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May 2011 Edition   

Founder's Monthly Message



Once a successful CEO said; "Without being genuine, a business will not take off to become successful!".

In my practice, I am privileged to work closely with key decision makers of businesses and observe them in practicing different sales schools of thought in devising sales strategies for either their tangible products or intangible services!.

Among many possibilities, some utilize traditional techniques, some are practicing developed systems by business academia, some have adapted more modern approaches and others have combined old and new techniques!

In mix of practical cases, one interesting fact is that although there is common myth among general public regarding selling a tangible product be much easier than an intangible service, practical every day business cases have not substantiated it. Relevantly, at the same time that selling a tangible product, which may be touched and viewed, inevitably reveals its value easier than an intangible service with no immediate perceived value, the nature of selling either one goes simply beyond these basic differences.

Additionally, in the age of fast paced information technology, although many strive to take advantage of existing media in sending their sales messages across and perhaps dismiss some of the traditional sales approaches, yet practical every day business successes are collectively telling a different story regarding the undeniable values of some of the traditional methods.

Among many unique sales approaches that one may come across, a long time ago, I had the privilege of tagging along a seasoned salesperson and observing the related activities in dealing with complex situations. In doing so, what amazed me the most was that no matter how far we traveled to meet with a prospect or a client, the salesperson hardly ever discussed the actual business and the product in the face to face meeting. Instead, on our way back, the salesperson used to find an offbeat restaurant along the highway and fax the high end prospect or client a handwritten note with possible solutions and the corresponding prices! Yet, the salesperson has always maintained the highest sales!

Now, perhaps the mind-boggling curiosity is whether or not there exists a commonality among all successful sales practices and approaches. Also, there may be a possibility of mastering such technique and benefiting form it. Moreover, perhaps finding an answer to the impact of element of "being genuine" on business success and specially sales?!

In dealing with the issue of effective sales, no matter how much we think that we know, how successful we are at it and somehow consciously or subconsciously dismiss some of the good traditional practices or just follow the crowd and jump on the bandwagon of new emerging media and sporadically practice suggested sales tactics without truly understanding them, we still have a lot to learn!

So, I would certainly hope that the content of this issue sparks the necessary initial thought process in you.
 
Sincerely,

Rahmat Ushaksaraei

t: 416 - 275 - 5543
e:
Rahmat.Ushaksaraei@accrete.ca
w: business support initiative



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In an ever shifting global market, inevitably knowledge of existing business best practices is the key factor for the survival and growth of small and mid-size businesses.

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Sales without Selling!

Without a doubt, in our daily lives we are constantly switching roles between a seller and a buyer and at each role, one is consciously and subconsciously aware of the circumstance. For example, when one tries to encourage someone to go along with an idea, i.e. taking a seller's position, subconsciously and simultaneously he/she thinks and behaves as a buyer. So, one uses the necessary vocabulary, body language and facial expressions that finds acceptable to a buyer. In a reversed situation, when negotiating as a buyer, one consciously knows what a seller may be thinking of or be after, therefore safeguards what is important personally. Now, on a business scale, due to high impact of sales on the overall status of a business, naturally the key decision makers of businesses would need to have a clear understanding of all sales fundamentals and not to suffice to what is being practiced by their businesses.

To date, there is a continual debate among scholars regarding the art or science nature of sales. If we set this fundamental question aside and bypass it to focus on the techniques related to sales, without any prejudice regarding the effectiveness of one over the other, we may be able to categorize the existing techniques as follows:

1- Aggressive
2- Passive
3- Active

1- Aggressive Sales:

It goes without saying that Aggressive Sales is the most common and traditional technique, which has been been preached and practiced for centuries. The essence of such approach is based on persisting on presumed or advertised value of a product and service directly to a buyer until the prospect caves in. In an aggressive sales technique, objective may not necessarily be to find an ideal match between the NEED of a buyer and the actual VALUE that a product or service may offer. Instead, the goal is to lead the dialogue for a buyer to arrive at an emotional state that he/she believes in the presumed and advertised VALUE of a product or service as the only suitable solution in addressing his/her NEED. Additionally, in some cases, building up the guilt factor in a buyer is an added approach. In summary, the common elements within the Aggressive Sales technique are:

a- Repeating of the message
b- Persisting with the case
c- Insisting on the issue

2- Passive Sales:

On the other end of the sales technique spectrum, and totally opposite to the Aggressive Sales, in Passive Sales the NEED of a buyer has been already identified and the seller is totally aware of the degree of VALUE of a product or service, which may be eventually offered, in providing the expected solution set by the buyer. Yet, instead of approaching the buyer and initiating the persuasion process, while consciously remaining on the sideline, the seller has prepared all necessary steps for the buyer to communicate his/her NEED in form of an expression of an interest or at least enquire about the VALUE of product or service.

