Consulting Skills Needed
Speaking In Buffalo, NY this Morning – This ship (above) sits right across from our hotel!
If you want to succeed in selling technology solutions, there are a variety of skills sorely lacking in most technology sales organizations. Today I’ll be meeting with Ingram Micro’s Advanced Solutions Team in Buffalo, NY exploring some of these.
Years ago the relationship might have been enough. While you can’t sell without a relationship, it’s not enough. Clients want more. The truth is, there are lot’s of relationship people out there. Here are some of the skills we’ll be discussing today. None of these are out of reach. They just take some extra effort. Apply just a couple of these and they’ll put you out in front of your competition…
Skills That Set You Apart
Public Speaking: I can’t say enough about “speaking”. Most assume good speakers are born that way. It’s not true. Perhaps there’s a handful, but most great speakers have worked at it. In fact I was speaking with an executive just the other day who told me he was getting ready for his annual sales meeting and needed to submit his recorded speech to his speaker coach. There are a number of routes to take here.
Some are nearly free. For instance, Toastmasters. Every city has multiple Toastmaster groups, so join one and get some speaker critique. Learn how to engage an audience and your sales calls will be more fun, and far more productive. Imagine clients who like hearing you present!
Facilitation Methodology: Disagreement among colleagues in a business you call on is one of the primary reasons they never take action. Learn how to bring synergy and you’ll shorten sales cycles and increase close rates.
Dr. Edward De Bono’s book, The Six Thinking Hats has been a pillar in my library for some time. I’ve also had training from one of their authorized instructors – which I highly recommend. This one skill will likely double your business if you work at it.
Copywriting: Your high school english teacher would likely have a heart attack, but I am much further ahead having studied copywriting. We’re talking about marketing communications or “Marcom”. It breaks most of the rules you learned in school – but copy is what sells. Great copy is expensive, but you can learn to write your own. Stop sending out boring emails, and you might even decide your own company’s data sheets are poorly written. John Caples has several books on the subject. Any one of them is a great place to start.
Presentation: Different than public speaking, but related, is the art of presentation. People learn in various ways, but most presentations miss the mark complete. Chip and Dan Heath, in their book, Made to Stick, do a great job of educating us on how to make content appealing and sticky.
We’ll cover a lot more today, but this is a great start…Check out my book, “From Vendor to Adviser” for more details on these, as well as consulting skills, assessment methods, and event how to price with higher margins.
“From Vendor to Adviser” <<< Click here to get it on Amazon
© 2016, David Stelzl