Saturday, 13 October 2012

ISMM Successful Selling 2012 a Wow and Wake up Call

The UK’s early Autumn  Conference season featured the Liberals at Brighton, Labour in Manchester the Tories in Birmingham and culminating with the country’s  Sales Professionals gathering at the Ricoh Coventry.

The ISMM’s Successful Selling is a great way to get your selling batteries re-charged for the last quarter of the year.
They have great speakers,  a chance to catch up with  professionals old and new and precious  time out to think ,take stock and focus .

Like the political party conferences the audiences are activists – sales activists and sales enthusiasts – both those members of the profession not merely involved but committed to selling for the country through and out of the recession.

Those charged with making growth actually happen and not just talked about.

Delegates fuel up before the second session
 of the ISMM Successful Selling  2012 conference
We were well fed and watered at the breaks and the buffet lunch.

Every seat taken in the theatre at ISMM
Successful Selling 2012 Conference .
 In fact they even had to put in an extra row during the break


The theatre was crammed pack with an audience attentive and involved by speakers who knew their stuff.

The ISMM had gathered together a super mix of speakers with different styles.

We had specialists in a wide range of aspects of selling.


Nardine Dereza was the anchor
master of ceremonies for the
 ISMM's Successful Selling 2012 Conference 
Nardine Dereza was the ISMM’s  official host for Successful Selling 2012 event . She introduced the speakers and adeptly summarised their sessions . She shared the excitement with the audience, and  kept the event moving. Good job done.


The jelly Effect author Andy Bounds
presenting Streetwise Selling at Successful Selling 2012
Andy Bounds author of The Jelly Effect ( see review) gave us his streetwise selling approach.

Andy’s take on Client motivation is

Customers buy what we cause not what we do. Truly understanding  this notion will lead to

More sales

More contacts

More confidence

He stressed another way “ It’s about what they do as a result”

Questions and actions Andy asked of his audience were around communication


People like Stuff                                                               therefore I should give them …..

People like iinteraction                                                   ask good questions such as….

People like Stories                                                           practise story telling...

People like certainty                                                       therefore the customer  will  get…

In terms of getting  'Buy in' , Andy suggested that Options or choices of yes es were the most effective approaches.

Final slides in  your sales presentation Andy advocates should be have a more action centred "options" approach. ( dear I say a proper close rather than just coming to a close)

Andy's call for action at the end to presentations

Following was the master of Body Language, Allan Pease.
 I first saw Allan Pease some 30 years ago.
 He was brilliant then and still remains one of the best conference speakers mixing entertainment with top learning.
On every sales professional bookshelf or Kindle reading list should be The Definitive Guide of Body Language ISBN 0-75285-878-5 by Allan and Barbara Pease.

For his session Allan just concentrated on a few key body language skills for us to develop to become a "People Magnet" We need to get our body language right in the first four minutes of meeting a client or success is problematic.
Allan began with handshakes. Physical Impression  (' pressing the flesh' ) is after all a body language skill.

Allan then moved on to mannerisms which intrigued the audience. From a cartoon of Mr burns from the Simpsons we saw how cartoonist highlight mannerisms and expressions which we immediately understand .

Allan Pease getting us to interpret finger steepling as illustrated by his topical set of photos
 of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Allan pointing out the 'play face' of primates ,
 corners of the mouth turned upwards

Allan then contrasted with the 'fear face' outer
line turned downwards

The primeval hard wiring of fight or flight is still in our Primate origins and relevant at the first four minutes of meeting.

It's how they (the Buyer) interprets our body language
So our body language be no threat, interesting and accepting of them
Eyebrow, Playful face slightly open mouth
We are drawn to a smiley face emoticon because it is round. Babies are round. The smile is a play face smile and the eyes are dilated.

It reminded me that when Salespeople attend networking events with complete strangers we need to make sure our expression is the "people magnet look".

Great to be reminded of the importance of the importance of none verbal messages 60% - 80% of messages we emit and interpret.

I met up with Alan and Barbara Pease afterwards  at the Expo show.

Body language maestro Allan Pease with
 'over the top' handshake with Hugh Alford

Hugh Alford with Barbara Pease she kindly signed
my " well used" and notated copy
of The Definitive Book on Body Language

 Larry Winget was wonderfully provocative and humorous. His message was a simple but home truth.

