The Art of Solution Selling in the Technology Age

THE ART OF SOLUTION SELLING IN THE TECHNOLOGY AGE

Below you are about to read a detailed breakdown of 9 Keys Points to becoming a world class Solution Sales Consultant in the Technology Age

Point 1: ALWAYS BE CLOSING

Don’t worry this is not an old school pitch from Glengarry Glen Ross… Doing the hard core close…

The new Art of Selling you should be always closing just in a different context.

  • You’re helping people go from their current state to their desired state
  • You should always be “Advancing” the sale, offering enough value at every stage of the process to advance to the next steps.
  • So, don’t always be closing for the final deal. Always be closing in on the next commitment.
  • You should be Other Oriented vs. Self-Oriented … when you switch from being “self-oriented” to “other-oriented”, people will immediately respond to you and want you on their team
  • You will sell faster if you go slower… Wait What? You may be asking, this means you can only go as fast as the prospective client is willing to go, so slow down and be Other Oriented.
  • Always be in service of people, that’s right Sales is not doing sometime to someone, its doing something for someone

Point 2: ARE YOU TRADING ENOUGH VALUE

Typically, the hardest stage of a sales process is getting the first meeting, if you go straight out and ask the prospective client for a meeting you are being self-oriented and its more about you than them

  • So, when asking for someone’s value (e.g. their time), always make sure that you’re giving back something that is more valuable.
  • Its your responsibility to explain the value you’ll provide, never assume they see value
  • Example of what NOT to say:
    Hi I’m …….. from ….…. and we help …….. do …….. , can I have 30 mins of your time.
  • Example of what YOU could say:
    Listen if you give me 30 mins of your time, I’m going to share with you 3 big ideas that could dramatically change the decision you make in your business over the next 18-24 months and I’ll happily share these with you regardless of whether we do business
  • Your job is to trade value at every single step. Please note; you must have the value you offered when you show up to the meeting
  • Think about sales as a hiring process, you are essentially asking someone to make you a part of their team.
  • When you offer so much value the other party feels compelled to make you a part of their team.

Point 3: HOW TO GET A COMMITMENT OF TIME

No matter what size, company or deal you are chasing the first step is always trying to get a commitment of someone’s time

  • Always be mindful that someone’s time is their most valuable resource, once they give it they can’t get it back
  • Do your research and find out everything you can about this person and/or company, you need to find what value they need before you can offer it in exchange for their time
  • When exchanging your value for their time always specific a time limit (e.g. 20 mins is perfect), this way your likelihood of being granted that 20 mins is higher because the value you bring is greater than the 20 mins
  • If you want to add value then be personable and use the phone to connect, always leave a voicemail with your value you want to share with them
  • The power of using the “Phone” to connect with prospects allows you to address any concerns that a person may have, to many sales people hide behind technology and wonder why they aren’t successful

Point 4: CONCERNS ARE NOT OBJECTIONS

The old school training and methods to handle objections was about control and (feel, felt, found), this doesn’t work, and you will only frustrate your prospect, here is what a concern really is and how to handle it.

  • Change your Mindset about objections!! You are not trying to overcome objections, this is not a time to be dominant
  • Your job is to help people through change, so when they fire you an objection (e.g. time, money etc) they are saying they are not ready for change
  • When they are not ready for change, often there is a strong correlation that you have not offered enough value
  • Do Not wrestle someone into change, your job is to explore the real concerns and the meaning behind them
  • If you want to get a sale and build a relationship you don’t overcome someone’s objections and help resolve their concerns (Big Difference)

Point 5: CONTROL THE PROCESS

This title may sound contradictory to what we outlined in point 4, however it talks specifically to providing enough value to Advance to the next steps … This is where you want to control the process.

