The sales process is tough. If you’re in sales, you know how much time it takes to set up meetings with potential prospects. They’re not receptive to your advances. They’d rather stay with the status quo than change. The budgets are tight and all they’re concerned about is price.
If you’re a technical professional who’s involved in the sales process, you’re under pressure to make pitches that convince prospects to do business with your firm. But for some reason, what you’re told to do just doesn’t feel right.
Sound familiar? The truth is, in the past few years your prospects have changed – radically. Since virtually everything they need to know can be found online, they don’t need to meet with you. Nor do they have the time. Everyone is crazy-busy, trying to handle more work and impossible deadlines with fewer resources.
As a result, their expectations of us, as sellers and technical professionals, have changed, too. They’re tougher on us. More demanding. We have to prove we’re a valuable resource before they’ll even consider having a relationship with us. But saying good things about ourselves or our company falls on deaf ears.
Despite all this, fewer than 10 percent of sellers have altered how they approach prospective clients, create opportunities, or differentiate themselves from competitors.
To be successful today requires a major rethinking of “what works.” In my first book, Selling to BIG Companies, I introduced new strategies to help sellers get their foot in the door of targeted accounts. In my second book, SNAP Selling, I focused on new strategies for dealing with frazzled, harried decision-makers.
Babette Ten Haken challenges stereotypes as well. I first met her seven years ago, when she called me with a question. Having recently taken on a sales role, she was perplexed at the divisions between the sales and technical functions. And, she felt like she was being pushed to do things that not only didn’t work, but also compromised her belief system.
She was right. And since that initial conversation, she’s been a woman on a mission to help sales and technical professionals be more successful with business development. In Do YOU Mean Business?, she challenges traditional stereotypes and shows you what actually works in today’s business environment.
You’ll find answers to questions such as:
- What should your sales process look and sound like when you’re interfacing with prospects and current customers?
- What resources are available to you as technical and non-technical professionals working together?
- How can you become valuable resources to your customer’s decision making?
If you knew more about Babette’s background, you’d realize just how much she knows where you’re coming from. Trained as a scientist, she spent years facilitating left brain-right brain meetings as a marketing research professional in the pharmaceutical industry. Following that, she transitioned into total quality management and Voice of the Customer research.
To her, the cross-over interface between sales, business development, and engineering is fluid. For over 25 years, she’s been doing this “simultaneous translation” between technical and non-technical colleagues that resulted in very productive and profitable outcomes.
When you read Do YOU Mean Business? you’ll see what I mean. She’ll shake up your perceptions and then deftly guide you through what it takes to be successful. It’s well worth your time to read it.
– Jill Konrath, business strategist and author, author of Selling to BIG Companies and SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools.