-studs to hold it up. It is that simple. Where do I put it? It can be placed on the counter, a bike seat, on a workbench, any surface so the customer doesn’t have to move his head to look at it.

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Use of samples
Why do I need samples? Would you buy anything without seeing it and touching it? Neither will a dealer. If you don’t take samples into a dealer, don’t expect an order. It is said that a picture paints a thousand words: well a sample paints a million. Our samples are real products, ready to sell. They are not different in any way from the product the dealer receives. It doesn’t make any difference how good a salesman you are, you could not describe something never seen before as well as a sample can. So take them in. What do I do with them? Get to know them, practice your presentations on a friend before you even speak to a dealer. Open them out, play with them, unzip them, and throw them around. You need to know your products and the best and fastest way to do it is by playing with your samples. The last thing I want is to see a presentation of a product done badly. You might as well be working for the competition. What if I break them? Order new ones. No excuses.

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Order building
Bumping Will you have enough until my next visit? What if a customer asks for a colour that you haven’t got? By having a range we sell more, the slow moving items sell the faster ones. Multi choice colours / sizes How are you for red ones? How are you for each size? Have you got extra small? Boxed quantities Boxed quantities are listed on most presenter pages. This allows us to sell in boxes. It is there for our help and to help the warehouse. “If you take a box of 12 I’ll give you a couple FOC, how does that sound? Enough to last If you sell 4 tax safes I can guarantee you that another ASM will be in there with a deal on a hundred.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 You will walk in next time to see a hundred tax safes sitting on the customer’s shelves. Who’s fault would that be?

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Think Big, and Smile..! Deals

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The deals that you do are up to you. I need decision makers on the road for me. You are stood in front of the customer at the sharp end. I will back you 100% with your deals. Everything in life is a negotiation: that includes selling. If I wanted order takers, I would have asked the agency for order takers. I didn’t, I asked for salesmen. Long-term commitment How do we gain long-term commitment? Why do we want it?

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Time management
Work smarter not harder; remember it’s not the hours that we put in, it’s what we put in hours that matters. Time is the only commodity that cannot be banked, stored or saved. It can only be spent. Even a millionaire on his deathbed cannot purchase one second of time. Each of us has a bank account in common, in it are days. Each day we make a withdrawal but we don’t know how many days we have left, so make each day count. Do things one at a time We cannot do everything at once. We must organise ourselves to do one thing at a time. Like an egg timer, initially all the sand is in the top bulb, then it passes into the bottom bulb one grain at a time. The Ivy Lee system is one of the most effective ways of doing this; At the end of each day, write down the six most important things to be done tomorrow and then number them in order of importance. The following morning begin at number one and, wherever possible, keep at it until it is completed. Then go on to number two; keep at it until it is completed and so on until the end of the day. Now if we don’t complete all six, it doesn’t matter. We are working on the most important ones and if we can’t finish them using this method, there is no other way we could have finished them.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Avoid procrastination by training yourself to act in response to do it now! People, who procrastinate, miss things, they may be late for an appointment, they may miss a train, but more importantly they may miss an opportunity that could change their lives for the better.

You may recall the story of the Babylonian trader and his camel. They both travelled with a wealthy caravan. One night the temperature dropped, it became cold and the camel begged the traveller to warm his nose - only his nose - in the trader’s tent. Can you guess what happened? Little by little the camel inched in his head, his shoulders, his front legs, first one hump and then the other until finally he took over the entire tent. The trader was left out in the cold. This is exactly the same way in which procrastination can inch its way into our lives. Every time we procrastinate or put off until tomorrow what we can do today, it creeps up on us – it takes over a large part of our life. Three familiar words are required DO IT NOW! Getting more things done, becoming an action person who makes use of every opportunity does not require the memorisation of some complex system; it simply requires relentless determination to ACT in response to DO IT NOW! And keep this up over a long enough period of time to make it a habit – an automatic reflex.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Perhaps the most overlooked application of DO IT NOW! Is the relation to our own ideas. We all have certain timidity towards ideas we think of – ideas are personal things, part of the person who gives them birth. Most of us treat criticism of our ideas in the same way that we treat criticism of ourselves. Those of us who might otherwise be creative tend to remain silent for fear of this criticism. DO IT NOW! Gets us into action before we have time to think about possible criticism. Make each hour count If we make each hour count, then day-by-day, each week, each month counts. An hour in our life is like a single brick in the building of a house. A house consists of thousands of bricks but each one carries part of the

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 load and makes up part of the appearance of the finished structure. If we make each hour count, we will build an outstanding career. Have the phrase: “What am I doing NOW to get a sale” on a card where you will see it often. Convert excess tension relieving time into goal achieving time Consider how the hours during the day are broken down. They fall into two distinct areas of activity. The first is goal achieving: the second is tension relieving. Goal achieving is the time we spend progressively moving towards our goal, moving through the particular stages of our plan. Tension relieving is the relaxation, the unwinding that each of us needs every day, but we only need so much of this unwinding to recover from the stress and strain of daily life. Any excess is waste – and we want to be a success, it is this “excess” which we must transfer into goal achieving time. Can you increase your customer contact time (CCT)? TWT PST CCT Total working time Prime selling time Customer contact time The time actually spent face to face with a customer

Be Positive When that “I’m swamped” feeling creeps up on us and threatens to destroy our day – stop and say: “I can get everything done quickly and easily, by simply planning my work and working my plan.”

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Our success or failure in our work depends on how we think about it: Think it’s hard and it’s hard Think it’s easy and it’s easy Spend a minute now thinking of your work as easy.

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Territory planning
Customer record cards We use record cards because we cannot remember everyone. We have the capacity to remember around 250 people at any one time in our lives. Around 100 will be friends and family; around 90 are old school chums and associates from previous employment. That leaves 60 for dealers and important people in a dealership. Each area is roughly 160 dealers; you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out the math. So record cards are vital to the way we do business. Organising the folders The month is split into four weeks. Each week has a folder. I.e. week one; week two and so on. Each day is split into eight calls by using these plastic holders. Dividers separate the days. The front of the folder should have you call cycle for that week from Monday through Friday. This allows you to see at a glance, your plan for the week. How to expand and build We can take our existing folders and put empty plastic sheets into days that have not already got eight calls. This is to remind us that this is where we have time in our day to fill to achieve a full months work. If we have a prospect call on a full day, of course we go and sell him lots of items. It would be rude not to! But we have to make a clinical decision about the other eight calls. Which dealer is wasting my time? Which dealer have I been to see twenty times and sold him nothing?

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Chapter Two

The Selling Sequence Explained

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The complete selling sequence
The eight stages of the Selling Sequence Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Stage 8 Lead Ask Confirm Pre-Close Order of Importance Match and Tick Ask Back Close

The standard sales course outlined the four steps of the sales process. The find out and the match can be expanded into a more advanced eight-stage process that can significantly improve your selling effectiveness. This model - will provide you with a profound insight into how to structure the face-to-face element of selling. It’s like driving your car with a clear windscreen – it’s a lot easier to see where you’re going. The model looks into the detailed ‘nuts and bolts’ of the sales process, with the focus firmly on the customer’s perspective, their concerns, their requirements and their priorities. The model structure, like all selling skills, is designed not to be followed with unbending rigidity, but to provide you with confidence and an underlying system of questions to move the sales forward.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 The best salespeople don’t have a whole range of techniques. They ask the right questions. They know how to listen. And they have a sales model that makes sense, which they use as a navigational tool. That’s the role of the model.

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Think Big, and Smile..! The technique involves the following steps

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1. LEAD the conversation to focus on the customer’s requirements. 2. ASK about the buying criteria and what the buyer believes the successful supplier will have achieved, demonstrated or established to win the order. Uncover and widen the gap as necessary. 3. CONFIRM that the list of requirements is complete (and, if appropriate, will form the basis of the brief or tender for all suppliers involved). 4. PRE-CLOSE by seeking confirmation that all the requirements are met the order will go ahead. 5. ORDER OF IMPORTANCE of the key buying criteria, wants and desires. 6. MATCH the benefits, features and solutions provided by your product or service to the requirements of the buyer and tick off each one in turn. 7. ASK BACK before the final proposal is submitted to confirm that all of the requirements have been dealt with. 8. CLOSE the sale. Submit your proposal and ask for the business.

