In [[Selling the wheel]] four phases in a product's life cycle are identified

* Birth ("The wheel revolution")
* Fast Growth ("The wheel advances")
* Incremental Growth ("Everybody wants wheels!")
* Maturity ("Billions and billions of wheels!")

These are highly similar to the phase described (a bit better in) [[Crossing the chasm]]@mbi. The point of this book and what it adds is that because the customers are different in each phase, the sales approach and skills needs to be different:

|Phase|Phrase|Sales skill|Customer|h
|[[Birth]]|''The technology is new''|[[Closer]]|[[Gateswingers]]|
|[[Fast Growth]]|''The technology advances''|[[Wizard]]|[[Progressive customers]]|
|[[Incremental Growth]]|''The technology goes into widespread use''|[[Relationship Builder]]|[[Relationship Customers]]|
|[[Maturity]]|''The technology is standardized''|[[Captain and Crew]]|[[World Customers]]|

A [[Closer]] can be recognized by high energy, (s)he will be extrovert, charming but also manipulative. A closer is willing to do whatever it takes to close the sale, whenever, wherever. Closers will sell a dream. Usually they are engaged in one sale per customer and are looking quickly for the next big thing. A [[Wizard]] is knowledgeable and technical savvy. A confident, "Buttoned down" personality. Both a team player and a team leader. Professional demeanor and attire. Enjoys the challenge of creating unique solutions for customers. Thrives on managing complexity. A [[Relationship Builder]] is a solid citizen, fun loving, likable. Hardworking. Good marriage, civic minded. Optimistic but also pragmatic. Lifestyle is upscale but not extravagant. Team members in a [[Captain and Crew]] sales force are generally upbeat, outgoing, happy go lucky. Just average folks, similar to the customer.

|Item|[[Closer]]|[[Wizard]]|[[Relationship Builder]]|[[Captain and Crew]]|h
|''Major drives''|A big time need to succeed. Too much money is almost enough|Sees sales as a stepping stone to a managing position|Needs the security and sense of belonging of an organization. Prefers sales to management|Satisfied with making a decent living|
|''Important skills''|Qualifying, Presenting, Resolving objections, Closing. Be able to build a "dream" picture of the results of purchasing|Needs to have good organization and communication skills. Needs to be highly skilled in resolving objections|Resolving objections. Closing. Developing good relations. Building repeat business. Have an inner sense that the customer always comes first|All aspects of customer service. Must be able to handle 'social fatigue' so as to withstand constant contact with the public.|
|''Presentation''|Entertaining, Exciting, Sometimes even dramatic|Tend to be formal, sit down. Conference room affairs. Good audio visual aids and literature are a must!|Might take place on the golf course or in a restaurant. Emphasize a superior delivery of the familiar not the new. Show that you offer a better implementation of a standard solution|Simple and short. An explanation of the features and options. The more skilled salespeople are able to highlight aspects of importance to the typical customer|
|''Closing''|Ask for the sale immediately after the presentation. Offer a limited time for acceptance. Give "permission" to buy. Overall, inject a strong emotional push to people on the fence: either fear or desire|Suggest a starting date. Send a letter of agreement. Recommend a smaller scale pilot to test performance and results|Be there pronto when the customer needs you. Often a handshake is all that is required to seal the deal|Help the customer feel comfortable by the decision to buy. Empathize return policies. Price protection. Highlight reasons for the customer to buy. Make checkout easy.|
Sun, 02 Oct 2011 19:42:41 GMT
Sun, 02 Oct 2011 19:42:41 GMT