Competitive Selling: Out-Plan, Out-Think, and Out-Sell to Win Every Time
by Landy Chase, founder of Landy Chase Incorporated
A book review by Danny Rosin
Out-plan. Out-think. Out-sell. Powerful words are emblazoned on Landy Chase’s book, “Competitive Selling.” With a title like that, how could a salesperson not feel compelled to at least read a few pages? I did, and having put what he preaches into action, we are winning more deals, albeit learning some hard lessons along the way.
Want to learn the tricks of how to beat your competition and retain crucial margin integrity? In what truly is a new business climate, selling styles must adapt to the market’s condition. In fact, selling right now is downright hard! It takes a lot more thought and strategy. It takes networking skills, vision, and patience.
In our office, we have a saying, “Prepare and Prevent rather than Repair and Repent.” This is easy when said aloud but to make this mantra actionable, it takes a plan. Chase’s book will help you with a time-tested plan; his easy to understand AND executable step-by-step process truly should help you close more business. Beyond that, you get to look like a pro and act like a predator along the way.
So, what is it that is in his secret sauce? Without giving too much away, here are a few bright-line takeaways that are helping my company:
a. Identify key players/inner circle, conduct needs analysis and access the person who controls decisions,
b. Be able to persuasively demonstrate what you have in terms of value,
c. Drive the meeting with effective/enjoyable presentations and agendas,
d. Research the hell out of your prospect and ask really good questions and let them elaborate,
e. Recognize and address the “games people play” in bid situations,
f. Do not proceed with a proposal until you are able to meet with everyone, 1:1, who has a vested interest in the outcome, and
g. Do not build a proposal around the given budget. Build a solution around the needs of the customer. Give two proposals – one with budget and one based on needs of the client.
Along these lines, RFPs (Request for Proposals) are a sales activity that can offer exciting business potential because it may reward you with significant new business generation. However, they often act as the biggest ‘resource suck’ in your company. Spending time and energy on an RFP often ends up as a letdown, because you did not do your homework in advance of the RFP and failed to offer a solid proposal to the customer. Often risky, most organizations abhor them despite the fact that RFPs are the gatekeepers to winning the bigger deals for your company.
The book comes with some suggestions that are a bit too cheesy for my taste, like the personal bio sheet with mug shot and list of credentials – I see that as a possible turn-off for some decision makers. But overall, Chase identifies and understands the host of personalities involved in a decision-making process, and he shows you best the approach for each.
My recommendation to you, after reading Chase’s book, is to make the necessary changes in your plan to garner new business, so your company can be high-fiving rather than passing around the Kleenex(R).
Danny Rosin is the President of Brand Fuel, a full-service promotional products agency that helps its clients elevate their brand. Brand Fuel is consecutively listed in the Top 100 Promotional Agencies (out of 26,000), and is also recognized in the top 2% of the industry in revenues. Rosin's responsibilities include managing sales and marketing, employee recruitment, and providing tactical counsel to clients.
Outside of Brand Fuel, Rosin is President and co-founder of Band Together, a 100% volunteer organization that raises funds and awareness for local charities through live concert events.