February 16

Sales Logic-Strategies to land the Big deals

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Meridith:

Hey, this is Meridith Elliot at Powell, and it is 9:00 AM Eastern. I hope it is your favorite time of the week, cuz it is time to talk sales and sales logic. I’m hanging out here with my friend and co-host Mark Hunter. How you doing this morning, mark.

Mark:

Good morning. Doing great on a Saturday. It’s Dallas here and actually there’s snow flues in, in the forecast for the afternoon, just for an hour or two,

Meridith:

But wow. That’s uh, that’s kind of amazing. We’re gonna be, um, about 60 here in, uh, in Asheville, North Carolina, but bad weather is coming our way tomorrow. So mark, I gotta ask, I was thinking this morning, you know, in our mastermind, you and Sam and Mary are always talking football. Some thing I don’t understand, are you, uh, are you a big, uh, super bowl fan?

Mark:

Uh, yes. The super bowl is tomorrow. Yes. You can go watch it. Of course. Then again, you could go play golf tomorrow and the golf course would be totally open tomorrow. Late afternoon. You could play tennis. You probably wouldn’t find a partner, but, but uh, yeah, so it’s this thing called super bowl, uh, the Rams and, uh, Cincinnati. So, you know, you can check it out if you want.

Meridith:

Yeah, no, no, no. Um, super bowl Sunday is my favorite day to, um, to play golf or hike. And I always go out to dinner in downtown Asheville because I can eat anywhere. I want to, things are not busy. I also plan my golf games around, uh, college, uh, football in the, uh, in the car line is because I can easily get tee times. So every it works for everybody. Right? So mark, I am thinking that we got a big show here today. Would that be correct?

Mark:

We got a roll. We got a roll.

Meridith:

All right, let me hit the video. And we will dive in

Speaker 3:

Prospect with integrity. We will get customers who have integrity. Integrity is the found from which everything is built on.

Speaker 4:

You

Speaker 5:

Better understand

Speaker 4:

Value,

Speaker 5:

But at the end of the day, sales is a relationship business. It is a people business. It is,

Speaker 6:

This is sales logic.

Meridith:

It is sales logic, 9:00 AM Eastern time to talk sales. So before mark dives in and tells you what is on the agenda for today, I’m just gonna give you a little overview as to how this show works. We start every show with a question from you, our viewers that’s right. We invite you to be a part of sales logic. Just go to sales, logic, podcast.com. Enter your question. Uh, we have a hot topic, a book we recommend and a lightning round because we want you to away with return on investment strategies you can put into place immediately. All right, mark. How’s the, uh, how’s the agenda looking for today?

Mark:

Well, the agenda looks good because we actually have our names, right? If you’re watching this on the video, that our names actually here, correct? So, Hey, we’re stepping in the right direction anyway. Okay. The title, the topic strategies to go after the really big opportunity that’s we’re gonna be talking about the question comes from Scott in, uh, new Orleans. He asked, I have a defined list of 50 large prospects to go after. What’s the best approach I should be taking. None of these companies know what we do at best. They will know us for what we used to be, but that’s not what we are trying to be today as we’re part of a much bigger company help.

Meridith:

Wow. That is a, uh, that’s a great question. So some of these companies may know your form brand, but not the brand and not what you offer now. That is exactly where you start. You gotta start by creating awareness, education and creating that value and interest in the marketplace. You’ve heard mark and I talk about this so often, but six buyers are 62% of the way through the buying cycle, both where they ever interact with a salesperson today, and the truth is they can buy anything they want and even buy it without you. So you need to start by, um, by creating that understanding and that interest of what you do in the marketplace. And that can be as easy as reaching out with an exciting announcement of the way that you’ve served them in the past and the exciting ways that you can serve them in the future. Making sure you’re making it about them, not about you.