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Stage 1 – Lead
This is the lead in to the sales and reminds you that it is your responsibility to take the initiative at the beginning of the meeting, to give it structure, direction and purpose. It is also an opportunity to warm the customer up with an opening benefit or credentials statement. If the customer has high interest, then right away ask, ‘Would you mind if I asked you one or two very straight forward questions to establish whether or not we can be of any assistance to you? If this is a first or early meeting in the sales process and interest is not yet high, it is useful to start off with a meeting purpose statement or ‘signpost’. For instance, ‘May I suggest that as this is an introductory meeting, I begin with a brief overview of our business and then perhaps you could give me a thumbnail sketch of yours. How does that sound? The customer is likely to agree, because he can then sit back and listen to you while the meeting warms up and he can get the measure of you. There are two important things to remember here. First, your introductory statement should be short, five minutes at most, and more importantly focused on what your business is designed to achieve for your customers and what differentiates you from other suppliers. Secondly, the customer is listening to you but at the same time thinking about how he will describe his business when it is his time to speak. You will find that if you mention, for example, your firm’s turnover, employee numbers and locations, the customer will provide you with similar information in his thumbnail sketch. You can use this technique to help establish the information you require from him.

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Once this example is complete, you can then ask, ‘Would it be okay if I were to ask a few straightforward questions to understand more about your business and your requirements?’ If the signals are strong and positive, proceed to stage 2.

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Stage 2 – Ask
This is the vital find out or fact find stage on which everything is subsequently built. The objective is to produce a written set of criteria on which the purchase decision will be made, that you know you can subsequently match. Sales skills built around a list of the customer’s criteria are known as ‘criteria for ordering’ techniques. Too many salespeople make the mistake of just collecting background facts at this stage. While this may be interesting for the seller, it is tedious for the customer. It is during this stage that we ask the find out questions that probe for the customer’s requirements. 1. 2. 3. 4. ‘What are you looking for?’ ‘What factors are important to you?’ ‘Where are you going?’ ‘What do you want to achieve?’

The customer begins talking and you say, ‘I’d like to jot these down.’ Probing questions normally produce a list of customer’s requirements expressed in solution terms, he wants to do this and that. In listing these requirements, you should be thinking about which ones you have a good match for and which will require modifying, refining, clarifying and defining more precisely. If the customer has no requirements or ones that are only partially built, then create and enlarge them using probing questions in the gap. Either way, you arrive at an initial specification. Your job is now to take this and construct a set of formalised criteria for ordering that you can match, better than any other supplier. 39 | P a g e

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Note that at no time do you mention anything about your product, which comes later. The core structure of selling, as we have said, is find out and match. It isn’t find out a bit and match a bit, find out a bit more and match a bit more. If you are going through establishing your customer’s criteria and he brings up a point at which you are superb, resist the temptation to start matching. By all means say, ‘I’ll think that you’ll find that we are good at that’ but leave the matching to its proper place after all the criteria have been established and agreed.

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Stage 3 – Confirm
You now confirm that the list of criteria is a complete list of everything the customer requires. This checks that you have reached the end of finding out. One of the strengths of the model is its ability to help you check where you are in the sale. That’s good for both buyer and seller. Seller: Buyer: ‘this looks like a fairly comprehensive list. Is there anything else you feel is important or have we covered everything?’ ‘That’s everything.’

You then draw a line under the list of criteria. In the unlikely event that the customer says no at the confirm stage, loop back and find out what other requirements he has, modify them, with his agreement, and then add them to the list. It is crucial that this list is complete. Keep going back until it is. When this list is confirmed, you have agreement that finding out is complete. The set of criteria you have in front of you precisely describes the requirements. Once you have this agreement, move on to stage 4.

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Stage 4 – Pre-Close
We use it when we want to gain some commitment from the customer before moving on to the matching part of the presentation, or to check that the customer is serious and not a timewaster. The pre-close is a conditional close. We ask if we can meet the requirements, whether we will win the order. You say: ‘If we are able to meet each of these requirements to your satisfaction, will you feel comfortable proceeding with this?’ The operative word is if. The pre-close is a perfectly reasonable question to ask. You have spent time helping the customer to establish the criteria for ordering and you have confirmed that these represent all the requirements. So if you can now show how your product meets each requirement, the customer should be happy to proceed. You assume that the customer will answer ‘yes’ to the pre-close. After all, they have told you what the successful supplier will have done to win the order, so if you meet the criteria better than anyone else; of course they will go ahead with you. So why could it be that after all your efforts, some customers still say, ‘It depends.’ You have agreed and confirmed the decision criteria, so what can it depend on if you meet all of the criteria better than anybody else? ‘It depends’ for one of the following reasons: They are not the decision maker. They do not feel comfortable with you or trust you fully because the relationship has not yet been built. They need to ratify the decision with somebody. They are unsure about the list.

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When this happens, you have no choice but to go back through the sequence. Check the decision criteria check the decision process and who is involved. Send in the draft specification and visit again. Whatever the reason, it must be uncovered before proceeding.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 If you are unable to pre-close, it goes without saying that there is a good chance that you are wasting your time. The general maxim here is, if you can’t pre-close get out and come back later, or consider going higher/establishing another contact. If you can pre-close – and a significant number of times you will, move on to stage 5.

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Stage 5 – Order of Importance
If, when establishing the criteria for ordering in Stage 2, there are one or two vital requirements that you know you can match superbly, it is useful to highlight them now. This is when you use the ‘Order of Importance’. You are not concerned here with accuracy ranking all the criteria. You want to highlight the one of two more important ones to which you know you have a good match. Put 1 next to the most important. Ask the customer, “Can you help me please? Which are the most important criteria? Can we prioritise these?” Alternatively, it may be obvious from the customer’s comments which are the main criteria. In this case you say, “I think we’ve agreed that this is your most important point, so let’s put 1 alongside that”.

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Stage 6 – Match and Tick
This is the presentation itself. You now show the customer how your product or service matches each requirement. Be enthusiastic, passionate and believable as you unfold what you have to offer. Because THE SELLING MODEL is used with a written set of criteria, it allows you to tick each requirement in turn during the matching stage and so verify that the customer is satisfied with your proposal. At the end of the matching stage, all the requirements should be ticked. If you can’t get a tick alongside one of them, the criteria for ordering stage was not completed correctly. Keep in mind also that all possible mismatches should be pre handled during stage 2. You should have a set of criteria that you know you can match before the presentation begins. When match and tick is complete, you can move to stage 7.

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Stage 7 – Ask Back
Here you double check that the customer is satisfied you can meet the requirements. This conveys your intense customer focus and helps build the relationship. You ask, “are you happy that we’ve covered each of these points?” They are all ticked in front of the customer, so he says ‘yes’. This double-checks that the matching stage is complete. Once again, it’s reassuring to know precisely where you are in the sale. At this penultimate stage in the model process, you confirm that you met all the criteria. It is important to satisfy the customer and yourself that you have met every criteria, if possible better than any other supplier. All relevant benefits, added value and distinctive competence must have been revealed at this stage.

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Stage 8 – Close
Closing is very straightforward; in fact it is an automatic part of the process. Submit your proposal and ask for the business. A written proposal followed by a meeting is best. This is a good time to express how important the customer is and how much you want their business. It is helpful if you can save something to delight the customer, like dedicated service levels or some extra item that may not add extra value but shows you really care. And whether you win or lose, it is always worth holding a debrief to learn lessons for next time.

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The Closing Model
Once you have established trust, reduced risk, clearly understood the customer’s requirements and provided an appropriate solution, the business is yours, though, as we’ve seen, you must ask for it. But what happens at the end of the presentation, or any important stage in a multi site visit, if there is still some mismatch on the mind of your customer? He will hesitate over the proposals, usually with the courteous phrase, “I want to think about it.” You probably think, ‘Oh no – here we go again.’ After all your hard work in building the relationship, you are at the brink of the sale and it looks as if it’s going to be thwarted by the buyers natural instinct to hesitate at the moment of buying. What do you do? What can you do to gain control at this crucial stage? The relationship building school of selling tells use that if you have built a strong enough relationship, the business should take care of itself. But, as we have seen, it is not always the case. Someone once said, “You’ve built a great relationship. Now what are you going to do with it?” Having superb relationship and interpersonal skills is not enough. You must complement these skills with a process for gaining commitment. That is the function of the closing model. A million miles from the old style closing tactics, closing is a consultative approach that will give you a real edge in the final stages of the sale. It works in all sales environments and has evolved into

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 one of the most effective selling processes ever devised. You’ll find the model provides you with a profound insight into the structure of gaining commitment.

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Understanding Closing
Since ‘I want to think about it’ at the end of the sales discussion is indicative of residual mismatch, your objective is to establish which areas of residual mismatch currently exist and are preventing your customer from going ahead – in other words, which so called objections are on his mind. Assuming you are able to identify these areas, and then satisfactorily match to them, the business will be closed, or you will have gained commitment to take to the next stage. The model takes this concept and makes it both practical and easy to use. Not only does it provide a seven-step model for handling mismatch that still exists at the end of a presentation, it also reinforces the feeling of trust and further cements the relationship. That’s its strength. This seven-stage sequence is one of the most effective selling skills you’ll ever learn. Once you master it, never again will you build great relationships and leave empty handed, kicking yourself for not getting the business.

