Coaster Vision – More Sales for All of Us (Guaranteed)! – By Dean R. DeLisle
Coaster Vision is a concept discussed many years back when I was working with some professional service firms on partner sales. This process, when kept simple and used consciously, can always guarantee deeper relationships and an increase in sales.
I wanted to explain to the partners that they MUST
continuously be conscious about selling and also wanted them to be aware of the time they spent selling and to whom. I could see that my new sales language perplexed them. We were gathered in their boardroom at the time and looking around, all that I could find to demonstrate my example was the laminated oak coasters used to protect their finely polished table.
Taking the first coaster, I placed it at the base of the table right in front of me and began my explanation. You see, this is our first discussion, maybe our first meeting. We must understand what lies beyond this first deal or discussion to help us appreciate the value of this relationship. This is done with a series of Power Questions (discussed in May article). Once you begin asking the right Power Questions you can now discover if any business should be conducted or if there is further value in this relationship. They were a little taken back, and then I proceeded.
Removing the rest of the coasters from the solid oak holder on the credenza, I laid them out so they almost looked like petals on a flower. You must develop a sense of "Coaster Vision", and use this new skill of Power Questions to see beyond the initial meeting and even beyond the initial deal, to make sure there is enough value in the relationship. Once you have established this vision you can better comprehend the entire value of this relationship and determine if you should proceed. Otherwise, you will be meeting with vendors who will want to steel your time or customers, who don't value your expertise and are just looking for free consulting. You deserve to have customers who want to partner and create successful, valuable relationships that will continue to bring sales and referrals for years to come.
Then (very next most important step) once the first deal is won and the first project is approaching a close, you always begin connecting the dots to the next "Coaster" (deal). If you were able to see that deal before you started the engagement, then it should be even clearer once you're working with them.
In your next meeting, see if you have the "Coaster Vision" or will it just be a "many-meeting" one-order close?