Monthly Archives: September 2011

Four leaf clover Change caused by today’s pain or tomorrow’s expectations create sales opportunities. It’s up to you to either choose to seize that opportunity or to let the opportunity pass. One of the choices is correct.

Jim Collins and Morten Hansen wrote a very interesting article in the NY Times . They focused on the entrepreneur, that person who creates an incredibly successful company.

My focus is on the salesperson that creates his/her sales luck by making the right choice to either seize or pass on the trigger event. Successful salespeople create their own sales luck by applying three steps in their work with customers and prospects:

1. Seeing the opportunity: they are always on the lookout for trigger events. Trigger event is a significant change within an industry or company that is likely to require a new strategy and/or new tactics. A trigger event would include the departure and/or arrival of a key executive, or the acquisition of the company or the spinoff of the division. An excellent book on this topic was written by Craig Elias called .

2. Assessing the opportunity: it’s important to quickly determine if this trigger event has created a new opportunity for you or perhaps for your competition. If the account is already customer you’ll find it a bit easier to gather information on the implication of the trigger event. It’s important that you start by asking your contact (s) how the trigger event will impact them – their career. Then ask them him about the impact on their role and responsibility, their department and division and ultimately the company.

3. Developing and Implementing a game plan including testing the plan and making adjustments while pursuing the new opportunity. With the initial assessment completed in step two develop a plan for leveraging the trigger event. For example let’s say that you sell a service or product and your key buyer is the VP of Sales. If the company announced that they hired a new VP of Sales you would want to react to that change immediately. Some of those immediate reactions include finding out why the recently departed VP left the company. You also find out about the new VP of Sales including their career and who is worked for them. One tool that can help you in this process is Linkedin. Is a member of LinkedIn you’ll be able to see their profile which typically includes where they’ve worked among other things, here’s my .

Another example, – passing on a trigger event might be the right choice. Let’s say you sell a product or service and your key buyer is the VP of Research and Development. If the company announced that they just hired a new VP of Sales you would probably not react to that change, unless you knew the VP of Sales held some unusual influence over R&D strategy and/or tactics.

What have you done to create your own sales luck?

Photo credit: kaibara

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Now that you’ve finished your industry analysis, it’s time to focus on a specific company within that industry. Let’s look at Tyco International. The company comprises five businesses:

  • Security products and services, of which ADT is the most prominent brand,
  • Fire protection products and services,
  • Flow control technology
  • Safety products
  • and electronics and metal products.

I need to perform an analysis of each business to create an overall analysis of Tyco International.

The first phase of this analysis includes researching, documenting and analyzing information from a variety of sources. Besides Hoover’s, the company’s Web site is usually the best single source of information. Look for financial presentations, which can usually be found under the Investor Relations or Newsroom tabs.

A financial presentation to the investment community is valuable because it provides concise information on the company’s:

  • High-level objectives
  • Revenues and net earnings
  • Other important metrics
  • Company strengths and weaknesses
  • Corporate strategy
  • Critical success factors (CSFs)
  • Key executives
  • Plans

Next I use the Nine Elements of Knowing Your Customer (9EKYC) model to help me analyze this information. Using this model ensures that I examine every important aspect of my prospect’s or customer’s situation. This in turn enables me to identify potential sales opportunities for my business that will:

  • closely align with my prospect’s strategy.
  • greatly increase the probability of short-term success and long-term sustainability.
  • easily be implemented and have staying power.
  • convincingly deliver results with the highest possible return on investment.
  • effectively demonstrate to my prospect that I can serve as a trusted advisor.

View my analysis of Tyco International.

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