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The Closing Model
Five of the seven steps in the closing model are questions. This reinforces the questions not reasons are the strongest form of persuasion. Closing takes a series of highly effective stand-alone skills and concentrates them into a single sequence. In effect, it’s a flow chart that optimises the order in which you use your available skills at the end of the sales discussion. Getting into Closing Here’s how you enter the process: Customer: Seller: “I want to think about it”. “I agree you should think about it, but usually when someone says that, it’s because they are unsure of certain points. Is that the case with you?” “Yes, there are some things that I’m not sure about”.

Customer:

It is important that your first response to the customer’s, “I want to think about it” is agreement. People buy people first and whatever else second. Put the phrase into your own words, but make sure you convey to the customer that you understand his desire to chew it over. Once this is achieved you move on to Stage 1 of closing.

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Think Big, and Smile..! L stands for List

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You now say: “May I suggest we jot them down so we can both see what we’re looking at?” Then on a clean pad of paper, list the numbers 1 to 6 down the left hand side of the page. As you write, say the numbers quietly. It’s important to appreciate that to use closing successfully, you don’t have to list 1 to 6, you could do 1 to 8 or 1 to 4, and it depends on the complexity of your proposal. However, most people find that listing 1 to 6 works well. Now move on to stage 2. A stands for Ask Back You ask: “What points are you unsure of?” He tells you and you jot them down on the list. As you do, keep these tips in mind. First, try to capture the mismatch (objection) in one word. If you have to go to two or three words that’s fine, but avoid writing too much. Keep it simple and short. Secondly, if your customer comes up with a mismatch that you are nervous about, don’t show your concern. And thirdly, make no attempt to answer any of the points at this stage. On completion of stage 2, you will have a written list in front of you looking something like this: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Price Competition Delivery Support

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 The mismatches shown here are only for example. Your list will reflect the particular concerns of your customer. C stands for Close In As the name implies, you are now going to draw the discussion to a focal point. The objective is to gain the customer’s agreement that the list of concerns in front of you is complete. You say: “Are those all the points you have?” In most cases the customer will say ‘Yes’. You then draw a line under the list. In the unlikely event he says ‘No,’ don’t be concerned; simply loop back to stage 2 by asking, “What other points do you have?” The objective is to continue asking back until you have agreement that all the points are noted. Once you have agreement, your list will look like this. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Price Competition Delivery Support

P stands for Pre Close This is the pivotal stage in using closing. Having carefully established the customer’s mismatches with stage 2 and 3 above, you now ask: “If I am able to deal with each of these points to your satisfaction, will you then feel comfortable proceeding?” The customer in most cases will say ‘Yes’ to the pre close question. If he says ‘No’ you are probably wasting your time.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 The pre close works because you are effectively saying, “We accept that you have areas of mismatch, but if we were at perfect match, and each of these points had been dealt with to your satisfaction, would you proceed?” When the customer agrees, you have won the business subject to handling the points. Move on to stage 5. A stands for Answer In this stage you carefully study each of the customer’s concerns using the following three-step sequence. 1. Answer the point 2. Check that you have answered it satisfactory 3. Cross out the point, once crossed out it will not be referred to again.

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If we cannot answer all of the points at this meeting, at least you now know exactly what remains to be done. To win the business you will have to deal with it later or gain the customer’s agreement to overlook it. Once you have dealt with everything on the list, move on to stage 6. A stands for Ask Back “Are you happy that we’ve covered each of these points?” This stage double checks the customer is happy, which again conveys your intense customers focus. It’s a relationship-building question. C stands for Close “Good, then we’re in business.” You now tie up the sale in the normal way with, for example, “Let’s complete the paperwork,” or, “would you prefer installation this week or next?” or whatever is appropriate. That’s the closing model. The model shouldn’t be practised on customers, but role-played with colleagues initially.

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Chapter Three

Questioning Skills

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Questioning Skills
Asking good questions is an art form. Salespeople usually do all the talking and seldom ask enough questions. So if you’ve ever had that dry up feeling and can’t think where to go with your leading questions as discussed in the LACPOMAC model, here are some to think about. I’ve tried to explain the strategy behind each question. They should be known and understood by all good salespeople as a matter of professional pride! 1. What is your main objective? When you understand what your customer is trying to achieve, you can match your proposal. 2. How do you plan to achieve that goal? You may already fit their plan and not even know it. If you’re part of their plan, you’re customer will close themselves. 3. What is the biggest problem that you currently face? If you can help them solve their biggest problem, you will be a big hero. 4. What other problems do you experience? You may not be able to solve their biggest problem, so what other problems do they have that you can solve? 5. What are you doing currently to deal with this? 6. What is your strategy for the future? These two questions, together, give you an outline of the customer’s strategy. These questions tend to accelerate the decision making process.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 7. What other ideas do you have? This fills in the blanks and lets you uncover their other thoughts with which you can match. 8. What role do others play in creating this situation? Anyone who is contributing to the problem is a potential adversary. Find out who they are. 9. Who else is affected? Anyone who is affected by the problem is a potential ally.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 10. What are you using now? 11. What do you like most about it?

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12. What do you like least about it? Always use these questions as a group. Question 10 tells you what they are buying, from whom, and for how much, revealing both the need and the budget. Question 11 gives you their critical buying criteria. A replacement vendor must be equivalent in these areas even to be considered. This also tells you the thought process they went through to purchase the last time. Question 12 tells you where the competitor is vulnerable. If you can offer them everything they like most and fix things they like least, they now have a justification to change. 13. If you could have things any way you wanted, what would you change? People are naturally resistant to change. “Better the devil you know than one you don’t.” This question inoculates the issue of change. It also allows them to dream and explore the possibilities. You can probably do about half of the things they wish for. There is something special about making a person’s dreams come true. 14. What effect would this have on the present situation? This question brings the dream to reality. 15. What would motivate you to change? This question creates the rationale they will use to justify the change, reducing their resistance later. 16. Do you have a preference? If they do, you need to know what it is and what it is based on.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 17. What has been your experience? If they have had an unfavourable experience with a competitor, you may be able to exploit it. If they have had an unfavourable experience with your company, you better fix it. 18. How do you know? Sometimes they really don’t know. You want to know where they got their information. Be very careful with the tone: you don’t want to sound off hand. 19. Is there anything else that you’d like to see? This open ended question encourages them to brainstorm additional options and may reveal additional opportunities for the astute salesperson. 20. How much would it be worth to you to solve this problem? 21. What would it cost, ultimately, if things remained as they are? These two questions set up the cost justification for the investment you’ll be asking them to make. Question 20 tells you the most they should be willing to pay, and question 21 tells you the least they should be willing to pay. If they didn’t have a budget before, they have a budget range now. Always ask both questions, because some people are motivated towards a positive outcome or reward, whereas others are motivated away from a consequence or penalty. Whichever question they answer most completely reveals the strategy you should pursue when preparing your presentation. 22. Are you working within a budget? If so, they should reveal it here. If not, you have the necessary data to create one. A budget is the best indicator of commitment.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 23. How do you plan to finance it? Where is the money going to come from? Can you offer alternative financing? 24. What alternatives have you considered? Don’t be naïve. They are talking to the competition. It is perfectly appropriate to ask a prospect who the competition is. You’ll know how to present your offering in the best light against your competitor. 25. What benefits would you personally realize as a result? People do things for their reasons, no matter how good your reasons might be. 26. How would others benefit? The answer to this question creates a justification for what may ultimately be a selfish decision. 27. How can I help? Easily the most powerful question in the book.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 28. Is there anything that I’ve overlooked? This gives you a chance to tie up any loose ends that might tangle and trip you up later on down the line. 29. Are there any questions that you’d like to ask? Encourage your prospect to get all their questions answered here and now. 30. What do you see as the next step? The prospect will tell you what to do to advance the sale. Write up an order, check on a specification, make a presentation to a buying team, or nothing. 31. Who else, besides yourself, will be involved in the decision making process? Even if you’re meeting with the shop assistant always assume that they may be a behind the scenes influencer. Even if you think you’ve found a decision maker, keep asking this question of everyone else. 32. On a scale of one to ten, how confident do you feel about doing business with us? What would it take to get that up to ten? This two-part question will tell you what incremental evidence they need and what form of proof they will require. If they say, “8,” then say, “what would it take to get a 9?” If they say “10,” then proceed to write the order. 33. Are you working against a particular deadline? 34. How soon would you like to start? 35. When would you like to take delivery? These are all time frame questions. Remember, if they are not motivated by some time frame, they probably will not buy, at least not for a while.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 36. When should we get together to discuss this again? Let them define the time frame for the next meeting. If they resist, ask, “how about if I call again within the next four weeks?” 37. Is there anything else you’d like for me to take care of? We leave too much money on the table, because we do not ask this simple parting question

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Chapter Four

Telephone Sales Skills

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Telephone Sales Skills
Intro Why are we here? Well around 30% of our daily business can come over the phone as an enquiry. It is up to us to make sure that enquiry is: i) ii) Why? i) ii) iii) iv) The buyer was to busy to see an ASM ASM had another plan for the call ASM forgot It takes ASM’s at least a month to visit all dealers Dealt with The customer is fully informed of our offers/new products

It is our duty to make the most of that phone call because our customers want to buy! But why do customers buy? Because they want something. So, why do they buy more? They buy more because people buy people, but what does that mean? People buy people means identification i.e. having the same interest or hobbies or something in common.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Ok, how do I gain identification on the phone with someone I don’t know? By having and creating a tele prescence.

