Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 5

9781591848219Social Selling!

Social Selling is a word that is trending all throughout the internet. Believe it or not, there are A LOT of people out there not doing it… and there are A LOT of people out there doing it wrong.

“Incorporating social selling into your day-to-day prospecting approach consistently can make a big difference on your total performance. A recent survey revealed that ‘72.6% of salespeople who in corporate social media into their process outperformed their colleagues.’ These tech-savvy sellers make contact where the ‘smile and dial’ crowd continues to get voice mail.”[note]Page 159[/note]

Social selling is here… NOW. You need to incorporate this into your daily routine before you get left in the dust. There are multiple things that play into social selling, so I can’t exactly tell you what you need to do. However, send me an email, and we can talk about how to get you started. My favorite guys to follow are @JackKosakowski1 and @gabevillamizar. There are about 15 people I follow and like in terms of social selling… but I like these guys messaging the best.

The HARDEST part about social selling is seeing the ROI right away. It’s like going to the gym. You have to go more than once to see result. You need to put time in each day to make it happen. If you’re not social selling, chances are you’re not maximizing your potential. Social Selling gets you in the door, but once you’re there, you have to provide value!

“During our next dealstorm, it hit me: “Show them, don’t tell them.” We collectively came up with a way to powerfully illustrate our total value proposition to the ad agency account planners, using a graphic we called ‘The Iceberg.’ It combined an image with the numbers.”[note]Page 170[/note]

Yea… This is an Ah-Ha Moment! Give your prospect a visualization of what you’re offering and what goes on ‘underwater’ and they will fall in love with you. I am definitely borrowing this image so I can share it with my prospects and team. In the SaaS world, prospects often get ‘vendor blur’. It when the prospect doesn’t remember what the vendor does because they all kinda do the same thing. Then, they end up picking the vendor with the cheapest product. If you give them a visual that resonates with them like ‘The Iceberg’, it’ll separate you from the competition.

Ideally, when showing someone a visual of what you have to offer and how it’s going to fix their problem, they provide you feedback. Try imagining your sales pitch from the prospects view. Does everything make sense? Do you see the value in what you have to offer?

“Too often we see the world through our day-to-day experiences or based on our role at work. By adopting a new point of view, you open up possibilities for creativity in everyone on the dealstorm team.”[note]Page 178[/note]

Whether you look at this quote from the dealstorming perspective or from the prospect perspective… it can provide you with a lot of insight. In a dealstorm, you can get the view point from a lot of team members. From the prospect’s perspective, it can help you win a deal. Maybe you can relate more with a prospect when you’re learning about their pain points. The more you connect with a prospect, the better chance you have at them becoming a champion for you. Having a champion within an organization can make or break your deal.

“They get you and your offer in front of influencers and decision makers by vouching for you and opening doors. Later in the process, they marshal support for your company and drive others to action.”[note]Page 185[/note]

A lot of times, these champions will give you information that you don’t already have. While working at Cornerstone, one of my reps told me that their champion was in a meeting with the decision makers and they were narrowing the vendors down to three. The champion texted the rep and told them that they needed to drop the price or else we won’t be considered. The price was dropped and Cornerstone stayed in the picture. Obviously, we never want to lose a deal based on price… but that was the driving factor in narrowing down the vendors. Without that champion, we would have been gone.

“When people perceive you as a giver, they are usually ready to reciprocate by telling you what they know.”[note]Page 196[/note]

I’ve written about this many time! Once you can get off of your agenda and onto the prospects, you’re improving your chances of earning business. Help fix someone’s problem and they’ll return the favor. There aren’t a lot of sales people that take this approach. The ones that do… are rockstart sales people.

“With the dealstorming process, you now have a tool that not only produces measurable results, but by its collaborative nature created influence, power, and transparency for those who lead or participate in one.”[note]Page 222[/note]

Leaving you with this quote should encourage you to purchase this book and read it! There is so much incredible information throughout the book! Sander’s digs into his past to share stories from himself and other success people. I look forward to reading about his future success!


Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with Tim on Twitter @sanderssays


Dealstorming | Tim Sanders

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Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 4

9781591848219It’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.[note]Page 120[/note]

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.”[note]Page 129[/note]

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.”[note]Page 141[/note]

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.”[note]Page 145[/note]

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.”[note]Page 151/152[/note]

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

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Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 3

dealstormingAsking questions is always the best way to find answers… other than someone just flat out telling you the answer unsolicited… which doesn’t happen very often. As someone with the mentality of ‘how can I help you’, it is my job to ask open ended question so that I can find the pain points. You’ve gotta keep digging until you know what keeps them up at night!

