NTR5: Family Business Growth & Leadership Consultant Bill Prenatt

Navigate the Rapids with Bill Prenatt

Table of Contents

Have you ever wondered why you aren’t selling more, or why you go to some sales calls and the potential client just doesn’t seem to “get it”? Maybe the problem isn’t their mood or the coffee – maybe it’s you!  This week’s broadcast we talk about selling, systems and how to get to “Yes”.  When it comes to understanding how to sell, Bill knows his stuff.

You’ll Learn

  • Common mistakes we make in the sales process
  • How to create a ‘selling system’ that always works
  • Why you shouldn’t try to sell (especially on your first meeting)
  • What your potential customers really want to hear (it’s not about you or your business!)
  • How to get to ‘Yes!’

Links Mentioned in This Episode

About Bill Prenatt

Bill-PrenattBill Prenatt is not your typical consultant. His dynamic, holistic approach combines insights from 40 years of corporate experience with straight shooter, entrepreneurial thinking. In his practice, Bill teaches business owners how to balance family values with big company performance-related systems. Million-dollar sales are second nature to Bill, owner of SIMPLY SUCCESSFUL LLC, consulting company for family businesses, and entrepreneurs, who are seeking explosive profitable growth. His passion for coaching, combined with a strong leadership style, inspires countless others to improve their productivity while creating a balanced life.

Uniquely geared for family business problem solving, he guides the leadership and supports the organization as a true participant in the process. In an immediate time frame, Bill cultivates the setting for real change, the inspiration for continued growth, and the direction for effective results. Family Businesses, that are determined to grow, hire Bill to:

  • Create a new level of professionalism in the management team
  • Establish valuable growth and productivity measurement tools
  • Achieve greater level of individual and collective success
  • Facilitate implementation and accountability of projects and programs
  • Understand how the sales function integrates into each role in the organization
  • Reduce operating costs and increase sales
  • Effectively manage day-to-day activities
  • Implement new systems for increasing productivity and revenue

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Details About the Broadcast

How Bill developed a results oriented reputation in St. Louis small business community

  • Grew up in family business
  • Corporate with Sara Lee and Marriott
  • Locally with large family held regional distributor Allen Foods
  • Purchasing, sales, and operations experience

Coming from larger companies, marketing was done by a marketing department (it’s too complicated and time consuming in small business so they outsource it)

Bill believes this so strongly that he even started a second company called Experts 4 Entrepreneurs so that his marketing would be the best there is.

What Bill learned about the importance of sales processes/systems (vs. random)

  • Explosive growth occurs in a 3 step system with a beginning, middle, and ending: Filling the pipeline, Qualifications discussion/priority setting, and Getting to Yes
  • In the Discovery phase, the first priority should always be the people that know, like, and trust you. These can be existing customers, customers to clients, or raving fans.
  • Second you have the universe of suspects. These are prospects that are unknown to you. You have to decide If you are going to find them or they are going to find you
  • It is important to have a credibility statement so that you can qualify and disqualify prospects without a great deal of effort
  • Once you qualify a prospect, you have to decide if they are an A-B-C priority in terms of your level of interest and prioritization
  • Let’s come back to the third step Getting to Yes in a minute

Common mistakes made in the sales process

  • Lack of preparation – do the math and do your homework
  • Be selective about who you spend time with
  • Talk too much (use a questions library)

Exploring the ‘why’ behind asking questions rather than talking

  • Sales has changed more in the last ten years than in the previous 100
  • Talking and telling doesn’t appeal to today’s relationship-oriented buyers
  • By asking a series of well thought out questions, buyer’s will reveal their motivations

How can we convert our random questioning into a selling system

1. Rather than asking random questions develop a questioning strategy.

  • Strategic Questions — What keeps you up at night? What’s important to you?
  • Tactical Questions – What are you doing to achieve sales increases? How do you know if customers are buying everything from you that they can?
  • Communications Questions – How would you describe your future customers? How much personal interaction is required to get a final buying decision?
  • Competency Questions – Do you have the right people? How do you develop your people

2. Arrange your questions in the most productive order

  • Engage — gain information about what causes your buyer to be passionate or excited
  • Genuine Interest – Ask about challenges/issues related to the prospects business or customers. For example. “I’d like to find out more about how you reach your potential customers”
  • Opportunities – explore the prospects readiness to explore solutions. “How much time could you save if”… “What if there were a way to”…

Getting to Yes. Here are some ideas about best practices to engage prospects and create a decision making environment (not sell or close on them)

  • Establish credibility using a value ladder concept
  • Identify the right buyers/different roles
  • Anticipate and handle resistance
  • Present with benefits (not features)
  • Create small wins and build on the momentum

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