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  • Jan 27 / 2006
  • Comments Off on Do You Get It? Closing Bigger Sales Blog Entry
Sales Management Blog

Do You Get It? Closing Bigger Sales Blog Entry

Sometimes the deal is already dead before we even realize it. At times it’s a function of price, technological fit, deployment time, track record etc. These are all measurable, quantifiable reasons for losing a big deal. Too often though when the deal has died it has nothing to do with a specific quantifiable issue.

I often work with clients, coaching and mentoring them through a large deal. At the end of the sales cycle; and I mean the “bitter end.” I sometimes get the question “What happened?”

“My price was right, we’re superior to the other guys in deployment and technology…why did he stop returning my calls? Why did they go with someone else?”

In several cases recently the answer to “why?” was the would be big deal closer didn’t get it. They got the features, advantages and benefits of their solution. They even identified client needs, pains and specific outcomes desired. What they didn’t get…which was the deal killer…was the person and what approach, type of communication, and behavior was appropriate with the prospect or prospects.

It boils down to “Emotional Intelligence” and presence. Sometimes it’s the little things and sometimes it’s one big mistake. It can be an off color joke, aggressive hand shaking that physically shocks the prospect, excessively loud talking, or crossing boundaries (often not even knowing they were there).

People can get the buying language and think they’re “in”. Their prospect Robert is positive, his head is nodding, he’s asking questions about payment terms. Then the sales person moves into his personal space, puts their hand on his shoulder and calls the prospect Bob. Sounds minor I know, but Bob may feel that the sales person is getting too personal and assuming that the relationship is somewhere it isn’t, he may even feel that he is being closed. Bob then pulls back physically, brings up some great objections to slow the sales person down and then taps on his watch… “Send me a revised quote”, he says…and that was the last of Bob.

Deals crumble when we’re unaware of personality styles, values, and cultural nuances. Be just as detailed with the relationship as you are with the mechanics and details of the deal. The relationship is the deal.

Shane Gibson is President of Knowledge Brokers International Systems Ltd. and author of Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals and High Impact Mentorship – The Transformational Mentor’s Field Guide. e-mail shane@kbitraining.com or call 604-331-4471

  • Jan 25 / 2006
  • Comments Off on Tips on Building Strong Transformational Mentorship Relationships
Leadership

Tips on Building Strong Transformational Mentorship Relationships

As one can imagine depending on the
personality styles and values of the individuals involved the mentoring
relationship can take many forms and follow many processes.  As long as the
people within the relationship find it rewarding and effective we really can’t
say that any one process or format is more effective but it is important that
both people fully understand and are agreeable and committed to it.

 

Expectations

 

It is important in the beginning for the
mentor and mentee to explicitly confirm what one another’s expectations of the
relationship will be.  How do they personally define mentorship? What goals or
outcomes would they like to achieve?  How involved will they be in each others
life professionally or otherwise?

 

Structure and Process

 

Do you meet in person? On the phone? Mentor
while golfing or skiing? How often do you meet?  For how long are the meetings?
All of these questions should be agreed upon early on.

 

Some of the foundations of the mentoring
process are important are:

 

r    
To identify each person’s values, style and
preferred method of communication

r    
Set SMART regularly to focus the
relationship

r    
Remember that mentoring is transformational
and that most of the goals should be focused on building the mentee’s talents
into strengths

r    
Have a way of recording and checking on
commitments made

r    
Set a regular time or frequency of time to
check in; you may not need to meet every three weeks but at least check-in with
each other to keep the relationship strong and current

 

Commitments & Rules

 

It is vital to confirm and agree upon what
commitments we require from one another.  Some mentors have no problem working
through in-action or continually broken promises by the mentee while others will
end the relationship if the advice they give isn’t heeded.  Neither of these
mentors is wrong, it’s a values thing.  The key to ensure that both parties are
aware of each other’s personal rules and that commitments are firmly put into
place and recorded.