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Teleprescence
Be under no illusions here: Up selling on the telephone is far harder than face to face selling and it always will be, in fact telesales is an art in itself. What we can do is be better at it. So, back to teleprescence, how do I get one? Three things and they are: i) ii) iii) Identification RSVP Can Do attitude

Identification
The quickest way to gain identification is by using someone’s name as often as possible during a call. Exercise: Practice call.

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RSVP
Rhythm, speed, volume, pitch. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it! Rhythm is the energy level in your voice, have a conversation with a friend and calibrate that at a level of 5 on a scale of one to ten. Then have the same conversation but on a level 6 to 7. See how much enthusiasm is transmitted during the second conversation. The speed at which we speak is around 150 to 180 words per minute however a person can think at 400 to 500 words per minute. So, if you have anything to say it had better be interesting or your listener will be bored quickly. Volume is something that people struggle with on the telephone, let the microphone do the work and speak at your normal, comfortable volume of speech. The pitch of your voice can be used effectively by raising it to emphasize important points, i.e. Price, quantity etc.

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Voice exercises
Um-hmm one Try it as an exercise; the word one as spoken in your exercise is YOUR normal pitch and volume. Dropping plosives Plosives are the sound that forces air from the mouth, i.e. b, d, g, k, t. If you drop the plosive letters, language becomes difficult to understand and the speaker sounds unsophisticated and uneducated. Examples are: B D G K T T pro’ly for probably ‘ol for old runnin’ for running dar’ for dark hones’ for honest liddle for little

If you mean to say yes, then don’t say yeah, yep, yup or uh-huh. Cork exercise Uncork the bottle, place it between your teeth and read the following passage aloud as clearly as possible. Now, remove the cork and repeat the passage and see how clearly it was read because we are thinking about how we are speaking and not just what we are saying.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Can Do Attitude Lets concentrate on what we can do and not, what we can’t.

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Has anyone had to call those job men i.e. builders, electrician, plumber? Generally they are one-man companies that think they are too busy to think about how they answer their phones, so a typical reply might be: “Well, I’m really busy, so I can’t do it this week or the week after.” How do you feel when you end the call? If you cannot possibly do something for the customer, there are a few phrases, which might help. i) ii) Exercise: I’ll check with (x) and see if we can do that. Let me find out how I can help you with that. Can anyone think of any more ways of positively dismissing the customer?

Remember: Nothing is too much trouble!

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Think Big, and Smile..! Up selling Exercise: a typical customer call. Sales process – Meet & greet Find out Match Close So, what do we use to up sell? i) ii) iii) iv) v) Box quantities Carriage paid Different colours Promote new products Monthly deals

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Think Big, and Smile..! Customer Complaints A complaint is a backward sales opportunity – why. Meet & greet Find Out Match Close Make the customer delighted – how? i) ii) iii) Ask it back Agree Outweigh

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Repeat back to the customer exactly how you understood it. Why? Communication is all about reception not transmission! I know what’s in my head, I think that I know how to say it, I know what I want you to understand but when the words reach you, it can mean something completely different. Everyone remember Chinese whispers? So, ask it back! Then agree with the customer, no matter what!! Agreeing eases the tension in the customer. It relieves that amount of pressure that is waiting to blow. Own the problem. It is now, YOUR problem, solve it. Then outweigh: what can I do to delight the customer? And last of all: Ask large, think big and SMILE.

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Chapter Five

Presentation Skills

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Presentation Skills
People usually enjoy talking. A speaker finds no difficulty in talking to people that he knows well, and without a conscious effort adapts his vocabulary and manner to suit the listeners. As soon as speech leaves the realms of everyday living and everyday social conversation, the speaker becomes conscious of the medium of communication they are using. If you want to become effective in public speaking or presenting the first step to take is seeing yourself being successful! You are often your best friend or your worst enemy. You will want to put your ideas, knowledge and attitudes to your listeners so that they will understand exactly what you mean and interpret your words and actions the same way. Enthusiasm may compensate for some faults but to be truly effective a presenter must: Be well versed in the subject. Find out as much as he can about his audience. Have thought about the material so thoroughly that they get the basic point across however much they have to adapt the material when they deliver it.

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Preparation
No speech can be better than the preparation, which precedes it! First stage: Early preparation 1. When will it take place? Be sure that you have adequate preparation time. 2. Where is it to take place? In surroundings familiar to you? If not, check beforehand the size, shape, lighting, acoustics, electrical sockets, equipment etc. 3. Who will be in the audience? How many, male, female, ages, level of experience. These facts will influence the words and ideas that you use. 4. How long are you to speak for? Is the time adequate or too long for your subject? Who are the other presenters/speakers, if any? What time of day are you speaking? 5. Why you? What special knowledge do you have? What will the audience expect of you? Second stage: the purpose Is it to? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Inform To persuade To educate To entertain To inspire

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Think Big, and Smile..! Third stage: Gathering the material. Own knowledge, both conscious and subconscious.

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Other people’s knowledge, either by direct questioning or research from libraries and other sources. Brainstorming ideas. Using a note pad to jot down ideas as they occur: This could be any time of the day or night. Fourth Stage: Organising the material. 1. 2. Material must be given shape and structure. The framework consists of: - opening, body, closing.

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Opening
The opening has a great deal to achieve. It may be necessary to follow a speaker who is in personal terms or by reason of his subject has achieved great acceptance, of some other activity of a more entertaining nature. An impression has to be created and the attention and interest of your audience captured at once. To achieve this. 1. Remember that preparation is only complete when the speech begins. Arrangements of notes, visual aids, microphone and any other physical considerations must be thought of and dealt with quietly and effectively. Don’t plunge in – take a few seconds for calm appreciation of the audience and of you by them. But don’t dither; start as soon as you and the audience are settled. Never start off by apologising for your lack of knowledge, ability, subject or presence. Start with the confidence of preparation well done. Don’t open with clichés or hackneyed phrases. You may well need to thank your hosts for your invitation to speak, but this can follow later. The opening needs to be interesting, original and arresting. Avoid too early a climax – interest falls if a high standard of opening cannot be sustained. Remember it is only an opening, don’t make it too long.

2.

3.

4.

5. 6.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 7. Some openings may not suit your personality, so be flexible. For any presentation, write it, polish it, and chose the best. 8. Speechmakers who fall in the beginning are unlikely to succeed in the end.

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Closing
The effect of a presentation which is otherwise good can be damaged by it’s close. Leave your audience wanting more! 1. Avoid “wandering” towards the end. Finish on a high note which is relevant to all which has gone before. 2. Don’t make a second speech even if a new thought comes to you do not be tempted. 3. Avoid repetition. If you are finished before your allotted time is used – sit down. Do not pad. This should not happen if you have rehearsed your timings. As you reach your conclusion, look at your audience. Memorise both your opening and closing phrases so that you can exercise eye contact without the need to consult your notes. To be sure you finish on a high note think about ways of rounding off your presentation. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. With a question With a quotation Story or analogy Summary Call for action

When you compose and present a speech with a really effective close you have at your command an unusual power – used in the right way, this power can do an immense amount of good.

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The dos and don’ts of notes
How not to make notes: 1. Lots of notes distract and alarm. 2. Scribbled cards get lost. 3. Notes on the back of envelopes look unprofessional. 4. Large notes will tie you to where you put them. Various ways to make a presentation: 1. 2. 3. 4. Write it and read it. Write it and memorise it. Impromptu. Main sentence method – using post cards. Gives no confidence in the speaker. Lacks flexibility. Only one person in a thousand can do it. The best, gives flexibility and spontaneity.

