When she was a newbie, sales was all about asking questions.
Not much about that has changed over time, but Raquel Richardson’s perspective sure has in the 20 years since she helped train brokers in Charles Schwab branches.
Add 14 years of owning her own company to her resume, and experience has taught Raquel to do more than ask the right questions. Instead, Raquel said she knows the importance of being specific, asking for clarity and never (ever) making assumptions.
Now Raquel (@SilverSquare) is the President of Netfor, a technology company where she feels experience trumps process. And in her case, experience has taught her to channel her sales. By doing so, she has been able to remove herself from the equation.
You still need to meet people where they are. You still have to figure out how your solution best fits their needs. You have to figure out how to incentivize them and motivate them in a way that makes them want to work with you.
But, according to Raquel, you need to do each of these things in a way that enables others, that empowers them, to do the same.
She’s a fast-talker who loves to run and hates to lose. In Raquel’s opinion, what goes around comes around, so it’s beyond worthwhile to put in 110%, make valuable connections and ultimately close the deal.
- Remember It’s Not About You: Hearing “no” in sales is a given, but that doesn’t make it any less trying. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding how exactly you are shot down, there is no more important personality strength than the ability to bounce back. Sales is so much easier when you can remove yourself from the process and remember one simple truth: it’s not about you. It’s not a personal attack. You are doing your job, and it might be challenging right at this moment, but “no” is not the end of the line for you unless you let it be.
- Document and Share What Works: Raquel brought up her concept of a “WinWire,” but what could you do for the closed won or even the closed lost deals at your company. Before a “case study” is even relevant, how could you capture the details of why a customer bought from you? What was the business situation? What were they struggling with? Were they replacing anything? Did they pick you over another solution? What was the size of the deal? Capturing these details, win or lose, and sharing them with your team may spark some unforeseen opportunities.
- Don’t Make Assumptions: I believe the single biggest challenge most salespeople have is their inability or unwillingness to listen. More often than not, I find that when they’re quiet, all they’re really doing is waiting for their next turn to talk. Doing this forces you to start making assumptions and disregarding the chance to gain real clarity. Both can be detrimental to your sales cycle.
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
- Octiv – Transform the way your sales assets are created, distributed and tracked around the world. Because a better sales process is a better buying experience.
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I’ve led two companies from $1 million to more than $10-million, and one from $1-million to bankruptcy. Today, I work with entrepreneurs who don’t realize they are the VP of Sales as well as individual salespeople to 10X their revenue using a proven, step-by-step, sales methodology.