Sales Keynote Speaker at National Sales Network – “We’re always Selling!” by Victor Antonio

by Victor Antonio

This sales motivational keynote was for NSN, a great sales networking organization dedicated to elevation the skill sets of professional salespeople.

Sales Training Video #87 – Include Low Tier Sales Products to Protect Against Competition

by Victor Antonio

Not having a lower tiered (priced) product in your sales product portfolio will leave you open to competition coming in and selling at a lower level.  Once inside, the competition will then start moving up the sales product chain and begin selling your customer products that directly compete with your product; forcing you to deliver price concessions.

Sales Training Tip #86 – Has Selling Changed? What’s the Best Sales Training System?

by Victor Antonio

Has Selling Changed?  What’s the Best Sales Training System?  In this video, sales trainer Victor Antonio answers these two fundamental questions about the world of selling today.

Sales Training Moment #80 – Overcoming Objection, ” We’re happy with our current supplier.”

by Victor Antonio

In this video I discuss how to overcome the objection, we’re happy with our current supplier.  By simply reframing the conversation with one simple question, “In business, isn’t it always good to have options?” you’ll be able to overcome the objection and reduce buyer resistance.

Sales Training Moment #79 – Anchor Pricing Reduce the “I’ll Think About it” Objection

by Victor Antonio

In this video I discuss why you’ll always get the “I’ll think about it.” objection in selling if you don’t present pricing proposals the right way. I show you how introducing and anchoring price early in the sales process will reduce the objections you’ll get so you’ll have less objections to overcome when you’re trying to close a sale in the selling process.

Sales Training Moment #78 – Overcoming the Objection ” I’ll Think About It.”

by Victor Antonio

In this video I talk about overcoming the objection when a client says, “I’ll think about it.”  Check it out…

Sales Training Video #76 – Sales Motivation and Implementation Dip Curve

by Victor Antonio

In this sales training video sales trainer victor antonio highlight why some people fail and others succeed in selling. The difference is based on a modified learning curve called the Dip Curve.

Sales Training Video #74 – Switching Cost: Barrier to Selling in a Complex Sale

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

In this video sales trainer and expert Victor Antonio discuss the underlying cost of selling your product using the iceberg analogy. Total switching cost is the total cost to switch from one vendor to buy from you. As the total cost of switching goes up, the probability of a sale goes down

Sales Influence Moment #72 – Price Discounts Impact on Profitability, You & Your Company

by Victor Antonio

In this training video I walk you through how pricing discounts can hurt your company’s profitability and force you the salesperson to sell more.

The example cited was obtained from Tom Reilly’s 1989 book Value Added Selling Techniques. A great read; I highly recommend it.

 

Sales Influence Moment #71 – The Unique Value Creation Formula for Your Marketing Strategy

by Victor Antonio

In selling, you can create value or you can create unique value. In this video I lay out a simple formula for differentiating between value and unique value.  Let me know what you think!

 
REMINDER:  Download ANY 12 of my books for free (no email reqd) at: http://www.VictorAntonio.com/products

 

Sales Influence Moment #70 – Don’t Compete to be the Best, Compete to be Unique

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

Competing to be unique, and not just the best. In this video I’ll highlight why it’s not wise to compete to be the best, but why it’s better to compete to be unique.  You’ll also be (re)introduced to the phrase “ competitive convergence “; a phrase made popular by business strategist Michael Porter in the 1980s.

Mastering the Complex Sales & Value Leakage – Jeff Thull’s Rule

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

Mastering Complex Sale by Jeff ThullSometimes an author presents a concept that is so shocking (i.e., a paradigm wrecker) that it takes a while to get over the shock and socialize it.  Well that’s what happened when I was reading Jeff Thull’s book, Mastering the Complex Sale.  The book itself is about how to win the complex sale using a specific analysis-methodology in order to be more effective at selling your product’s value.

But that wasn’t the shocking part.  Towards the end of the book, Thull introduces the concept of the Value Leakage Bucket.  And in his explanation, he makes, in my opinion, a shocking revelation with regard to value degradation that quite honestly caused me to have the reread the section twice if not three times.

But before I share with you Thull’s assertion, allow me to paraphrase how he views the Value Chain of a product being brought to market.   (Note: As you read the following, keep in mind that I do not do Thull full justice and I suggest you get the book; worth every penny)

Here’s my “Victor-ization” of Thull’s assertion.

