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

Get “Dealstorming” on Amazon.

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.