Blogs

By: Craig McQueen
Fri, April 29th 2011

At Ninety Five 5 we talk about solutions not having any inherent value. A solution only has value if it solves a problem the customer has or produces a result they need. If we want to have our solution considered by a customer we first move off our own solution by looking for problems the customer would have to have or results they need to achieve to consider the solution.Just as we sometimes move to a solution with our product or service I often see evidence of jumping to a solution w […]

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Move Off Your Own Solution    
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Open Mic    
By: Damien Moroney
Thu, April 28th 2011

Recently, as a result of working with some sales leaders on how to coach their teams when using Call Plans, I've noticed some tend to get hung-up on certain areas. By the end of this post you should be more effective when coaching to such tools.Tip 1: Keep it simple.When coaching your team on any sales tool, encourage simplicity. Consultants have a tendency to over-think the meaning of the various elements of the tool. For example, our Call Plan (also known as a Meeting Plan) asks […]

By: Joe Thomas
Wed, April 27th 2011

Some time ago I memorized a simple quotation that I found then, and still find today, to be profound.  Here it is: "Before I can walk in another person's shoes… I must first remove my own."How often do we meet with a client or potential client and listen with the intent to reply?  We often listen for the opportunity to jump in and "tell" the client about us rather than listening with the intent of really understanding the client […]

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Flow   Win    
By: Randy
Tue, April 26th 2011

The first trick of knowing how to get things done is knowing what to get done. There are two important considerations when we look at how we invest our time and energy. One of those considerations is knowing what not to do. It's almost like being purposeful about creating a "not to do" list. That helps you get focused on what should be on your "to do" list.What I find most helpful -- and again, like so many things, it's often about going back to the basi […]

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Let's Get Real    

Let's explore how we can have an effective structured resource conversation so that we can understand if there is an overlap between what your client expects to invest and what they would need to invest in order for us to help them succeed. We can start by asking a general question, such as: "Have you thought about what level of investment is appropriate for the results we discussed?" We are likely to get three types of responses: Yes, No, or they canno […]

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price   yellow lights   Constraints    
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Fill    
By: Craig McQueen
Fri, April 22nd 2011

A common desire I've heard recently from sales professionals is to expand into customer business areas where they have not traditionally worked in.Sales professionals are looking for a way to initiate the conversation so that it leads to detailed initiative discussions and hopefully business in new product or service areas. Let's walk through this scenario by evolving an end in mind for the first customer meeting. Expanding to new product and services areas within a customer […]

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Opening Statements   Call Plan   End in Mind    
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Open Mic    
By: Tom Diederich
Wed, April 20th 2011

My "Take 5" series of blog interviews are all about getting to know the good folks here at Ninety Five 5. Meet sales guide Craig McQueen. The questions below are meant to be taken lightly but by all means add to the questions because they certainly don't end here. Tom: What is one of your career highlights that you'll look back on fondly one day?Craig: Well joining NF5 of course. Really. Prior to that I am most proud of successfully helping grow an IT se […]

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sales coaching   ninety five 5    
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Open Mic    
By: John Jantsch
Tue, April 19th 2011

I have to admit that part of the motivation for the title of this post is to excite the sales oriented folks out there, but no question, the Internet has forever changed the practice of sales.Today's salesperson is often greeted by a sales lead that knows more about the technical or historical aspects of a product, service, or industry than they do.Selling evolved long ago from an act of presenting and closing to one of educating and consulting, but access to information via onlin […]

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Open Mic    
By: Bill Rust
Mon, April 18th 2011

After we have explored issues around timing (e.g. when they would like to get started? When would they like to see the results in place?), we should next address issues around people. Asking what the customer has considered in terms of dividing efforts between their people and ours should help us to understand if there are any yellow lights around who does what.  There are two types of yellow lights: They either don't want us involved enough or they want us to do […]

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yellow lights    
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Open Mic    
By: Craig McQueen
Fri, April 15th 2011

A few times in my career I have seen the following situation: A big project is on the table and it has come down to final presentations from a select group of vendors. The pitch is made in front of all the decision makers. All important points are covered, the price is within range and the solution meets their needs. Yet the deal is still lost. In the debrief the buyer says something like, "You guys seem to have a good solution but it just didn’t really excite us." […]

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Tags:
Key Beliefs    
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Open Mic