By Tony J. Hughes
- Know precisely the desired outcome.
- Take massive action to achieve the outcome.
- Notice quickly whether the action is working.
- Change the approach as required to attain the outcome.
I would imagine this post will find many a Tony Robbins fan. The above is excerpted from Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within. Applied to strategic sales it’s fairly remarkable how rapidly it can product results. Let’s take quick look at the ramifications of each step on complex B2B selling.
- Is the goal of what we are doing to close the deal, earn commission or to produce transformational results in the client prospect’s business? What’s really your desired outcome? Visualize this clearly in your mind and ensure you have a close plan in place that includes the start gate, how you’ll collaborate with internal stakeholders on your side and you understand the procurement process of the buying organization. At a macro level, take yourself mentally to the end result and play the event sequence back in your mind recalling it to ensure you’ve thoroughly accounted for every step.
- Massive action is a theme we’ve seen with Google 10X moonshots, Grant Cardone’s 10X rule and even Nike ‘just do it.’ Everywhere in natural systems, we see abundance manifested in massive actions, seeds on the win, fish in the great barrier reef, infinite expanses of space energy and stars. You have to balance this with the risk of busy fool syndrome and/or boiling that ocean of greenfield opportunity. So how can you take, laser-focused, effective action? The answer is to think strategically and execute the strategy that will be most effective informed by wisdom of experience, common sense, and a willingness to do an uncommon level of research.
- This is where we start to get feedback in real time from the strategy that we are implementing. In a strategic sale, it’s often high risk and there can be land mines in the deal, frenemies in the account, smiling forces that are secretly aligned with competition. You may take the wrong massive action and trip the wires. Over time, you’ll start to be able to practice pattern recognition and read these signals better. Keep focused on the goal, take massive action and then start to get feedback on what’s working in a single deal or as you look back over your last year of selling.
- Adjusting the approach can take various forms. Perhaps you just keeping going after the CMO and they’ve been totally unresponsive so you leverage a referral to the CEO, or a friend of yours in network is on the board. Perhaps you leverage an InMail or a strategically placed cold call, maybe even a neighborhood technique to call the meeting. Perhaps you’re going to build a consensus to get sponsored up into the account. Maybe it’s generating that one piece of provocative insight based on a trigger event like a new advocate in the account or something a CXO said in the trades. Sellers that win pivot, they adjust, like Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield say they ‘ready, fire and aim.’ It’s important to note you are never 100% in control. Man makes plans, God laughs. You can exert an effective process to provide prediction and give guidance but the obsidian rock of the status quo will break a diamond drill bit. You’re going to have to sufficiently reduce friction via brilliant risk mitigation and cement home communication of a value creation scenario that inspires trust and fosters long term business.
So let’s run one of these complex B2B scenarios through the basic formula:
- Goal: Close a $1,000,000 sale this year.
- Take massive action: Work collaboratively to build out a transformative solution across multiple business units and collaborate with teams on both sides to locate the suite of solutions that will have the greatest impact on the clients business. Work to get the right people in the room in the right sequence, adding value each time, ensuring clients are talking 75% of the time. Massive action could mean getting training this. It could mean reading the top 5 books on strategic selling and applying them. It could mean simplifying your sales process into RSVPselling: •Relationships •Strategy •Value Creation •Process
- Has the account gone cold? Did you land the meeting? Are you tapping into the right insight? Are you getting the signals back that you have a shot at breaking through in this account at the highest level? Are you getting delegated down or is the CXO assembling her generals to meet seriously on the matter? Work with your team to understand the signal flares of desire to be able properly qualify where this account is really sitting and turn off collective happy ears and cognitive bias.
- You’re not going to throw all the paint at the wall and see what sticks. By this time you have a scalable, repeatable sales process, understand the sales cycle, have a thorough SPIN based qualification methodology and have worked to win the technical and business sale. You’ve built out a value hypothesis and proved it out with your client both quantitatively and qualitatively. You’ve set traps for competitors and budget has been opened up to do this. Always focus here on reorienting clients and prospects to the state of full implementation and success. Ultimately they’ll endure quite a bit of a roller coaster to get through all the red tape to have a fully customized CRM system, ERP configuration or new piece of cutting edge software starting to solve problems and create efficiency.
There are probably a million iterations of this four step formula. I will say, if the phone isn’t ringing, there’s no way you’re calling enough clients. If the deals aren’t closing, you aren’t qualifying properly. If you’re not building 5X pipeline, you’re underestimating the level of action required. If your deal size isn’t approach six and seven figures you must work with product marketing on product-market fit but if it can be sold and others on your team are selling a great deal of it, your sales process is most likely broken. Are you listening enough? Are you patiently peeling the onion with Implication and Need Pay-Off questions, what some call Tier 2 and 3 questions. There are many things that can go wrong but with massive action that is applied strategically and the above, most results you seek in life are possible.
Tony has proved anything is possible. Will power may be a myth; one has to establish new habits and routines. Mike Weinberg puts it as, “nobody ever defaulted to prospecting mode.” The daily path of least resistance high ‘easy’ action is just more of the ‘busy fool syndrome.’ Taking a few challenging, hard actions before lunch that take quite a bit of effort and strategic thinking / focus in execution is where the rubber truly meets the road. Crave the challenge and when it gets hard push through with massive focus. Massive action can even be one action with total force of effort and intent.