In search of new clients? Looking for a sure fire way to get your team tightly focused on penetrating and selling to new clients? Try out this unique 3-step formula for rapid results.
When searching for ideas around client penetration, it is very tempting to jump into action. After all, there is a lot to be done. Research. Contacts. Networking. Presenting. Everyone is hot to get into gear. This is an important and admirable urge. But before you and your team dash off, stop. First, gather together and brainstorm your plan of action.
Gather your team together for a mission. You may want to title your client-attracting mission like the classic television show, “Mission Impossible.”
Whenever doing this with sales teams, participants often start off jumpy and anxious. Many are nervous about taking time away from accounts and out of the office. This should only remind everyone of the importance of giving this exercise full attention and total participation.
Here’s the formula. By the way you can use this for different phases of selling: account penetration, account expansion, as well as a single aspect of a sale.
Step 1. Involve
Ask all participants to write down as much information as possible. When dealing with account penetration, jot down any information about an account that they are finding hard to penetrate. When focusing on a single aspect of a sale, adjust the question.
Step 2. Assign Roles
Divide the team into specific sub-teams. Most often, four people will form each Mission Impossible Teams. Modeling the television program, assign each person a role. You may want to create icons, nametags, and props to assist in recreating the environment.
The roles include:
A: The mission leader is in charge of the account. He or she facilitates discussion, guiding brainstorming amongst the team. The leader also captures ideas on paper, flipcharts or a whiteboard. This person will also be responsible to prepare an action plan following the exercise.
B: The investigator gathers research and background information on the team. He or she may provide insights such as providing sources of information, informational interviews, and cross team research.
C: The Safecracker develops ideas and strategies to unlock the door to the ultimate decision maker. This may include strategies for presentations, proposals, meetings, phone calls or other communications. He or she is responsible for crafting the exact words and story to be used.
D: The Escape Artist is the strategist to assess potential pitfalls with the plan. He or she must analyze the plan and strategize multiple alternatives.
Step 3. Brainstorm.
Working together as a group, run the brainstorm in rounds. After each timed round, change roles.
First, start out with the Leader providing all available details. Answer pertinent questions for the team. Gather data for 10 minutes.
Next, work out possible strategies individually for 10 minutes.
Present strategies to the group. Start the presentations with the Researcher. Discuss each option and positional alternatives. Record comments and discuss for 20 minutes.
Depending on the scope of the sales initiative, you may do several rounds. Ideally, present several strategy missions to the large group.
By discussing specific accounts, brainstorming strategies, and sharing ideas you are in a stronger position to tackle seemingly ‘impossible’ accounts.
Ready to build your high-impact sales presentation skills? The next time you’re facing a wall, scaling a mountain, or feeling stuck, use this formula. In under an hour, you’ll have fresh ideas and renewed energy to go out and make the ‘impossible’ possible.