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The Three Value Conversations.jpgIn The Three Value Conversations, Erik Peterson, Tim Riesterer, Conrad Smith, and Cheryl Geoffrion present an alternative sales technique. Instead of pushing their products or services, salespeople should have value conversations with their prospects to engage them more effectively. They must do their research, understand their buyers’ business needs, and present solutions that speak to the buyers’ values and interests. For the conversations to be successful, salespeople must differentiate themselves from the competition, justify their solutions, and emphasize the value for themselves and their customers.

According to the authors:

  • Most selling takes place during conversations. While these conversations need to appear casual, in actuality they take careful planning and research.
  • Salespeople must be able to help their customers establish a buying vision by getting customers to do something different.
  • Disrupting the status quo, or showing a buyer that the pain of living with the present situation will be greater than the pain of making a change, is key to a successful value conversation.
  • Discovering buyers’ unconsidered needs–that is, helping buyers identify things they did not already know about their business situations–will enable salespeople to differentiate themselves from the competition.
  • Customers are concerned about business needs; they want to have conversations about solutions to situations caused by external factors and business initiatives.
  • Salespeople must do their research, using available annual reports and earnings statements, to discover trends in prospects’ businesses.
  • Salespeople must be confident enough to achieve pivotal agreements throughout the selling process while conveying the true value of what they have to offer.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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China’s Super ConsumersWith the rapid rise of China’s economy has come a new class of “super consumers” who are ready to assert themselves the way American consumers have over the last century. Already there are more than 500 million online shoppers in China and some 1.5 million millionaires in a country of over 1.2 billion people. This huge population—four times the size of the United States—presents an enormous opportunity for foreign companies, but the long history of China and a language and culture so different from those in Western nations present many pitfalls as well. As Savio Chan and Michael Zakkour explain in China’s Super Consumers, newcomers to the market must take the time to understand Chinese history and culture and the special challenges of doing business in China.

The authors provide the following tips on doing business in China:

  • Companies that want to succeed in China need to understand its historical culture. Group harmony matters more than individual liberty. Networks of trusted family and friends are so important that Chinese spend a good deal of energy maintaining these networks. Relationships are more complex and agreements more contingent than in the West. Even the language favors nuance and ambiguity over directness.
  • In the last decade, the Chinese consumer has been on a meteoric rise with rapid urbanization and growing disposable incomes. This new wealth, together with the sheer size of the country, has made the Chinese consumer a global force. In addition to the mainland Chinese market, there is a huge demand for the products, services, and experiences Chinese overseas travelers want to buy.
  • Retail channels, supply chains, and marketing in China differ somewhat from those in the West, even when they appear outwardly similar. However, China’s distribution infrastructure does not yet match that in the West. Retail channels tend to be single brand and can be expensive to sustain. Therefore, e-commerce is highly attractive and a low-risk path to entry. For luxury goods, Chinese buyers expect to see flagship stores.
  • China is not really a single market–it is an amalgamation of markets that are defined both geographically and by customer type. Businesses must understand the need to customize their offerings and approaches to serving each of these markets differently.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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