Previously, I’d use the question, ‘why?’. A lot of the time, people responded negatively because they didn’t want to share the answer with me. Sanders suggest using ‘why is that’ as a better approach and I completely agree!

“With practice, you’ll find that the ‘And why is that?’ exercise is the secret to finding the right problem question.”[note]Page 86[/note]

Heck! Say it in your head. It almost sounds like you’re back in the doctor’s office and the doctors’ asking you questions. ‘Why is that?’ sounds so much better than just asking why. Next time you’re having a conversation with someone and they’re giving you a reason, use ‘why is that?’ and see what their response is.

As you continue to dig into the client or prospect, also take into consideration the changes taking place in their company, the industry and management changes. All of these things can change the conversation both internally (dealstorming) and externally (your client).

“Also list recent developments in the prospects’ or client company’s strategy, market position, competitive set, or other relevant topics that could influence your potential deal.”[note]Page 89[/note]

I met with a prospect a few weeks back that informed me that the CFO’s son was going to sell health insurance soon. My company probably wouldn’t be considered for health & benefits because they’d choose whatever the son was offering. Something that like could really throw a kink in your deal. The more you know about the decision makers and where they came from, the better understanding you can have of their process.

If I’m prospecting and come across someone that previously used my product at a different company… I’m going to make sure that that client has had a positive experience since the sale was final. There are a few other things that can come into place once you’ve begun the process of retaining the client or signing the deal.

“Constraints can include price, terms, window of opportunity, prospect of customer culture, contractual obligations, prospect or customer budget…”[note]Page 91[/note]

That’s just to name a few. You need to have a good idea of these constraints while you’re working opportunities or else you’re going to be wasting yours and everybody else’s time. For instance; if you know for fact that you can not work with government agencies because of x,y,z, don’t bother responding to an RFP or prospecting into those accounts. Trying to dealstorm ideas of how to bypass that objection would take a lot of time and energy… would it even be worth the outcome?

Coming together as a team and dealstorming is all about getting different points of views and coming up with a solution. What I know about sales is going to be a heck of a lot more than my implementation person. But that person might know more about the technology side of our software.

“In many situations, the information revealed in the meeting leads the problem owner to find his solution right away. Too often, common knowledge (what we all know) is driving current efforts, which aren’t working.”[note]Page 98[/note]

For the most part, people only know how to do their job and nothing else. We don’t know what we don’t know! Getting together with a group of people in different departments will shed a lot of light on solving problems. Sanders walks the reader through how to choose teams and delegate different jobs within the dealstorming session. Maximize the amount of time you’re together.

How many meeting have you attended that actually started on time? Everybody was in their seat, mouths shut and ready to learn… probably not a lot of you. Sanders harps on adding a 10 minute ‘gathering time’ prior to the actual meeting time.

“By including a gathering time, you send a strong signal to participants that the start time is firm and that they should be on time!”[note]Page 108[/note]

I love it! you can get the technology all set up. You can get the ‘hellos’ and ‘how ya doing?’ out of the way too. That way, when the meeting starts… it actually starts. Nobody likes having their time wasted. Especially someone in a position of high power. Don’t forget, if you’re taking someone else’s time, show your appreciation!


There’s more to come from me about:

Dealstorming | Tim Sanders

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Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 2

dealstormingDealstorming has really opened my eyes! Sanders is teaching the reader something that they might know… but the depth he is able to go into will blow your mind. The process that he walks the reader through is bound to give you a few Ah-Ha Moments!

“When it comes to problem solving, your network truly is your net worth.”[note]Page 48[/note]

This is the second time I’ve written about this quote and I see it on the internet throughout the week. It is so true though. If you’ve got a small network, that’s okay, you better know those people extremely well so you know when they can help you. If you’ve got a huge network, great! But make sure you have some true type of connection so you can call apon them for help when you need it.

The whole point of using your network is so that you can get things done faster! Like I’ve said before, you by yourself isn’t the best option!

“The purpose of collaboration is not collaboration itself. It’s achieving better results in a shorter amount of time.” – Tamara Schenk[note]Page 50/51[/note]

How many of you have ever been in a meeting? How many of those meetings have been productive? People complain about meetings being a waste of time on the daily. Do everybody a favor and only call meetings that are useful. Have an agenda set prior and make sure people have something to do prior so you can maximize your time. I’m not going to tell you how to run a meeting, Sanders does that and it’s awesome!

One thing though, you should do prior to setting a dealstorming meeting, is make sure that there is a real issue you’re looking to solve.