3- Active Sales:

Compare to the two most extreme techniques of Aggressive and Passive Sales, Active Sales is covering more of the middle ground. At the same time that Active sales technique takes advantage of some positive aspects of both Aggressive Sales, yet it will not go overboard with selling anything to anyone just for the sake of selling it. Simultaneously, at the same that Active Sales understands both NEEDS of a buyer and VALUES of product and service, unlike the Passive Sales technique, it will not sit on the sideline waiting for the sales to happen. On the contrary to Passive Sales, Active Sales proactively pursue an opportunity by consciously respecting the boundaries, which have been set by a buyer.

Pictorially, the relation between the three approaches of Aggressive, Passive and Active Sales techniques are represented as follows:

Aggressive-Active-Passive Sales Techniques
Now, regardless of the Sales technique used, if you have noticed, there is a commonality in all three cases. Specifically, the common ground revolves around two main elements of NEED and VALUE. In essence, without the element of NEED, no matter how valuable a product or service is, it will face difficulty in finding prospects. On the other hand, in case of the existence of a NEED, should a product or service have limitation in providing the required and expected VALUE, its presence in the market will be certainly short lived.

In summary, by reiterating the common fundamental fact that Sales is addressing NEEDS with VALUES , it will only be successful, if and only if, this simple relation is well perceived, respected and adhered to:
Needs+Values=Sales
Now, since this is the first step in the direction of Sales without Selling, the logical questions will be:

i- How would one define the Needs and Values for a target market and industry?
ii- 
How one may know, if the defined Needs and Values are correct and applicable?
iii- Will the method of defining Needs and Values be different from industry to industry, Market to Market, Culture to Culture and even Person to Person?
iv- Will Needs and Values change from time to time or one or both are time independent?
v- Upon defining the Needs and Values, what is the most appropriate sales message?
vi- What are the relations between Need, Message, Value and Prospect?
vii- Is one sales message adequate enough for covering all possibilities or multi versions of a message are required to be developed?
viii- What is the right medium for disseminating a sales message and who is the right messenger?

and many more...So, think about it and let me know your thoughts and views!

By changing the gear, now let's see, if we would be able to analyze the place and impact of being genuine on Sales and its Needs and Values equation.

Considering its meaning of free from hypocrisy or pretense, sincere, where actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character, being genuine is the most valuable foundation of business best practice in general and sales in particular.

To fully perceive the value of being genuine as a catalyst in mastering the art and science of Sales without Selling, just imagine, if the NEED is fully evaluated and understood, the most appropriate VALUE is offered by the presented product or service, Sales Message is fully adapted for the purpose and delivered via the most appropriate Media and the entire process of sales is based on Being Genuine enough to merely offer the VALUE for the NEED! Without a doubt, the possibilities of growth and success will be beyond imagination!
Needs+Values+Genuine=Sales without Selling
If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact me and let's have a chat!


About the author: Rahmat Ushaksaraei is an Accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent Business (IIB), Founder of GeBTL, Global executive Business & Trade Links, the only global top level executives' business platform, Founder of Bio Wood Pellet, representing the North American producers of the wood pellet in the global market, President of the accrete, The Business Excellence Realization , an author, presenter, Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Project Management Professional (PMP), renowned expert in Concept, Project, Process, Quality and Communication Management,  business executive and leadership coach to large corporations, business mentor and advisor to small and mid-size businesses, pioneer of Diamond Total Management (DTM)business excellence model and Human Intelligence Management (HIM)and Human Emotion Realization (HER)methodologies and architect of the valuator™ and evaluator™ business evaluation tools for small and mid-size businesses. Rahmat Ushaksaraei may be reached at: Rahmat.Ushaksaraei@accrete.ca




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