  • You must follow a sales process that increases your chances of getting a positive decision. Don’t allow the client to skip steps. When you lose control of the process, you’ll most likely lose the sale
  • There are 2 key stages of a solution selling process. Collaboration and Consensus, when either of these are skipped over or you are left of either of them you’ll risk losing the deal
  • Never assume the deal is ready to close just because your contacts are giving all the right signals… Always find out if there are other stakeholders who this will affect
  • Gain a commitment of collaboration from every stakeholder regardless of how small their input
  • Controlling the process so that you can work together with your client to make sure your proposal meets their needs
  • Go through your proposal and offer in person and in detail, make sure there is nothing in there that doesn’t have consensus on. If there are any concerns, then address them individually before moving on
  • Control the proposal walk though to reinforce the value of every step, don’t let the client skip to the price, always explain why you serve your client better than others, don’t allow price to be the deal breaker

Point 6: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS 

In business relationships, there is an economic component but there is also a relationship component. Don’t underestimate the relationship component

  • Building a relationship with the client will defiantly tilt the direction in your favour
  • Being consultative, having a personal presence and deep interest in helping your client will be a huge differentiator in your outcomes
  • By knowing your prospective customer, knowing their business, industry and trends and truly caring about their concerns and success you will invited to provide more opinions as a trusted relationship
  • Trust is built on one thing which is caring, customise your approach and product so that it fits the clients’ needs. If they feel like you are just trying to get the transaction, then all trust has gone out the window
  • Be proactive in finding solutions to client’s problems before the problem even arises
  • Hold yourself accountable to what you are selling, if you are not reliable all the good relationship building will be diminished.
  • Be a Consultative Sales Person, Be a Trusted Advisor, BE INVALUABLE

Point 7: THE COMMITMENT OF CONSENSUS

With the new way companies operate nowadays and the breaking down of Silos there can be between 6 and 10 people involved in key decision-making processes … Company size is obviously a factor, but regardless it’s a multi division touch on most key decisions

  • Leaders now realise that to making decisions that drive huge change and impact they need all the key stakeholders onboard
  • Make sure you know who all the decision makers are regardless of how big or small their involvement
  • Even if one senior member says they make the final decision, this is a concern that you need to address. Remember to control the process and ask the right questions to softly engage with other stakeholders… something like this
    Hi ……. In my experience if we don’t bring in your I.T and Finance teams now, ultimately, we will get so far ahead of them that when we are done they will start resisting it and unravel all your good work…
  • Involving people in the process creates a sense of ownership, if you leave this to long you will get blocked
  • Remember that everyone doesn’t have to agree, but always make sure that those who don’t agree understand that you have the company’s best interested in mind.

Point 8: THE COMMITMENT OF DECISION

If you have followed all the learnings so far, from providing huge amounts of value, controlling the whole sales process and building solid trust and relationships …. Then getting the decision should be the easy part …

  • If you didn’t address all their concerns, you are now ahead of the buyer and they will stall
  • If your prospect is not ready to commit it means that you have not prepared them properly to commit
  • Before you arrive at this stage, make sure you have given your prospect all the information they need so that it will be easy for them to say YES
  • Don’t dredge up old concerns that have been addressed, this is asking your client to think of new concerns and become less confident in doing business with you
  • Stop calling the decision process the “close”. It’s not the close it’s the beginning of the next step and a key advancement to now start the fulfillment process
  • When asking for the decision, don’t overcomplicate your language. Use language that is straightforward and natural.
  • Don’t ever pressure anyone into moving forward. Putting pressure on potential clients makes them feel like they are being taken advantage of

Point 9: YOU ARE YOUR PRODUCT

Once you have helped the client make the decision to buy is when the process starts again, this time its executing and fulfilling on your commitments

Depending on what you sell there are multiple levels of value

  • Product sales – Minimal after sales value (e.g. Coffee)
  • Experience Sales – Some after sales value, during the experience (e.g. Flight)
  • B2B Sales – Tangible after sales value, Result driven (e.g. Adwords)
  • Strategic Sales – Huge after sales value, the problem solver

If you prove yourself to be a problem solver, you’re selling something much more important (and valuable) than your product

  • Relationships will fall apart if you stop creating value for your clients
  • Always be looking for greater ways to add value to your relationships/clients
  • If you stop moving your client forward is when you will be disintermediated by someone who is willing to put in the extra effort
  • Consistently identify your deficiencies and work on them so that you can grow as an individual and create better value for other people

Sales really makes the world go around, even if you recommend or like something you are basically selling … There is so much material available today on the Art of Selling, some is out dated, and some is really on point, a lot of the ideas and content in this blog are from Anthony Iannarino…

Greg Gillies

Greg Gillies helps business owners scale their companies profitably. He is an expert at mapping out growth Strategies for companies and then building a sales and marketing machine that delivers against the Strategy, all while making things super simple to understand.
If you’re interested in scaling your own business more profitably by automating your sales and marketing processes, then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.

