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Episode 51: Navigating Sales & Proposals: Iceberg Selling with Karl Becker
This episode of Corralling the Chaos featuring Karl Becker discusses sales and proposals in the event production industry.
About the Episode
This episode of Corralling the Chaos discusses sales and proposals in the event production industry. The guest, Karl Becker, is a sales performance consultant, coach, author, and speaker with over a decade of experience consulting with event production companies.
Meet Your Speakers
- Angela Alea: President & CRO of LASSO, Host of Corralling the Chaos
- Karl Becker: Sales Performance Consultant, Coach, Author, and Speaker
The conversation revolves around the concept of "Iceberg Selling", a sales approach developed by Karl Becker, and how it can be applied in the event production industry. The discussion also touches on the importance of understanding the client's needs, the role of salespeople in representing their companies, and the key components of a good proposal.
Takeaway 1: The criticality of improved communication, understanding and more effective service in sales
Effective communication is critical in sales—you have to be able to understand your customers to best serve them. Implementing the iceberg selling approach which promotes deeper comprehension of customers’ needs, can significantly improve sales results.
“Iceberg selling is all about getting beneath the surface – understanding what’s below,” explained Karl Becker. He describes effective salespeople as excellent communicators who excel at listening and understanding their customers. He encouraged salespeople to strive to understand more about their customers before providing solutions.
In line with this, he offers simple but profound advice: “think about everything as an iceberg”. Iceberg selling means making an effort to gain a deeper understanding of customers’ needs before providing solutions. “How do we get better at understanding what's below the surface? How do we see more and more and more so that we can be in service more effectively?” he challenges.
Takeaway 2: The importance of relationship-building in the sales process
Relationship-building in sales improves outcomes. Angela and Karl emphasize the need for salespeople to develop effective narratives that resonate with potential customers, and to demonstrate their understanding of customers’ needs.
“Are you planning to win this RFP or are you playing for all the business this meeting planner could give you over the next five or ten or 20 years?” Becker asks. He underscores the need for a long-term perspective in building relationships with customers, suggesting that salespeople should focus more on understanding customers’ long-term needs rather than just closing a single sale.
He also highlights the importance of showing up quickly and efficiently, and creating memorable experiences for customers. "Speed is critical, but it doesn't necessarily mean you have to get the final proposal the fastest,” he advises.
Takeaway 3: The role of authenticity & reliability in sales
Angela and Karl affirm the importance of authenticity and reliability in sales. They suggested that salespeople should work on building trust with potential customers by being authentic, reliable, and responsive.
Becker emphasizes how salespeople are the physical representation of the brand they are selling. He argued that salespeople must pay attention to details, from their personal appearance to the accuracy of the information they provide, to build credibility and trust with customers.
“If they say they're going to do something, they do it, they're reliable, they're responsive. If they're not going to do that during the sales process, they're certainly not going to do it when the stakes are high and we've got a live event,” Angela adds.
- "Iceberg Selling" is a sales approach that emphasizes understanding the deeper needs and desires of clients, akin to seeing what's beneath the surface of an iceberg.
- A quote in the event production industry typically refers to a list of gear and prices, while a proposal should tell a story and show understanding of the client's needs.
- The salesperson is often the face of the company and their activities can have a huge leverage effect. Therefore, they need to show up as experts and guides, creating an experience for the buyer.
- Speed is essential in the sales process, but it doesn't necessarily mean being the first with the final proposal. It's about showing up quickly, efficiently, and being memorable.
- Confidence is key in selling. Salespeople need to bring forward their experiences and value, without fear of appearing pushy or salesy.
Want to start winning 20% faster and more often? Unlock the power of LASSO Proposals—click here to learn more.