Success in Selling is about Hard work and Excellence.

This philosophy comes from us taken responsibility for our lives.

Although himself a motivation speaker he lampooned some of the nonsense doing the rounds on the conference circuit such as " secrets to success", the simplistic and trite 'new age' rubbish claiming all you have to be is 'happy or 'passionate' , 'touchy feeling' , 'positive attitude', " Do the Impossible" the ridiculousness of " 110%"  ( when 100% is everything!) ".

More often than not it's what you do when you are not motivated which is what gets  you to where you are.

He said that he had read over 4000 books on leadership, success etc. most of them were rubbish. There are probably only 18 good ideas anyhow.

They make thing more complicated than they are

Want to know the 'secret ' of customer care ?

 - BE NICE !

Want to know the 'secret' of selling ? 

 - ASK ( again and again and again. If that don't work go see somebody else!)

Want to know the 'secret ' of Leadership ?

- GET OUT IN  FRONT  OF PEOPLE. Give them something to follow!

He also poo pooed ' love what you do' and all will be well. Larry said that the assumption often made of him is that his job was 'this stuff' meaning speaking on a stage.

 He explained that most of his work is the grind of 200 days travelling which you have to put up with for the 70 hours of speaking on stage or in the TV studio.

Your life is your own fault ! etc. etc. etc

Don't talk success and practise failure !

Then came the core of Larry's message.

Success requires SACRIFICE.

He finished with a simple but most thought provoking challenge- an action. ( I wonder how many actually took up Larry's challenge or did they talk success and practise failure.)

For all the laughter he was talking about human nature - you , me and himself.

He did not say this but Larry could have said it.

The word success only legitimately comes before work in an English or American dictionary.

Grant Leboff of Sticky Marketing Fame
at Successful Selling 2012
Grant Leboff – Selling has changed have you?

Grant’s opening challenge to the audience started with a story of an interview by  Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols  ending with the comment to the interviewer
    “It’s not about the music you silly cow!”

Essentially Grant was getting us to take a re-think of our offerings and what are business is.

Grant got us to focus on Value.

“What value do you add to your customer ?”

Buyers are much better informed than years ago. From research on the web they have got a lot of information about our products and companies. So when we make contact two thoughts come into their mind.

1.       Will this salesperson add value or  2.  waste my time.

Grant then expanded on his argument for what he described as Disruptive Selling

From studies by Harvard Business School 60% customer had diagnosed their problem before meeting a salesperson. They have already decided on their criteria for purchasing.  They then look for the cheapest solution to their self-diagnosed problem.

Unless Sales alter that paradigm – their reality , Grants argues, success will be limited.

Therefore we must give insight, expertise and offer case studies to add value.

The seller needs to consider how to get the buyer to re-think

What haven’t  they ( Byers) thought about ?

Grant also suggested redirecting our target focus from search for people in ‘need’ to those willing to ‘change’.

Does the client understand what you are selling ?

Grant views that the selling environment has changed.

From Product to Experience economies
 Pre World War 2 grant argued the environment was for selling products the through the second half of the century the selling environment metamorphosed from commodity market place through to a service economy which he illustrated by the ‘John Lewis model’ to today’s experience economy  as exemplified by  the Amazon model.

Today we can all ‘have a say’ and audiences want to have a say.

It is no coincidence , Grant argued, that the most popular TV shows were Strictly and the X factor.

Research of the last  X factor final showed that not only 21 million watched but 5 million were on line commenting at the time on facebook and twitter.

So Grant challenged us

What experience do we give our clients?

His suggestions of things which we can offer for the experience included:-

*      Case studies

*      Leverage Technology such as Linked In

*      Forums,

*      Blogs

*      90 % of web traffic is video – You Tube clips

“`Let people feel they want to deal with you.” This achieved through story.

Grant asked “What is your narrative? Your Story?”

This led Grant to lead into the importance of VALUES

He contrasted the  values of Gates, Jobs, Google and Zuckerberg

So what is your vision ?
N.B. " It's not about the music.."

  James Denning at Successful Selling 2012

 to be posted shortly

Related Links

Jelly Effect Book Review

Coffee House New Business Development

Sales Conversion Technique

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