Mark:

Yeah. Now I’ve had the advantage of talking with, with Scott. I talked with him this past week and he raised the issue. He said, the problem is people aren’t even taking my phone calls because they view us from the old company that we used to be. And we had some service issue is we had a number of made major problems. I said, this is the issue you’ve got. You’ve gotta stay. You’ve gotta keep reaching out to them until they have a conversation with you because right now you call and they just associate you with the old thing. You’ve gotta be delivering new value. We’ve talked about this before the bottle of shampoo, rinse and repeat, you gotta at a rinse and repeat, bring them a new message continuously, continuously, continuously. And it’s not about you. It’s about how you can help them because you’ve got to be able to have the conversation, to be able to change that perception.

Meridith:

Wow, Scott, you have a far bigger issue than I thought you had. Um, great mark that you had to hands to interact with them. They not only think of you for something else, but what they know of you is problems and service issues. So that’s a whole different, that’s a whole different animal. Number one is you gotta address, um, the, uh, the elephant in the room. You’ve gotta talk about the fact that you know, that they’re or have been challenges in the past. You’re sorry for those. Here’s what you’ve got into place. Here’s the power of being affiliated with, um, with the new company and how it is going to, um, uh, help them. Then I would go after some social proof, I’d find some customers that have had a good experience with you. Um, I also might diversify my calling strategy too. I mean, it’s gonna be a far heavier lift to move customers that you’ve disappointed in the past. So I probably would put some new prospects on there.

Mark:

Well, that’s the challenge because he’s got this defi line list of 50. He’s not allowed to go outside that 50. He’s basically an enterprise count executive. That’s basically what he is doing and he’s gotta churn them. But that’s what I, that’s what I told him. I said, you’ve gotta be reaching out way beyond the people who may have known you from when you were a previous company, you’ve gotta reach out. You may be having to do five 10 of Dean contacts and you’ve gotta be, and then some of your messages, I’ve gotta say, Hey, we’ve been working with other companies similar to yours, helping them solve this issue again, it’s that proof it’s that proof. And you can do it by way of social proof spot on. Hey, this is a great question from David. He writes in, what’s easier for you guys, B to C, B to B. So in this kind of a situation, what side would you fall on? Easier to change a B to C mind or a B to B mind?

Meridith:

I think it’s easier to change a B to C mind, but I’d prefer to sell B2B. Um, you know, that’s, that’s far more my, um, my comfort zone, but I find an individual consumer probably had a smaller sale and is a little bit more forgiving. Just my

Mark:

Thought. Interesting. Okay. So yeah, I, I I’d rather sell to the B2B cuz I think I can deal with more logic. Yeah. Still emotional, but I feel I can deal with deal with more logic and I don’t know, I, I just prefer B2B over B2C. So back back,

Meridith:

Back

Mark:

To Scott at, at Scott, well, if, if you were to give him one piece of device, what would it be?

Meridith:

I would be to be gut-wrenchingly honest is that I would own the fact that we’ve dropped the ball, that we have had service issues in the past. Um, people will forgive you for a lot. You’re if you are honest with them, but I would apologize. I would state the problems we’ve had in the past. And I would lay out the things that we have done in, um, to correct those and then lay out the value that you’re gonna bring to the table beyond that.

Mark:

Yeah. He here’s the, you know, I like the idea. You gotta call out the elephant in a room, but here’s this, here’s the simple thing. And I’ve seen this so many times before people say, well, I don’t wanna call that customer because we, we, we really screwed up with them before. Do you even think they remember? Because again, we remember because, oh, it’s in our records, we know, or something like that, but you know what life goes on, we don’t realize experiences and, and it, it just gets lost. So I want to be prepared to call out the elephant in the room, but I’m not gonna dwell on it if the other person is ready to look past it. So I think when I hear situations like this and I, and I had a long talk with Scott this week, I said, Scott, some of the challenges you’re facing are really in your head

Speaker 7:

Now with the customer.

