Subject:                          More Idea's Right Now 8







Yahoo Moment

Bill James

In March, Bill became one of only 8 New Zealand's few Speakers to have been awarded by the National Speakers Association of Australia the international title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).

The letters CSP following a speaker’s name indicate a speaking professional with proven experience who understands what is required and knows how to deliver client satisfaction.

AS Brian Blessed is now saying on TV “YES BIGGY!!”



The New Sales

Have you noticed that customers seem to want something new and different? You'er right – they do.

In the last newsletter we looked at some research produced by the Corporate Executive Board using almost 3000 B2B purchasers across multiple industries they simply asked them at what stage of a purchasing decision did they actively involve a sales professional to assist them.

You may recall that the results surprisingly showed that the purchasers were 57% of the way through their decision making process before seeking sales rep assistance. Let us look at how a standard purchasing process compares when put up against this result.


Standard purchasing process

Standard purchasing process


In the new world the purchaser can readily define their own solutions courtesy of more sophisticated procurement teams, purchase and consultants armed with mountains of data and the ability to access vast amounts of information for themselves.

This means that they have already found options, compared performance, explored comparisons and gained feedback before even talking to sales! Basically all the functions you would expect a sales professional to do in a consultative sales role.

In the old world sales reps successfully diagnosed customer’s needs, aligned their products to those needs, and sold them solutions that should be better than their competitors.

Sales no longer need to provide information (as the clients have it) but instead creatively facilitate the buying process and provide bespoke solutions using their offerings as part of the solution. It may even be necessary to involve the competitions services to make a complete solution.

In addition, if the sales team can no longer be information providers then falling back on old habits of providing information already gathered will simply frustrate clients who already know the answers to most questions or contradict what the client has already gained – often from the marketing of the organisation.

If we were honest we would admit that customers are often looking for fault and so misinformation is proof that someone in the organisation is not telling the truth and the client will disconnect.

And here is a real tough one:  If the purchaser knows all their own needs, has assessed the options and concluded that you are a viable option – what is left? Only price. Suddenly you are caught in a price war.

This all indicates very strongly that there are new skill sets needed and later in this newsletter we will look at some new ‘ABC’s that might help.

If you would like a copy of the Harvard Business Review summary called “The End of Solution Sales” simply click this link to take you to an email and put challenge of sale summary in the subject line. It is worth reading as it summarises ‘The Challenger Sale’ book.



Watch this clip

This clip from the movie “Boiler Room” is a great example of how customers want you to take control, expect you to be professional in your approach and actually ask for the business.  I do like the twist at the end.

Apologies for the quality of the video





“Life is an occasion. 

Rise to the occasion”.


Dustin Hoffman

from Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium




The New ABC of Selling

Sales have changed more in the last 3 years than it has probably ever changed before.

It is time to find the new ABC’s of selling that will allow us to work in this new environment.

A – Adjust.  Grow or die folks – it’s that simple.  New concepts such as the research presented in “The Challenger Sale” (Brett Adamson, Matthew Dickson and Nicholas Toman) say relationship-based sellers are only 4% of the top performers in a complex sales situation.  53% of the high performers are those that challenge their customers with new ideas and approaches. This is not a comfortable thought for those who are relationship based – like most of New Zealand sales professionals.

Daniel Pink’s book “To sell is human” is adamant that we will see more sales professionals by 2020 but he similarly adamant about the need for change in approach and how to become effective in the new marketplace.  He says we need to get into our customers heads far more now than their hearts (relationships again). Refocus on such things as:

Business centred conversation first and the relationship actually grows from there.
Customers want you to lead the conversation to a successful conclusion by providing the drive and energy as well as direction. They are not putting energy in for a zero result.
Don’t wait for them to tell you how it works. Show them how the buying process should proceed.
Alert them to previously unseen land mines and pitfalls.

B – Be Prepared.  You can no longer meet with a busy executive to have an exploratory conversation about the business’ goals and plans – they are too busy and have different expectations of the trade of their time for what you can offer.

You have to do your research and come up with your own ideas (or those provided by your organisation) that don’t just rehash the problems they know about but highlight whole new areas of concern and interest.  Bring new perspectives and ideas from the marketplace and solutions to avoid landmines that they didn’t even know where there. Be prepared lead the sales process to a successful conclusion.

C – Creativity.  As mentioned, the sales process is becoming more skilled. You are no longer an information provider but more a buyer facilitator.    Become as creative as an architect or an artist in your ability to present new ideas and concepts, to match the new challenges facing an organisation to the solutions that you provide.  It is the outcome that they are going to focus on which will involve the seamless integration of your solution supported far and wide across that organisation.

You need an understanding of underlying business practice and the ability to walk in your customers shoes like never before. Through understanding their challenges and presenting problems they never knew existed, you will gain respect, trust and have the opportunity to place your real solutions inside that organisation.

While this can sound somewhat daunting it’s actually a fantastic and challenging opportunity.  When new ideas and philosophies with such far reaching effects enter the marketplace you can ride the crest of the wave.  Those that embrace this change and run with it will be the victors and enjoy some significant success.

There will be a facilitated discussion in May around this and expressions of interest in attending are welcome. Email me today.



Client Comment

“Bill's advice has literally tripled my company's sales!”
Peter Shallard // Master NLP Practitioner



Interesting snippets


I often wonder how I stack up against other people and organisations in terms of leadership, ability to network, sales and negotiating skills and a myriad of other areas.

So this newsletter we thought a whole page of different self-testing tools could be an eye opener and help you answer some of the questions you may have. Not just sales orientated but everything from creativity to communications and emails to energy. Enjoy.

Click Here for the self testing tools.



Permission to reprint:

Yes, you may reprint MY article in any of your publications provided you do not edit it in any way (except for formatting changes to suit your publication style), and include this resource note with the article:
Bill James is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant on the topic of Finding, Landing and Growing your business. Visit for  more information on a sensational keynote presentation, workshop, breakout session or seminar.