Plan to Win

“Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Last week’s Vibe focused on the value of attending customer conferences.

This week we roll out the game plan.

Our conference goals are to:

  • Engage.
  • Connect.
  • Establish access.

We will focus our plan on 2 scenarios: 

  1. Meeting an existing customer who does not yet work with us.
  2. Meeting a potential new customer.

Game on…

Scenario #1:  Existing Customer  – No Access

Step 1:

  • Get a copy of the conferences pre-registered attendee list.
    • Is there a customer attending that you have not met?
  • Select the customers you want to meet.

Step 2:

  • Do you have any customer advocates who can introduce you?
    • Is your advocate attending the same conference?
      • “Dr John – I saw your name on the EMG conference list.  Would you mind introducing me to Dr Kelly during one of the breaks?.”
    • If your advocate won’t be at the conference:
  • “Dr John, Would you mind introducing me over email to Dr Kelly?  I would love to connect with them at the EMG Course.”

Step 3:

Work the room!

  • Not everyone will visit your booth.
  • You may have to proactively walk around, find that person & introduce yourself.
  • Remember your goal:  Establish Access.
    • Sell the appointment, NOT your product.
  • “Dr Kelly – Dr John said you were someone I should meet. There are a ton of new resources available.  Could we set up a time to discuss?”
    • “What day of the week works best for you?”
    • “What’s the best way to stay in touch?”
      • You will usually get an email address.
    • Ask for their cell #.
      • You will get it 50% of the time.
        • Send them a brief text the next day:
      • “Great to meet you!  Look forward to working with you.  Joe Ciccarone”
    • If you can’t get their cell #, ask for their admin’s name & phone #.

Scenario #2:  Potential New Customer 

Step 1:

  • An endless stream of people will stroll by your booth.
  • Your job is to:
    • Engage.
    • Gauge their potential.
    • Connect.
  • You’ll need at least 3 engaging power questions prepared in advanced.
    • 3 Conference Power Questions: 
  • 1) “What’s been your experience with __________?”
  • 2) “When you see __________, what’s your first move?”
  • 3) “When you hear the word _________, what comes to mind?”
    • This question is killer.
      • The answer gives you a glimpse of this customer’s top of mind awareness of your product / service:
        • You will hear:
          • “Can’t get paid.”
          • “Doesn’t work.”
          • “I need more training.”
          • “I refer out.”
            • Respond, “Really?  Why’s that?”
            • Don’t cut them off.  Let them finish speaking, no matter how off base their reasoning may sound.
            • Tell them you have a few ideas that may help.  Ask when is the best time to stop by and discuss further?

New customers are the life blood of any business.

When you expand your influence, you expand your impact.

Create a plan.  Be intentional.

Success never happens by chance.

#PlanToWin

-Joe Ciccarone

Be On Display

“Follow the 20 Butt Rule. When 20 of your customer’s butts are gathered in the same room, yours should be too.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

Imagine this…

Your customers are standing in line waiting to speak with you.

They mention how much they appreciate your support.

Your conversation ends with the customer asking you to stop by their office to discuss other ways you can work together.

Is this a dream?

Are you in Fantasy Land?

Nope.

This scenario is real.

How do elite sales people open doors and create access?

They EXHIBIT at conferences.

One of the most underutilized opportunities in sales is attending your customer’s conferences.

These conferences are amazing ways to establish yourself in your local marketplace.

You get to connect with the busiest customers and key opinion leaders outside the chaos of their office.

The customers literally come to you.

A good day exhibiting at a conference crushes a month of driving around your territory walking cold into offices.

Here are 3 Ways to Get Yourself on Display:

  1. Contact the CME Office of each academic medical center you cover:  
    • Ask for the person who coordinates their CME events.
    • Ask that person for their most updated course schedule.
    • Ask to be included on their distribution list.
  2. Ask your top customers what local conferences they attend:
    • “Dr John – What’s your favorite local medical conference?”
    • Ask your customer for their contact person for that conference.
    • Contact that person and tell them you want to help support their next event.
  3. Ask your customer what local organizations support their patient population:
    • EG- “Miles for Migraine” hosts a yearly 5k run in cities throughout the country.
    • Top customers & Key Opinion Leaders from multiple institutions attend.
    • You literally can go for a run with your top customers.

