I have been listening to podcasts. Lots of podcasts. They are yet another of my COVID-19 coping strategies. This week, I listened to Episode 198 of the Business of Fashion podcast – a conversation between BOF founder Imran Amed and activist Sinead Burke.
What struck a chord with me is the framework that Burke uses when making decisions about what projects to take on, and what projects to pass on. When Burke considers a new task, she asks herself the following four questions:
- Is this part of my list of goals and objectives that I have always wanted to achieve?
- Does this pay the rent?
- Does this give back?
- Does this bring other people with me?
“Everything that I do has to answer yes to more than one of these questions” says Burke. These questions are her compass and help guide her decisions.
I have found these times conducive to questioning everything, including scrutinizing the various projects and commitments I have said yes to in the past. Did I say yes for good reason? Did I say yes because saying yes is easier than saying no? When asked to take one something, I (try to) systematically ask myself if this said project is worth doing. 99% of the time, the answer is yes. That one question is hardly a framework…
What is the right framework for me to use to make decisions about what and whom I give my time to? What is my compass? I need to work on this. In the meantime, I might just use Burke’s framework. I am sure she wouldn’t mind…
“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.” Estée Lauder.
Belief in my product is (also) at the core of why, and how, I sell. And belief, supplemented with sales methodologies and frameworks, can only yield even better results.
I attended sales training last week, and here are the three most important things I learned, and re-learned.
1. When walking into a potential account “cold.”
Three easy steps to make an in-person cold call easier:
- Who: Introduce yourself; name and company name.
- Why: Address the reason for your visit; incorporate a compliment whenever possible. For example: “I saw your Instagram account and love it and wanted to see more in real life” or “Congratulations on the great press mention in last week’s issue of XXX, the article made me want to stop by.”
- What’s in it for me: Address the benefit associated with your visit, for example, free products to try.
2. When walking into an existing account for a followup visit.
Here, the relationship is established, and it can sometimes get easy to treat a followup sales visit as a social call. To help make sure you are making an impact, and to ensure good note-taking and follow-up post-visit, use this framework:
- Situation: Who, where, when.
- Pain: What pain points were discovered? How can you further improve the relationship?
- Impact: What are the followup actions to ensure a positive impact from the visit?
3. When negotiating a sale.
First, replace the word “negotiate” with the word “trade”, which is both less aggressive and more positive.
Second, here are the trading steps to follow:
- Get all negation items out (figure out the list of “asks”).
- Repeat what you heard (active listening).
- Prioritize the issues (so you know which “asks” to focus on).
- Qualify the decision-maker (don’t waste their time or yours talking to the wrong person).
- Make the office, be clear and concise.
- Listen and repeat their counter-offer.
- Confirm the “expiration date” of your offer.
- Agree to consequences.
- Confirm all with email and contract.