When you start in sales, you need deals. One transaction is as good as another, a prospect that is useful because you cannot learn to sell without actually selling. As you progress in the development of sales skills, you also acquire the business acumen and situational knowledge necessary to win bigger deals. You have to start targeting larger offers, moving towards monstrous offers, the opportunities that move the needle for you, your business and you personally.
Here's a look at how you create huge opportunities and win big deals.
Start with big targets
Floyd Mayweather, the undefeated professional boxer, was managed carefully and intentionally. He did not come out of the gymnasium directly and entered into a championship bout. Instead, Floyd went from opponents he could defeat without problem, to tough pugilists who would require more effort to overcome, moving on to stiffer competition from a fight to the other. It didn't start with the most important targets; he started with the most important targets for him based on his experience.
There is no reason not to target big deals early on if you have the help and support you will need to win them. However, there are all the reasons to target larger customers, the greater your sales experience and the greater your ability to create value. You can't win big deals if you don't have a target list of dream customers, those companies that spend big bucks in your category and have the types of challenges you can help them with.
For the reasons I described in Eat Their Lunch: Winning Clients Away from Your Competition, you could start with sixty prospects, knowing that some are not forced to change, some will be motivated to change, and some will be somewhere between these two poles. Building your target list is the first step.
Build a long-term continuation plan
You're not going to pick up, make a call, get a meeting, create an opportunity and win your dream client on the first day of your pursuit plan (unless the gods of prospecting smile at you for your efforts to incessant prospecting in the past, which is the only way to gain their favor). Most of the time, however, you will be playing the long game.
Your effort should include a prospecting sequence that combines a request for meetings with an intelligent use of support tools (what we call "no request" content, because you don't ask for anything). A proper prospecting sequence will help you by making sure your dream client knows who you are, and the nurturing content will prove that you are intelligent, knowledgeable and able to support your dream client for better results.
Native Americans who used the rain dance never failed to rain it because they kept dancing and the water fell from the sky. If you are skeptical about the lack of causation, know that persistence works in exactly the same way. Getting a meeting is going to take time, effort and a lot of persistence on your part, which most of your competition will miss.
Start making connections from top to bottom
You've heard of starting at the top of the organizational chart and heading down into the organization, an idea that is easy to execute if you are using small or medium businesses, but more difficult if you call JP Morgan Chase (because Mr. Dimon may have little interest in what you are selling and has people he relies on to make the right decisions on his behalf).
If you want to start with the CEO of the problem, the highest level person who would care what you could do to help him get a better result, go for it. It is a useful and practical approach. In the early days of your quest for the white whale, you might be better off finding someone willing to meet you and who will share information with you.
In larger B2B transactions, where you will need to build consensus (some of the rules you'll find here), just entering the building can be a good start. In big business, you think vertically and horizontally, which means that you acquire contacts in the area of business that you primarily serve, as well as in the other areas of business that are going to have some worry about any changes you could help your client make.
Establish yourself as a creator of value
At each meeting, you want to establish yourself as a value creator (you can learn more about creating compelling differentiated value by watching this YouTube video). In B2B sales, you do this by being advisory, by sharing ideas about what should make the customer of your dreams change, by sharing the ideas and ideas you have gained by working with and helping your existing customers. to make sense of their world and their potential for change.
Your share of portfolio will not exceed your share of mind. You are shaping the future opportunity by chatting with people who will end up doing something different in the future.
Given a sufficiently long schedule, each of your dream clients will change partners, as will all of your clients and clients. When it's time for your potential customers to start considering a change, you may or may not have shaped their thinking. You will not use the time you have available to capture the shared spirit and wire the building.
Probe weakness and small opportunities
As your contacts get to know you, they will share more with you, including all of the challenges they once kept near their waistcoats, not wanting you to feel like there were a real opportunity. You need to identify the small weaknesses that later reveal your competitor's biggest weaknesses.
There was a time when I had no interest in winning small businesses, preferring to win more massive businesses. My thinking has evolved on the value of creating small opportunities, as a way to create substantial opportunities. It can help to have a signed contract, however humble it may be.
Once inside, you are a supplier or seller (not yet doing the work to be considered a strategic partner). The company will send you checks and you will have access to the people you work with, as well as the people you don't help with yet.
If you find a way to do business, you've made progress.
Work to identify greater opportunities
Maybe you have found a small opportunity, and maybe not. Either way, your communication should reveal an area where your contacts are already forced to change or a space where you can force the need to change.
Here's the truth about big deals. For an opportunity to be meaningful to you, it must be important to your potential customers. You cannot do big business with small problems.
The time you spend with contacts inside your dream client should lead you to find a bigger opportunity, a theory of why and how your big client should or could do something to improve their bottom line, and build consensus around your recommendation.
Control the process
If there is one thing that would greatly improve your ability to create and win big deals, it would be to learn to control the process, the series of conversations and the commitments that your client must make. hire to decide to change, collaborate on a solution, and choose the best potential partner. You want to influence the purchasing decision.
Winning big deals requires an approach that is valuable to your client, something most of your competitors will not recognize for the competitive advantage it offers to those who can "sell the process". Your dream client is trying to decide who they want as a partner, and this often counts as much as the solution, especially when execution is a variable.
Winning big deals is not easy, and it is not always fast. Many take longer, and beating your competition means doing your best.
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