A great profession, isn’t it?
The world would stop if people didn’t sell things. I love buying things. I have toys and gadgets that surround me in my business and personal life. Many of them I bought out of choice, but many of them were bought by me after I was influenced by a salesperson, and I’m happy there was someone available to help me make the right decision.
You will know I’ve been preaching for years that the market most salespeople sell into has changed beyond all recognition. Buyers who existed 10 years ago don’t exist any more. Yet, there are still many salespeople who sell in the same way they did a decade or more ago.
There is a new kid on the block. Someone who is changing the way business is carried out forever.
Think of your typical salesperson, in many persons’ eyes. Brash, forward, assertive, pushy. Not really a nice image, is it?
The new breed of salesperson recognises the way the new buyer wants to be sold to. Here’s my list of qualities that the new breed lives by:
They have brilliant product knowledge: They know their product inside out. But more importantly, they know how that product will bring better results for their prospects
They are consultative: Rather than push solutions, they make recommendations. Rather than manipulate situations, they create suggestions and influence decision-makers.
They use customer experience: They are able to see the results customers achieved before and highlight the changes they will obtain by changing the format they use to obtain those results.
They know their competition better than the competition do: The new breed are on top of what the competition are doing. They use Google Alerts and other methods to improve their market-place knowledge, so when one of the clients mentions a competitive offering, they are able to show immediately how their product is still ahead of their new competitor.
They have a business head on their shoulders: Rather than highlight product or service attributes, they show their ability to assist the client by thinking of their business future and how they can help them achieve their future goals.
They concentrate on future results: Their thoughts are primarily on what the solutions will do for the client’s business, rather than on what the product or service does.
They challenge the client’s current thinking about their business strategies: This entails identifying the processes they use at the moment to drive performance and analysing, through your experience, how that could be enhanced and potentially improved.
What you’ll notice from all the above, and what is really happening in the great world of sales, is that successful salespeople are realising that trying to ‘sell’ is so old-fashioned. As my Head of Training keeps on telling me…”That is soooo 2013!”
Instead of selling, the new breed offer opportunities to businesses and individuals that wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t been there. Their advice and recommendations enhance people’s lives. They create situations where businesses advance quicker, solve problems more eloquently and build opportunities more effortlessly.
The new breed have future aspirations that have never been available before. They grab hold of the risks and play with them like they are rag dolls. Their offerings are just a by-product of what they do for a living. Not having to ‘sell’ takes all the pressure off them, and they allow themselves to see situations that they might have been blind to before.
This opens up so many doors and the great thing about it is every door is available for every one of us to walk through.
Happy ‘Selling’ !!
MTD Sales Training
(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
There was once a footballer who had a great game. His forward play was faultless, his precision applauded and his deft touches sublime.
He hit a superb hat-trick and was fated all round the world for his performance. An English premiership manager saw the player, had his agent approached and within a couple of weeks had signed him.
Unfortunately, the player failed to find the form that had gotten him noticed, failed to impress in any games he played, failed to score and fell foul of the fans. He faded away and found himself transferred to another club.
It was a classic example of the difference between a player having ‘an excellent game’ and having ‘game-excellence’.
The first can happen at any time. A player can have the ‘rub of the green’ and be in the right place at the right time and have an excellent game. But the second, having game-excellence, has consistency and an approach that brings results over a period of time. It’s what makes the difference between short-term fashionable activity and long-term stylish results.
Similarly in sales, there is a difference between people who get one or two big deals and those who have a professional consistency of approach. How can you achieve this ‘game-excellence’ and maintain a long-term perspective? Here are some tips:
1) Commit to the fact that you can and will become excellent. This mind-set is more than just positive thinking. It means having the approach that you will learn from every experience and not see any failures, only outcomes
2) Define the type of salesperson you really want to be and live by that. This creates a long-term vision and aids you in developing the skills and talents that support each call or visit.
3) Study everything possible about sales and selling. Continuously approach each chance you have to learn as a great opportunity to build knowledge, awareness and ability. Every book, CD, DVD, newsletter, You-Tube video, podcast or programme you can find, be curious about what you can learn from it.
4) Create a list of goals you can achieve within two years. This time period is short enough for you to be able to see and plan for, and also long enough for you to see results for your efforts.
5) Commit to the mastery of sales. By building confidence in your sales processes, learning exactly what makes buyers buy and creating advanced skills in how you sell on every occasion, you build the foundation for mastery in sales and can be assured of results.
No doubt you can get great results in the short term and you can have an excellent game. If you want to have game excellence, you need a mind-set that revolves around learning and developing skills and attributes that will support long-term goals.
MTD Sales Training
(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
A really interesting survey was carried out by an American company called ‘Success Masters’.
They asked their clients to complete a ‘Customer Service Evaluation’ form, where, amongst other questions, they asked this one: “How many customers walk away from an encounter with you or your staff “absolutely astonished” at the level of Service you have provided for them”?
They were asked to rate the number out of ten; in other words, how many customers out of ten would rate your service as ‘absolutely astonishing’?
Believe it or not, the average score most staff gave themselves was an 8! That is, they actually believed that they were giving astounding, superb, incredible and astonishing service to eight out of ten customers!
Do you think that could be right? I have my own opinions, and it doesn’t come out in favour of the salesperson!
What does this mean? Well, before you can find a solution to a problem, you have to admit that you have a problem in the first place! In retail sales, this isn’t always the easiest thing to admit.
And if you think you’re providing excellence in 8 out of ten cases, and in reality you’re only providing a 3, “denial” is costing you lots of money – every day!
The best way to improve sales and profits has been proven to be the giving of excellent or remarkable service. And it’s a skill that can be learned, if you have the right attitude to start with.
Firstly, decide that you WILL learn to give nothing other than excellence in everything you do. It means making sure you accept responsibility for all outcomes and accept nothing less from yourself than absolute integrity towards excellence.
Then decide to learn the customer service and sales skills that will set you apart from your competitors. You don’t have to be perfect; you only have to better than the competition. Act as if this customer is the only one you will see today. Give them all your attention. Provide them with good reasons to remember you. Make their day.
If you learn the skills that will provide the foundation to create a great experience for the customer, you place yourself head and shoulders above the competition and offer something that maybe will make your new prospects advocates for your business.
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