Saturday, March 11, 2017

How To Do B2B Sales, Do U Even Sell Bro?







Written by Nate Pilate | Mortgage Banker | Hightech Lending | Corporate Sales Trainer | B2b Sales Expert


B2B Sales - what you need to know!


Ahhh, what a beautiful Sunday, am I right folks? I’ve got a little story for you before we get our grubby, shifty, salesmen paws on the wealth of golden sales tips nuggets you’ll find in the article below...

I’d just gotten back home from my bi-annual visit to church, for those of you that know me well, this may sound uncharacteristic of me, but there is a method to this apparent madness, I make sure to poke my head into the house of the man upstairs just in case I am wrong about him not existing! 

Also, I wanted to visit my Sister, Brother-In-Law, and superdashingamazingsmart baby niece - mission accomplished.


I returned home early in the afternoon to start the rest of my Sunday tasks: laundry, groceries, and riffing over the phone with a notoriously skilled fellow salesman.


I paced back in front of my apartment building in Sherman Oaks, doing two of my favorite things: smoking a cigarette and arguing with my best friend and confidante: Jon Arpon, or as you know him, Jon The Mortgage Banker.


We were going back and forth on ideas for shoots with my resurging Production Company, Pilate Media Group. Jon asked me a question that for some reason I have trouble answering: 

Nate, what can you teach people that no one can teach better than you? After a long pause and a nice hearty drag from my cigarette, which added a few free radicals to my bloodstream which will almost certainly develop into lung cancer some day, I gave up: “I don’t know bro.. 


Oh I know!



"Communication Techniques?” (Yeah, right.) “NO! Business To Business sales!!” Suddenly it felt like I had been smacked in the head by the heavy hand of God Emperor Trump himself: OF COURSE!


How Could I have not thought about that?



How could this have eluded me? Over the past seven years of my professional life, I’ve done B2B sales at varying capacities, and performed exceedingly well. 

From being on the phones cold-calling and hard-closing to training large organizations of knobbly-kneed newbies to close CEOs and Presidents of multi-national corporations - I forgot that I am good at B2B sales! Well, I must be at least A LITTLE BIT GOOD -


I've got 8 years of experience in that!



It’s how I’ve fed myself over the years, and judging by my manboobs and the pudgy mass of what used to be a six-pack... I must be FAIRLY DECENT! *This is a joke, I’m in immaculate shape... I have a sixpack on my calves, FYI*


Then Jon issued a challenge: “Bro - don’t think too hard about this: write me an article on the basics of B2B sales - do it in 30 minutes.”

 My attention was elsewhere: I blew a smoke ring as an especially shapely blonde jogger girl passed me on the sidewalk; my simple and easily-distracted man-brain slowed everything down to 48 frames per second as I ogled after her, whispering to myself: 

“I love Sherman Oaks...” Then Jon’s voice recentered my focus: “So you gonna write me the article or what, bro?” I replied: “Why should I?” 


He went in for the kill!


Then Jon went for the jugular with the perfect close... “Well... I just thought we were friends...”


LOL


Once again, the master closer Jon The Mortgage Banker convinced me to write yet ANOTHER article... this time in 30 minutes! So here it is...


3 TIPS FOR B2B Sales



So, Mr. Bigtime, you want to do Business To Business sales, do ya? Tired of dealing with the average Joe? 

Want to up the ante and take on the fat cats? Well, to be quite honest, the same fundamentals apply to B2C and B2B sales, but there are some major pluses to working with companies versus individuals, despite the sales process possibly having more moving parts and being a bit lengthier (depending on the product/service you’re selling). 

Here are a few:

No Time Wasted - These guys won’t waste your time - if they’re not interested, they will tell you right off the bat, versus playing “hide and seek” for weeks on end with no answer. Owners of companies are less likely to join what I call the

“Witness Protection Program”

High Integrity - The integrity of the business owner, I find, varies by the size of the company. 


A sole proprietor is more likely to shine you on than an owner with a staff of 30. Why? Who knows, don’t ask me. The point is: generally, you can trust that these guys will get something done if they say they will.




1. BE COURTEOUS, Yet Concise - YOU ARE NOT A TELEMARKETER



One big deterrent to those early on in the game of B2B: Dealing with Gatekeepers! 

I was very fortunate early on to have amazing mentors that gave me extremely good practices in dealing with gatekeepers: the guys who trained me where slick! 

Well, they had to be - we were a no-name firm that had to play rope-a-dope with gatekeepers just to get the decision makers on the line. 

It wasn’t until a bit later in my B2B career that I didn’t have to rely on the slick practices just to get out a pitch, yet it helped tremendously to start off with such a challenge.



Here are a few tips that will help you be an absolute mackdaddy with the gatekeeper.



Tell them right off the bat why you’re calling, keep it clear, keep it concise. Be cordial. In larger companies, some of these “gatekeepers” may actually have a hand to play in the decision-making process.

 Provided the product/service you are offering has real value, there is no reason to play cloak and dagger with the gatekeeper. 

reat them as if they are as important as the owner. Assuming this is a multi-call close, you’ll definitely be doing yourself justice if you catch their name - remember it!


