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From Wish to Win

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Copyright © 2017 Mr. Inside Sales

Okay. So I’ve been in sales longer than some of my clients have been on the planet.

I’ve made thousands and thousands of prospecting calls, and thousands and thousands of closing calls.

I teach, train, write books on phone scripts, and develop customized phone scripts and inside sales training programs for sales teams worldwide.

You’d think that I would never get tripped up by or neglect the fundamentals of sales, right?

Wrong.

Just this morning (April 28, 2017), I was on the phone with a new prospect and he was asking me about my background, my training methods, etc. We had good rapport. He was an inbound lead. We really connected and he was interested. This was a slam dunk, right?

As we got to the end of the call, I was positive I’d be getting on a plane in the next couple of weeks to work with this prospect. And that’s when I asked a qualifying question that I neglected to ask upfront: “What is your timeline for this training?” He told me, “Sometime in the Fall.”

So, after a ½ hour on the phone, this call went….nowhere. Where did I go wrong? When he asked me what my process was when working with companies, I should not have assumed he was ready to go. Instead, I should have done what I teach: Qualify.

And the first thing I should have qualified for was his urgency to make a decision. By the way, I normally do this, but because the rapport was so strong, and, again, he was a call in lead, I assumed he was all set. He wasn’t…

Here are some ways to qualify for timeline:

For an inbound call, what I should have done (and will not be skipping again!) is ask:

“First off, I generally book several months in advance, so let’s talk about when you need this training – if everything goes well during your discovery process, when is the soonest you’d like to have this training delivered to your team?”

If he then told me it was six months off (“in the Fall”), I’d have given him an abbreviated pitch, and then told him I’d circle around with him in September.

If you are prospecting to set an appointment or a demo, then the following scripts to qualify for timeline are what you use:

“If you like what you see after the demo, what would be the next steps on your side?”

OR

“If you think this solution is what you’re looking for, what would be your timeline for putting something like this to work for you?”

AND

“If after the demo this is something you’re interested in taking advantage of, could you implement this in the next couple of weeks?”

Qualifying for timeline upfront is crucial to not only closing more sales, but also to avoiding objections at the end like, “I want to think about it…”

Use any of the scripts above, or rewrite them to fit your personality, product or service.

Take my word for it: It’s MUCH better to know in advance when your prospect is thinking of buying.

Mike is the go-to inside sales trainer and phone script writer in the industry. He is hired by business owners to implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow Multi-Million Dollar Inside Sales Teams. If you’re looking to catapult your sales, or create a sales team that actually makes their monthly revenues, then learn how by visiting: http://www.MrInsideSales.com

Copyright © 2017 Mr. Inside Sales

Next week, I’ll be presenting two breakout sessions at the Microsoft sponsored AA-ISP’s Leadership Summit in Chicago.

I’m going to be presenting both sessions centered on the importance of having and using best practice scripts (one B2B and one B2C session). What I find interesting is the mixed reaction I still get when I speak to some sales leaders about the use of scripts.

Some obviously get the importance of having a standardized, best practice approach set of scripts to train and measure their reps against, while some others don’t think their reps should use a script. They think they’ll sound too much like a telemarketer or that their sale is too “consultative” for them to follow a script.

Here’s what I tell them: First, all your reps are already using a script. If you don’t believe me, then just record them for a week, transcribe what they’re saying, and then what will you have? You’ll have a script of what they say, day in and day out!

But, I tell them, you’ll also have ten or fifteen different versions of what should be a best practice “story” you’re telling about your company, product, and service. This is because most sales reps are winging it and ad-libbing their way through their sales presentations.

And that is why they are struggling and not consistently making their revenue numbers.

The solution to this is straight forward: Take the message your top producers are delivering, combine that with a standardized “best practice” approach, script it out, and then have your team use that scripting until they have internalized it and are consistently delivering your best messaging.

Once I explain it that way, they suddenly realize what I mean when I tell them they are all wrong about phone scripts.

In fact, when you have and follow a scripted approach, you will be:

More confident during your pitch You’ll be able to listen because you won’t be thinking up what you should say next You’ll be able to qualify your leads to identify real buyers Your presentations will run smoother because you’ll be engaging your prospects Objections will be easier to deal with and overcome You’ll make more sales and actually look forward to coming to work!

And many, many other benefits.

Bottom line: I’ve been training inside sales reps for over 30 years, and I know what works and what doesn’t. Scripts work – ad-libbing doesn’t. It’s that simple.