7 Mindset Principles of Success

7 MINDSET PRINCIPLES OF SUCCESS

Mindset #1 – FUTURE SELF

  • Knowing exactly where you want to be is going to help you make the most effective decisions possible
  • Paint a clear picture of 5 years from now. You meet your future self for a coffee what do you see? What do you look like, what do you talk like, what are you wearing, what are you driving, where are you living, what are you doing with your time etc?
  • Its important to have a clear vision of who you want to be so that you can work backwards and figure out what you need to do, in order to become that person

Mindset #2 – REMOVE YOUR SAFETY NET

  • We are capable of much more than we think, when failure is not an option we figure out how to do more  
  • Your capabilities are much higher than you think, you just need to change your mindset
  • What are some safety nets that you have in your own life that may be holding you back from reaching your full potential?
  • The fastest way to success is through risks so high that if you don’t succeed, you’ll have a complete loss” note: Risks need to be calculated and subject to circumstances

Mindset #3 – FIND PERSPECTIVE

  • In order to be the most productive we can be, we have to deal in reality; if we feel like we are right and everyone else is wrong, we’ll never achieve success 
  • You should always seek out perspective from others: and get feedback
  • The Johari Window Model – (You don’t know what you don’t know)
  • You should learn from other mistakes, rather than going it alone
  • If you don’t have Mentors: Then read the right books, listen to the right podcasts and read the right articles

Mindset #4 – CIRCUMSTANCES

  • You must be aware of what you’re in control of
  • We can only control what we can control: which is not what others do
  • Only focus on the top 10% of reality that you can control and ignore the rest
  • HYPER-focus on what you can control
  • UN-successful people hyper-focus on what others do, which is a distraction from what you should be focusing on
  • Don’t blame. Don’t prescribe others the solution that you need
  • Step one is awareness: knowing what you can control and what you can’t.
  • Step two is asking yourself: what can I do now (Be solution orientated)
  • Q. What circumstances are you getting hung up on, where in reality you can’t control it?

Mindset #5 – DISCOMFORT

  • Don’t avoid discomfort. Being uncomfortable is something you should be working towards
  • The goal is to embrace discomfort not avoid it. This will help you grow
  • If you stay in your comfort zone you’ll never expand your comfort zone
  • You should actively approach your fears in order to conquer them
  • Whatever you are thinking right now that you don’t want to do, is exactly what you should tackle e.g. cold calling

Mindset #6 – THE INEVITABILITY OF CONFLICT

  • The more successful you become, the more conflict you’ll have to deal with
  • Conflict is a way of gaining perspective
  • Conflict will bring clarity to relationships. Which are healthy? Which need to end? Which are in need of being strengthened?
  • When relationships get real, they get better
  • If you want rapid Top-Level Success, learn to deal with conflict early on
  • What conflicts are you struggling with right now? Having difficult conversations will release large weight off your shoulders

Mindset #7 – TIME BALANCE

  • Being successful in your career does not require you to sacrifice everything else
  • Intentional Time: using your time wisely to focus on what you’re doing so that it will take you less time to accomplish the task at hand
  • Focus on Deliberate Practice: consciously focusing on what needs doing and continuously pushing the boundaries so that you will get better
  • What are some distractions that you face?
  • How can you eliminate them so that you can increase your focus?
  • What are some ways that you can increase your “Intentional Time”?
  • If you face pushback from others for wanting to focus more, simply explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it
  • Know your priorities for each day, plan the day before so you can move more effectively
  • Delegate tasks that are not an effective use of your time, so you can be more productive with your own time
  • Continuously deconstruct what you’re doing, what you are good at, and what you need to improve.

