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   In this Issue:
      "SP" Selling?
      Selling Quotes
      A Few Quick Seconds
      Latest Blog Posts

Sales & Marketing Newsletter Volume 515

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Did You Know?

While selling presentations will vary based on product or service type and complexity, there’s a good chance that, regardless of industry, there are some common mistakes we would all like to avoid.

Here are five of the top presentation blunders based on research and data presented by several sources, including SellingPower, Inc., and BrainShark:

  1. Too many words, not enough value: Many sellers are too focused on dumping out all the information they can – but that doesn't sell. Instead we must present a persuasive value proposition that is aligned with buyer needs and priorities.
  2. Lack of support: The use of “social proof” in the form of customer testimonials or case studies has proved to be the most persuasive means of supporting a selling presentation.
  3. Too much ad-libbing, not enough preparation: While many of us think that we’re good enough to simply “wing-it,” buyers do NOT agree.
  4. Too much talking, not enough listening: Even if we focus on our value prop, we can still lose the room if our presentation is too one-sided. We must get our audience involved, which means listening with both eyes and ears.
  5. Bad non-verbal communication: No smile, poor posture, poor levels of eye contact, and no variation in voice tone most often yield no sale!


Latest Posts!

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 Selling Quotes
"Luck tends to come to people who are prepared."
—Colin Powell 
"The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm."
—Swedish Proverb
"Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan."
—Larry Winget,
Author & Speaker
"Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try."
—Jack Canfield  
Paul Charles & Associates
519 Mammoth Rd - Londonderry, NH 03053
[603] 537-1190
     "Helping people sell more
                                 & communicate better"

"SP" Selling?
We’ve frequently observed a troubling habit that many sales people have fallen-into, which is costing them and their organizations significantly in terms of lost opportunities or unrealized profit.

Perhaps you are familiar with the “SPIN” Selling System, which is based on the work of British research psychologist Neal Rackham.

If so, then you know SPIN is a mnemonic representing a precisely defined sequence of four question types that enables a salesperson to move a selling conversation logically from exploring the customers' needs to designing and presenting comprehensive, compelling solutions.

The question types are:

  • Situation Questions – to learn about bigger-picture issues and processes
  • Problem Questions – to uncover needs or objectives
  • Implication Questions – to confirm or determine the effect or consequences of the problem (s)
  • Need Payoff Questions – to quantify the benefits of the proposed solutions to the problem (s)

While we shared additional details about “SPIN Selling” in one of our previous newsletters, the point of this article is to share our observation that far too many sales people implement what we’ve termed “SP Selling” instead of a more complete process such as SPIN Selling.

In other words, these reps are pretty good at assessing situations and, to a lesser degree, simple or explicit needs (Problems, as defined by the SPIN method). But then they commit the cardinal selling-sin of making premature presentations.

These presentations are premature because without a more in-depth assessment that incorporates something comparable to the “IN” components of the SPIN Selling System, it is very difficult to establish sufficient value.

Consequently, the resulting “premature” presentation or value-proposition tends to come across as feature-rich and benefits-poor, or sounds more like an old-fashioned sales pitch based more on “what we offer” rather than “what you’ll get.”

One good way sales professionals can avoid this pitfall is to engage in more diligent pre-call planning – in writing!

When done right, this simple step gives the seller a straightforward guideline to follow during sales calls so they avoid the temptation of presenting solutions too early.

If you’re wondering how to define “too early,” consider that if we don’t know the answers to the following two critically-important questions — without those answers beginning with the words "we" or "I" — then we should continue to probe more deeply to uncover needs, implications and the “need payoff” as defined above:

  1. Why should the buyer listen to me or accept my proposed solution?
  2. What measurable benefit or benefits will the buyer’s organization realize if they should do so?

For an example of one simple planning tool that can help you plan the best sales calls in less time, you can download a free “4.0 Planning Tool” from our web site.

As you'll see, the challenge will be to properly identify the fourth "O."

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A Few Quick Seconds…

Here are a couple of related articles from past issues you might have missed, and which generated especially positive feedback:

Long War: Sell Value
Associate Larry Sanford writes: Life is a long war, make sure you survive. Business is a long war, make sure you survive. Professor Hickey, who taught my sophomore Business Law class at Boston College, constantly used the expression life is a long war and the main priority is to survive.

The same is true in sales or a business life - and the key to selling and surviving is effective pricing and the perception of value.

Read full article

Presentations that Sell!

While closing business is a good thing on which to be focused, the fact is that closing is really a natural occurrence; a simple, logical step in a process — if set up properly.

One proven way of doing just that is to structure and deliver a selling presentation that "sells."

Read full article...


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