Mike is the go-to inside sales trainer and phone script writer in the industry. He is hired by business owners to implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow Multi-Million Dollar Inside Sales Teams. If you’re looking to catapult your sales, or create a sales team that actually makes their monthly revenues, then learn how by visiting: http://www.MrInsideSales.com

“The fight is won … long before I dance under those lights.” Muhammad Ali

I don’t know all the reasons why Muhammad Ali earned the nickname, “The Greatest,” but I know one of them for sure. And his quote above says it all: he had the fight won before he even fought.

All because of one simple word: preparation.

Whatever you’ve heard or read about success and those who achieve it can be boiled down to being prepared to meet the challenges that await you on your career path. Period.

Ali knew that to win he had to be prepared. And when he prepared well, he knew more than he knew anything in the world that victory was inevitable.

Imagine having that kind of confidence. Knowing, I mean truly knowing, victory is yours and that the 2017 spring selling season was going to be your best ever

Guess what? You can create that confidence. You just have to put in the hard yards with preparation.

Some boxers train five hours a day five times a week for 12 weeks to prepare for a five-round, 15-minute fight (3 minutes per round) — sweating their brains out with roadwork, bag work, drills, sparring, strength and cardio.

Here’s the math: 18,000 minutes of training for 15 minutes of work. How long is your average listing presentation? I’m not suggesting you spend 18,000 minutes, but you get the idea. Are you preparing enough to be as good as you want (or need) to be in today’s competitive ring of real estate?

Here are my tips that will have you raising your arms in victory – before you ever step foot in the ring:

1. Know your specific market and farm area inside and out. You have to become an expert, especially today in the age of information. Your clients – both sellers and buyers – have access to information, so you have to prepare by digging deeper than you’ve ever dug before to learn everything there is to know about your market. You have to bring something new, fresh and more importantly, unknown to your clients. You never want to hear this from your clients: “Tell me something I don’t know.”

2. Practice. Then practice some more. Practice your scripts, practice role playing sales situations, practice prospecting. Practice negotiating. And then, when you think you’ve practiced enough, realize you’re only 40 percent done. Why 40 percent? Have you ever heard of the Navy Seals’ 40 percent rule? It goes like this: Seals say when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done.

3. Stay focused on what brings in the money. Successful boxers know they have to hit the road and run, practice on the bag, do drills and spar. The four activities that bring in the money in real estate are: prospecting, negotiating, selling and listing. Delegate everything else.

4. Don’t go it alone. Sure, when the fight is on, the boxer is alone in the ring. But remember this – that’s the only time he’s alone. After the fight, he’s celebrating with his team. Before the fight, he’s training with his team. And write this down: Winners always have someone in their corner.

Let me hear from you: How much time do you set aside each week to improve specific skills that will produce more business for you? Are you willing to put in the hard yards to be better at your job? Why or why not? What can you start doing today to improve yourself?

Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international Real Estate, Mortgage, and Small Business coaching company. Mills is a nationally recognized speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. Visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com.