CLOSING – WHATS YOUR WHY

  • Even if you have a good mindset and you’re attacking your fears, reaching your goals is not going to be easy
  • When faced with difficult moments, what are you going to do? Why are you going to persevere regardless?
  • Figure out your main motivation? Why do you do what you do?
  • Its important to cultivate good habits of generosity now (Family, clients, team members etc)

Greg Gillies

Greg Gillies helps business owners scale their companies profitably.  He is an expert at mapping out growth Strategies for companies and then building a sales and marketing machine that delivers against the Strategy, all while making things super simple to understand.
If you’re interested in scaling your own business more profitably by automating your sales and marketing processes, then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.

5 Key Strategies to Automate Your Business

5 KEY STRATEGIES TO AUTOMATE YOUR BUSINESS

Every entrepreneur wants to create a profitable business. But instead of working on their businesses, most end up working in their businesses with a go-all-out, hands-on approach. When it comes to growth and scale, this hands-on approach won’t work. What entrepreneurs need is a way to leverage, and a way to scale. They are always looking for a sustainable way to grow smart

Automation is the answer to every entrepreneur’s dream. Businesses face severe competition and a roller coaster ride on the path to success. It helps when a few processes pass through automatically without the involvement of business owners at every juncture.

Simply put, automation helps you remain competitive. Have you noticed why some companies seem to consistently grow and scale? They maybe in the same industry as you. High chances are they have invested heavily in systems and automation across all key areas of their business, which has provided them time and leverage to focus on their business than in their business.

We recommend building a Business Growth Strategy around what it is you’re trying to achieve over set time frames e.g. 1, 3 and 5 years. Then you can plan out and automate the easiest processes first, with your Growth Strategy front of mind.

Building a culture within the company that embraces “growth” by automating your time killing processes, and then focusing on one process at a time.But why automation, you ask?While every business has vital, but time-consuming tasks that require completion, not all those tasks are income-producing. If time is money, you need all that time you can get.Automation gets you just that.Are there steps you can take to get there quick? How do you automate, streamline, and grow your business with automation? What technology is available that can help me achieve this?

Strategy 1. USE CLOUD BASED TECHNOLOGY

First, computer applications today are not what they were in the early 90s (Desktop or server based). Today, the most productive applications run on the cloud (They are online instead of installed locally on your computer).

There are a few important benefits of cloud-based computing, including;

  • You never need to worry about backing up your files again (Cloud based apps do all of this for you, keeping backups in 2 or even 5 separate locations online in the case of Google Apps)
  • You can access your files anywhere that has an internet connection (Which is great if you like to work from home a few days per week, or travel for business). Most cloud-based apps also have a dedicated mobile version of their app.
  • Cloud based apps are generally much easier to use, saving you time and headaches.
  • Cloud based apps offer a greater level of security that desktop apps (Despite what most people think) if setup correctly.
  • Cloud based apps are a lot more cost effective when compared with desktop variations, but more importantly when we look at total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes things like time efficiencies, taking backups, administration etc.
  • But most importantly, cloud-based apps allow you to connect to other apps via something called an API or (Application Program Interface). All this really means is cloud based apps can talk to each other, share data even if your computer is turned off. This by far is the biggest benefit to your organisation, allowing you to automate workflows and business processes whilst you sleep. Imagine replacing 1 full time staff member with automation for a fraction of the cost. What would this do to your business profitability and scalability?

Some of the most common cloud-based apps that our customers use include Xero (for accounting), Google Apps (For email, Wikipedia & Documents), Pipedrive (Customer Relationship Management), Trello (Project Management), Qwilr (Quote Builder) and Zendesk (Customer Support) to name just a few.

The key takeaway here is to recognise that cloud computing has changed the way businesses can and should operate if they want to stay competitive. Most importantly, your business can achieve huge incremental gains in productivity, transparency, and growth if your technology stack is reviewed as a whole and not just in isolation within certain functions of your business. So, whilst implementing some of the above tools can give you some great benefits, we advocate and specialise in reviewing your entire business operations as a whole for maximum benefit.