“I NEED” 


Hey Barbara, this is Nate at CitiCorp - I need Jim. If this doesn’t get you in immediately, they will ask for more details, of course! Don’t be afraid - give them a clear and concise answer, but with very few exceptions: 


DO NOT PITCH THE GATEKEEPER!


If leaving a callback message, DO NOT LEAVE IT OPEN FOR MORE QUESTIONS: “Let him know it’s Nate at CitiCorp, I need to talk to him about ____, my direct line is 555-555-5555 - if you could pass that along to Jim, that’d be much appreciated - thank you so much Barbara!” Done.


It is the gatekeeper’s job to weed out salesmen and throw them in the trashcan before you get the chance to waste the time of the owner. Period. They are there to sort who is important and who is not.


2. BE BOLD - YOU ARE NOT LESSER THAN THEM


Working with PayPal, I single-handedly managed a record-breaking salesfloor of 30+ agents, with varying levels of sales experience (mostly zero b2b experience). 

PayPal was by far the “easiest” B2B sale I’ve yet come across: It’s a household name synonymous with “security,” our product (for businesses) was a life-saver, and during no part of the sales process were my agents required to ask for any credit card info (lucky them!)


Despite all of these advantages, my agents would often be intimidated by the size of a company, as one of the steps of the sales process is to get a good long look at a company’s financials to determine whether or not we would be able to save them any money in taking over their credit card processing. 

On the larger companies, anyone pulling in over $1MM/year, I generally would take over the sale if instructed by upper management, due to the complexity of larger deals to ensure that they closed properly.

Sometimes I would take over a deal if it sounded to me the agent was losing control - the owner stepping all over them, shining them on, etc. - it was a great deal for my agents because they would still get the full credit/commission. 

Sometimes when I took over one of their deals if I felt like it was going south, my agents would give me the “deer in the headlights” look when they saw my demeanor in talking to the owner. 

Not that I was disrespectful - not in the least, but I was seemingly cavalier, yet authoritative.

You can’t be afraid to “throw your weight around” a little - especially if your product/service is of high value. It was easy with PayPal - taking over their credit card processing, we would save some companies over $100k+/year - more than enough reason to be confident when talking to the owner of a large company.



Ease Up a Little


It took a while until I got to the point of confidence to be able to “let my collar loose” with B2B sales. 

For me it was a revelation to have the freedom and confidence to use my natural sense of humor (within reasonable bounds) - it’s fun to be “human” with people over the phone. 

You don’t need to be a talking head (think pez-dispenser) shooting off all the latest industry jargon to your prospect in hopes to sound hyper-intelligent; often, you pigeonhole yourself into rigidity for the rest of your communication with the prospect - it becomes a cold transaction. 

If you get to know a given industry well enough, make some “inside jokes” with them. For instance, I’ve worked with a lot of people in the construction business on the east coast - a common joke among contractors may be how many young guys were running around doing shoddy work making their whole industry look bad! 

If you have enough rapport, you can even talk politics with these guys - you may be playing with fire here, so be careful! In recent times, especially since the election, I’ve had many clients go on and on about how much they love what Donald Trump has done to loosen regulations on their business - music to my right-wing ears!


3. BE TRANSPARENT - YOU ARE NOT A SNAKE OIL SALESMAN



In B2B Sales, integrity is of paramount importance... DUH! Business owners are better at dealing with and defending against scammers, grifters, hustlers, and all varieties of back-slidin,’ side-ways-dealin’ tricksters than any other type of prospect I’ve dealt with. 

To those of you that work for a company with a less-than-stellar reputation, this may be an off-putting idea; I can’t help you there. 

However, if you are fortunate enough to work for a company that is an upstanding member of the “telling-the-truth club,” you’ve got a great benefit working in your favor: credibility.
This tip is especially important if you are dealing with a company’s financial information. Eliminate skepticism right out of the gate, get right out in front of it - there’s no reason you should be anonymous. 

In your email signature (if your company allows this), upload your most professional picture with your most starched collar and gaudy floral pattern on your cuffs - something that tells the client: I’m here to help you boost your sales, and if you want to thank me with a few drinks afterward - I’m the best wingman you’ll come across in these parts!


Conclusion



Well, in closing - this article is incomplete - Jon’s challenge was to write this article in 30 minutes, and my time is almost up so, forgive me for an incomplete article. 

In truth, I could go on and on about B2B sales, as it has thus far been a more enriching realm of sales than B2C in my humble and handsome opinion.


I hope Jon Arpon never asks me to write an article again - I don’t want to share these tips to help anyone else, I want you all to fail miserably and get out of the sales game so I can make more money. 

Just kidding - have fun out there! Be transparent, be courteous, be bold - and above all, give these people something of value!



I hope you enjoyed, reading this article. My name's Jon and I specialize in writing about current events, the wonderful world of mortgage banking and life in general. If you have any questions or maybe even featured on my articles feel free to reach out. By the way if anyone you know is looking to refinance or needs a reverse mortgage send them my way my friends! If you have any questions feel free to send me a message on LinkedInFacebook, or Instagram.




This is how I feel about Donald Trump and Duterte being my presidents!
5 signs you are an emotionally intelligent individual


Jon Arpon "Orange Countys Premier Mortgage Banker."


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