Your BIGGEST customers are the HARDEST to access.

That should excite you.

Those barriers are there to keep the average sales people out.

Don’t be average.

Leverage your resources, courage, & creativity.

When you do this, your value to your customers & company will be on full display.

#BeOnDisplay

-Joe Ciccarone

Next Week’s Vibe:  The Exhibitor’s Playbook: How to Engage, Connect, & Get Invited Back. The elite salesperson’s guide to working a conference.

 

 

The Gift

“Feedback is a gift.  Embrace it.” – Anonymous

The fastest route to customer access is to provide REAL value.

A HUGE problem for new salespeople is that they have no clue what value looks like.

This killer question can help.

It allows your customer to share their top of mind thinking.

It provides a path to the real value they are looking for you to provide.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate…”

  • the outcome of your last chronic migraine patient?”
  • your confidence in your reimbursement process?”
  • the quality of the toxin training your residents receive?”

Any response less than a “10” gets a series of follow up questions:

  • What’s missing?
  • How would you change it?
  • What do you think the next step should be?

The difference between the customer’s answer and “10” is the VALUE that customer is looking for someone to provide.

The person who does gets the access.

If you are really brave, you can use a version of this question to see what your long time customers think of the value you are providing:

  • “Dr Smith, I have been calling on you for over 5 years.  I am always looking to get better and be a better resource for you.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the value I bring to your office?”

Yikes…

This question takes guts.

This question helps you figure out where you need to be.

The answers will not always be pleasant.

It took me years to learn how NOT to get defensive when someone gave me feedback I did not want to hear.

Just remember, feedback is a gift.

Feedback shows you a better way forward.

Average sales people get defensive.

Good sales people embrace it.

Exceptional sales people seek out feedback to become more.

#BeTheException

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

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Play Your “A” Game

“Intelligence is not enough.  You must create relationships.”Tony Robbins

Proximity is power.

Our success is predicated upon our ability to access our customers.

Access enables influence.

Influence determines relevance.

There are times we need influence in places we have no access:

  • A physician won’t meet with us.
  • A pharmacy director won’t stock our new product.
  • A key administrator won’t buy into our recommendations.

Good times…

What to do?

Get creative!

This is where elite salespeople play their “A” game –

Call in your ADVOCATE.

Think of an advocate as a relationship on steroids.

An advocate is a person inside your customer’s organization that:

  • Believes in you.
  • Believes in your idea.
  • Is passionate about making things better.
  • Is willing to go to bat on your behalf to other members of their team.

Advocates bring your influence to places you are unable to access.

Advocates can facilitate change inside your customer that you can’t accomplish alone.

An advocate could be:

  • An injector.
  • Department administrator.
  • A respected RN.

How can advocates help you?

Glad you asked…

4 Ways Advocates Can 10x Your Influence:

  1. Introduce you to hard to access customers:  
    • “Dr Bill, would you mind walking me down the hall and introducing me to Dr Alison?  I have never met her.  She hasn’t responded to any of my emails.”
  2. Make New Products Available:
    • “Dr Kelly – I need your help.  Would you mind stopping down the hospital pharmacy and asking the pharmacy director to stock the 200 unit vial?  I met with her.  I don’t think I convinced her.”
  3. Get Best Practices Implemented:
    • “Cate, would be able to discuss the flow assessment recommendations with your chairmen?  Dr Andy told me nothing can move forward until they buy in.” 
  4. Create New Customers:  
    • “Dr Mike – Could you connect me with your new resident chiefs over email?  I will work with them on setting up that chronic migraine training we discussed.” 

Our best ideas will not always be embraced.

We will hit obstacles.

We will run into roadblocks.

Average salespeople will respond in average ways.

Don’t be average.

Play your “A” Game…

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net