Business Development Consultant Ron Karr Urges: Create a Sense of Urgency That Motivates Your Customers to Buy
NEEDHAM, Mass., Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — If companies are to survive today, they must convince customers and prospects that their services are not just nice to have, but are a “must have,” says Ron Karr, New Jersey-based motivational sales speaker and author of “Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way.”
That’s the position Karen Cone found herself in at the beginning of the Great Recession when she was President and CEO of TowerGroup, the leading research and advisory services firm focused exclusively on the financial services industry. Having to cut expenses in all areas, her clients were wondering if they truly needed those services. Her competitors were losing clients as well so Cone started working with Ron Karr, who helps companies create high-performance sales cultures. She heard him deliver the keynote address at the CEO Club in Boston. The presentation was based on Karr’s landmark book, “Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way.”
“This was a very challenging time. And as you can imagine, as a firm that focused exclusively on financial services, it was very difficult for us to be able to sell our services to our clients, which were banks, securities and investment firms and insurance companies,” she said. “We needed to change the sales strategy and find a way to deal with clients in crisis. And we needed to communicate and sell our value proposition in a way that was different and more compelling than what had worked before.”
“In other words, we needed to move from being considered a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have,’” she said.
“We both agreed that if your sales force was going to succeed, it had to move from selling a product to selling an end result, where they could raise the importance of the service in the minds of the buyers,” said Karr, a highly sought-after facilitator for strategic sales sessions on behalf of boards of directors and C-Level executives who want to increase market share and eliminate competition.
“We needed an approach and a methodology to get our salespeople to really understand that value is only important in the eyes of the beholder and how do we bridge that gap,” said Cone.
“We came in with these strategies. We did our due diligence in finding out their particular issues and goals. Then we customized a program that we implemented within the organization,” said Karr, an in-demand speaker for CEO groups and other sales-related meetings.
The results were extraordinary.
“Many of our competitors were being cut out all together,” she said. “We actually retained the vast majority of our clients. And we retained them at a level of spend that was extremely respectable.”
“As budgets loosened up, TowerGroup was really well-positioned to take advantage of that,” she said. “These methodologies and approaches made a big difference in helping that happen.”
“I think what’s often missed is the fact that we can all know what to do, and we can even know why we do it but that doesn’t mean that one knows how to do it,” she said. “And here’s where the real challenge occurs. Being a great salesperson doesn’t automatically translate into being a great sales leader and coach.”
They might not be able to teach their sales staffs how to understand a customer-centric viewpoint, understand the different personality types, and get that buyer to buy, she said.
Ron Karr’s groundbreaking book helped show her the way.
“‘Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way’ helped me articulate the ‘how.’ We agreed on the vision. We agreed on what was needed to be accomplished. And we agreed on why it was needed to be accomplished,” she said.
“But that doesn’t mean the sales force knew how to do it. I think it’s important to not just tell the sales force what to do, but to actually work with them. Go through the exercises that are in the book. Go through the role-playing. Understand that one really has to lead a salesperson on how to do this,” she said.
“And I think this is what was the key differentiator for me. ‘Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way’ and the work that Ron Karr did with the sales force was important at TowerGroup because we all bought into the ‘what’ and the ‘why,’ but we struggled with the ‘how.’ And this helped us do the ‘how,’” she said.
“So my advice to my fellow CEOs is take it to the next step, take it to the ability to execute,” she said.
Contact: Ron Karr firstname.lastname@example.org 201.666.7599
SOURCE Ron Karr