Written by Sean McPheat |
13 December, 2012
In today’s era of the modern and educated buyer, many sales people wonder if the idea of a planned sales interaction is best, or if you should essentially throw mud against the wall.
The thought is that today’s buyer is too sophisticated to deal with the old style “pitch” and therefore it is best to just know everything there is to know about what you sell, and then just “wing it;” maintaining the flexibility to adapt to the buyer’s direction and responses.
The problem is that there is still some confusion about the difference between a PLANNED SALES INTERACTION and an old fashioned PITCH. So first allow me to explain.
The old fashioned sales pitch is one in where the sales person follows a rigid, rehearsed, near word-for-word script that is the same for every prospect. The sales person rattles off the script often without much thought, listening or interaction. The entire sales presentation is “CANNED.”
A Planned Sales Interaction
A planned sales interaction, on the other hand, is simply a “strategy.” While a planned presentation may have a few words or phrases that you might use verbatim, it is not a “canned script.” A planned sales interaction is more of a methodical process that has the flexibility to adapt to any situation, but has the controls for the sales person to steer the process.
A Plan vs. Mud Against The Wall
With the above definition in place, I will say that I believe that in most selling situations today, you should use a well-planned and structured sales presentation. In such, you should define every “stage” of the sales interaction and have clear goals to accomplish at each step.
You can keep your sales interaction feeling impromptu, but you must have a way to control the direction and outcomes. You should have a step-by-step process that leads to a successful conclusion. In such, you can maintain the flexibility to adapt to responses, yet keep the process on track towards your objective.
Throwing the proverbial mud at the wall may appear to actually work for a time, but you are losing money. In dealing with today’s sophisticated and educated buyer, now more than ever, you need to have a well thought out plan.