Mark:

They’re not ignoring you because, oh, we’re the bad, evil, old customer that screwed things up. There might be some of that. But most of that, it’s just, it’s just plain. They’re just ignoring you because you’re not bringing value, keep bringing value. You’ll finally get in the door with them, you know?

Meridith:

Yeah. You know, years ago I worked for a financial institution that, um, had really screwed up in the marketplace. They made centralized decisions. They had, they had bankers that had no market authority. They weren’t very involved in the community. Um, and they had, um, treated longtime customers, not very well. And so when I came on board and we were charged with making, um, market share, um, increasing market share, um, I had to go back out to a lot of those customers. It may have been years, but they hadn’t been treated very well. And I literally, I just started off by saying, you know, I’m excited to be working for this company. I wasn’t here five years ago, but this is what I understand. What I want you to understand is we have decentralized authority. I have authority up to this, we’re committ to the community.

Meridith:

We wanna make market calls and these are our longtime goals. And this is why now I think that we are a good fit for you. And it was, it was really easy enough to, um, to, to do, but I didn’t wanna be left there wondering whether this customer remembered or not. So just called a spade, a spade, talked about it. And, um, and I was really proud of the changes that we had made. And I knew what type of business that we were gonna do going, um, forward. So not everybody moved immediately, but I think I gained a lot of respect as a salesperson just for, I don’t know, speaking what was, what was fact. And even if they weren’t mistreated, the rumors were still out there in the marketplace. We didn’t have the greatest reputation.

Mark:

See, see, to me, that’s kind of fun cuz you get to kind of come in as the new kid on the block, you know, you get to kind of come in and say, Hey, I know we, we kind of, you know, again, you’re calling out the elephant in the room and you’re just admitting it and saying, Hey, I, I wanna do work with, I wanna work with you cuz I wanna prove you that we can do it. Right.

Meridith:

Absolut.

Mark:

Absolutely. We, we can make things happen. Yeah. So Hey, why don’t we flip over? Let, let’s talk about the, uh, topic strategies to go after the really big opportunity again, you know, Scott’s a great example. I mean we, we find a, you know, enterprise reps defined lists, what are some, what are some techniques to really go after those big kids out there?

Meridith:

Well, I think one of the most important things that you have to understand is the moment that you do an enterprise sale, a big sale is that you’re in for the long game. I mean, this is not gonna be an easy sales cycle. It’s gonna be a long sales cycle. And Gartner just came out with a, um, an interesting statistic since COVID, um, has happened. And that is that we’ve gone from something. I got this from Sherry Leviton, we’ve gone from something like four per four decision makers involved in the process upwards to 12 to 15 and involved in the decision making process. And if you’re gonna have 12 to 15 people involved in the decision making process, then you better have a plan and you better have a strategy around that call. I mean, how are you gonna get to the decision makers? Who are the decision makers? How are you gonna get them to the table? And what does each individual decision makers need to know order to make the decision that’s in your favor?

Mark:

That’s, what’s so key because you know, you’re going after a big account. So you wanna have multiple contacts, you might have five, 10 contacts, whatever it might be. And you get some people engaging with you and you think, oh wow, I’m in, I’m in, I’m in. You don’t have any clue as to whether or not they’re the economic buyer. They’re the decision maker or whether they will be a champion for you. You don’t know. And it’s so incumbent on you. If you’re selling at the enterprise level, you’ve gotta have people in each one of those spots, economic buyer, who’s got the budget. Not, not, not, not, who’s got the budget, but who’s sets the budget, the decision maker, which is many times the user, okay. You know, why is this really gonna help? Why is this needed for why do we make this decision? And three, a champion, somebody who will go to bat for you because as Sherry pointed out in the Gartner information, many times those decisions are being made at you. You’re not in the room. Yeah. You need somebody to carry the water for you.