Method 1 Method 2 Method 3 Method 4

The secret is to take out key sentences after full preparation. Each sentence must cover a complete thought or idea, an assertion, a statement, a question, a denial, a command, or a wish. Number your cards and use a tab to keep them together, write on one side only and hold them in one hand, gesticulating with the other as appropriate. Make sure that a change in card coincides with a change in section, as the audience will literally see it as such.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Pause dramatically between sections, particularly if you ended the section powerfully. The audience will need time to assimilate your words.

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Rehearsals
Work to a timetable that gives you time to rehearse a minimum of 3 times. Rehearse with your notes to gain familiarity with: 1. 2. 3. 4. Structure Ideas Transitions Timings

Rehearse to test the reaction of an audience using an honest and trusted friend to provide objective and constructive comments. Where possible practise in front of a video camera. You need to project yourself to put your ideas across; your aim is to appear flexible, natural and confident. The way you move and speak should complement, not distract from what you say. Everyone has mannerisms they only become irritating when they are accentuated by nervousness, and you are not aware of them. If you know what you tend to do, you are in a position to stop. Voice Talk to the back of the room, keep your voice up, and don’t let it drop at the end of sentences. Emphasise the key words and pause deliberately to allow significant points to sink in. Face Keep your face moving and expressive. Smile. Returning help to sustain confidence. Keep eye contact. Look at the bridge of their

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 noses into their eyes, not the ceiling, the floor or your visuals. Look at everyone. Body You do not have to be rigid to be formal – move naturally and let your gestures and movements mirror the meaning of what you are saying. Find a comfortable base position to return to.

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Mastery of the subject
A speaker is asking for trouble if he does not know enough about his subject. He will be so busy grasping the threads of his little knowledge that he will not be able to adapt it to the needs of an audience, and he will be very vulnerable if interrupted. Speakers whether persuading or informing find they need about four times as much knowledge as they expect to use in the talk. They need it to cover themselves when under question and when some point is of particular interest to the audience. Someone who accepts authority as a speaker may not retain the audiences respect if he undermines its confidence in his knowledge of the subject. Visual Aids Good visual aids take time to prepare. The audience can only think about one thing at a time and is easily distracted. You cannot expect them to concentrate on what is being said if what they are seeing is more interesting – for right or wrong reasons. Introduce the visual aid before you pick it up. Give yourself time to make the important point, which almost always precedes a visual and let it sink in. Keep quiet while they take it in. Watch their eyes now the visual to gauge their reaction and to know when to start talking again. Focus their attention when necessary with a pointer, lay the pointer on the glass screen if you need to hold their attention on a particular phrase – don’t let it shake, rattle or roll, it is very distracting. Once you have finished with the slide remove it. If using a flipchart, some preparation can be completed in advance and it allows you to keep diagrams hidden until the right moment. A

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 flipchart is frequently used for small audiences and encourages participation. Care needs to be taken with handwriting and spelling. Use any visual aids that you are comfortable with and will assist you in getting your point message across. But remember they are only an aid – you are your best visual aid.

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Using a microphone
Addressing a large audience may require the use of a microphone. Mastery of the microphone gives the poise and confidence essential for a speaker to gain the attention and respect of his audience. General rules 1. Stand still; do not vary the distance between the microphone and yourself by swaying or walking away from it. The ideal distance for a static microphone is 18” to 24” away, with the microphone below the line of your mouth. 2. Do not fidget with, or rustle notes near it. 3. Do not address the microphone, ignore it and address your audience. The most common faults 1. You get too close to the microphone, speech becomes distorted. 2. You are too far away and the microphone picks up your voice and noise. 3. You turn your head away whilst speaking resulting in the volume rising and falling. 4. Handling the microphone incorrectly resulting in crackling and thundering noises. 5. Negative feedback from loudspeakers.

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Techniques that liven your presentation
The right language, rhetorical tricks and gestures are all important techniques of effective presentations. Use short sentences and simple language. When you practice check that the points you are making sound crisp and concise. Using certain rhetorical tricks can make your presentation memorable. The most effective are repetition, contrasts and lists of three. Confidence You must never belittle your knowledge or ability, nor frighten yourself into thinking that the audience knows more about your subject than you do. You need to prepare your material so well that whatever happens you can get the main points across. The audience will not attack unless considerably provoked. Some members of the audience may have knowledge of the subject. This you should use, providing you draw it out in a way that brings out the main points clearly. They will then feel involved and interested and the others will still be learning. Experience and success develops confidence. Appearance Appearance matters, the audience looks and listens. Dress shows your attitude to your audience. You cannot afford to be scruffy unless you have an inordinate amount of personality to compensate for it. Stance This will depend on you, the audience and the subject of the presentation. If you have a large audience it is preferable to remain standing. However it is important not to move around too much, sway or look ready to run. You may feel more vulnerable when standing, but in reality it puts you in a stronger position.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Standing gives you more authority, allow you to breathe more easily, gesture more freely and use the visual aids without bobbing up and down.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Delivery

2009

You need to deliver your material at the speed an audience can take in. Speak clearly and vary your tone to prevent monotony. Practise using gestures and pauses; they give your audience time to digest the important points. You can judge your success by your audience’s reaction. Develop the range of your voice. Practice speaking in low and high register, but always within the comfortable limits of your vocal range. Practise 1. Enunciation – voice your words with clarity 2. Pronunciation – voice your words correctly Always maintain that inner smile! Time Keeping Time keeping is important. If the audience causes the talk to over run it will not matter. If it is your fault they will mind.

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Handling questions
A good question creates a peak of concentration for the audience so make the most of it. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Welcome the question. Repeat the question so that everyone can hear it. Clarify it if necessary. Provide the answer. Thank them for their contribution.

Handling aggressive questions If the attack is unjustified, you can normally rely on the support of your audience. In this case you won’t need to confront your attacker, he will destroy his credibility for himself, provided that you respond briefly and rationally. Then move swiftly on to the next question. If someone is testing your knowledge and experience and you do not know the answer then say so with a smile but state that you will find out and get back to him or her. Don’t look ashamed of not knowing; look pleased at the prospect of learning something new. The question you are dreading It is better to prepare for the worst than to assume it won’t happen. At least you will be able to say, “I thought someone might ask that”. You could even prepare a visual especially for it. Prepare for it by rehearsing as you have done for the rest of the presentation – not just by thinking and hoping it won’t happen.

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Think Big, and Smile..! The stupid question

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Avoid all temptation to say, “If you’d been listening, you’d have known that”.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Find out it he is the only one, if he isn’t you’ve pitched your presentation at the wrong level and take the opportunity to put it right now. If he is the only one don’t make him look stupid or you will lose the goodwill of your audience. Just answer the question and move on. Overcoming nervous tension The main barrier in giving presentations is nervous tension brought on through fear of failure, fear of looking foolish or fear of forgetting. These can be combated by having courage, deep breathing, and knowledge of subject, thorough preparation and learning to relax. Tension clouds the mind. Relaxation clears the mind. When tension gets out of control – with adrenaline pumping madly through the body – it can paralyse a speaker. When controlled it can lift and give sparkle to a performance. Many symptoms of tension will register only with one person – YOU. Learn to control the symptoms by sitting in a chair and relaxing each part of your body from the feet upwards. Avoid the stiff drink for courage – you can have that afterwards. If you look the part, behave the part, your audience will respond accordingly. Conclusion

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 It can be a damming prospect to give a formal presentation – particularly the first one. However with practise and perseverance ultimately you will find the experience both challenging and stimulating. The speaker who puts across his interest in his subject, and his enjoyment in discussing it will inspire like feelings in his audience.

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Chapter Six

Key Account Management

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Key Account Management
This chapter deals with the management of YOUR key accounts, those accounts that make the biggest turnover on your area. It may be your top ten or top fifteen, whichever it is, these accounts could give you up to 30% of your annual turnover. It is up to you to make sure that their key accounts are given grade A customer service. The notes that follow are accompanies by a two-day key account training course.

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Our key customer accounts are a very precious resource. They are almost certainly our greatest source of volume; they should be our major source of profits. We need to ensure that we have an efficient strategy to manage and develop our key accounts. Failure to maintain and develop opportunities within key accounts should be regarded as an unacceptable loss. Competitors are waiting like predators for such a failure on our part. The aim of this programme is to assist you in the development of your key account strategies. You should consider key account management as an evolving process through which you are always learning about your accounts and how to manage them. The notes in this folder are not intended to be exhaustive. They should be used as an outline through which you can focus your strategies, tactics and development techniques. Key account management is not an exact science. It relies fundamentally on your ability to develop a relationship with the key players in your accounts. You will need to devise strategies, which continuously meet the needs of your customers. These notes will help you to understand the processes at work in key accounts. You need to take the principles expressed, and apply them to your own situation.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Stages of Key Account Management

2009

To help you to develop your own key account management strategy we have outlined a number of stages. You will need to consider each of these stages. The stages are not necessarily consecutive. You will have to decide what is appropriate in your particular scenario. Stages of Key Account Management 1. Identifying and selecting key accounts:
☼ ☼ ☼

Profit or other substantial reason for developing the account for your company The potential benefits to the customer Identifying the differential between you and your competitors

2.

