Archives For Money

Twelve things that define a consultative sales person

1. They improve the client’s position – a business level improvement.

2. Product is never the business driver; it is simply a tool being used in the improvement process.

3. Money is not at the center of negotiations, likelihood of successful improvement is.

4. Discovery is an integral part of the selling process; fees are not quoted until the project is understood.

5. The discovery process involves both technical and business people, and the sales person is intimately involved with each business discovery meeting.

6. The primary targets involve people who have predictable needs, not those shopping for widgets.

7. The projects show specific improvements in operational efficiency, risk levels, competitive advantage, or return on investment.  They are measureable and understood before the project is sold.

8. High-end consultants and engineers are part of the delivery process.

9. Projects are sold with a scope of work, not quoted as a line item with an associated discount.

10. They consider business people to be their peers, not IT.

11. They are continually learning, investing time in reading, and attending educational offerings.

12. They differentiate their offerings with intellectual capital, not discounts.

© 2010, David Stelzl

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Will you Walk Away?

November 12, 2010 — 2 Comments

Will you walk?  I’ve been writing about fee setting, and no fee setting series would be complete without facing the reality of a failed negotiation.  If you’re not willing to walk away from the business, you have no business negotiating.  Once the client perceives your willingness to discount, they’ll require it as part of every deal.  Set your fees wisely, being honest with yourself, and your ability, and be consistent.  Everyone knows that car dealers are more willing to negotiate at year end, and that Cisco, HP, Sun, Oracle, (fill in whatever product company you sell) will do the same (Usually at month or quarter end) for any big deal.  Anything to make the numbers work.  So what have we trained our customers to do?  Wait.

Your job is the be the best.  Jim Collins talks, in his book, Good to Great, about the hedgehog.  Being the best, having the passion, and finally the economic engine.  When clients see your value and know your prices are fixed, they’ll stop playing games.  Michael Bosworth, in his book, Solution Selling, explains it like this, Once you start discounting, the client will continue to squeeze, like a wet washcloth, until there is no water left.

What’s the solution.  Be great, be willing to walk, and leave the client wanting you.  Then continue to market to them until they realize they really do need you.   In the long run you’ll waste less time, make more money, and have better clients.

© 2010, David Stelzl

Jim Collins tells us in his book, “Good to Great”, that successful business planners start by assembling a top-notch team, and then figure out what they will actually do for business.  The people matter, and the best offerings will fail without great people.  This Friday at 11:30 I will be addressing this critical issue – after overseeing hundreds of interviews I have put together what I think will be invaluable insights on how to build your hiring process, read between the lines on resumes, and ask questions that will reveal weaknesses you need to know about before making an offer.  Here are some points I plan to cover in detail:

  1. Why it is so hard to find great people
  2. Where to look
  3. How to discern between great people and liars
  4. How to measure character and evaluate skills, especially with sales people
  5. How to build a hiring team that will reduce the chances of making a mistake
  6. How to figure out quickly if this person will work
  7. What to do if things are heading for disaster

Whether you attend or not, you need to know; 70% of people surveyed in one study I read agreed that they would lie on their resume and in their interview to get a job.  The cost of interviewing and bringing someone on is high…making a mistake can devastate existing client relationships, cost the company as ramp-up money is paid from the bottom line, and infect your team with cancerous people.  And it’s getting worse….you’d think there are more great people to hire given the economy.  Not true.  There are more people who have been cut for lack of performance as financial pressures mount.  This has put more people on the street, and made it more difficult to find the great people you need to hire. Don’t miss this!

Sign up here: http://www.stelzl.us/business_strategy_TeleS.asp

“The victims are mostly small to midsize organizations using online bank accounts supplied by local community banks and credit unions, FBI analysis shows.” Small businesses are big targets!  “The reason they’re going here is the controls are antiquated, and a smart program can often get the money out.”  In other words, criminals and hackers know small businesses aren’t ready, can’t detect when something’s missing, and don’t see themselves are targets.  So what’s the key? Getting them to at least understand they need to take a look.  Assessing small business computers at a high level can be done quickly, and generally uncovers major problems.  You’re looking for Malware.  This is the key – these criminals are accessing systems using Trojan Horse technology, meaning all malware is suspect.  So don’t go in and say, you have a virus…let them know their systems have been accessed from the outside.  After all, any Trojan requires the computer to accept the installation of outside code in order to install.  Read about SMB targets in USA Today

Don’t miss this week’s podcast at http://dstelzl.podbean.com/ – The final chapter on what is happening in the cybercrime space.  We’ve had some major hits this month including Heartland, WorldPay, Checkfree, and more.  Find out 5 things companies are doing wrong – five areas you could be focusing on to win more business.

Also, we’ve had a tremendous response to the upcoming March 26th Teleseminar – Making Money in a Miserable Economy.  Make sure you register at http://www.stelzl.us/subscribe_teleseminar.asp while there’s still time.  I’ll start at 11:30 AM East coast sharp!  The material for this event is fresh and relevant to our current market – this will open up new ideas for success in the coming months.  Read more on my website (link above).