AccountHUNTER

The Daily Journal for Ad Agency New Business Hunters

Archive for December, 2006

Arrogance vs. Confidence

Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, December 13, 2006

handshake1.jpgArrogant vs. Confident… have you considered the difference in your presenting? Do you know how you come off to a potential client?

This distinction popped out at me as I was looking around the net for something great to blog. I found it at BidBlog:

In short, arrogance kills listening skills. And where there is no listening, there is no learning. Where there is no learning, there is no way to determine the most meaningful way to differentiate your offering for the customer in question. Without meaningful differentiation, you are a commodity. When you are a commodity, you compete on little else but price.

I’ve learned in my days that when it gets to just competing on price, you’re in trouble. If your price is the best, you get the business. But what happens when your price, when your rate isn’t the best? Can you overcome that objection with confidence, or does your arrogance get the best of you?

I know, I know… you’re sitting there thinking “I’m not arrogant at all!”

Well, I’ve made that mistake many times over in my career. It’s still a struggle for me to keep my confidence appearing as such, and not spilling over into that ugly arrogant style. It usually doesn’t rise up and slap me in the face until I lose a deal and review what the devil went wrong.

Selling isn’t about just being the best. It’s not about being the best-priced. It’s about caring for the needs of the client. It’s about giving the client what they want, not just what we want. It’s about creating those win-win opportunities and working them out together.

It’s a little bit preachy, I know…

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Posted in Pitching, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

You Can’t Have It!

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, December 11, 2006

We’ve been talking a lot about closing deals lately here at AccountHUNTER, and I’m going to continue that theme a bit today. This afternoon, I read an interesting entry over at LandingTheDeal regarding the “takeaway close,” and felt it was something good to share.

Really, the idea of the takeaway is just another form of the “getting inside their head psychology” that I wrote about last week. It’s all about getting the clients synapses firing a bit and getting them to think about what’s going on.

“In sales, it works this way: If the prospect is hesitant and you are not getting anywhere, you start to pack up your sample case, papers, or whatever, while telling him – in a serious, sincere, even somber voice – “Maybe this isn’t right for you.”

As soon as you do that, most prospects will immediately say – “Wait, hold on a minute!” – and ask you to continue your presentation, much more interested than they were only seconds ago.”

Silly, but effective. Take a look at it. It won’t work for every possible selling situation you ever find yourself in… but what close will?

Posted in Closing | Leave a Comment »

The Value of the Testimonial

Posted by Shane Murphy on Saturday, December 9, 2006

testimonial.jpgHow are you at asking your current clients for a testimonial? Is it something that you are able to do without hesitation, or does it make you uncomfortable?

I think it goes without saying that conventional logic states that the testimonial is one of the most powerful tools available when you’re out hunting down new business. After all, what speaks more to somebody who doesn’t know your record — you talking yourself up, or somebody else talking you up?

The answer goes without saying, I hope. I’d like to think that if you’re reading this blog, you’re serious about selling. And if you are, then you know the value of the testimonial. Consider this — how many times have you asked a friend about something that you were thinking about buying, and it was their thoughts that made you feel better about the purchase? Happens all the time, doesn’t it?

It’s not hard, really, to start gathering this sort of stuff about your services once you conquer the fear of just asking for it. It’s easy to do, in all seriousness. The key is to just ask for them. Take a look at You’ve Got Contacts to see a simple idea of how to gather them… a simple postcard concept.

Posted in Planning | Leave a Comment »

Overcoming Distraction

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, December 4, 2006

gossip.jpgI spent most of today with my two kids, getting them acclimated to a new school, as we have recently moved. To be honest, I’m insistent with them that it’s some simple planning and people skills that will make this transition much easier for them, but of course, there’s no talking sense with teenagers.

So, you wonder, why on earth is Shane rambling about his kids? Well, today it comes not from what I’ve been trying to teach them, but more from what I see them — and the others that I saw in and around the school today — engaged in on a daily basis.

And that is the not-so-fine art of being distracted.

Of course, it’s not just teenagers who find themselved distracted much of the time, is it? It’s us too, as professionals. Are you focused every day while you’re hunting for new business, or are you like most of us, easily pulled away for the slightest distraction?

So when I sat down today to blog a bit and get away from the craziness of moving into a new house, I headed out on the net to see what was out there on the art of distraction. I wasn’t surprised to find a nice little blurb from Brandon over at SalesTeamTools about this very issue.

I have to be honest – he nailed exactly what I was thinking, and exactly what I try to help my daughters understand every day. Being distracted isn’t a neccessity – it’s a choice. The successful among us understand that, and they avoid it. The much larger percentage of us might understand it, but aren’t strong enough to avoid it.

“Distraction is the great destroyer of careers. It’s the neutralizer of otherwise talented, intelligent people.

Spending your time on what matters most, hour by hour, in the face of so many interruptions (both unexpected and self-inflicted) has become the great challenge of our time. And while countless books and articles and presentations have been built around overcoming it, the reality is it will ultimately come down to your ability to make the right choices moment by moment.”

I coudn’t have said it better myself.

Posted in Closing | Leave a Comment »