Collecting knowledge about your customer’s business:
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

Current issues, problems and opportunities. Perceived needs Potential solutions External factors likely to affect account penetration

3.

Identify and research decision makers and influencers:
☼ ☼

Selecting decision making partners, decision influencing partners and information partners Analyse the individual behaviours and the possible significance in decision making

3.

Analyse the need of each level of authority:

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Think Big, and Smile..! ☼ Senior management, operational management and procurement ☼ Identify formal business and personal objectives ☼ Attitudes, concerns and likely objections

2009

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Think Big, and Smile..! 5. Research and anticipate the decision making process:
☼ ☼

2009

Formal and informal Power structure and group dynamics

6.

Plan key account penetration:
☼ ☼ ☼

Set specific, realistic objectives Plan entry level, frequency and timing Adapt plan to deal with group dynamics

7.

Develop penetration strategy:
☼ ☼ ☼

Analyse account history State competitive advantages and disadvantages Position company favourably against competitors

8.

Organise support:

Identify resources you will need to support your management of the key account Think about who will need to be involved. What financial and technical resources you will need Confirm your level of authority Match credibility statements to the perceived needs of customer Increase perception of the need for your solution Present your proposals:

9.

Develop credibility statements:

9.

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Think Big, and Smile..! ☼ Highlight unique selling points

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Minimise perceived advantages of alternative solutions

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Think Big, and Smile..! 11. Negotiate:

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Set objectives for your negotiation, consider your negotiating range Anticipate buying strategies and tactics Analyse the cost and value of likely concessions Organise team negotiations Set timescales Quickly and efficiently. Monitor and review situation.

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

12.

Implement solutions:

Strategy and Tactics As someone responsible for key account management it is important that you have a clear overall aim, defined by clear objectives and that your strategy is realistic. You will need to think about your tactics whilst dealing with the key players in your accounts. To help here are some definitions: Aim A clear and concise description of your overall purpose and direction. Objectives Specific points which allow you to measure your performance as you attempt to meet your overall aim. Objectives should be “SMART”.

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Think Big, and Smile..! S – Specific M – Measurable A – Achievable R – Realistic T – Timebound

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An outcome of the planning process. It predicts situations which will arise during the key account selling process and defines the actions which will be taken to deal with those situations. Strategy is future – orientated. Tactics Tactics are specific actions designed to enable the overall strategy to be realised. Example of a Key Account Strategy Statement Strategy We will convince the managing director that the business advice we will provide will improve the performance of his managers through increased knowledge of the processes involved. We will achieve this by using third party testimonials from companies within the customer’s industry. We will ask the managing director to show the functional managers how their increased knowledge will enable them to increase productivity. We will enlist the functional managers to convince the purchasing department to accept the changes, thus allowing the company to rationalise its’ supplier base. Tactics To enable the above strategy, you may well use the following tactics. Site visit – meet with Managing Director

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Think Big, and Smile..! Key Points
☼ ☼ ☼

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Prove quality of advice Establish our credibility Agree need to gain commitment of functional managers

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Think Big, and Smile..! Presentation to Functional Managers Key Points
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

2009

Ask Managing Director to chair meeting Establish benefits of increased knowledge Build status of a particular manager Introduce key support staff from your company

Meeting with Purchasing Key Points
☼ ☼

Supply report from functional managers to demonstrate benefits of solution Obtain agreement to buying criteria

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Think Big, and Smile..! Analysis of Key Account Potential Customer/Client ………………………………………..

2009

CURRENT

CURRENT SITUATION

FUTURE POTENTIAL

£ or Units

£ or Units

TOTAL BUSINESS

OUR COMPANY SHARE

OUR COMPANY SHARE

Key Account Risk Management Whether you are developing potential within an existing key account, or attempting to penetrate a new potential key account, you will need to think about risk management.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Your key accounts are your competitor’s key potential. You must expect them to attempt to gain business in these accounts. How you manage this risk will depend on the market you are in, and the particular circumstances in your accounts. You are always at risk in your key accounts. This may be caused by a change of policy by your customer, or it may be a result of an offering from one of your competitors.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 We suggest you adopt the strategy of analysing the offering you are currently offering to your customer. Think about the situation you are in and ask yourself searching questions. For example:

Is the product I am supplying meeting the exact needs of my customer? Is the product/application likely to become obsolete? Are we supplying all of the customer’s requirements? If not, how do we compare to our competitors? What is the customer’s purchasing policy? Do they currently single source? Is this likely to change?

☼ ☼

The above questions relate to the product or service you are supplying. However, you need to think of risk in broader terms than just product or service. Look at the questions below. Do you know the answers to any or all of them for your key accounts? If not, you may be at risk. If you do not have the relevant information you may find it difficult to manage the risk. Examples of questions you should consider as part of your risk management strategy:
☼ ☼

How well do we understand the decision making process? Do we know all of the decision makers in the decision making unit (DMU)? What influence could our competitors have on the DMU? How well are my customers doing in their market? Do we supply to any of our customer’s major competitors?

☼ ☼ ☼

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 The above examples are not intended to be exhaustive. They are examples of thinking about the wider issues, which could influence the level of risk you have to manage in your accounts.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Key Account Penetration

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Key account selling is an involved process. To penetrate a key account you will need to be very well prepared. You are likely to encounter a number of factors in key account selling which are just not present in the smaller accounts. As part of your strategy ask yourself some basic questions: 1. Who exactly is my customer? 2. What can we do to improve the customer’s situation or performance? 3. What will we gain from doing so? 4. Why do we want to develop this account? 5. What are the consequences of not penetrating this account? Business Positions of Key Customers A customer may be the division or department within a company, we must consider whether that customer is growing, declining or stable. Growth customers tend to be sales driven. Your penetration strategy should be positioned in line with the customer’s needs. What do you think these needs might be? Customers in decline are usually cost driven. Your strategy will need to show how your offering will lower or reduce costs. Stable customers are sales and cost driven. Sales must be increased, but not at too great an additional cost. Costs must be reduced, but not at the expense of market share. Your strategy will need to make improvements in either area without detriment to the other.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 By aligning your strategy to your customer’s position of growth, decline or stability, we have taken the first step towards deciding our ‘positioning’.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Penetration – The Choice of Approaches

2009

The way you approach the penetration of your key accounts will depend on many factors. However, you will have to decide on your plan based on the information available to you at the time. In some cases you may make a very narrow approach, i.e. – focussing on a very specific sales opportunity, or you may have a much broader strategy, looking at several opportunities at the same time. You will have to decide the benefits and risks of your chosen approach. Positioning Our positioning in a particular market as a whole or with regard to a key account describes how we tailor our products or services to meet the needs of the market place or customer. The ideal position should fulfil the following criteria:
☼ ☼

The customer must have a need for the product or service Your company and product must be credible – you must be able to demonstrate your consistency and reliability You must be able to communicate the ‘unique selling points’ of your offering You must be able to deliver what you claim Your product or service must be adaptable to new challenges. You must be aware of developments being made by your competitors.

☼ ☼

These criteria should influence the statement we make about how you will position yourself to any of your key accounts.

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Think Big, and Smile..! Example of positioning statement

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If we are selling components to a growing division of an original equipment manufacturer, we might make the following statement: “We will position ourselves to the Manufacturing Director as his partner in reducing assembly time to allow increased production to meet demand and reduce waiting time”.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 “We will position ourselves to the R & D Director as his partner in sharing development costs to further improve product performance, we will demonstrate that we can do this ‘uniquely’; giving our customer an advantage in their market”. The Decision Making Process Identifying the Process Generally, the larger the company, the more complex the decision making process is likely to be. You must understand how the formal and informal processes work inside your key accounts. You will need to know who has got ‘power’ and who has got ‘influence’. There is a difference between influence and power. It is vital that you understand the nature of power, formal and informal decision processes and group dynamics. Formal and Informal Processes Decisions may be made through a formal process: a committee, a board or a group of managers. Often the process is much more informal, when the decision can be made and influenced by any number of people. You should attempt to map the decision making processes in your key accounts.

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EXERCISE IMPROVING KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
Please consider your present level of skill in each stage of managing your key accounts and grade yourself for each stage: A B C D Little or no improvement needed Acceptable, but still some improvement needed Considerable improvement needed Unacceptable. Major improvement needed

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Stages of Key Account Management
1. Identifying and selecting key accounts:

Profit or other substantial reason for developing the account for your company The potential benefits to the customer Identifying the differential between you and your competitors.

