Interview with B2B Sales Leader Jill Konrath


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I caught up with Jill Konrath last month and interviewed her about her book, Snap Selling. Snap Selling follows Jill’s book, Selling to Big Companies, which has been an Amazon Top 25 sales book for 4 years running. In 2008, Fortune selected it as one of eight “must read” sales books, along with classics such as How to Win Friends & Influence People, The New Strategic Selling and Getting to Yes.

Jill is a leading sales strategist … a thought leader in B2B sales … an in-demand sales speaker who provides much needed wake-up calls to sales organizations. I hope you enjoy her answers to my questions about her book.

Why did you write SNAP Selling?

Jill Konrath

I believe that we’re in the midst of a fundamental shift regarding what it takes to be successful in sales. And, there are literally no sales books out there that address this topic.

It’s caused by a combination of factors. Most important is this “crazy-busy” issue. Today’s prospects zealously guard their time; it’s their most precious commodity. Every time they encounter a seller, they run through a mental checklist to determine if they should continue or end the conversation.

Unfortunately, most sellers don’t know how their prospects are thinking and haven’t adjusted their sales approach accordingly. Nor have they taken into account how their prospects use the internet to search for information about issues, educate themselves on solutions and review feedback on the options.

Tell us about the significance of “frazzled customers” What is going on in the heads of decision makers today?

Most organizations today are running lean-and-mean these days. But they still expect their employees to do more with fewer resources and in shorter timeframes. In short, these poor people are simply overwhelmed.

When people are that crazy-busy, they’re forgetful, demanding, and easily distracted. They have a “net it out” mentality when dealing with sellers. And, they’re quickly dismissive of anyone who doesn’t seem immediately relevant. But sometimes, this overwhelm creates analysis paralysis or causes them to withdraw from contact.

Tell us a little about the “Three Decisions” outlined in your book and the significance of each?

As sellers, it’s imperative that we understand the difference between our prospect’s three primary decisions and our role in each.

1st Decision: Allow Access
Prospects want to keep you out to protect their time. To get your foot in the door, you need to pique their curiosity about the value you can potentially bring to them.

2nd Decision: Initiate Change
Your prospects need to determine if making a change is “worth it.” Your job is to help them assess if the value you can bring is significantly better than the status quo.

3rd Decision: Select Resources
With this decision, your prospects choose from among the numerous options available to them. Your help in differentiating and getting buy-in is critical to your success.

    Most sellers fail to recognize the difference between the 2nd & 3rd Decision. It’s the root cause of much sales problems.

    What do you mean by “SNAP Selling”?

    SNAP is an acronym that stands for 4 key sales success strategies that sellers need to use today. Briefly, they are:

    Rule 1: Keep It Simple. Because crazy-busy prospects cannot handle complexity of any sort, savvy sellers will do whatever it takes to make it easy to make a change from the status quo.

    Rule 2: Be iNvaluable. Overwhelmed buyers want to work with experts who continually bring them fresh ideas. You, the seller, are now the primary differentiator—not your products or services.

    Rule 3: Always Align. This is all about relevance and risk. When you’re aligned with their critical business objectives and core beliefs, people will want to work with you.

    Rule 4: Raise Priorities. It’s an absolute imperative to work with frazzled prospects on their priority projects. With their limited capacity, that’s all they can currently focus on.

    If you were writing Snap Selling over today, what is the first topic you would add?

    I’d add a whole new section to help crazy-busy sellers. I can’t tell you how many salespeople have asked for assistance in this area.

    In one sense, the whole book is about this topic since it focuses on what sellers can do to have maximum impact in everything they do. That’s a core value of mine. But I’d create a whole special section on increasing personal productivity too.

    Republished with author's permission from original post.

    Dan McDade
    Dan McDade founded PointClear in 1997 with the mission to be the first and best company providing prospect development services to business-to-business companies with complex sales processes. He has been instrumental in developing the innovative strategies that drive revenue for PointClear clients nationwide.


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