Opportunity / Fear For sales professionals and consultants

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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.“

The power of good questioning Asking a range of questions using SHAPE builds a more complete picture of any situation. SHAPE helps more cautious people to see opportunities and more opportunistic people to see risks.

Video-bytes explaining SHAPE Questioning.

Opportunity and value focused conversations Video-byte and micro-learning introducing Value Sheets. Value Sheets drive a greater focus on uncovering future desired outcomes and the value that results (as opposed to focusing on fixing current problems).

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.

Broaden your view Article (need to write it) introducing PEST analysis and micro-learning to confirm understanding. PEST is a well-known framework, under-utilised in business, that considers multiple macro-environmental factors to stimulate new thinking and new opportunities.

Add some spice to your questions Article to introduce Spicy Questions highlighting the different question types. The seven types of Spicy Question can be very helpful in stimulating the different perspectives that often lead to new opportunities.

Tips on brainstorming Guidance on how to brainstorm effectively – it isn’t as easy as you might think and a poor brainstorming process leads to poor brainstorming.

A better brainstorming approach! Guidance on Idea-storming, a great approach for generating a large, diverse and inclusive range of views in a very short time.