☼ ☼

2.

Collecting knowledge about your customer’s business:
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

Current issues, problems and opportunities Perceived needs Potential solutions External factors likely to affect account penetration.

3.

Identify and research decision makers and influencers:

Selecting decision making partners, decision influencing partners and information partners Analyse the individual behaviours and the possible significance in decision making.

4.

Analyse the needs of each level of authority:

Senior management, operational management and procurement Identify formal business and personal objectives Attitudes, concerns and likely objections.

☼ ☼

5.

Research and anticipate the decision making process: 118 | P a g e

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Power structure and group dynamics.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 6. Plan key account penetration:
☼ ☼ ☼

2009

Set specific, realistic objectives Plan entry level, frequency and timing Adapt plan to deal with group dynamics.

7.

Develop penetration strategy:
☼ ☼ ☼

Analyse account history State competitive advantages and disadvantages Position Company favourably against competitors.

8.

Organise support:

Identify resources you will need to support management of the key account

your

Think about who will need to be involved. What financial and technical resources you will need Confirm your level of authority.

9.

Develop credibility statements:

Match credibility statements to the perceived needs of your customer Increase perception of the need for your solution.

10.

Present your proposals:
☼ ☼

Highlight unique selling points Minimise perceived advantages of alternative solutions.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 11. Negotiate:

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Set objectives for your negotiation, consider your negotiating range Anticipate buying strategies and tactics Analyse the cost and value of likely concessions Organise team negotiations Set timescales.

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

12.

Implement solutions:

Quickly and efficiently. Monitor and review situation.

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Chapter Seven

Negotiation Skills

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Negotiation
This series of notes were designed to show the effective way of handling negotiations. Negotiating is communication with a purpose and one of the essential aspects is to concentrate on the issue involved rather that the relationship between the two parties. It can also be a process for resolving conflict between people where both modify their demands to achieve a mutually acceptable compromise. I.e. both sides walking towards each other! By following the eight step approach, though not necessarily in a rigid order, you will be taking the steps towards a framework of a skilled negotiator. The Eight Steps are:(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) Preparing Arguing/Discussing Signalling Proposing Packaging Bargaining Closing Agreeing 123 | P a g e

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The 4 Main Phases are steps: 1, 2,4, 6 with 3, 5, 7, 8 Interlinking.

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Step One - Preparing ESSENTIALS
Be pro-active rather than reactive. A badly prepared negotiator cannot lead the way or control the outcome. Define what needs to be achieved and decide how it will be achieved.

OBJECTIVES
Prioritise them: write them out Primary – Secondary Be realistic Objectives need to be realistic and credible. Use the L.I.M. principle L – I – M – Like to get Intend to get Must get

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OWN INTEREST
OBJECTIVE 1 2 3 4 5 6 LIKE INTEND MUST

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CONSIDER
(1) (2) (3) (4) What are the bridging factors that would make an agreement? What will you have to trade, or what have you to give, to promote an agreement? What fall back positions do you have? What order do you intend to present your propositions?

COMMON AVOIDABLE MISTAKES
(1) (2) (3) (4) Unprioritised Objectives Incorrect assumptions Badly defined limit position Non-disclosure of useful information

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Step Two – Arguing/Discussing

You negotiate because you have or believe you have a conflict of rights or interests with another party. This is always more apparent at the beginning. Both parties are tense and wary. Some negotiations never get beyond this stage because inter party tension is so high and you reach a deadlock before moving off the starting post. It is estimated 80% of time is spent arguing/discussing. Although the word arguing is an emotional one it can also mean a rational presentation of reasons for doing or not doing something. It can mean two distinct things: One reasonable and construction, the other unreasonable and destructive. How you use this step will affect the progress and the outcome of the negotiations. Arguing can and often will recur throughout the whole operation. But getting it to work for you will ultimately improve your performance. This stage should be used as an opportunity not an obstacle. It allows you access to your customer’s objectives, their intentions and permits you to explore the issues themselves. An interest motivates a customer to say Yes, an inhibition motivates them to say No. You may be making assumptions here and therefore using this opportunity to test them. Arguments are an exchange which can establish the

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 benefits of negotiating a settlement or it can show that no settlement is either possible of desirable.

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Think Big, and Smile..! IMPROVING BEHAVIOUR (1)

2009

Eliminate the habit of interrupting your customer, as the person receiving this message resents it and before long a shouting match develops. Never ignore your customers interest, continuously pressing home your own. Destructive argument achieves nothing. Point scoring is a temptation few can resist. I.e. “I’m not going to let you get away with what you said 10 minutes ago”.

(2) (3)

The attack/defence cycle and the blame cycle are well established features of destructive arguments. If you attack somebody they will inevitably defend themselves. If you seek to apportion blame incessantly your customer will either emotionally resist the charge or attempt to pass the blame on to you. Once you are in this cycle it accelerates and the emotional tension rises. I.e. “are you calling me a liar?” People in an emotional state make threats. If each side loses sight of the issue and become solely concerned with ‘Winning’ then every concession is regarded as a loss no matter how minor. The end result is that you are both even further apart. The remedy is simple – listen more than you talk. Positive listening must be supported by positive talking: I.e. when you do talk make sure you use your time effectively. Use open questions which encourage the other party to explain and clarify their case.

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Think Big, and Smile..! You have already made estimates and assumptions in your preparation now is the time to test these. Avoid provocative language like: “How do you justify that outrageous demand?”

2009

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Think Big, and Smile..! Instead say:

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“How do you explain the basis upon which your claim has been drawn up?” Probe deeper to get more information – try and get behind the hidden implications. Before responding summarise your customers position to ensure there is no misunderstanding.

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To summarise: Avoid

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Practice

Interrupting. Point scoring. Attacking. Blaming. Being ‘Too clever.’ Talking too much. Shouting your customer down. Sarcasm. Threats.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Listening. Open/probing questions. Summarising neutrally. Asking for justification. Being non-committal. Testing their commitments. Seeking and giving information.

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Step Three - Signalling

In negotiating it is essential you first understand the nature of the problem and from this the nature of the remedy. Deadlocks occur when both parties adopt the strategy of sticking to their opening position until the other party indicates a willingness to move. This could be because both parties feel unable to handle a situation once concessions start to be made. Some people believe once you commence giving in there may be no stopping, hence the best way to avoid this is not to make any. This is normally due to lack of experience – novice negotiators are either pushovers or stonewalls. This normally achieves lousy deals or no deals! The way to handle concessions with confidence is to develop skills in signalling behaviour. This gives you the means to test an opponents apparent stonewall position and establish whether it is based on his reading of the relative power balance or upon his lack of confidence as a negotiator. It could also be due to lack of information. The Steps in Signalling: (1) UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM/OBJECTION

● ●
(2) ISOLATE

Listen carefully. Active body state.

Use ‘apart from.’

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Think Big, and Smile..! ● ‘Lets suppose that.’ (3) DEFINE THE PROBLEM/OBJECTION

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Question the problem/objection i.e. “I can see what you mean. Could you tell why that is particularly important at this time?”

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Think Big, and Smile..! (4) RESTATE THE OBJECTION AS A QUESTION

2009


(5)

What you’re saying Mr X is.

PRE CLOSE


(6)

So, if I can satisfy you on this point can we agree?

OVERCOME THE OBJECTION


(7)

By selling benefits.

OBTAIN AGREEMENT

Confirm that your answer is accepted. Proceed with the negotiation or go for the close if appropriate.

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Step Four - Proposing

If signals are given or recognised this can lead to a proposition. There are frequently secondary proposals as well as the primary one. One party may declare that it has preconditions which must be met if it is to negotiate. These are aimed at weakening the bargaining power of the opposition. Preconditions can prevent negotiations taking place until they are removed or modified. This then depends upon the balance of power between the parties. If you are dealing with a grievance it is important to become specific. People with a grievance are inclined to go on about whatever has upset them resulting in an argument. The skill of arguing is to get that step to work for your objective. The objective is to secure a remedy. It is very easy for any of us to find fault but we also need to find a remedy. The remedy is your proposition. This then shifts the attention away from the grievance and on to the proposed remedy. A proposition beats an argument every time. It gets things moving. It relieves tension. Once you have obtained the opening proposition you can concentrate on modifying it or considering it.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 The initial proposal is usually a statement of a party’s ideal position and the language used reflects the firmness of their position.

● ● ●

I think we can pay something. I had hoped we can pay something I cannot pay anything.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 By listening carefully you can learn a good deal about their position. A secondary proposal moves away from the clearly defined position. It feels the way forward to common ground, i.e.

