Big Picture/ Detail For sales professionals and consultants
Step back and see opportunities Video-byte introducing Levels of Thinking; a useful framework to help you step-back from day-to-day tactics and consider the bigger picture.
My best / Better than you For sales professionals and consultants
Free flowing / Organized For sales professionals and consultants
Feelings/ Facts For sales professionals and consultants
Your needs / My needs For sales professionals and consultants
Trust / Control For sales professionals and consultants
Opportunity / Fear For sales professionals and consultants
Dr Neil Rackham, academic and leading author (SPIN Selling) on sales methodologies, commented as long ago as 2006 that:
“Today, the most dynamic growth opportunities come from divergent offerings. Salespeople following problem-based models often fail to uncover opportunities until very late in the call – if at all.
What is needed is an approach that encourages discussion of opportunities much earlier in the sales process.“
Brainstorming For sales professionals and consultants
Brainstorming is not as easy as many people think. The next time you are asked to brainstorm, watch what happens. More often than not, one person puts out an idea, then the whole group discusses the idea, clarifying it and critiquing it. That is definitely not the way to brainstorm.
Below are some suggested basic rules for good brainstorming. Some are critical, some less so.
Critical for success:
- No critique and very limited explanation. Analysis is death to brainstorming.
- No idea is too crazy.
- Aim for quantity of ideas. Quality comes later.
- Welcome any and every contribution.
- If you are writing on a flipchart, do not re-word ideas. Write it as it was said.
Helpful for success:
- Try to involve everyone – see Idea-Storming.
- Build on ideas to generate energy and excitement.
- Don’t rush the process.
- Adopt different perspectives.
- Guard against cognitive bias.
Idea-Storming For sales professionals and consultants
Idea-Storming is a good way for groups to brainstorm and typically surfaces a large, diverse and inclusive range of views in a very short time.
Contrast Idea-Storming with the all too typical traditional discussion where one person (often the most senior) explains their thoughts.
Then the next person adds their thoughts.
Then the third person critiques and refines.
Then everyone else zones out….
And an hour later the discussion ends with just a few people having contributed (the ones who like their ideas to be heard) and no breakthrough.
It works like this:
- Given a topic, each person is given 3 minutes to note down their thoughts on that topic.
- They then share those views with one other person and combine their thoughts. Again 3 minutes max.
- Optionally, these views are then discussed within a small group of 4-6 and a prioritised list of views is produced. 5 minutes allowed.
- These views are shared with the whole, larger groups.
Thus, within 6-11 minutes a prioritized list of views is produced that includes the input of the whole group.
Idea-Storming relies on the numbers present in the whole-group to surface the broad-range of ideas that otherwise would take much longer to arrive at.
Idea-Storming also limits the potential for one or more individuals to dominate and for people to disengage.