Meridith:

Yeah. I, I, I would definitely agree. I also think that, um, you know, everybody hears about it, but um, we talk about it a lot, but you need to take research really seriously when you’re doing, um, an enterprise, uh, sale. And what I mean by that is that a sale else call as a privilege. And especially when you’re gonna bring a lot of decision makers in the room, I’m a former banker. So every time I look around a room, I see the amount of money that is in that room. And so the moment I bring a decision maker to the table, I’m bringing somebody who isn’t doing something that is making money in the business. So you have four or five, maybe be six decision makers in the room. You probably have a few hundred thousand dollars sitting there listening to you. Number one, you better have done your research. Any question that could be hand that could be answered by you, um, doing research, get that out of the way, go into that call and say, this is what we understand about your industry. This is what we underst stand about our business. We wanna focus this call on intimately, understanding where your challenges and problems are and allow yourself to go, um, to go deeper. So research is a really big deal. Number one, it’s gonna differentiate you from anybody else. Who’s calling on them. You look prepared, you look confident. The second it’s gonna maximize time.

Mark:

That is so key. And let’s talk about time there for a second because the P piece here is, is why do they need to make a decision? And what’s the timeline with which they’re gonna make a decision on. One of the big challenges that I find is we always say, oh, who’s my competition. Many times the competition is no decision, no decision, or I’m gonna stay with the existing supplier, existing vendor, whatever it might be. And I I’m just gonna defer, or it comes down to, eh, something changed along the way and you gotta underst stand those. Cuz if you don’t understand those again, you’re gonna wind up having conversations with people who may, for one reason or another, be happy to have a conversation with you, but, but they don’t ever come around to helping to drive the decision. One of the biggest distractions I see and people selling at the enterprise level is they, they have these mid-level people, great people, wonderful people.

Mark:

They may even be the influencer, but they’re not the economic buyer, the decision maker. And they never get further up. You’ve gotta be able to power your way into those senior level meanings and you have to be. And sometimes I hear people say, well, I don’t wanna step on anybody’s toes. Well, excuse me, if you don’t step on somebody’s toes, you’re never gonna get up there. You have to be prepared to have the difficult conversations. And I know that challenges people a lot and what happens is they don’t get anywhere with their big accounts. That’s what I told Scott. It’s interesting is I had a long conversation with Scott this week. That that’s what I told Scott Scott be, be weary, be wary of having conversations with people who can’t take you somewhere when you eventually have those conversations.

Meridith:

Yeah. Don’t waste the time. You know, mark, I think, I think, um, we can’t leave this idea of the enterprise sale and being successful with the enterprise sale without talking about follow up. Um, you know, it is, uh, and again, it’s the most, most neglected and most underused, um, and least structured part of the sales process. My passion is that it’s the most important is that the sale happens in the follow up. It always happens in the follow up, but it’s especially true of the, um, of the enterprise, uh, sale. The chances that you are gonna interact with somebody at the exact moment they’re ready to buy are just slim to none. And this is a long process. So what’s your strategy? How are you gonna stay in touch? How is that follow up, going to add value to the client, not just add value to you.

Mark:

You’ve gotta be prepared to play the long game. You’ve got to be prepared and, and you know, it’s interesting. I just, I just saw this in a note, somebody sent to me this morning on LinkedIn, the fortune is in the follow up. Do you like that? Yeah.

Meridith:

I

Mark:

Love it. The fortune is in the follow and it is, it is it’s you’re gonna be making twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty messages phone calls. It, it, it, it’s gonna go on for a long time. You have to be prepared. Here’s the whole key thing though. You have to make sure that you’re continuously progressing forward. Again. I find people, they get caught up in the big account and they’re having meetings, but they’re not getting anywhere. If you can’t be identifying, what does that critical need and be linking that critical need to time and money. You have no chance of ever being successful. Oh, Hey, should we jump over and talk about the book?

Meridith:

Yeah, let’s do that. That sounds great.