Writing PQQs the First Step to Winning a TenderThere is very little margin for error in the business world today. The business environment we operate in is highly competitive and you have to stay ahead of your competitors. This fact is particularly highlighted when it comes to writing tenders. A company needs to be especially careful while writing PQQs because a misstep here will mean that the game is lost even before it starts.There are many industries which require companies to win tenders in order to get a business contract. While public sector contracts almost always involve tenders, this practice is now becoming increasingly common from private sectors companies. As a result, businesses that aspire to win major business contracts need to be well versed in the art of writing proposals and the bidding process.This process often begins with a Pre Qualification Questionnaire which is better known by its abbreviated form PQQ. A PQQ helps the company that is offering the contract to understand which of the various companies that want their business are qualified to bid for it. The PQQ usually asks for a lot of information about the bidding companies including details of its experience in a particular field, its business policies and practices and often the other the companys experience in similar projects.Writing PQQs are very important since these documents serve to introduce your company and allow you to bid on projects. This document creates a first impression and if it is not satisfactory then your company might not even be invited to bid for the contract. Often it is a good idea to use a specialist in writing PQQs so that there is very little chance of rejection at this early stage.Proposal writing is a very lengthy process and companies are rarely given a great deal of time in which to prepare it. The business environment is very fast paced and a company usually needs to have its PQQ and proposal completed within a very short time. However, many companies cannot afford to employ a full time person if they do not prepare a number of bids each year. The best solution in this circumstance is to take the help of a specialist in proposal and PQQ writing.There are many companies that have identified this niche and accordingly offer a whole range of services that are connected with bidding for tenders. They have specialists who do everything from writing PQQs to writing bids. They write proposals and bids that are customised to your requirements. These companies even offer bid management and proposal writing training in case you want to learn to undertake these services yourself. Most of these companies offer a very high quality of service, have a high success rate and save a great deal of time and effort. You will see a marked improvement in your success rate with bidding for contracts if you take the help of experts who have undertaken tender writing a considerable number of times before.————————————————-
Copyright 2010 Biz Guru LtdLee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert.If you would like more help and assistance in writing your tender or PQQ, visit: http://www.TenderWriting.com or read Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses which can be found on Amazon and other major book sites.This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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Writing Your Tender When you are lucky enough to be asked to write a proposal for a project or you find a RFP (Request For Proposal) that you would like to complete a tender for, it can be both worrying and exciting. Of course if you win the bid then your companys turnover and hopefully profit will increase. So how do your write your tender?First of all you need to be very organised and have your information all to hand. Completing a tender to a deadline can be difficult so you need to plan well ahead. So if you are thinking of going into writing tenders, you need to get together some standard information. This will include details about your:* Company.* Products and services.* Standard replies such as health & safety, green polices, equal opportunities etc.* References and reference sites.* Samples.* Brochures etc.The next step is to read the RFP through several times so that you obtain a good understanding of what your potential customer requires. Gaining this understanding at the start of the tender writing will save a lot of time later and gives you a better chance at winning the bid.Now make sure that your company can actually complete the required project and make a profit. You may need to consult with various members of your company to see that the resources and staff will be available should you win the bid.Next gather all the information that has been requested. For new information you can allocate this work to members of your team. Be sure to let them know when the information is required to be completed.As you put the tender together you should also be pricing each element in your pricing model. This can be a simple thing such as a spreadsheet or a more complex item in your own software. Remember to include such items as delivery, tax etc. You should also build in a profit element. Lastly look over your tender to ensure that you have included everything that has been asked for and answered all the questions fully and correctly. Lastly check your price to make sure that it is reasonable. If you have some knowledge of what your competitors may be doing now is the time to use it to ensure that you have a winning tender.Read through your tender one more time and ask someone else to do so as well. Check for spelling and grammar as well as general presentation.Now your tender is ready to be sent off. If you find all of the above too much for your company, there are several very good tender writers available on the internet it might be a good idea to hire one of them.————————————————-
Copyright 2010 Biz Guru LtdLee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides advice and assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert.If you would like more help and assistance in writing your tender or PQQ, visit: www.TenderWriting.com or read Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses which can be found on Amazon and other major book sites.This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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Writing Tenders The Easy WayAre you confused about the entire process of writing tenders? You are not alone in this because there are many misconceptions about the entire process of tender writing. The bottom line is that your lack of knowledge of how to do bid writing could cost you a lucrative contract for new work. This is not something that you should risk considering that competition has become very cutthroat these days.The process of writing tenders is a very complex one, but it is possible to do it correctly if you have the right inputs and you are willing to put in some effort. At the very outset, you have to find out all you can about the potential client and about the potential contract. You should also survey your competition. This will enable you to have a clear picture of what the playing field looks like. It will also help you to customise your offer when you are writing your tender or bid.You have to keep a few things in mind when you begin the process of writing proposals and filling out Pre Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs). It