Talk lean. Book review.

Talk lean, book from Alan Palmer, to have better sales meeting

I’ve recently read Alan Palmer’s book titled Talk Lean sub-titled “Shorter meetings / Quicker results / Better relationships”. What one takes away from the book will vary depending on expertise, background etc… But the focus of Alan’s book, running efficient meetings, is something I deeply care about. So I read Alan’s book with great interest. For better or worst, here are 3 (not all) take aways.

Agree a tangible output upfront

Alan recommends to define and upfront a measurable, transparent and observable end of the meeting. And to share this with the person attending the meeting. In a clear, respectful and direct manner.Read the rest

When talking about your product to prospects can put you in trouble…

Photo credit: Phil

Greeks invented the democracy. And they had an interesting way of voting. They used beans. A white bean was a vote in favour of a motion, a black bean was a vote against. The vote had to be unanimous for the motion to go through. So should the jar with the bean topples and the beans fall down, revealing a black bean, it meant something had been revealed too early and the vote had to restart. Hence the expression spilling the beans…

 

Well, nearly…

This expression might not be entirely due to the Greek way of voting (it isn’t).… Read the rest

Weekly round up: posts on sales process, pricing and training

 

Photo credit: nicoleneu1

 

Here is a brief round of interesting posts I have read, found particularly good and thought they were worth sharing.

First of all, a post from David Brock about the companies that believe they have a sales process but, actually, simply don’t. What I like beyond David rather dry sense of humour (notably on things like “gurus” in Linkedin), is the probing of companies that believe they have a process when, actually, it is not being followed or need some updating. The post is here.

Secondly, a post on sales training and who should pay for it. … Read the rest

How to identify the real problems people have, not just those expressed.

Photo credit: Andreas Overland

It was Friday afternoon. It was sunny. And I was just walking out of a meeting with a prospect with a big smile on my face. The prospect I just met had shared with me all her problems. It was all there in my notes. It was covering all these important business problems. She didn’t have the analytics on her marketing effort. Her company was selling online but she wasn’t clear what was the products that had the best ratio between visits and actual transactions. And many other very specific marketing analytics problems. And I knew how to solve all these issues with a great piece of tech I was selling.… Read the rest

Why questions asked need to be qualified first and how to do so

Photo credit: personal stock

School days. Happy days. Lots of memories. The exuberance. The total lack of worries. School friends. Long school holidays spent in the South of France. The teachers I loved. Those I, well, liked less. And these happy moments when, as the teacher asked a question, I knew the answer, raised my hand and was just so eager to share my knowledge with the teacher and my class mates.

Sadly though, I came to realise that this eagerness to answer questions was a terrible habit we picked at school and that it was well worth trying to control this urge.… Read the rest

How to turn an interesting meeting into a productive one

Photo credit: James Merhebi

Imagine this. You just walked out of a meeting with a prospect in a nice office in Central London. The conversation flew very well. Half way through the meeting, your prospect arranged for one colleague to join. She also arranged for some tea and biscuits to be brought in. A nice caring touch she didn’t have to do. And the meeting finished by the prospect saying one of these encouraging sentences:

“That was interesting. Can you send me some more information?” or “That was an interesting meeting. I will relay this internally and we need to catch-up on this.”… Read the rest

What sales questions should you ask?

Photo credit: Matt McGee

-“How was your sales meeting?”

-“Very well. They said they were interested to know more”, says the sales manager. “And we’ve agreed the next step”.

-“Great, and what after that?”

– “…”.

I assume this isn’t a situation you ever faced but, more often than not, “the next step” is deemed to be a good outcome from a sales meeting or any meeting for that purpose. I actually believe there is a better way than next steps. Can you imagine knowing all that is needed to get to a close? Or even to the realisation that what you sell isn’t relevant to a prospect and therefore it is not worth invest more time into this specific prospect (or a demo for that matter).… Read the rest