Strategy 2. ESTABLISH PERFORMANCE METRICS & REAL TIME REPORTING

Most business owners do a fantastic job at their chosen craft/trade, which is one reason for getting into business in the first place. Running the business however requires a whole different skillset, a skill that requires some big picture thinking as well as attention to the detail. The challenge for most business owners however, is:

1. Knowing what their key business drivers are

2. Knowing which levers to pull to affect the key business metrics

3. Then getting visibility of these key metrics “real-time” to make smarter decisions that lead to increased profitability.

Numbers are important. For all that effort you put in and money you spend, you need to see how your results are playing out.

Now you don’t need to spend any additional time than you do currently. In fact, you can automate aggregating all your pertinent data or metrics using a centralized dashboard with cloud-based apps like Cyfe or Klipfolio, to save time accessing this data.

Create custom widgets as you need, monitor everything you need, build custom data sources as you want, customize reporting as you deem fit, and thrive with real-time reports.

These apps are all-in-one dashboards that monitor numbers across business functions and other tools — including social media, support, infrastructure, sales, marketing, finance, accounting, and a lot more. If there’s a metric you need visibility of, it will be shown in the dashboard(s) you create. Of course, to do this, you will need cloud-based apps to power most of your business operations as mentioned above.

Strategy 3. SETUP LEAD NURTURING & SALES FUNNELS

Nothing works as well as lead nurturing does. We’re not just talking about the old school email marketing here either. We’re talking email, SMS, print media and voice messaging. Lead nurturing done right is a committed workhorse that makes your success its focus. It’s evergreen and allows super-fast scalability.

There are tools like OntraPort and Infusionsoft, as well as many other popular and more nimble service providers such as Active Campaign, ClickFunnels to give you everything you need to automate your lead nurturing and sales funnels.

Send automated RSS-to-Email campaigns, push trigger-based messages to your website visitors, follow-up with an SMS, send a birthday card to potential customers and much, much more. You can use lead nurturing for educating customers, building credibility, staying top of mind, automating some of the touch points with existing customers and a lot more.

If your business is still doing sales and marketing the old fashion way, then lead nurturing and sales funnels alone is one of our top recommendations exponential growth.

Strategy 4. CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT, SUPPORT & FEEDBACK

Customer service, when everything else is equal, could be a great differentiating factor from your competition. But not when you do it like everyone else does.Your customers are no longer comparing you to your competitors (however unsophisticated they may be) your customers are now comparing you to world leaders like Apple, Uber and Amazon. So, if you only want mediocre growth then stay on-par with your competitors. Otherwise, like all our clients, you’ll want to be 5-10 steps ahead.

You must figure out a way to automate your customer engagement and support to a large extent. For instance, creating communities to foster user-generated content, building FAQ databases and a knowledge base could be your first steps.

Solutions like FreshDesk, Zendesk, Groove HQ, and UserVoice can all help you streamline, automate, and systemize your customer support processes.Now more than ever business owners need to have automated Customer Feedback systems in place to ensure your staff, tradesman, contractors etc are doing an outstanding job and delivering exceptional customer service. As a business owner you simple can not be across everyone and ever job, and if you have not process for measuring this you’re at risk of having unhappy clients and getting poor online reviews.

Did you know?

  • 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
  • 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
  • Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses
  • 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked – with 74% having been asked for their feedback

*Statistics from BrightLocal, consumer review survey 2017

What to do? After customers make a purchase or have your service completed, email them a customer satisfaction survey or simply ask for feedback on their experience, we highly recommend using NPS (Net Promoter Score) as a solution to measure your company’s customer services excellence.

Strategy 5. ROADMAP YOUR PLAN OF ATTACK

The above 4 points are some examples of great tactics any organisation can and should employ to gain massive traction and start to hyper grow their business. However, unless you have a solid plan on how to tackle your greatest challenges, with proven solutions, you will be setting yourself up for frustration, disappointment and most likely failure.

Roadmapping is a proven approach that we use to help businesses uncover their biggest challenges, then systematically walk through proven solutions for each one of them before tying it all together with a strategic plan that will help businesses grow exponentially.Roadmapping is not limited to any one area of the business, it incorporates every aspect of business growth and profitability, breaking it down into actionable chunks.

Some of the areas Roadmapping should address across all areas of the business include:

  • People and culture
  • Business processes
  • Systems and technology
  • Sales strategy
  • Business performance metrics and drivers
  • Lead generation strategy and tactics
  • Conversion rates
  • Potential new markets and new revenue opportunities

Just as importantly, Roadmapping uncovers potential opportunities for government funding (In Australia) to help your business innovate and grow exponentially.


Greg Gillies

Greg Gillies helps business owners scale their companies profitably. He is an expert at mapping out growth Strategies for companies and then building a sales and marketing machine that delivers against the Strategy, all while making things super simple to understand.
If you’re interested in scaling your own business more profitably by automating your sales and marketing processes, then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.


“You Don’t Know, What You Don’t Know”

Have you heard the saying?

“You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know”?
 
We live in the Information Age… So, there is obviously a lot of Information we don’t know and a lot we can learn… Learning new skills and improving knowledge is extremely important and has almost become a sport, where people are learning at rapid speeds, improving their IQ like never before and trying to be the best of the best in their field …
 
So why is it that in this rapid knowledge and Information age most people are not moving forward, not happier, not fulfilled, anxiety levels and depression are through the roof???
 
It’s because they are over loading their Conscious Mind and Ignoring their Subconscious Mind…

Now I’m a prime example of this… for years I pushed and pushed, learned and learned but never seemed to be truly happy or content. I thought money, cars, houses etc would solve all that (Nope), in fact the more I learned and the harder I pushed the worse I felt (WTF)… then I would sabotage myself with alcohol to change my state and numb out the noise and pressures that I had created for myself…

I felt shit and confused but was too proud to admit it

Well the emotional pain got so much, and the drinking got so bad, that I had to find help.

I would say things like “what is wrong with me”, “I work so hard”, “I’m trying so hard”, “I’m a good person”, “it shouldn’t be so hard”…

So back to the saying “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know”

What I didn’t know was all my Subconscious negative beliefs that had been formed over my whole life from a baby through to an adult …

See I lived and listened to my Conscious Mind 99% of the time and ignored my Subconscious feelings, just pushed them down, told myself to harden up, get on with it, push through … The fact that I didn’t listen to my feelings or seek to understand what or why I felt like this is the single biggest reason my life was spiraling downward no matter how hard I tried…

So, what I have done and wish to encourage others to do is start a journey of Self Discovery and knowing your True Self first… (Sounds all hippy and airy fairy, but bear with me for a minute)

Everything we have experienced in life from birth, before birth, child, teenager and adult has formed who we all are, what we believe and how we act…

This could be things like:
– our parents having a fight about Money while you were a baby (Fear of Money)
– getting picked last for a sports team (Feeling Not Good Enough)
– an ex-partner cheating on (Feeling Un-Lovable)

These Experiences and Events in our lives cause Emotional reactions, some small and some big, some you are aware of but a lot you are not aware of due to age or you thought it was insignificant at the time … However big all small they all form our Habits, Belief Systems, Behaviors and Emotions which forms who we are today…

Here’s the thing … if you “don’t know” what past events and experiences that have formed your “negative subconscious beliefs” then it’s understandable why most people feel confused, frustrated, anxious and stuck.

On my journey of self-discovery, I feel Grateful and Privileged to have been introduced to Pip McKay who has poured here life’s work into helping people clear negative beliefs by changing Neural Pathways from past experiences in your subconscious … These processes are changing my life and helped me find new Passion and Purpose in life… I’m looking forward to completing Pips Coaching Program and then helping other people go through this transformation… I have just returned from completing Matrix Therapies Coaching in Sydney… Such an un-explainable experience

I encourage you all to focus on yourself first, declutter your life, heal past emotions, un-learn negative beliefs and if needed seek help from a professional …

Everyone deserves to be Happy 😊

Greg Gillies

Greg Gillies is a Personal Transformation and Business Coach. He helps business owners scale their companies profitably.  He is an expert at mapping out growth Strategies for companies and then building a sales and marketing machine that delivers against the Strategy, all while making things super simple to understand.
If you’re interested in scaling your own business more profitably by automating your sales and marketing processes, then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.