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Solution Selling Finding Business Even in This Economy. Kathy Yeager Contract Training Edge 913-593-5347 [email protected] Workshop Agenda. Selling in This Economy Understanding Solution Selling Your Competitive Advantage Selling Value Instead of Price Handling Objections

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Solution selling finding business even in this economy

Solution SellingFinding Business Even in This Economy

Kathy Yeager

Contract Training Edge


[email protected]

Workshop agenda
Workshop Agenda

  • Selling in This Economy

  • Understanding Solution Selling

  • Your Competitive Advantage

  • Selling Value Instead of Price

  • Handling Objections

  • Closing Larger Dollar Accounts

  • Trends and Best Practices

Selling in today s economy green google global graying world
Selling in Today’s EconomyGreen, Google, Global, Graying World

  • Companies facing:

    • Uncertain times

    • Reduced workforce

    • Lower sales

    • More competition

    • Fear of not making payroll

    • No succession planning

    • Baby Boomers leaving (if they can)

  • Companies want:

    • To save money

    • To save waste

    • To be more competitive

    • Go Green

    • Solve their pain

    • Answers to their problems

    • Employees to be more productive

How to sell in this economy
How to Sell in This Economy

  • Approach only companies who can buy now

  • Must uncover true need to sell

  • Your solution must meet their need

  • Research to beat your competition

  • Compelling opening statement (USP)

  • Longer sales cycle with more decision-makers

What is solution selling
What is Solution Selling?

  • Customers have pain—and they are looking for a pain killer

  • The pain killer is the solution to their problem

  • Solution selling is asking probing questions and listening for the customer’s pain. The solution is your response to the pain or need.

Solution selling
Solution Selling

  • Listens for need

  • Asks probing questions

  • Understands the issues of the company

  • Is proactive in the approach

  • Creates a blended solution

  • Doesn’t show the catalog to sell training

  • Isn’t an “order taker”

Target markets who can buy in a depressed economy
Target Markets—Who Can Buy in a Depressed Economy?

  • Recession-Proof Companies

  • Current Customers

  • Grant Money Recipients

  • Stimulus Money

  • Referrals

What is your competitive advantage
What is Your Competitive Advantage?

  • Identify your core business

  • What all do you have to sell?

  • Ask your current customers

  • Examples:

    • “Only” college that does….

    • Saved XYZ Co 65% wastage on the line

    • Customized programs

    • College brand image

Determine your usp
Determine your USP

  • Unique Selling Proposition – what is it?

  • Why the USP is important

  • How you are better and different

  • When to use

    • Chamber Mtgs.

    • Sales call approach

    • Introductions

    • Classes/Mtgs.

  • Examples of USP

  • What is yours?

Prospecting to get more clients
Prospecting to Get More Clients

  • Who can get you in? – Referrals

  • Showcase

  • Letter, e-mail, call a target company

  • Marketing campaign

  • Build org. chart

  • Offer pilot

  • Study competition

  • CRM for prospecting

  • Companies in your vertical market

  • Brand must set

    you apart in a

    small client pool

How to find those leads


Companies by size

Library search

Top 25 in the area

Multiples to publics

Leads from grants

Database names that never closed


“Like” clusters of current customers

Web and direct mail leads

HR list


Chamber lists

Past customers who went to competition

How to find those leads

Define target markets
Define target markets

  • Work in vertical markets

  • Determine size of target companies

  • Determine dollar volume of a good customer

Research companies to determine targets
Research Companies to Determine Targets

  • Company website

    • Product history, officers, company size and $

  • Google and Google Alerts

    • New products, acquisitions, or growth

    • Uncover potential need

  • Yahoo.Finance.Com

    • Market Cap

  • Hoovers.Com – – Co. 360

  • Jigsaw.Com

  • Proquest.Com

The sales conversation
The Sales Conversation

  • Enter on human level – sandwich

  • Build rapport & trust

  • Begin with research facts

  • Ask questions, listen, size up customer

  • Identify customer’s style

  • Don’ t tell—listen

  • Ask probing questions to uncover the need beneath the need

Probing questions to identify pain or critical issues
Probing Questions to Identify Pain or Critical Issues

  • You are an educational practitioner. Must diagnose correctly

  • You ask to uncover need and identify right solution

  • It’s all about the customer

  • Use their key words or power words

  • Probe to uncover

    • Need

    • Style

    • Generation

    • Passion

  • Question to get to the need beneath the need

Key questions to uncover needs
Key questions to Uncover Needs

  • What does your company value most? Vision statement? Tie together?

  • What are your company’s strengths?

  • What’s going well for your company?

  • What are the greatest challenges?

  • What prevents you from achieving your goals?

  • What will success look like for you at the end of the training?

Customer questions great to know information
Customer Questions – Great to Know Information

  • How much do you spend yearly on learning/training?

  • Where do you spend these dollars?

  • How are decisions made regarding who to train and when to provide training?

  • How many employees received training last year, and what was the average amount of time spent in training per employee?

More customer questions
More Customer Questions

  • Do you tie training and development back to the goals and objectives of your organization? If so, how do you measure ROI?