is very important that your proposal writing be done from the perspective of your ability to satisfy the client’s requirements. Your client is only interested in your companys abilities if they can be employed to complete their project in time. You should therefore take great pains to weed out all information that is not relevant to a particular client and to that clients contract. Writing about skills, experience and an infrastructure that are not relevant to the work at hand will only weaken your case as it makes you seem unfocussed.When you are writing tenders, you should go through all the questions that the client has asked and ensure that you provide apt answers to each of them. However, you should also try to include benefits of using your service that the client has not asked for. You will be at a definite advantage over your many competitors if you can indicate that you will be able to satisfy all the clients needs plus more.It goes without saying that your writing style is very important. Bad grammar and spelling errors are sure to overshadow the fact that you are amply qualified to do the work required by the client. This is because it indicates that you do not provide sufficient attention to detail especially when the task is as important as attempting to win a lucrative contract. Your tender should also be very easy to read and should employ only simple language in a clear and concise style.If you are still confused about the process of writing tenders or unsure about your abilities, you should get bid training so that you can grab all available opportunities. You could also employ a company that specialises in this work to take on the entire responsibility of tender writing. This will ensure that you do not miss out on any opportunities and it will also free up a great deal of your time for other work.————————————————-
Copyright 2010 Biz Guru LtdLee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert.If you would like more help and assistance in writing your tender or PQQ, visit: http://www.TenderWriting.com or read Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses which can be found on Amazon and other major book sites.This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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Correctly Written Tenders Are The Key to Building Your BusinessWe live in a world that is filled with competition. There are plenty of business opportunities available to a company that has certain skills and resources but there is also fearsome competition for these openings. Government contracts tend to be very desirable both because they are lucrative and also because they are long lasting. Most government contracts are awarded on the basis of winning a tender. This process helps to weed out a great proportion of the applicants, leaving only those companies that are qualified to do the work. Therefore, the key to winning these contracts is writing tenders correctly.There are many companies that do not pay sufficient attention to proposal writing as a result of which they are summarily eliminated from the list of contenders. Similarly, there are companies that do not fill out the Pre Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) correctly and they too are not invited to make a bid. The need to be very precise while writing tenders is paramount.You will certainly have to put in a great deal of effort while writing proposals, especially if you are new to this process. You will require to go over the tender document many times in order to be assured that you have put in all the details and that you have presented your company in the most favourable light. You will have to explain how you will manage the project and what benefits hiring you will offer the client. Most companies usually have managers put aside a lot of time in order to fine tune the offering so that they retain the best possible chance to be awarded the tender. The only way that you will win your first government contract is if you work really hard on the tender writing process. You can use this experience to make your subsequent applications for further contracts a little easier. However, you have to be warned that the process of writing bids is always going to be time consuming. The managers in your company who are associated with this process will necessarily have to spend a lot of time in order to ensure the effectiveness of the tenders.Many companies have found an easy way out in the form of tender writing consultants who take on the responsibility of writing tenders for you. These consultants have the required experience of applying for government contracts and will ensure that all paperwork is done correctly and without delay. Not only will this save you a great deal of time, you will also be able to improve your chances of success in getting the contract. Apart from getting consultants to help you with writing contracts, you could also request bid writing training. Bid writing consultants are usually available at very affordable rates and they will put in a lot of effort to customise your tender documents. These services will greatly assist you in your endeavour to take your business to new heights by winning those profitable and long lasting government contracts. ————————————————-
Copyright 2010 Biz Guru LtdLee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert. If you would like assistance in writing your tender or PQQ, visit: http://www.TenderWriting.com or read Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses which can be found on Amazon.This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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Writing A Tender In A RecessionWhen writing a tender during a recession, you will find that price and what you are prepared to offer at a rock bottom price will be key to you winning a tender. So how do you get your price as low as possible, whilst still making a profit and just as important, keeping your customer happy?First of all check what percentage of the tender evaluation you will earn for the price. If it is less than 40% you need to concentrate on what you will be providing within the bid. Remember, that in a recession, money is tight and cash flow even tighter and hence the company will always look at the price at the same time, however many evaluation points they will award. So pay particular attention to your pricing. Par your bid down to the lowest workable options so that your price is as low as you can feasibly make it.All the way through your tender you should be concentrating on the benefits that you will be bringing to the new company, how it will expand their business and how you will teach their staff as you work with them. In recessionary times, companies will be looking to obtain as many benefits as possible on their limited budget.In a recessionary time the following points are particularly important:* The company will have cash flow at the forefront of their mind, so set up your payment requests to meet this need.* They will want as much as possible for as little as possible, now more than ever bang for bucks is important.* Emphasise how little you will disrupt their current trading, as you implement the project. This will keep them happy that they will not lose income and cash flow whilst you are working on their new project.Lastly remember that the recession will not last for ever and if you are preparing a tender that will last longer that a year, build in some extras that can be taken at a later date. Show how easy and cost effective it will be to upgrade and how this will assist an expanding business. Concentrate on building a relationship with your new client that will last much longer than the recession will.In summary, ensure that you have priced your proposal well and indicate what kind of benefits that working with your company will bring. Concentrate on doing a good job for the client and build in some enhancements for when money is not so tight. ————————————————-
