Are you putting your client first?

Are you putting your client first, or your sale?

How big a part of your job is giving sales presentations to a GROUP of potential clients? It’s probably more often than the 1:1sales meeting now, isn’t it?
Clients don’t want to take risks so often have more than one buyer in a decision…
What you are selling has to be compliant with more than one department…
For whatever reason you will probably find yourself standing up in front of an audience with the aim of convincing them all to buy your product rather than sitting over a coffee discussing it with one person.

I was recently running an in-company presentation course and a Sales Manager on the course was very much focused on the sale, as you would expect.
But how does that make his audience feel?
If he starts his presentation with,
“By the end of this presentation I will demonstrate why you should be working with us”
how would you feel as part of that audience?!

If I was in the audience I’d be thinking, I’m in for a hard sell presentation and I’d put my barriers up, be very cynical about everything that was said and believe that the presenter was more focused on getting a sale than understanding my needs.

If however he’d opened with some questions to ascertain my most burning problems and then started the presentation with “In the next 30 minutes I’ll demonstrate to you how we can save you time, save money and help you expand your business without increasing your headcount”, I would have sat up, listened and taken notes on how my problems were going to be solved.

Show yourself to be a Superhero for your clients by focusing on the value you deliver that answers their problems.
Also if the presenter had delivered on that promise, tailoring his offering to their specific needs and wants, the value of whatever he was selling would be clear to the audience as it gives them a solution to their burning problems. That way price negotiations would be a lot easier at the end.

So putting your audience’s needs first and foremost in your sales presentations is more likely to get you the sales than focusing on the sale alone. If you aren’t already doing that, try it and see. Let me know how it works for you.

For a free preparation and checklist for planning your sales presentation that is confident, compelling and converts send an email to Nicola@SuperheroSalesManager.com with “Sales Presentation Checklist” in the subject title.

For more information about Superhero Sales Managers Presentation Skills Training and the Confident, Compelling Presentation that Converts Programme see the services page.

How to give your exhibition stand presence

How to give your exhibition stand presence.

You’ve seen those exhibitions where smartly suited people are sitting behind their stand talking amongst themselves on their phone so not engaging with anyone.  They will go home thinking the exhibition was a waste of time and money!

Or the stands where the exhibitors have wide smiles and  outstretched arms asking “Can I help you?”  Your obvious answer is “No, thanks” and scuttle on as you don’t know what they do or what to ask for.   They will wonder what they did wrong!

Your average Sales or Marketing Manager will make sure you are present – the stand is booked in a good position, staff are on the rota to cover the opening times, the stand and marketing materials are all present and correct.

The Superhero Sales Manager will make sure your exhibition stand has presence – everyone talking about it, the stand everyone wants to visit, gets press coverage and brings back new leads, new business, new investors and lots of new interest.

So how do Superhero Sales Managers do that:

Here are 3 of the many ways to give your exhibition stand presence: 

1.      Don’t try and sell anything.

2.      Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card

3.      Make your stand an interactive experience

 

1.      Don’t try and sell anything.

Don’t expect or try to sell anything immediately. You are there to build a relationship first and foremost so spend time engaging with your visitors, finding out more about them. Have some form of short survey to gain valuable market information, have something free to give them that tells them more about you, your services and your products.    Make sure any freebies relate to your products or services. Too many people have something to give away that is just a waste of money as it is not relevant to your business nor is it memorable.

However, make it easy for your visitors to buy should they choose to by having special offers for the exhibition only as some people buy on impulse if you have explained your products and serivces well.  (There is a different mind-set  between selling something and enabling a visitor to buy something and that difference could cost you the sale!)

  • What questions could you use to engage and draw visitors in?
  • If you choose to have a free gift, what does it say about you? And what benefits does it give your visitor?
  • Plan special offers to give on the day.

 

2.      Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card

Adding new names to your database is a key objective of being at an exhibition but visitors are more reluctant to give away their details these days for fear of being bombarded with irrelevant emails. So you have to make the give-away prize or prize draw something really special.

I have given away Break-through VIP coaching days in a Spa in the past or an experience of being Superman in a wind tunnel, part of my Superhero Sales Manager Challenge programme, anyway.  They are each worth £1000 and my target market are busy Sales managers that either are in need of relaxation or craving new adrenalin rushes!  Relevant prospects are prepared to exchange their business cards for the chance to win either of these.

  • How will you encourage and reward visitors for giving you their contact details?

 

3.      Make your stand an interactive experience

In order to engage with your visitors, you want them to spend time with you on your stand, so give them something to do while they are there.

Have some kind of game or competition that engages people and gives them a reason to visit your stand, tell others about it, and return for another go later.

I recently helped a fashion retailer plan her stand at a big exhibition.  One of her key selling points was fashionable clothes at a low cost. So the obvious thing to do was to dress a mannequin in a full outfit and have the visitors guess the price of the outfit by writing it on their business card and putting it into a draw.

Not only did they collect more business cards, they raised awareness and surprise at how affordable their clothes were.  They also had people returning to the stand to find out the answer, the winner and what the next outfit would be like.

