Neil Rackham is the father of SPIN. No, not the sort of dodgy dialogue that you hear from politicians, but the sales methodology that was truly groundbreaking for its time, and still highly relevant today.
Neil has just written a guest piece in Modern Selling. He certainly has a way with words. Allow me to quote from the master: "While mediocre salespeople can survive or even prosper during good times, in hard times the real talent comes to the top. The order-takers and talking brochures who contribute little in the way of customer value, will sink into the quicksand of history along with many of the financial services wretches who worked so hard to create this mess in the first place."
He's got some pithy advice for all of us who are in the business of selling. Here are my favourites:
- Focus on fewer opportunities. Qualify hard, and invest your resources on the ones where you have the best chance of winning. Let your competitors spread themselves too thinly by chasing every deal.
- Sell on safety rather than price. Make sure that yours is the least-risk solution. Customers will pay more if they feel that their choice represents the safest option.
- Fix the disconnect between sales and marketing. Too many companies have managed to muddle by with poorly coordinated or misaligned sales and marketing activities. Not any more.