Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How To Sell More Big Deals

Throughout the first two weeks of March, I will be show you that there is an opportunity for a big deal is lurking in your account base by focusing on six areas.  Before we get started on Friday, here's a story to start us off.

Jill stepped into Kevin’s office, closing the door behind her. “I just ran into Tom,” she announced.

“He said he turned in his notice. Can you believe it? Until the downturn, he was always one of the top salespeople around here.”

Jill was an account executive at BigPrintCo. A trim blond in her late 30s, she had been selling printing for more than a decade. Kevin was the company’s top salesperson. He was in his mid-50s, but looked younger, with sharp brown eyes that missed very little. Jill plopped into the brown leather chair in front of Kevin’s desk. “Tom told me selling isn’t fun for him anymore.” She sighed. “I confess I’ve been thinking the same thing. Too many customers don’t seem to care about anything except a low price.”

Kevin shrugged. “I’ve been selling for more than 30 years now. There have always been customers who bought on price. The best salespeople recognize price equates to value. When you find a way to give a customer more value, you command a higher price.”"How do I do that?” Jill frowned. “We’re better than the competition, but customers will settle for less.”

“Customers buy because we solve problems for them.” Kevin leaned forward. “Look for bigger problems to solve. When I solve a bigger problem, I provide more value, get a better price and it’s a bigger deal as well.”

The wheels starting turning inside Jill’s head. ”You close more big sales than anyone else at BigPrintCo.” Her tone was thoughtful. “I always wondered how you did it.” ”I’m always looking for big opportunities,” Kevin said. “And I found one at Roger’s Sportswear not long ago. We have printed their catalogs for years, but it was always a bid situation. A couple of months ago, I learned they were looking for ways to reduce their printing budget. I started asking questions and discovered their mailing list was a mess. It was tough for marketing to maintain good data quality because their team is short-staffed. Once I understood the pain points, I constructed a new solution. We now manage the data and will print all the catalogs. The dollar volume Roger’s Sportswear spends with me will go up, so I’m happy. And the client is happy, too, because the way the deal was structured, their total budget went down.”

Jill’s blue eyes opened wide. “I have a customer with the same problem.” She jumped out of the chair and headed for the door. “I’m calling them right now to see if they’re interested in the same type of solution.”

Kevin watched her go with a grin…

An opportunity for a big deal is lurking in your account base. Finding it may not be easy, but it could be very lucrative when you focus on six areas.  Check back over the next couple of weeks for more.

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