● ●
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Suppose we were prepared to – I might be prepared to consider –

So to summarise: Are there signs of movement? What signals have you made to indicate own willingness to move. If ignored how can you reword? What is the cause of stonewalling. Confidence or lack of it. Listen for use of non-absolute and qualified statements. Respond positively. Listen more, talk less.

This tentative way of speaking does not show a weakness but is a sign of prudence and caution. I.e. A negotiator might say to his opponent: - “Are you saying if we consider some relaxation of our position on this item, that you would drop your insistence on non-payment?”

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Here neither side have committed themselves and they must not do so until the details of the proposed ‘relation’ and proposed reciprocated ‘modification’ are known. Tentative proposals help both sides. They mark out the areas from which agreement can be eventually reached. Getting into the habit of making conditional propositions is the best training for negotiating.

If you start that way from the first proposal you will have no trouble coping with the bargaining stage. If you throw concessions away recklessly in the proposal stage you will only end up making life far more difficult for yourself later on. Propositions are conditional: “If you are prepared to do ……” (Always present your conditions first and make it specific and then state your part in a tentative way – consider doing..….) A common technique used is that of declaring your ideal position and then immediately modifying it – conditionally of course. This creates an illusion of a concession where none has been made.

Firmness or Flexibility
The closer you remain to your original position the more firm your commitment, the further you are prepared to move away from it the more flexible your commitment. Firmness can give you a negotiating platform for later flexibility. It is a difficult balance to find. 140 | P a g e

Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 By being too firm your customer may not decide to pay you at all. By being too flexible you can remove all your negotiating cards too soon. Ideally be firm on generalities and flexible on specifics, this gives you room for manoeuvre. A general rule is open realistically and more modestly. This of course depends on the circumstances of the negotiations. Choosing the opening position can be crucial In every negotiation there is the presence of uncertainty – you don’t know their style, their personality traits. Consider the problem: When your customer opens is he beginning ‘High’ but willing to move a lot or is he willing to only move a little. Uncertainty can be helpful to your position. Once you have decided on a style don’t change as no one in a negotiating stance wants to feel let

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 down or betrayed. You could end up losing everything. Act consistently. A determination to be realistic and make minor moves adds to your own confidence. Putting a proposal in an ‘either or’ format is a useful technique when dealing with uncertainty, i.e. “We can accept £40.00 every 3 months by Direct Debit or £40.00 for 3 months. 1 cheque now plus 2 post dated cheques. Which way do you prefer?” This type of proposal avoids instant acceptance or rejection. The other party might react strongly to one or other. Confidence is important when presenting a proposal. If you “Um” and “Ah” before getting to the point it indicates uncertainty, always act decisively. PRESENTING PROPOSALS Where possible separate the proposal from its explanation and its justification. Itemise what is in the proposal and then if necessary explain or justify its content. I.e. “If you can meet these conditions……. we will be prepared to consider offering the following ……… . (Pause) our reasons for doing so are ……”. Then shut up. If you waffle on this gives your opponent opportunities to find something he disagrees with. I.e. The more you talk the more you reveal.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Let silence put pressure on your opponent; use it to your advantage. Having presented your proposal you are in the dominant position in the negotiation. Providing it is a realistic conditional proposal. You are laying the foundation for the final agreement. It seizes the initiative and forces the pace.

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Think Big, and Smile..! RECEIVING PROPOSALS 2 Major Rules: (1)

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Do not interrupt. It never pays and sometimes costs a lot. You may well miss a concession that would have been tagged on to the end. Interruption always antagonises. Don’t immediately say “No”. Treat it and the proposer with some respect. Listen and ask questions.

(2)

Remember you can answer parts of the proposal which are of interest to you and which parts are not. A blanket “No” brings you back to the argument stage or even deadlock. Aim to find some common ground even if it is very minor. Use the summarising technique – this keeps people’s mind concentrated. The balance of power is often changed by a proposal. The person who has made the proposal is in a strong position. They can adopt the attitide: “I have made you a proposal, if you do not like it, what is your alternative?” They have then passed responsibility firmly on to the other side.

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Think Big, and Smile..! TO SUMMARISE:

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Propositions overcome arguments because arguments cannot be negotiated. Proposals advance negotiations. Proposals seize the initiative. Unrealistic proposals prolong the arguments. Secondary proposals are best put as suggestions. Proposals can be used to gain responses. Be firm on generalities: Do not use weak language, i.e. “We hope, We like”, instead use: “We need, We must have, We require”. State your conditions first and be specific. Follow with your proposition and be tentative. Opening concessions should be small rather than large. Opening conditions should be larger rather than small.

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Step Five - Packaging
Packaging in its true sense is a considered activity in response to the opening ones of the negotiation. I.e. It aims to take us from where we are now to where we want to be. An effective package presents the variables in a form which more closely matches the other party’s interests and inhibitions: It could include withdrawing concessions previously granted and substitute less costly items if the end result is likely to be more attractive to the other party. RULES (1) (2) (3) Address your package to the interests and inhibitions of the other party. Think creatively about all the possible variables. Value your concessions in the other party’s term.

Packaging enables you to influence them possibly enough to alter their perceptions. TO SUMMARISE

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Identify your opponents inhibitions, objectives, priorities and possible concessions. Review yours and your customers L.I.M. list. Is there enough movement to produce a package? How can you address your package to meet some/all of your customers inhibitions? 146 | P a g e

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What negotiating room do you have? Which concessions are you going to signal? What do you want in return? How equitable is the concession rate? Draw up your list. Have you considered all the variables?

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Step Six - Bargaining
Bargaining is about exchanging – something gained for something given up. The most important single rule is to make all propositions and concessions conditional, i.e. IF. “If you agree to X I will agree to Y”. Placing an “IF” in front of a statement protects it from being misappropriated by your customer. If the word is not used your opponent can simply say thank you very much and pocket your concession without giving anything away at all! By using “IF” it is like an invisible piece of string to the offered concession which you pull back if they do not agree. Bargaining proposals should be statements NOT questions, i.e. “If you confirm that you will send the cheque then I will process your application for re-mortgage.” Statements tell the other person the price of an agreement. They do not ask a closed question that invites a No. Always use: “If you ……… then I”. Some inexperienced negotiators ‘forget’ to put their conditions on their concessions. The best way to avoid this situation is to lead with your conditions, i.e. 148 | P a g e

Think Big, and Smile..! On condition that you do X we will do Y. or Provided that you accept X we will agree to Y.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 Here the condition and offer are specific. If they say YES you have an agreement. If they say NO you can modify your position or require that he does so. If you are required to modify your side then use tentative offers: I will consider. I will look into. If you want to continue the movement of negotiation use expressions such as: I feel we have the elements of an agreement here …… or We have made significant progress although a number of issues still separate us ……. LINK THE ISSUES Never let yourself be the one to fall into the trap of dealing with issues one at a time. If you negotiate piecemeal you will get chopped up. To get agreement on one item you will concede concessions. This uses up valuable negotiating capital. However if you link the issues by agreeing to “consider that” or “think about this” you can then deal with them within the total package; agreement on one is conditional upon agreement on them all.

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Step Seven - Closing
The negotiator has 2 pressures to contend with:(1) (2) The basic uncertainty of negotiating. To settle before your customer squeezes you any further.

The longer negotiations continue the more time you have to extract all the concessions available from your opponent but of course the same rule applies to your opponent. JUDGING THE CLOSE It’s easier to learn how to close rather than when. If it is the wrong time your opponent will at least let you know about it whereas they are likely to help you if it is their interest to keep you bargaining. If you are on your limit position you have a strong incentive to close. Any further bargaining draws concessions from behind your limits. However it makes profitable sense to attempt a close before you have reached that stage. When you state this is your final offer, although it might not necessarily be true, it is then your opponent’s job to test your determination. Timing affects your credibility. If you try and close too soon they may react with hostility, particularly if they feel they have given away more than you and will show this by refusing to move off the bargaining stage.

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Think Big, and Smile..! 2009 If you have used the ‘final offer’ close it is difficult to use it again with credibility. If they test your credibility you need to be able to reenforce your message firmly cut not provocatively. The whole purpose of closing is to lead to an agreement. Your closing package must meet enough of their needs to be acceptable.

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Wise Words

REMEMBER:

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In a good negotiation everybody wins something. The wheels of diplomacy often turn on the grease of ambiguity. Negotiating is about resolving conflicts within the overall and continuing relationship. People who don’t listen, normally have problems getting listened to!

Think Big....and Smile...!

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Mark I'Anson Property t: 08456 434 595 m: 07779 012562 e: info@markianson.com w: www.markianson.com a: Towcester, Northants blog: http://markiansonproperty.blogspot.com/ facebook page: http://profile.to/markiansonproperty
"Packaged property deals to leave you time for more important things"

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