 

Shane Gibson is President
of Knowledge Brokers International
Systems Ltd
. and author of

Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals
and High Impact
Mentorship – The Transformational Mentor’s Field Guide. e-mail
shane@kbitraining.com or call
604-331-4471

  • Jan 19 / 2006
  • Comments Off on The characteristics of an effective M.E.N.T.O.R.
Leadership

The characteristics of an effective M.E.N.T.O.R.


 

Models success

Expands Vision

Navigates  

Truth seeker

Optimizes

Relationship Building

 

M

Great mentors model success.  Authenticity and transparency are much
sought after but rarely found characteristics in today’s society.  People listen
to what we say as mentors but we have to be cognizant of the fact that we tell a
story about what we truly value by our actions and daily disciplines. 
Mentorship provides a pillar and a model of possibility for those who follow us.
Our example of success and constant movement forward is what makes us credible
and creates an environment of faith where the mentee feels safe to take risks
and move outside of their comfort zone.  Another important trait of modeling
success is that we too need mentors to help us continue to grow.  After all,
it’s pretty difficult to follow our lead if we’re no longer moving.

 

E

 

Effective mentors constantly expand their mentee in
all areas possible.  When I look back at some of the business and personal goals
that I have achieved there where a number of times where when I began the
process I personally lacked the vision or belief that it was actually possible. 
I was actually working on faith, and borrowed vision and belief from a mentor.

Respondents in a survey done by Robert Half Technology were asked to name the
single greatest benefit of mentorship relationships they had been in and:

  • 37% said that a mentor provided insight into a
    particular field or industry
  • 32% said that the mentor served as a confidant or
    advisor
  • 16% said the mentor provided encouragement and boosted
    morale

 

As a mentor we have already ascended to a place of insight
and vision, because of the distance we have traveled we can naturally see
further and more than our mentees.  Great mentors often help formulate and paint
a bigger picture than people can conceive on their own.  The mentor’s conviction
in the vision and belief in the mentee fuels the faith and conviction that the
mentee needs for spurn them forward.  Great mentors expand their mentees,
vision, self concept, and standards consistently.  Spend time teaching people
how to think bigger and set goals that are slightly out of their grasp.

 

N

 

The ability to navigate and provide a proven
strategy for success is what people look for in a great mentor.  The feeling as
a mentor to be able to give this gift is fantastic.  Navigation has three
components, a destination, a place to start and as a mentor we provide the third
ingredient – the path in between.  People will always have unexpected obstacles
during their journey but it’s the fork in the road that shows the true value of
a mentor.

 

T

 

 

Truth seeker.  A mentor isn’t there to coach or
counsel someone.  There is no fee, rarely a contract, and the only reward is
often the reward of legacy, contribution, and mentee transformation.  The
mentorship relationship is a transformational one where we focus on helping
someone reach and become their full potential.  In navigation we talk about
needing a starting point.  Great mentors through relationship development can
peel away the layers of persona to find the person, and the truth of the
situation.  The truth of any situation is where we can begin to map a path
forward.  They also help the mentee develop clarity and evaluate murky
situations to find the real truth and reality to build life strategies that are
based upon accurate assumptions and wise choices.  Transformation can only truly
begin with a truthful beginning.  Seek and insist on the truth.

 

O

 

Optimizing is about taking something that is already
effective and improving it significantly by making a series of subtle calculated
shifts.  Transformation rarely happens all at once.  It usually occurs through a
series of smaller changes and shifts in focus.  As a mentor when we work and
develop others we can see a hundred things they could improve.  Optimization is
about prioritizing based upon strengths and talents.  Help your mentee delegate
or remove the activities and behaviors outside of their core talents and
values.  Get them to focus on what they are truly good at and what they truly
enjoy doing. (if there ever was a place for a coach this is it, investing in a
coach who can help them turn their talents and passions into strengths will pay
dividends)  On purpose people have more energy, hardly feel stressed, and are
more productive.