  • What is your key selling point?
  • How can visitors have an experience or an insight of what you do in a few minutes on your stand?

I have all sorts of activities planned for my stand SD220 at Sales Management & Performance, happening at ExCeL, London on June 6/7Book it in your diary and come and find out what they are!

 

Mental preparation for success

Mental preparation for success

Personal vision of Sales Manager 2. Begin with the end in mind

Stephen Covey’s second habit is at the heart of most coaching (sports and business) in achieving the goals you set yourself.

One of the many ideas in this habit is that you create things twice: once in your mind, i.e. you visualise your goals, your life’s work, your Olympic race, whatever it is you want to succeed in; then once in reality – you make it happen.  After the fantastic success of the TeamGB athletes in this years’s London Olympics, you will hear a lot of them talk about the importance of their mental preparation as well as their physical preparation in achieving their medals.

The most famous example is that of Mohamed Ali, his mental strength and mindset were what set him apart, in addition to his natural talent. Over the years in books and TV interviews he has revealed how he conditioned his mind before a match to give him a very high chance of success once he got in the ring.

He once described in a TV interview how he would focus his mind on the actual experience of being there in the ring. He would feel the sensations, see the reactions, feel the punches, be aware of the sweat, the sounds, the sights, the flashes of the cameras.

He would rehearse the fight in his mind as if he were recording each moment. He gave this mental routine a name which coaching experts have since picked up. He called it creating a “Future History.”

How does this help you recruit and train your new Sales Managers?

Before you promote your best person, or before you decide who to promote, get your potential Sales Managers to put in writing what they would do if they were made Sales Manager. Encourage them to visualise themselves in the role before you appoint them, how they would manage and motivate their team, where the big new accounts will come from, how they want to be remembered in that role.

This visualisation technique will give them ideas before they start, and give you a good idea of who is ready for such a role and what level of success you can expect from them.

You can get your external candidates to do this exercise as a pre-selection activity before their job interview too.  (Tip 1 of 49 in “Superhero Sales Manager in 7 days”)

Try it and let me know how it works for you.

Quick wins for new managers: 5 lessons from Roberto Di Matteo

QUICK WINS FOR NEW MANAGERS: 5 lessons from Roberto Di Matteo

Picture this: You have been promoted as a caretaker manager to a highly paid, highly skilled team of individuals who are currently underperforming and you have just a couple of months to change that culture, and turn that group into a highly performing winning team.  Where do you start?

Lessons all managers, particularly Sales Managers can learn from the recent success of Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea F.C.

 

  1. Communicate – talk to your team members
  2. Listen to what they say and take action
  3. Focus on getting quick wins to turn  the culture around
  4. Have an unwavering positive belief that you can achieve great things
  5. Keep calm.

Communicate : talk to your key team members. Di Matteo has been praised for the huge turnaround  in attitude by his players, his team members and a lot has been said about the “magic” he has performed. Yet when the players are interviewed and asked what his secret is they all agree it was basic good management skills of talking to them, finding out why they were demotivated and not enjoying their jobs.  When a manager joins any new team, the first priority must be getting to know their team, what motivates them and only then does the new Manager know how to turn it around.

Listen: All staff want to be listened to and understood. They will reward that simple action with loyalty and an improvement in their performance. Especially if they see that the manager is taking action. There may be some element of their job they don’t currently feel confident in, through lack of skills (or fitness) so training, coaching, mentoring can quickly and easily be provided if it is holding the team back.

Quick wins. When a team gets in the habit of losing, just the fact of having a new manager in can sometimes break that pattern so a new Manager needs to capitalise on that fact. He or she has to  make sure everyone is focused on the next win, the next contract, the next prize, the next match. The manager can have a strategy for the long term future but the team must be focused on anything quick and relatively easy.  That way the habit of success can grow and build up to the even bigger prizes.

Positive mental attitude.  An underperforming team will start to have a negative, lazy attitude and stop caring about their performance. A new manager has to bring with them a positive vision of the future, a belief in the team that they won’t have yet for themselves and the strength of character to stick with that belief even when there are setbacks.  Coupled with the quick wins, the team members will start to believe in that positive vision themselves, their confidence will return and with it the best performance they are capable of.  As part of that, a good manager will always give credit to their team members when they perform well and take all or some of the blame when they do not.

Keep calm. With massive success or massive failure a confident and secure Manager will keep calm throughout, knowing that the strategy and path they are following will turn out to be the right one in the end.  That way the whole team stay focused on the next step, the next deal, the next match and not let the euphoria or the despondency of the previous event overshadow their thinking and performance for the next step. This is probably one of the most difficult things to do.   I don’t know if Roberto Di Matteo has a personal coach or mentor but I would imagine he has good advice from friends in the business that help him to formulate his strategy, stick to it and so stay calm.  When everyone else around the manager is losing their head and blaming others, staying calm and quietly positive will have results and show that the Manager is capable of even bigger things in the future….