Mark:

Yeah. He, here’s kind of interesting. I, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of or cl

Meridith:

I’m

Mark:

Not, well, I gotta introduce you to him because he is got a great podcast. Let me tell you something. He is brutal as a podcast host

Mark:

Flip the script is an excellent book for learning how to sell into big companies, a little bit of background on, or he is a VC. Uh, he works with VC firms. That’s all he does. And he works with startup companies looking to raise money from VC. So he dances on both sides, but he can, he can help you. He works with organizations to help them really create that big pitch, to raise that big sum of money. And let me tell you something, he understands better than anybody I’ve read. And that’s why I highly recommend the book flip the script in terms of really understanding how do you flip the script on getting into that enterprise account? He’s got some strategies and some techniques he’s really just a great guy to hang out with. Uh,

Meridith:

Great. I’ll I’m gonna, I have, uh, ordered it, ordered it this morning and, uh, I can’t wait to, uh, I can’t wait to wait. Can’t wait to read it. I think you can always learn more about the enterprise sale. I mean, it is getting more and more complicated. And as I look at 2022 and we look at inflation issues, we look at the supply chain, um, really not getting any, uh, you know, any better it loosens than it tightens. Um, uh, again, we have gas price, um, issues. You have huge issue with labor. Um, it’s gonna, it is really gonna impact the length of the, um, of the enterprise sale and gonna put more pressure on the sales person to prove value in order to get people, um, to spend money.

Mark:

You got it. Hey, let’s jump into the lightning round, cuz we’re running out of time here. 10 things you need to be doing to light and a sale.

Meridith:

Ha number one, you better define a target market.

Mark:

Number two, you have to be willing to stay in the game for as long as it takes, you play the long game.

Meridith:

You better consistently make sales calls every day.

Mark:

Number four have multiple many, many contacts broaden your reach. As far as you can

Meridith:

To go with that one, I would say, build your network. Understand that networking is a part of the sales process and um, go to the place where your target market is. You will sell simply by osmosis.

Mark:

Number six, you have to get beyond the person who wants to have the conversation with you to be able to identify the economic buyer, the decision maker and the champion

Meridith:

Shorten the sales cycle. The better you understand your ideal customer, the better you choose your ideal prospect. One of the most important things that you can do if you wanna sell more is to walk away when somebody is not your ideal,

Mark:

Wow. Number eight, you have to really understand what is the challenge? What is the issue? What is the reason they need to change and be able to link that back to time and money

Meridith:

Slow the sales process down, establish trust first by selling urgent need people. What you have to sell until you pay attention to what they want to buy.

Mark:

Wow, we are whipping through top 10 I’m we’re on number 10 here already. And that is don’t be content with only chasing after the big game. Because when you go after the big game, you may starve to death. So you gotta be prepared that you have some smaller opportunities in there to be able to feed your commission structure, feed your bonus, feed your income while you land the big sale. Okay? Why don’t you share one more comment on anything you want and then we’ll go ahead and close it down.

Meridith:

Well, I think that, you know, it’s most important that, um, sales is a lifestyle. It’s not a task. And um, and if you’re gonna close, whether it’s smaller sales, whether enterprise sales, this needs to be something you do every day, like exercising or brushing your teeth. And if you don’t do either one of those every day, we have another podcast for you.

Mark:

Oh wow. I’m not even gonna mention that one. So with that one, thank you for listening to sales logic this week. If you like what you hear, subscribe, rate and review the show on your favorite podcast app. If something we’ve earned as sing has earned you a single dollar, consider telling a friend about our show. It’s how we grow to help you grow. I’m Mark Hunter

Meridith:

And I’m Meredith Elliot Powell.

Mark:

Remember when you sell with confidence and integrity,

Meridith:

Uncertainty suddenly becomes your competitive advantage

Mark:

And the sale becomes logical.

Meridith:

All right, we will see you right here next week. Thank you again to our amazing audience this week. If you have a question, reach out to us at sales logic, podcast.com. We’ll see you right here at 9:00 AM. Eastern next Saturday morning.

Meridith Elliott Powell


Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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