 

R

 

Relationship building is the key to having real
impact and leverage in the mentorship relationship.  Through relationships we
gain the trust of the person, once they trust us deep truths, fears, and goals
are shared.  We gain permission to give them much needed feedback and
direction.  We have all been in the situation where someone offers advice to us
when uninvited, we can feel that this person is assumptive and pushy and more
often than that we don’t feel that the advice is credible… after all we hardly
know the person. 

 

Bill Gibson founder of Knowledge Brokers International
developed a very straight forward formula for relationship development.  Time +
Genuine Assistance = Relationship = a commitment from both parties.  There is no
shortcut here, the more time we put in and the greater the assistance and
positive intent the stronger the relationship and ultimately the better the
results.

 

We can genuinely assist people in many ways; we can:

 

  • Believe in them
  • Help pick them up when they have failed
  • Commend them when they have succeeded
  • Help expand their network
  • Make them part of a project you are working on
  • Recognize them publicly
  • Keep commitments

 

Another critical component of building relationships and
effective mentorship is listening.  Listening seems simple enough but most
people don’t really listen, they just wait for their turn to talk.  People spend
a good portion of their day being talked at and competing for air time.  People
can tell when we truly care about them and what they have to say.  Authentically
listen to people, be totally present and sincerely interested and the
relationship will flourish.

 

Shane Gibson


shane@kbitraining.com

  • Jan 05 / 2006
  • Comments Off on Mentorship – Sales Blog Entry
Leadership

Mentorship – Sales Blog Entry

“To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world”
-anonymous

Now more than ever our society needs mentors. We have an aging population and fewer qualified people to fill much needed leadership positions in our community and corporations. Having a strong mentorship process and strategy will be paramount to North America remaining competitive in the next decade.

Many street smart skills and attitudes within major corporations are retiring with the senior executives. As a mentor we have an opportunity to leave a legacy behind.

I recently sat down with a former student of mine. Seven years after my team and I graduated him from our entrepreneur development program he now has 47 employees and has a much business as he can handle in the commercial cleaning business.

He was underemployed and cash strapped when I met him, but his willingness to learn, grow and do was massive.

Flavio, one of the other program leaders invested a lot of time with him. Although he only spent 16 weeks with us, seven years later he still refers to the principles he learned in the program. Investing in this person led to the creation of an enterprise that will do $1 million in revenues and has created 47 jobs.

The biggest message he got from the program was the importance of investing in and maintaining strong client relationships. This is a simple concept but one that has become foundational to his business.

We didn’t want a piece of his business, but we contributed to a stronger local economy and made a big difference in the founder’s life.

I guess for this blog entry I want to pose these questions:

What if senior executives (all of them) in our communities gave an hour a week to mentoring a young executive or entrepreneur? What impact on our economy would this have in seven years from today?

This doesn’t just apply to business but the arts, sciences, and the public sector as well. Mentors make a difference.

Shane Gibson
Author of: Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals
shane@closingbigger.com

  • Dec 05 / 2005
  • Comments Off on How to recognize a small deal that will become a big deal
Sales Blog

How to recognize a small deal that will become a big deal

Excerpt from “Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals”

If a small order comes through, determine who is ordering and who is connected to that person. You may find that you have already moved into the exploration stage with a big client.

For example, I used to sell online ads. Often I had companies with ad budgets of $250,000 call me and give a $1,000 order, which lasts less than an hour on a high-traffic website. Literally a flash in the pan, these were the equivalent of a five-second advertisement spot run once on primetime television. Producing measurable results under these circumstances was, to say the least, difficult.

These companies weren’t running around placing 250 orders for $1,000. Rather, they were looking for someone who could prove that they were worthy of winning a million dollars or more in advertising spending. They were testing for uniqueness, ability to execute, quickness of response and creativity. They were saying, “give us a reason to do big business with you.”

We may never get the million-dollar client if we make the $1,000 order a low priority. Treat the little guy and the little order with respect. Take the time to analyze and probe, and seek out spin-off opportunities.

Shane Gibson
Author of Closing Bigger
http://www.kbitraining.com

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