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Anna Baird, City Director | Why Consultancy Is Important To Sales Culture – WNorth -Sales Confidence

Hey everyone so I am a friend of James it’s nice to have that title it’s not just a colleague or a contact but a friend, so thank you James. I am Canadian I will say that upfront because you’ll hear me say things like process and out and I don’t need giggles, I just need you to understand that’s what being Canadian looks like. Lastly I am a consultant, so I say that because sometimes to get the I rule like the you’re a lawyer angry eye role, you’re a consultant what does that mean, I’ll be talking a little bit about being a consultant today, and why I think that’s important to a sales culture.

Everyone might know you know the keep calm and carry on that branding you got on mugs, t-shirts, squeezable toys, for me it’s keep calm and consult; and so I’m gonna unpack a little bit about what people mean when they say know your audience, because to me it’s not as obvious as to what that means.

So firstly this’ll be the only time I mention this I’m not gonna bang on about social selling, I’m not here representing LinkedIn or any other social media business that’s not why I’m here. But I will say if you don’t know what the person looks like that you are going to meet you don’t even know if they’re still in the role that you thought you’re meeting them in you’re already at a disadvantage, so to me first things first knowing your audience means do a little bit of research. The second thing I’ll say and one said this to me a long time ago is don’t thank people for their time, that puts you at a disadvantage on the scale of you’re more important than I am you’re both taking time out of your day, and so for me that opens up a discussion of the power and attitude matrix. Does anyone know that matrix it’s four blocks you don’t know it look it up? It is badass! it’s badass for two reasons: one you actually look at the power the person has that you’re meeting or need to take a decision, and that power typically comes from a title, are they the VP are there a million VP’s on this company how do you know this is the right one this is the budget holder. And then the attitude part and that actually might be fairly common for us to think through but it’s the influence it’s the currency of what these people have that we’re going to meet with do people actually care about what they think? Do people want to buy from them as an example do people want to buy into their ideas? And so knowing your audience to me is knowing how does that person place in the corporate ladder that you’re going to meet with, and that fits nicely into are they actually a decision maker so for IC’s in the room I think one of the most annoying things that managers will ask us is do you have the decision maker is this the person who’s gonna sign the cheque; like we’ve all heard that I think I’ve heard it a million times. And it’s hard to answer that because sometimes it’s a large group of people that aren’t the decision making group sometimes it’s not just one individual, and so I like to rely on two consultancy frameworks which you may or may not know one is rapid; it’s a responsibility accountability I’m sure you don’t know it look it up I’m not going to talk you through all the steps I won’t do it justice and frankly Bane isn’t paying me to talk to you about it. But I love it because it gets you there fast on how what are the inputs what’s the information, who are the people in the process and how can you assign individuality and ultimately that decision-maker to get to your end result.

The other one that isn’t Bane is RACI very similar structure, again a great framework if you’re a salesperson but you want to have that consultative edge and so for me being able to know your audience draws on some of those tools I’ll take a step back which is it’s also knowing the company. And so in my experience being a consultant I always had to know what stock prices looked like of the companies I was going to unless they were private, had they been bought was there a potential for M&A activity can I read their P&L, and so for some of us again IC’s in the room if you’ve gone through an annual report I think that’s awesome, but you should have pushed yourself to get into some of those financials and managers get some financial literacy for your sales team. I cannot be as grateful as I am today to CED for investing CV corporate executive board now bought by Gartner, for investing in that kind of learning for me because that helped me get to the crux of could this company be bought and does this mean that this widget that I’m selling no longer applies to this business and so I’ll tap into financial literacy all this to say there are great frameworks there that you can work with

And then finally and what he’s not making the symbols yet the last thing I would say is know your tool box, and so for me some of that is using executives either in my company or using people in the company I’m going to that I’m selling to to do my selling for me, and as a consultant you do this all the time which is you make up voice of the customer, sorry you use voice of the customer, or you plant someone in the audience to say the message for you and usually for me that’s a friendly someone I can go to and say this is what I’m gonna try and sell in this conversation, what are your reactions? The nice thing about this is you get the immediate angriness or frustration out of the people that are going to challenge you in the room and then the flip side is if you have people in your company executives you can rely on it’s just another voice it’s not this asinine voice for the entire hour 30 minutes it’s using other people’s ability to change up that pace in the conversation. So with that I respectfully ask you to keep calm and consult if you have any questions around any of the frameworks I’ll be around later on.

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