Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jack Malcolm, President of the Falcon Performance Group, and author of two books, Bottom-Line Selling, and Strategic Sales Presentations. Among the topics that Jack and I discuss are how a reluctant salesperson became a sales trainer, how Lean thinking clarifies sales communications, how the right questions lead to optimum outcomes, and why your product features, in isolation, are of no interest to the buyer.
[:55] Jack was a banker in the early ‘80s, because he wanted nothing to do with sales. Until he was sent out to bring in new customers.
[2:06] Summary of ‘Lean’: create more value for customers, and take waste out of the process. Lean communications are: A, B, C, and D. Add value, Brevity, Clarity, and Dialog with customers to co-create value.
[4:10] Adding tangible value is effective communication. It is clear, improves outcomes, and sustains the relationship.
[5:24] Improving outcomes takes precedence over sustaining relationships when an unfavorable message must be given. Be candid at all times, or you subtract value.
[8:41] Asking questions may help buyers to arrive at conclusions that will help improve outcomes for them.
[10:14] Clarity — the customer’s understanding of what the salesperson is trying to get across.
[10:52] Brevity — answer the two questions on the prospect’s mind: “What do you want from me,” and, “Why should I do it?” Start your meeting with the what and why.
[14:45] Make it impossible for you to be misunderstood. Don’t assume they know your jargon, acronyms or connotations.
[18:18] Dialog begins with listening. You’re never going to get it all exactly right on your own. To create value, create it together. Use ‘Just In Time’ communications. Listen with focus.
[21:14] Four factors for improving outcomes: solve problems, show opportunities, help adapt to changes, and remove risks.
[27:04] Instead of starting with features and benefits, ask what the customer wants to achieve, and work back to the features.