Welcome back to part four of the bite-size guide to landing your biggest sale in 2012. If you missed the first three parts, find them here:
One of the great myths about big sales is that they are closed by sales people.
Rather, big sales are about solving big problems. That means you have to bring in the big problem solvers. Whether you are selling real estate, insurance, complex ERP platform systems, manufacturing components, raw materials, a construction contract or professional services, it almost always takes a bigger team to land a bigger sale.
The problem is that when we should be recruiting a bigger team and pulling out all of the stops, instead I find people and companies playing it safe. They try to guess what it will take -- investing as much as necessary but as little as possible. The problem is that you don't know where that fine line is between just enough and "missed it by inches." I recommend that when you are going for your record-breaking sale, you hunt heavy. This means investing more in the following categories:
-- Customer references
-- Prototypes and samples
-- Drawings, designs and process documents
-- Site visits and tours
If this is a newer idea, and it stretches you to consider hunting with more resources and people than on your normal sales efforts...GOOD! Having used these ideas to land more than $5 billion in closed business, combined with watching hundreds of companies and people land their record-breaking accounts, I feel confident that to win big, you are going to have to stretch. This stretch involves several key steps:
1. Build your boat when it isn't raining. You have already declared in 2012 that you are going to break your own record. You have picked your targets and made your initial contacts. Now pick your team, resources and investments for the hunt. Tell the people, assemble the resources and rally around the goal. Look, everyone likes to be a part of something remarkable. Create that energy and set that challenge. People will respond well.
2. Something for everyone. If it's all about you, it 's going to be hard to get people to show up to the meetings. You need to make certain that everyone sees his or her own win in the landing of this deal. One of my biggest sales ever included my banker, an outside adviser and an alliance partner. Everyone knew it was my deal, but because we were hunting together, each of them would benefit in a big way when we won.
3. Write the script and cast the roles. If you have read the other posts in this series, you know how important it is to reduce the concerns of the buyers as to the potential success of buying your solution. You also know the grit in the gears of change is a lack of clarity. Your additional resources on your hunt team are specifically there to reduce those fears and increase clarity. For your sales process you will need different team members to address the counterparts in the prospect organization or group. Lay out what specific fears your team members are there to address, and then create the opportunity for them to do that.
When you are going after your new record sale, take your team, hunt heavy and don't just jab when you should be throwing haymakers.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 5 -- How to leverage for more.
If you have questions on your big sale plans for 2012, post them in the comments section below and I'll get back to you.