President of RAIN Group, Mike Schultz (@Mike_Schultz) is world-renowned as a consultant and sales expert. He is the co-author of several books including the Wall Street Journal bestseller Rainmaking Conversations: How to Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation and Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently.
Mike’s approach to sales and strategic account management has changed the game for sales reps around the world. He’s motivated to do the work he does in memory of his son, Ari, who died at an early age due to a congenital heart defect. Mike actively works with the Ethan M. Lindberg Foundation to help other families afford the care they need for their children.
While most people spent their senior week in college partying, Mike spent his learning everything he could about sales. He seized the opportunity to lead a team which ultimately gave him the skill set to go out on his own. After more than a decade in business, Mike closes deals ranging from the tens of thousands to millions of dollars.
Being an effective salesperson, for Mike, is about being consultative. It’s not that buyers don’t want to talk to a salesperson it’s that they wish to engage with sellers who will listen to them, understand them, and add value through education.
- Run an Attraction Campaign: From primary research to brainstorming sessions and even success stories, these tactics can at least get you a first meeting. From there, it’s up to you to educate your buyer with new ideas and perspectives while simultaneously weaving in your capabilities and offerings.
- Shake Up the Complacency Mindset: Your biggest competitor in a sales cycle is status quo. You have to help prospects see that where they are is not nearly as good as where they want to be. Notice I said “where they want to be,” not where you want them to be. Figure out how to get them to see that it’s worthwhile for them to attempt a change and you unlock the best value in the relationship.
- Be Present for the Elusive Time of Need: For the short term thinkers out there, this one will frustrate you. There are some products and services that require an active need in order for the prospect to buy. For certain buyers that window may only be every 2-3 years. By building relationships now and growing your network, you can ensure that you’ll at least have a shot when the time comes. Additionally, if you’re building relationships with the right people, rest assured they have friends who they could refer you to in the meantime.