Copyright 2010 Biz Guru LtdLee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides advice and assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert.If you would like more help and assistance in tendering for work then visit: http://www.TenderWriting.com or read Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses which can be found on Amazon and other major book sites.This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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When You Need A Professional Tender WriterIf you are finding getting new business tough and are not sure what you need to do to win new business. If you are writing tenders but never winning that new project you need a professional tender writer to help you win new clients.You many think that you can write your own tenders, but as in all things in business it takes experience and skills to undertake tasks quickly and more efficiently. Who would you want to depend upon for your next customer someone who rarely won a bid or that professional bid writer who has written hundreds of previous bids and won a high proportion of them?A good professional proposal writer will understand what the owner of the Request For Proposal (RFP) is seeking and understand how to present your business and products to meet these needs. They will know how to design your proposal, what to put in and what to leave out. If you give them details of why you have lost tenders in the past, then they will ensure that you never do that again whilst they are writing your tenders.So, wont this be an expensive service? Not always, a good professional tender writer will work quickly and efficiently and will have a database of information and standard documentation that they can use. It is always quicker to write a proposal if you have done it hundreds of times before. A good proposal writer will provide you with a fixed price for the job as, after reading your RFP, they will quickly understand how complex it is and how long it will take to write your proposal. This does not mean that you can abdicate all responsibility for your tender. You will still have to provide information about your business, products, services etc as well as guidance as to how you want to proceed with your proposal. This is usually achieved via interviews with your relevant staff, either by telephone on in person.Your chosen proposal writer will usually leave the pricing to you this is because it is a business decision best left to those that know their market. They will of course offer suggestions as to how to price your bid.So how do you find your bidding partner? The nature of the work means that most professional tender writers and web based and that tender writing is undertaken remotely. So searching for a good professional tender writer on the internet is probably the best place to start.Look at their experience and references. See what kind of services they undertake. Talk to them and show them your RFP. Time is always of the essence in tendering and bidding so ascertain that they have the time to write your tender. Ask them for a fixed price to prepare your proposal and talk to them over the phone.When you have found your professional tender writer, be prepared to provide them with all the information that they need as quickly as you possibly can. Your proposal writer should provide you with parts of your proposal that they have written on a frequent basis. If this does not happen then chase them up quickly, but if you choose a good professional tender writer they will be the one chasing you. Good luck with winning your next tender.————————————————-
Copyright 2010 Biz Guru LtdLee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides advice and assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert.If you would like more help and assistance in tendering for work then visit: www.TenderWriting.com or read Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses which can be found on Amazon and other major book sites.This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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What Makes a Winning Tender Writer?A tender is a formal invitation to bid for a project. A good tender writer is a joy to find, a great tender writer will repay their fee or salary with increases in a company’s profits and turnover. The proposal writer you choose should be a great writer who can present your company in the best possible manner in perfect written language and graphics.There are many bid writing companies and few really good ones. There are also sites where you can place details of what you are seeking and receive bids from potential tender writers.When choosing your potential bid, proposal or tender writer you need to first check the quality of their writing. Is it perfect and well thought out? No on wants a rushed cookie cutter proposal. Does the writer understand your market? IT is different to oil or health and government bids are different from charity bids or profitable bids.Has your proposal writer a record of winning bids? No one gets 100% as there are so many different factors that come into effect that are outside of the tender writer’s control such as pricing. Can you take references from happy clients and most importantly do they seem to know what they are talking about. No tender writer will give you an example of a tender they have written you want yours kept secret after all. They will give you examples of their writing if you request this.After you have chosen your tender writer, be guided by them. First of all give them details of the RFP the formal document asking you to bid for the project. Tell them the timescale and formalise their responsibilities in the matter. A good tender writer will then give you a list of information that they require from you. They will not know the inner workings of your company, the solution you want to provide or your budget. They WILL be able to put this information together into a great proposal for you.Set into effect a regular update procedure but do not harass your writer. Do you want them writing or answering silly questions? Be guided by their skills and answer their questions promptly. Expect regular updates and requests that what they have written for you is correct. Also expect to be amazed at how they can project the image of your company so positively.If you find a great tender writer, look after them. After all they will be helping your company prosper and grow.————————————————- Copyright 2015 Biz Guru LtdLee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert. If you would like assistance in writing your tender or PQQ, visit: http://www.TenderWriting.com or read Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses which can be found on Amazon.This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached. ————————————————-