Step 1: Product is conceptualized by Product Management (PM), or the like, based on direct feedback from clients.  At this point in the process, the product being conceptualized is perfectly aligned with the needs of the client.  We can figuratively say that the Value Bucket is filled with 100% value.

Step 2: The Engineering Design Team (EDT) then begins to work on designing the product but realizes that certain compromises or trade-offs have to be made with the physical (e.g., size, aesthetics, layout) and the functional (features and capabilities) aspects of the product in order for it to be produced.  Value Bucket = 70%[1]

Step 3: Manufacturing reviews the new product design and communicates back to PM and the EDT that in order to make the product cost effective, certain changes (i.e., compromises) have to be made on the materials and components.  Value Bucket = 40%

Step 4: Marketing now has to craft a message, a strong value proposition, to sell this new product that is NOT completely aligned with what clients want.   Which means that the marketing collateral will center around ‘me too’ features thereby making the product harder to differentiate from the competitors.  The result is marketing collaterals with weak value propositions.   Value Bucket = 20%

Step 5: Sales now takes the product and the product collateral developed by marketing and tries to sell a product whose value is now about 20% of what the client’s want and/or need.

Wow!  That is a startling revelation.  Salespeople are only equipped with 20% of the intended product’s value when selling.  If true, emphasis on the if, then it’s no wonder salespeople have a hard time articulating a value proposition that DIFFERS from their closest competitors.

Said another way, Thull asserts that by the time salespeople gets their hands on the new product, its value once 100% aligned with the client’s needs, is now at 20% of its impact value which essentially equates to having a “me too” product like your competitors.  And, because the product is now comparable to a competitor’s product, the client sees no reason in paying a premium for the new product.  Translation: No difference in value equals price discount in the client’s eyes.

So blaming salespeople, for not selling more, may seem a gross miscarriage of management justice.   Salespeople are maligned when new product sales fall short of expectations, but the real blame should be spread across the entire product value chain, not just sales.  But could it be, according to Thull, that oftentimes salespeople are given products they can’t sell because there are no ‘real’ differences between their own and the competitor’s product?

When the value, the differentiators, have been reasoned out and whittled down to standard features, the product is condemned to the realm of commoditization.  Which leads to price concessions by the seller, which leads to lower margins, which leads to less R&D money for new products development, which leads to less tolerance for new product features, which leads to more watered-down products that salespeople can’t sell without price concessions.  The seller and the company have now entered the downward spiral of commoditization.

New Sales Term: Based on this premise, when a product has been reduced to 20% of its real value and the salespeople are expected to sell it, we should say that the salesperson is a victim of Thull’s Rule!

Yes, I made that up!  Jeff you can thank me later 🙂


[1] I extrapolated these percentages from Thull’s graph and should only be used as an indicator of magnitude rather than actual percentage drops.  Thull doesn’t use a specific percentage until he gets to Step 5.

Mind of a Sales Genius? Ehh…Maybe!

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

If you’ve wondered how I develop my videos and/or my material for my book, here’s a glimpse at what I do.  We all have our ‘method of madness’ when it comes to creating or developing new material; here’s mine.

When it comes to conceptualizing an idea and figuring out how it applies to the buying process, I usually put it up on my home office whiteboard and leave it there for a few days.

Occasionally I’ll look at it, make some changes and walk away again.  This can go on for a week or two until I feel the idea has cooked long enough.  Next step…video time!

Sales Genius Whiteboard

 

Selling Today – It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Can Prove

Victor Antonio, Sales Consultant, Sales Trainerby Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

The majority of books on the market today relating to sales are still using techniques and strategies that been around since the late 1940s and early 1950s.  The Internet has been a disruptive force in the relationship between client and seller.  There was a time when salespeople held the upper hand by being knowledge experts.

Today, the Internet has democratized not only product knowledge, but pricing knowledge as well.  Clients are less loyal and oftentimes will base their decision to buy on price and price alone.  Sellers are left with the only tool available to them in order to close a sale; the discount.

 Their consuming choices have exploded and they don’t need to buy your “widget” anymore.  Pamela Danzinger, Unity Marketing

Buyers know they have options in the market and will use that freedom to pressure salespeople to lower their price.  The seller, trained on selling feature and benefits, is all too aware that his product is viewed as a commodity.  And no matter how hard the seller tries to counter the downward pressure of price commoditization, he is unable to do so since the only tool he has to counter with are anecdotal tidbits (i.e., what other customers are saying) about the superiority of his product.

