Written by Sean McPheat |
One of my consultants was carrying out a ‘discovery’ session with a sales team recently as part of a Sales Effectiveness Training Programme, to discuss what areas they find most challenging when it comes to selling their products.
One gentleman stood up at the start of the session and said, ‘I’ve been selling for over 30 years…what can you teach me?!’
My consultant simply asked him if he had changed his way of selling over the years. He answered. ‘Obviously, yes!’
So, my consultant said he was exactly the kind of person who should be coached in sales because he’s open to new ideas and has the experience to see how any new ideologies can be applied in the real world. Rather than see the thirty years’ experience as a hindrance, my consultant saw this as a real added bonus and encouraged this wise salesperson to embrace the new ideas in sales, just as he had over the last thirty years.
Sometimes we are held back by our experience, thinking we know everything and don’t need to advance or learn new stuff. But have you come across Moore’s Law?
Moore’s Law is the observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.
This concept has been adopted into many industries and can be seen in scientific advancements, technological know-how and globalisation’s acceptance of ‘if it ain’t broke, break it!’
Has sales changed that much in the thirty years that gentleman has been selling?
Oh, yes, and if he was still trying to sell in the same way as he did then, he would be dead in the water.
When we see the massive evolution of selling in the last few years, what has it been based on? Simply put, buyers’ expectations have revolutionised the way we work and so we have to maintain, keep up with, and go ahead of those expectations for us to even be in the same ballpark as our clients.
In his TedX Talk, Regis Lemmens talks about the changes we have to integrate into our sales processes if we are to even exist in the future, never mind thrive.
You’ll know that, quite simply, if you don’t evolve the way you sell your products and services, you will be left behind those who are advancing and Regis’ talk shows what some of those changes need to be.
He talks of many salespeople targeting their markets with a promise of a better future, by persuading clients their products are the best for them.
Regis states this will have to change.
He talks of co-creating solutions with clients.
He discussed how we need to partner with clients.
He defines how a collaborative approach will make all the difference.
And he defines how buyers are looking for results, not promises of a better future.
You can catch his talk here….
When we recognise that clients are redefining the way we sell, we need to re-evaluate and re-examine how we go about our roles. Gone are the days when customers expected us to show up and throw up, have a canned sales pitch that was rolled out with 103 PowerPoint slides, and have a batch of alternative closes that could be repeated by every buyer in the country.
Instead, just as that experienced salesperson I mentioned earlier accepted he had had to change perspectives over the years, we too have to realise our industry must develop to simply keep up with the demands of the modern-day buyer.
It’s no surprise that our Social Selling Training courses are so popular. With new ways of buying so comes a different requirement for the way that we sell. More and more sales professionals are turning to LinkedIn and online methods to set them apart from the rest.
Originally published: 30 July, 2019
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