Sell to Any Company in Any Industry...
Better and Faster than a Harvard MBA
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Preface

Steak…or…bologna. That’s the entree choice given by most of the compensation plans that sales people work under. If you are successful and “hit your numbers” you eat steak. If you don’t make quota, you eat bologna. This book is focused on helping sales professionals upgrade their menu. The tools and templates of the Wall Street Selling Methodology™ are unique and unlike any other sales method.

This is not a book filled with “fluff ” or “feel goods” that promise results. It is not a repackaging of personality definitions, and it doesn’t walk you through ten or fifteen or twenty yes/no questions to tell your managers that your deal is qualified. This methodology will transform the way you approach your sales tasks, because if you are dealing with senior level executives, you’d better be able to align your product to the strategies that the CEO is pursuing. This book will provide you with a new set of tools to compete – and excel – in this environment.

This book will allow you to:

1. Become fluent in the language of business.

2. Gain a unique understanding of a company’s strategies and align your value proposition with them.

3. Build a clear, concise, compelling C-Level case for change that will help you close sales.

Sales teams need these tools because comparing today’s business environment to the one just two decades prior is like comparing the latest Corvette to a ‘65 luxury car with torn seats, fading paint, and a faulty fuel pump. If you don’t realize it yet, let me be the first to welcome you to the commodity marketplace. In the 1990s, demand was high, and mid-level managers had a budget. Deals could get closed by focusing on feature function. In today’s world, it’s decision by committee, and nobody cares about features. CEOs focus their daily actions like a laser beam towards  one thing – satisfying Wall Street. Your competitors have someone working and focused on the C-Level in your accounts, and unless you can compete – and differentiate – you run the risk of losing market share. (When we mention C-Level in this book, we will generally refer to people with the word Chief in their title - like Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer - as well as other senior level executives such as President, Division President, etc.)

While an MBA is an excellent way to learn about business principles and hone decision-making skills, B-School programs don’t teach you to uncover Profit Strategies with the objective of closing business. This book will take your professional sales career to the next level. It will allow you to differentiate yourself from all the other solution/value/target selling people that compete for your prospect’s dollar.

It will teach you to Think Like the CEO you are targeting, as you integrate your product with the Profit Strategies he is using to satisfy “the Street.” This book is based on a methodology that I developed and practiced in selling large, multimillion dollar software and technology solutions. As I took on management responsibilities, I taught my teams to use these same tools. They developed the confidence to sell high in the organizations they were targeting by thinking like the CEO’s they were selling to. The result was increased sales. By putting my experience into the writing of this book, you won’t have to learn the concepts by trial and error and then spend ten years perfecting them. You will be able to implement these concepts immediately, just like my sales teams did.

Organization

While learning about financial statements gets most people about as excited as getting a fruitcake for Christmas, we will focus on giving you an understanding of financial terms. In the first part of this book, called The Language of Business, we will teach you to quickly analyze only what you need to in order to Think Like a CEO. I promise to boil down the relatively complex world of business analysis into language and structure that the average non-MBA non-Mensa member can digest.

The second part of the book is called The Wall Street Selling Methodology™, the objective of which is to understand your target company, its industry, and how it stacks up to its competitors. After the first two parts of this book, we will take a look at different business strategies, and how you can uncover them by reading the “numbers.” We will look at many samples of different business strategies, and spend a chapter looking at “blue chips,” as well as companies that failed miserably.

The final section, Value Integration, will teach you how to deal with senior level executives and how to present a compelling value proposition that aligns with the CEO’s strategy. We call this value integration, and it is the only way to sell your product today.

Ideal Audience for Think Like a CEO

The concepts in this book are applicable to all types of products and services that companies – and individual sales teams – sell. While it is easy to see the importance of these concepts if you are selling capital equipment or software worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, the concepts are just as important if you are a salesperson selling to a small business. For example, let’s say that you are responsible for selling products to independent convenience stores. Using the concepts in this book, you can find the financial returns of a publicly traded company in the convenience store industry, and find out how they have performed. Engaging your client around industry metrics and how his are similar will allow you to begin integrating your value proposition to his objectives. By asking a few pertinent questions, you will uncover his Profit Strategies and begin to align your products to them. While this customer might not be a Boeing, you can bet they are focused on the same results as Boeing’s CEO.

Now it’s time to get down to the very serious task of learning the language of business. While this might sound like your first shot of bad tequila—tough to swallow and almost tear-inducing—I promise to make it more like Cuervo Gold. A nice lubricant to get to the really good stuff that comes afterwards. So hang on.

Mark Kuta, Jr.

 

 
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© Copyright 2007 - Think Like a CEO, All Rights Reserved.

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