  • What are the critical business issues facing your organization this year?

  • Are you aware we can be your partner in training and a full service business solutions provider?

Success indicators
Success Indicators

  • Listen for customer’s definition of success after the training. Replicate these words back to the client in the proposal

    • Meetings with agendas

    • Managers give feedback all year long instead of just at appraisal time

    • Front-line people are more customer focused

    • Less turnover

Ceo sales call role play
CEO Sales Call Role Play

  • Listen to the role play and determine:

    • Generation of the CEO

    • Personality style of the CEO

    • What issues are going on with this company

    • What solutions would you suggest

    • Is training the answer?

Selling value instead of price
Selling Value Instead of Price

  • When true need is uncovered—solution to pain will be worth money

  • Compete on answer to pain

  • Value in eye of customer

  • Are you selling solutions or classes?

  • Take customer to pain, solution, price & end result

  • Ask what is the cost if we don’t fix this problem?

Value is a package
Value is a Package

  • Price is never a package

  • Value is

    • Support & help

    • Processing

    • Services

    • Helpful information

    • Personal Connection

    • Value pricing

  • Discover Phase

  • Prospect tells you the value he wants

  • Have informative conversations

  • Add your value to their value

How do you sell value
How Do You Sell Value?

  • Faster delivery

  • Money back guarantee

  • On-line resource center

  • Follow-up coaching

  • List your most effective technique for setting your college apart from the competition

Selling to make a profit
Selling to Make a Profit

  • Determine goals of college for you

  • Price 50-60% over expenses

  • Expand your product line to offer more solutions—thus more profit

  • Sell in phases – sell over a longer period of time

  • Goal is to make money!

Handling objections we don t have the money
Handling Objections – “We Don’t have the Money”

  • Clarified before proposal delivery – “Are you budgeted for this?”

  • May be an excuse for something else – haven’t fully clarified the need

  • Opportunity for more information

  • Qualify for a grant?

  • Cut hours or services

  • Not everyone is your customer!

What are objections
What Are Objections?

  • Opportunities

  • The customer simply wants more information to help make a buying decision

  • Anticipate objections and be ready with concrete answers

  • Offer value-added services if needed

How to close larger contracts
How to Close Larger Contracts

  • Target larger cos. who can buy now

  • Sell in phases

  • Start with the CEO

  • Team sell to uncover more pain points

  • Referrals into top decision-makers

  • Place college rep on company premise to administer program

  • Build relationships with everyone in company to up-sell

  • Offer solutions for subsidiaries

Sell larger contracts in phases
Sell Larger Contracts in Phases

  • Phase 1 – assessment - $2,500/day

  • Phase 2 – pilot - $2,000/day

  • Phase 3 – Four modules - $1,000 each

  • Phase 4 – Post assessment-$2,500 day

  • Phase 5 – Follow up and coaching - $2,500/day

Analyze your top ten
Analyze Your Top Ten

  • Why do they do business with you?

  • What is the dollar volume of business?

  • Can it be expanded?

  • Are there other “like customers” you could do business with?

  • What is a customer worth?

How to expand business with current customers
How to Expand Business With Current Customers

  • Rank order by $

  • Referrals into other departments

  • Build org. chart for other depts.

  • Offer incentives

    • Membership

    • Frequent Buyer

    • Volume Discount

  • First to Try

    • Pilot programs

    • Taste Test

    • Showcase

  • Newsletter

  • Cross-sell/Up-sell

  • Provide on-line help

  • Broad understanding of needs

How to meet your yearly sales goals
How to Meet Your Yearly Sales Goals

  • Identify yearly goal and break down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals

  • Meet with good customers monthly

  • Track progress in monthly reports

  • Daily activities

    • Prospecting

    • Follow Up

    • Closing

    • Referrals

  • 10 Pipeline movements/week

  • Analyze past successful sales

Meeting your sales goals
Meeting Your Sales Goals

  • Who are your prospects?

  • What other services can you offer?

  • Where is the most opportunity?

  • Rank your prospects – A, B, C

Best practices
Best Practices

  • The solution is tied to the mission, vision and values of the company

  • Team selling will help “upsell” the customer

  • Contracts are priced to make a profit

  • Successful units have a three-year plan and “sell” themselves to upper management


  • This economy is the “New Normal”

  • Change marketing to include social media to reach new markets

  • Sales cycles will be longer

  • Sell Performance Consulting Solutions rather than just selling training

  • Understand the different generations, learner styles, economy, and competition


  • Stay close to current customers and expand that business

  • There is sometimes more than one decision-maker

  • It’s all about the customer and their needs. It’s not about your college

  • Must fill the pipeline weekly

  • Develop your college brand equity

Personal action plan
Personal Action Plan

  • High Priority Ideas

    • Implement immediately

  • Priority Ideas

    • Discuss with team in next 30-60 days

  • Strategic Longer Term

    • Ideas to think about for 2010

For more information
For More Information

Kathy Yeager

Contract Training Edge

913-593-5347 – cell

[email protected]