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Adjusting The Recipe

Many of you who have known me over the years know I enjoy cooking and may have heard my cooking stories. Well, Saturday evening we decided to make a scallop recipe. The only challenge was my pantry did not contain all the necessary ingredients that recipe called for and living where we do, it is not a 10-min. drive to the store. So, I improvised.

Instead of dried, sour Michigan cherries, I used dried cranberries, probably from Wisconsin. In place of fresh clam juice, I added a small amount of chicken broth. After using most of the other recommended ingredients, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner.

During my keynote message, The Power of Impact, I speak often about the correlation of cooking to building a positive approach to life and finding your personal recipe of success. The same is true for sales leaders in increasing the success their sales teams.

During challenging times we must increase our focus in looking for new and creative ways to help our sales team win. In many situations, you may have fewer resources than you have had in past times or you may be competing with a firm that has additional levels of value not available to you. Or, your prospect may be considering your proposal vs. spending the money on a totally different need than an IT plan.

Sales managers must blend into sales training sessions, one-on-one calls and even group sales, meetings the need for your sales team to "think outside of the box" and to look for other ingredients that will help you complete the sale. Your job is to challenge conventional wisdom and work to "mix up" the game.

Executive sales management requires you to consider: repackaging your services/solutions, changing pricing, changing your selling process that proves your value proposition or even creating an event that makes your prospect sit back and really listens to you.

One very successful salesperson I know even dressed up in Knights armor and made a sales call to stress the "white knight" theme and protection they would bring to the prospect's company. I am not suggesting you do a lot of silly things. I'm simply saying that if you don't have as many tools or advantages as your competition, then as sales leaders you must help your teams discover what ingredients they need to put in place to help them win more often. It's all the more important especially as we move into the important fourth quarter.

Respond to the blog or send me your creative ideas that are helping you win! Let's work together to make winning recipe and close out the year with a banquet.

Ken Thoreson is managing director of the Acumen Management Group Ltd., a North American consulting organization focused on improving sales management functions within growing and transitional organizations internationally. Ken also motivates organizations with enlightening keynotes.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on August 24, 2009 at 11:59 AM


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