“For sales leaders, the first checkpoint for qualifying and staffing dealstorms is to verify that there really is a problem.”[note]Page 62[/note]

Is there actually a problem with retaining or getting a new client? Or could it be that a step in the sales process got skipped and now you’re trying to figure out how you can win the deal. Did the client take the required steps to dispute their issue or did they go straight to the account manager to have them fix it? Calling upon a group of people to fix an issue could waste a lot of time and money. Be careful to put together a dealstorm without actually understanding what it is you’re accomplishing.

When you come to the conclusion that you need to hold the dealstorm, you have to be careful whom you choose. Don’t only bring salespeople to the table… they’ll tell you how to sell the deal. Bring on other departments!

“… draw up a map of who touches an account, from concepts to delivery to billing to analysis and so on.”[note]Page 72[/note]

If you didn’t think about this before, you’ve just received an Ah-Ha Moment! For instance, I’m sitting down next week to kick off my first dealstorming session. I’ve asked my manager to add some additional people to our meeting so that we can begin conversations. Implementation and customer service will be joining us for a conversation and I’m so excited about how we can work together. None of this would have come to fruition without Sander’s book.

Another point he makes while you’re going through the process of picking your team, is make sure they know why you’re doing what you’re doing. He uses Simon Sinek’s, “Start with Why.” If they don’t understand the strategic nature you’re taking, they’ll just think it’s another pointless sales meeting. I think something great to add to this statement is; also let the people know why you’re choosing them. Blasting out an email asking for people to volunteer won’t get you very far.

Personalize the approach, and you’re bound to get the response you want from people. Don’t forget, you’re asking them to take time out of their day to help you. That doesn’t come cheap.


There’s more to come from me about:

Dealstorming | Tim Sanders

Get “Dealstorming” on Amazon.

Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 1

9781591848219The value that Dealstorming brings to life is the collaboration among people to get the job done.

“Gather a team, put your brains together, and make it rain!”[note]Page 1[/note]

The information coming from a collective group is so much more valuable than one person. Everybody has different personalities, viewpoints and opinions. You’re going to find a solution if you have a team to help you. I ran into a snag last week at work. I found out that one of my prospects was apart of an association and they didn’t think they could buy my product. However, they’d entertain a call to see if there was another way I could help… Guess what.

I reached out to six other people; four within my organization and two external people. After a few conversations with experts on the association, I learned that the prospect had been mislead in which vendors they could purchase. The meeting has been set and now I can do a little educating. If I hadn’t reached out to those people, I never would have been able to compete for their business.

“As it turned out, sales genius didn’t come solely from individual sales reps, my researchers, or me. Sales genius, I discovered, is a team sport. It was about all of us in the room finding and solving problems as one.”[note]Page 5[/note]

Different ideas come from different individuals. Have you ever worked on a project and then asked someone for feedback? Then realized that the feedback they gave you was really valuable… but you never would have realized you needed to make the changes they were suggesting? It’s truly amazing what other people can offer. Don’t just choose anyone though! Make sure you choose wisely because sales in only getting tougher.

“Today, tough sales are the norm.”[note]Page 18[/note]

Man, ain’t that the truth. The list is never ending. You’ve got the internet… you can compare price, service, competition, reviews… just about anything. There are purchasing teams, consultants, influencers, people who think they’re influencers but aren’t, and the never ending madness of people changing jobs. If your champion decides to change jobs… you’re starting from scratch. Start-ups trying to get some traction in a market. Heck, don’t forget about the ‘research companies’ that determine who the big players are in each industry.

“Customers on average have completed nearly 60% of their purchasing decisions before having a conversation with a supplier.”[note]Page 21[/note]

You better hope that your buyer is looking in the right place to find your product, or you’re shit out of luck. Having to re-educate the buyer on what your company sells or stands for is difficult. The internet is full of information and you need your buyer to consume the right type.

When you get the opportunity to re-educate your buyer, because you will, you need to get off your agenda and onto theirs. They already know their pain points and they’re looking to you to help fix them. It’s now your turn to understand them and find more pain points so you can bring more value.

“Their insight is yours: When the going gets tough, the ambitious get innovative.“[note]Page 27[/note]

If you want to win that deal, you better bend over backwards to figure out the answers to their questions. If you don’t have the answer, get together with your team to find the answer. Get innovative and come up with outcomes that nobody else thinks of. Don’t just give up. Find another way… find a better way to get it done.


There’s more to come from me about:

Dealstorming | Tim Sanders

Get “Dealstorming” on Amazon.