Last night, I attended a networking event hosted by the Atlanta
of SMEI –  Sales and Marketing
Executives International.  


The promised agenda was "How to Make Your Numbers
Before Year End."  

I usually have low expectations for this sort of thing, but
have to relate that I was pleasantly surprised.  

 The moderator Bruce Kopkin led a lively discussion with
three panelists 

                   Jeff Fisher – CEO Partner, HiTech Partners

David Gibson – VP Sales,  Reveille Software

David Riviere – MD, Alvarez and Marsal

 I gleaned the following no-nonsense baker's dozen:  



The current macro-economic environment is all
about execution –  prepare, practice and deliver.

The world has shifted to one where defining your
niche is vitally important.

You have to have a tight cost v. benefit
analysis – payback has to come "in year". Do not try to close business based on
an ROI (nasty acronym) too far into the future.

Think about the financial health of your
prospects and potential customers to see what they might need from you and
where they may be spending money.

CFOs and their direct reports are the key decision-makers
on significant opportunities today.

Be creative and honest. Ask: "What does new
normal look like?"

Be willing to share risk and outcome with your
customers; be prepared to put skin in the game. 

If "partnership" is the context of a
deal, be sure there are agreed upon success metrics on set time periods.

The "value prop" is in buyers eye not
sellers eye; and "Value Prop" as a concept is timeworn, nebulous and
stereotypical. EDITOR'S NOTE – this is a pet peeve of mine.  Can't stand the expression, but that's me. 

10. Make
sure you have a tight demonstration on business value so others (your internal
champions) can sell for you.

11. "Provocative
Selling" is not about being in their face but leaving prospects/buyers with a
strong positive impression of you, your company and your offerings.

12. The
inquisitive sellers are the ones who will do better in this economy.

13. Marketing
and sales should report directly to one individual because they are so

 At first glance, this list may look a little like “Motherhood
and Apple Pie”. 

ApplePie4 You know, sure
these are universal truths of selling for all-time, everyone knows them and loves them

But look at them again and compare your reaction if the
economy was booming rather than the worst in at least a generation.  

At the very least, the above baker’s dozen should cause you
to consider or re-consider your recipe for success.  

Good Selling, and isn't it time for dessert?