Best Tools to Improve Your Ability to Sell

In God we trust.  Everyone else, bring data

All too often, data, both current and historical, is ignored when it comes to making informed decisions. Companies are challenged with minimal growth rates and slim margins, so why isn’t data flying off their warehouse shelves for quantitative analysis in their decision-making processes?

Too deep, this early in the morning? Okay, here’s a lighter approach.

I recently had the opportunity to address a class of MBA students on the topic of “Modeling and Simulation”. These are, admittedly, spreadsheet geeks charged with building basic modeling techniques to improve business outcomes.

I predict one of these two teams will win the Super Bowl.

First question: what am I doing here? Second question: how can I add value to these critical thinking processes?

I decided to present a Strategic Selling perspective to Modeling and Simulation.

In Strategic Selling, defect or failure results not from what you know, but about what you don’t know. The Titanic was not sunk by what they knew or could see. It was sunk by what they didn’t know or couldn’t see. So, it is of critical importance that we build diagnostic tools or “models” to help us discover what we don’t know about an opportunity or a client relationship.

Three Critical Diagnostic Models to Win

  • Opportunity Diagnostic – What do we know about our client to determine if our services are a good “fit” or can add value to this relationship?

  • Do we have the right information and are we positioned to win?

  • Do we understand the critical concerns and objectives by decision-maker?

  • Do we understand the decision process? Decision criteria?

  • Do we understand the political alignment and how that may affect a decision?

  • What is the driving force behind making this decision?

  • Is it worth our investment?