The seller tries to justify a higher price, but the seller isn’t convinced.  Even if the seller knows that he has the better product, he is unable to prove it.  If you’ve watched enough television shows on how the legal system works, you know that in a court of law, it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.  And most salespeople KNOW that they have a better product, but they couldn’t PROVE it beyond a reasonable doubt or beyond the opinions of customer testimonials.

So the questions to you is…how do you prove your value in order to counter the downward pressure of commoditization?

Sales Training Video #68 – Simplest Sales Model: The Contrast Principle

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

There are a lot of sales training systems in the market today and I’m often asked for my opinion on which one to use. I always answer with a “it depends on what you’re selling and who you’re selling too.” Each sales training program is different and matching one to your company’s needs can be a challenge.

That said, in this video I’ve I’ll introduce the simple sales model so that you’ll always be able to stay focused and on track on what you need to do to sell your products or services.

Sales Influence Moment #67 – 3 Reasons Clients Don’t Buy From You

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

To sell your product or service you have to jump over three hurdles in order to close the sales. The first hurdle is getting the client to become aware of a NEED they have but have failed to notice.

The second is to create a sense of URGENCY (i.e., reasons why they need to act immediately) by showing them how they can Increase their revenue, reduce their cost or grow their market share.

The last hurdle is getting them to TRUST you or your company in being able to deliver on those promises of change.

In my sales training course I teach that we need to jump over those three hurdles in order to be able to close the sale no matter what your selling.

Method Selling – What Ron Howard Taught Me About Selling (AUDIO Only)

By Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

I recorded this AUDIO message circa 2007 and recently came across it.  After listening to it again with fresh ears, I thought it was worth sharing with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

Sales Influence Moment #66 – Start With Why and Sell More

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

Simon Sinek wrote a great book called Start With Why. The premise of the book is that we often know WHAT we do and HOW we do it, but few of us (and companies) stop to really analyze WHY we do what we do. In this Sales Influence training moment I attempt to tie Sinek’s WHY with WHY we sell.

Having a positive mental attitude can be more easily sustained if you understand the WHY in what you’re doing. In selling, clients and customers need to feel your WHY, your purpose and how it impacts their ability to generate revenue, reduce cost or gain marketshare.

 

National Sales Network (NSN) – Black Enterprise Magazine’s April Edition

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

I’ve been invited to speak at the National Sales Network (NSN); an African-American organization dedicated to creating better salespeople and entrepreneurs.  Here’s a sneak peek of the ad that will appear in the upcoming April edition of Black Enterprise magazine.

National Sales Network (NSN) Ad in April's Black Enterprise magazine

Contrast Principle in Selling and I’ll Think About It!

by Victor Antonio, Sales Buy•ologist

When you think about selling, most people have a complicated sales process in their heads about how to go about making a sale.  This past weekend I challenged myself with the notion of coming up with the simplest definition of selling and a basic model that anyone who is in selling could grasp with little or no effort.

In my Occam Razor-esque search I was able to formulate a basic conceptual model that encapsulates the gambit of selling.  The concept is very simple, but deceivingly so.  Selling is about Before and After.  A client wants to know what his life will be like after he buys your product or service.  His motivation to buy will be based on his ‘before’ context or reference point.  That’s it!  Sales in one simple concept; before and after.

Rich Poor Before and After Sales Training - Contrast Principle

For example, if you are selling a new piece of technology that has many whiz-bang features, the client will first take note of his current situation (before) and evaluate whether buying from your will improve his position (after).

We’ve all seen those weight loss adds that show the before and after results.  We all seen the hair loss commercial where the guy is bald, but afterwards they have a full head of hair.  This is essentially the contrast principle in action.  If you can show the client what the ‘after’ will be like and show a dramatic difference, the more likely you are to convince the buyer to buy from you.

All a customer wants to know is what will be the difference after he buys from you.  Here is where the salesperson’s ability to draw attention to those differences (differentiators) will make or break the sale. On the other hand, if the “after” image the salesperson presents is full of uncertainty and ambiguity, the client will stick with their ‘before’ status and not buy.

When a client says, “I’ll think about it.”, what they’re really saying is “You haven’t convinced me that my buying from you will change for the better.”