Monday, March 07, 2011

Selling Sweet Spot

From Jill Konrath's Blog:

Ever Wondered About the Secrets to Prospecting Success?

Posted: 23 Feb 2011 07:10 AM PST

1-LondonRecently I interviewed Jonathan London, President of The Improved Performance Group and author of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Selling. Since founding his company, he's trained over 15,000 salespeople.

Prior to that, he was the TOP performer, company and sometimes industry wide in every sales and management position he ever held.

Jonathan is now training and coaching small to medium businesses who need to learn how to differentiate themselves in today's crazy-busy business environment. Today we're talking about prospecting!


Jill: Jonathan, I know one of your biggest areas of focus is a salesperson's ability to create their own success via successful marketing and prospecting. How are the two related to each other?

Jonathan: London: If you have 1 or 100 accounts, a territory or a combination, the most important thing a salesperson needs to do is create awareness which ultimately creates opportunities.

Marketing does this via branded and targeted marketing campaigns to a specific audience. But a salesperson needs to do it too.

Why both? Because the branded campaigns are meant to drive awareness or air cover while a targeted sales campaign is directed to specific people or departments. So a salesperson needs to do this as well and there are a multitude of technologies available that make it easier and good looking.


Jill: You say that salespeople should focus their efforts on the "SweetSpot." What exactly do you mean by this and why is it important?

Jonathan: London: When an organization or salesperson focuses on their “SweetSpot”—which is the ideal match to their company's offerings—it gives them a decisive advantage in any sales opportunity. It's kind of like running a 100 meter race and starting out 40 meters ahead.

For example, when I started to sell sales training, with no experience or client list (just a strong desire to do so), I correlated my program's strengths with the 3 verticals that “should” be most receptive. I was told it would take me 12 months to hit my run rate from an earnings perspective. It took me 60 days. I've used this approach in every position I have ever had and it has never failed.


Jill: That's a pretty strong statement. Why don't people do this more often?

Jonathan: London: I think when it comes to prospecting, most people don't want to do it. It is hard, lots of objections, etc. They also don't know how to use the technology that is available to them. It it is much simpler than people think. It only takes 3 steps:

  1. Identify aspects of your offering that are unique or do something better than the competition.
  2. Identify the verticals or functional areas that need what you do differently or better.
  3. Look in your territory or assignment for the companies that would need what you have.

Then prospect and market with a vengeance.


Jill: Ok. Let's talk about that first meeting with a prospect. What do you recommend that salespeople do to ensure that it advances the sales process.

Jonathan: London: A salesperson should go into a client with a list of questions that they must ask to define a prospect's priorities, needs and gain.

They should also “plant seeds” which highlight their key differentiators and influence the prospect's thinking.

Then of course, they have to put together a solution that clearly presents the value of their solution that brings together every capability you have that is relevant to their requirements which will create a richer feeling of possibilities. This feeling on the prospect's part will lead them to buy more. As you know, there is so much more, but that is the essence.


Jill: Any last thoughts on what differentiates top sellers from average ones?

Jonathan: London: There is so much to selling, and more “experts” with advice than any person can handle. SweetSpot and discovery are 2 key components.

What I rarely heard discussed is EFFORT, working harder than others. This is particularly true in the area of prospecting. It takes a committed effort, focused in the way we discussed. If people can do this, they will have greater success.


1-book To learn more about JONATHAN LONDON's sales strategies, call 201-788-8922, email him at jlondon@ipgtraining or visit his website

Also, make sure you check out his excellent book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Selling. It's very aligned with everything I talk about in my two books!

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