Note: The following was published yesterday in RightStar’s employee newsletter, The Weekly Star.
At RightStar we are all in sales. We may not all be on a commission plan, but we all share responsibility for business development from both new and existing accounts. For those of you that don’t consider yourself professional salespeople—and even for those that do—I’ve captured several key points from Stephan Schiffman’s book, The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople:
(1) Communicate the message that it is sound business to trust you and RightStar. Remember, our mission is to be our customers’ trusted advisor in the service management space. Even more important is our goal of “every customer a reference,” demonstrated by our track record and customer testimonials and surveys. Point out that RightStar is a 2010 National Capital Business Ethics Award finalist and that we are committed to integrity, accountability, and corporate stewardship.
(2) Know how to make your product or service fit somewhere else. The recent Gartner ITSM Magic Quadrant reported that over half of the customers surveyed did not have incident and change management integrated from a process and tool perspective. That means that there is plenty of professional service opportunity just in getting Remedy or SDE to do what it was designed to do. Of course, there is also plenty of opportunity for new projects such as service catalog, tool integration, and on-demand solutions.
(3) Pretend that you’re a consultant (because you are). Not only are we all in sales, but we are also all consultants. I was proud to hear Linda Kiechlin explain during a prospect meeting that she was ITIL certified. This gave her instant credibility. According to Luca Lazzaron, BMC SVP of Worldwide Sales, partner training is the most important success factor for sales excellence.
(4) Give yourself appropriate credit. Talk about yourself, but be humble. In our more than seven years as a company, we have over 500 successful customers as examples of why a service management prospect should work with us. Point out the years of experience and certifications that we have collectively as a team. Show your value!
(5) No one wakes up and says, “I’m going to be stupid today.” Let’s face it, mistakes happen. I’ve heard stories of a RightStar consultant mistakenly deleting the wrong database file only to discover there is no current backup, and a salesperson misquoting or leaving a critical component off a proposal response. It’s how we handle mistakes and the corrective actions we take that make all the difference.
It’s tough out there. We will continue to scrape and fight for new and existing customers. By following these habits, along with the twenty others listed in the book, you can help greatly improve your win percentage.