It’s such a pain in the ass to go into an ‘open’ meeting where you think your voice is going to be heard and it’s not. You’ve been called upon to give your feedback and help fix a problem and you know you can help… but guess what! The facilitator has their own agenda and they just want the backing from everybody they invited to the meeting.
“It’s important that the team knows you didn’t come into the meeting set on any one idea. It’s also important that facilitators stay neutral as possible on ideas.1
Once again, Sander’s hits the nail on the head. The people you’re dealstorming with have to know that you’re open to ideas. That’s the whole point of holding a dealstorming session. Receiving feedback can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but people have to learn to put their egos aside for the greater good of the deal.
You can kiss your dealstorming team goodbye if they know you’re not neutral to ideas. You can also kiss your dealstorming team goodbye if all you do is call meeting and don’t put anything into action.
“This underscores an important point: the ideas from a dealstorm are worthless unless they are acted upon, analyzed, and improved.”2
It’s an absolute must that you have to follow up with the people afterwards. Between exiting a meeting with actionable steps and putting those steps into action, a lot will happen. You have to execute on your agenda! Confirming what the key take-aways were and what actionable items all the participants have. A lot of good stuff can happen after the meeting. Karen might be driving home from work and have a breakthrough idea. You want to make sure you’ve left the communication open with everybody on your team.
Analyzing everything is also key. It’s kinda like business development statistics. If I know I need to make X amount of calls to get Y amount of meeting to close Z amount of business… I better make more calls than X.
“Frank Lloyd Wright once wrote, ‘Get the habit of analysis – analysis will in time enable synthesis to come your habit of mind.’ His point was that if we take time to analyze our actions and their results, we’ll learn how to fold the old and the new into remarkable solutions.”3
Knowing the effectiveness of our effort will allow us to perform better. If we’re always analyzing what we do and what the results were, we’ll be able to work smarter. This goes hand in hand with every step of a sales cycle. You can analyze everything! As you continue to improve your processes and make things easier on yourself, give feedback to upper management. The times are always changing and the buyer is continuously evolving.
“Over the course of my dealstorm experience, I’ve seen countless improvements to a company’s way of selling and servicing accounts come from the process.”4
What better example than one from Sander’s? Collaboration and sharing improvements with coworkers makes life so much easier. If you’re doing something different and it works, give back to your team and let them know. You can make improvements with all sorts of things… how to prospect certain industries, what times of the day to call, how long to demo the products, where to meet for lunch, who to use as a testimonial… the list goes on depending on your location and what you’re selling.
“In many situations, your team will need to develop unexpected approaches to the sales challenge that are appropriate to the situation – the essence of creative thinking.”5
Like I said, with the ever evolving buyer, you may have to do something that you’ve never done before. The competition is always changing and you have to change as well. If you can continuously take new approaches to sales challenges, you could improve your sales organization as a whole. If you’ve found a way to overcome a recent sales challenge, leave a comment! I’d like to hear more about it.
There’s more to come from me about:
Dealstorming | Tim Sanders
Get “Dealstorming” on Amazon.