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)
During the past 2 weeks my wife and I have had about 6 different conservatory companies around our house giving us quotes.
The standards of salesmanship have been appalling to be honest.
The two biggest problems that they had was: (and please avoid these yourself!)
1. Not qualifying me up front
One guy had DVD’s, a slick presentation, “salesmans patter” etc etc He went on and on and I let him until after 1 hour he “revealed” the price which was over twice the amount I had in my mind.
He’d just wasted an hour of his valuable prospecting time and more importantly my wife had missed Eastenders! (drat!)
Lesson: Qualifiy up front!
Sure, I could have gone a little higher if I’d have seen the value in it. But over twice my budget is a different ballpark altogether!
2. Talking features not benefits
“I’d recommend that because you’ve got a south facing garden that you have an electric ridgeflow as well…”
Me no understand!
What does it mean to me!
The salesman probably fell into one of the most common faults a lot of salespeople have. They are so close to the product and service that they expect me to know what an “electric ridgeflow” actually is!
Well, I didn’t have a scooby doo!
Now when covering features make sure that you actually tell the prospect what it means to them.
Never assume that they’ll be able to work it out for themselves. Instead you need to tell them!
So when you’ve covered a feature follow it up with something like:
“What this means to you is that when the temperature reaches 90 degrees at the top of the conservatory that the hot air gets sucked out which keeps it cool whether you are in there or not. You mentioned that you want the room as a playroom for Holly? Well, with a south facing garden you’re going to get the sun all day and that means that Holly can play in there and you don’t need to worry that she’s too hot…”
Lesson: Tell your prospects what things mean!
So there you have two, fundamentally basic but very valuable lessons. Two lessons that you think are just plain old common sense.
But when was ever common sense, common practice!
Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:
The Sales Jedi
MTD Sales Blog
MTD Sales Training
Telephone: 0800 849 6732