Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales
In their book Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales, business experts and elite mountain climbers Susan Ershler and John Waechter examine the parallels between climbing the Seven Summits, the seven tallest mountains on each of the seven continents, and journeying to the peak of sales performance. The authors explore the key aspects of successful sales campaigns, and provide insights and practical approaches that will help sales professionals reach their goals and resolve obstacles in highly competitive marketplaces. The methods, skills, and perspectives needed to accomplish revenue objectives are illustrated using anecdotes based on the authors’ experiences conquering formidable mountains, including Mount Everest.
According to the authors:
- Staying ahead of the competition requires perseverance, self-motivation, positivity, and a reliable network of support. With the right perspectives and resources, sales leaders can always be prepared to conquer the next sales summit.
- By projecting ambitious visions of success and establishing objectives that will help achieve those visions, sales leaders come one step closer to reaching their personal sales summits.
- Objectives should be both ambitious and practical. When creating objectives, sales leaders should eliminate non-essential tasks from their workflows, focus on duties that contribute to the fruition of their visions, set priorities, and aim for personal and professional balance.
- Careful planning ensures that objectives will be completed successfully. To plan mindful goals, leaders must review past performances, educate themselves about their businesses and services, and research potential targets and marketplaces.
- Pushy sales tactics are not the key to sales success. Sales leaders must strive to be guides, like the individuals who lead groups on mountain climbing expeditions. Guides endeavor to provide customers with knowledge and the right services, an approach that will make everyone involved in the campaign successful.
- No climbers should attempt to climb the Seven Summits alone. Similarly, sales leaders should not try to close deals by themselves. Instead, they should appoint people with the right skills and perspectives to ensure the success of the sales operation.
- When it is time to create new sales strategies, The Competitive Sales Route (TCSR), a comprehensive step-by-step process, can help sales teams carry out efficient and organized campaigns.
The Three Value Conversations
In The Three Value Conversations, Erik Peterson, Tim Riesterer, Conrad Smith, and Cheryl Geoffrion present an alternative sales technique. Instead of pushing their products or services, salespeople should have value conversations with their prospects to engage them more effectively. They must do their research, understand their buyers’ business needs, and present solutions that speak to the buyers’ values and interests. For the conversations to be successful, salespeople must differentiate themselves from the competition, justify their solutions, and emphasize the value for themselves and their customers.
According to the authors:
- Most selling takes place during conversations. While these conversations need to appear casual, in actuality they take careful planning and research.
- Salespeople must be able to help their customers establish a buying vision by getting customers to do something different.
- Disrupting the status quo, or showing a buyer that the pain of living with the present situation will be greater than the pain of making a change, is key to a successful value conversation.
- Discovering buyers’ unconsidered needs–that is, helping buyers identify things they did not already know about their business situations–will enable salespeople to differentiate themselves from the competition.
- Customers are concerned about business needs; they want to have conversations about solutions to situations caused by external factors and business initiatives.
- Salespeople must do their research, using available annual reports and earnings statements, to discover trends in prospects’ businesses.
- Salespeople must be confident enough to achieve pivotal agreements throughout the selling process while conveying the true value of what they have to offer.
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
In Fascinate, world-renowned brand consultant Sally Hogshead introduces readers to the seven universal fascination triggers: lust, mystique, alarm, prestige, power, vice, and trust. Exploring research from behavioral and social studies, historical precedents, neurobiology, evolutionary anthropology, and feedback from thousands of consumers, Hogshead explains what fascinates people and why and shows marketers how to apply this valuable knowledge to their own brand campaigns. By knowing how to use the right fascination triggers in the right ways, companies can more effectively achieve their desired results.
Marketing professionals can use the seven universal fascination triggers to more effectively influence consumer decision making. As they put the triggers to use, however, they must consider several concepts:
- There are several factors to consider when determining how fascinating a message already is. Marketers must think about how much consumers gravitate toward their messages, how much interest they generate, what kind of response they elicit, and how they prompt people to think.
- The lust trigger uses the anticipation of pleasure to seduce a consumer. Marketers can use lust to create an experiential attachment by getting consumers to stop thinking and start feeling, making the ordinary more emotional, using all five senses, and teasing and flirting.
- The mystique trigger intrigues consumers with unanswered questions. Marketers can use mystique by sparking curiosity, withholding information, building mythology, and limiting access.
- The alarm trigger causes consumers to take action under the threat of negative consequences. Marketers can trigger alarm by defining consequences, creating deadlines, increasing perceived danger, focusing on the most feared crises, and using distress to steer positive action.
- The prestige trigger causes consumers to focus on symbols of rank and respect. Marketers can enhance prestige by developing emblems, setting new standards, limiting availability, and making consumers earn it.
- The power trigger forces consumers to focus on the people and things that control them. Marketers can use the power trigger to dominate, control the environment, and reward and punish.
The Art of Social Selling
The process of selling has transformed dramatically with the advent of social media, and customers are abandoning traditional purchasing influences in favor of online digital marketing stimuli. This means that businesses that want new customers will have to devote some skillful efforts to reaching them through social media channels. In The Art of Social Selling, Shannon Belew describes how to use social media to enhance marketing and sales success. She emphasizes that social selling success comes from building relationships via social networking sites, blogs, and online communities, as well as through the professional use of practical sales strategies tailored to the specifics of the different platforms.
Success in social selling will come to those who understand the following:
- Social sellers need to maintain positive personae online. This means being genuine and sincere, listening carefully, and responding to customer or prospect concerns.
- Engaging with sales prospects will require increasing levels of mobility. The number of people using mobile devices to view information and interact on social networking sites is growing constantly, providing tremendous marketing and sales opportunities.
- Social selling is based on relationship building. This means establishing trust and offering value to develop mutually beneficial relationships.
- A salesperson on a social media site needs to be viewed as a go-to resource. This means that a salesperson who is active in a forum, group, or other community must contribute and engage frequently to become a trusted influencer.
- Social selling efforts should be targeted carefully. Indiscriminately spreading a message over all the top social networking sites is impractical. It is better to look to those few sites where prospects spend the most time and will be most likely to see the message.
- Social indicators are highly useful in identifying and reaching potential customers. These indicators are the items of information found on social networking channels, blogs, forums, and groups that give clear signs that a person needs a product or is curious about it.
- A valuable component of effective social selling strategy is the establishment of a schedule of social media posts that will invite conversations. This is best done by creating a calendar that sets out what, when, and where the user will post content or conversation starters.
- Social selling requires teamwork. This means that customer service, marketing, and sales teams must fully understand their responsibilities and work together.
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