As a sales pro, what am I really selling?
Is it my shiny new bag of beads? Maybe, assuming it's really, really shiny...at least for a while
Is it my product or service that has "better quality" and "a cheaper price"? Probably not since today we all live in a socially connected world looking for very demonstrative and measurable value both for me and for my company. "Better Quality" means absolutely nothing unless it can be measured, and "cheaper" is fine for Walmart and Sleepy's Mattress, but not for you and me.
The easy, but somewhat superficial answer, would be that I'm selling "ME", since the buyer is looking to me, the individual salesperson, to carry the ball and provide him or her with the answers that they need. Certainly, my company is counting on ME to carry the ball across the goal line today on the last day of the last month of the quarter all of which ends this afternoon at 6:00PM. Game over. Score on the board. Congratulations!!!
But, in a world of rapidly changing people in jobs and in companies, no customer transaction of any high valued product can be just about me. "Relationship Selling" has been dead and buried for years, and for good reason. People move on, companies get acquired, players change all too frequently, and if it's relationships that you're selling, you're going to find yourself unpleasantly surprised on the end-of-the-quarter days like today./
No, at the end of the day, as sales pros, we're selling TRUST.
- High valued TRUST
- Trust that can be measured, recorded and can be defined in financial value
Very simply, success in Sales today is about all about TRUST, which because it's the fall, because it's football season, and because I'm a dedicated reader of the comics, always brings me to Peanuts, and especially to Lucy, one of my two favorite characters...although not someone who would make a great salesperson.
- Lucy's perspective is about a woman's tears
- Charlie's perspective is "Good Grief, I've been tricked again"
- Jack's perspective is this is a good sales example of a lost order and a bad salesperson
"Trust" is both extremely simple and frustratingly complex
But, unless, you and I are able to provide that level of closeness and that bonding of common interests across the table, then it is going to be very difficult...and a very long time...to close a complex sale.
- Use Straight Talk
Be sincerely direct with your prospects during your sales process. In fact, you should take time right up front to lay out the process that you use. If you need to do a Discovery step, (which, of course, you do), then explain what that is, why you're doing it, how much time you will need, and what it is that you are looking for...right up front.
- Tell Success Stories
Everyone likes to listen to stories. In this case, all during your sales process, and especially up front, tell success stories of experiences that your customers have had with you and your company. These are not testimonials per se, and they are not being told as reference accounts. They are short, impactful stories of success with other customers that allow the person on the other side of the table to be more comfortable in your experience, your technical skills as a salesperson and in your openness; thereby, gaining trust in what you say and what you will do for them personally and for their company.
- Involve Your Team as Humans
Big company or small, make sure that the focal point in your sales process is not just about you. Obviously, there are others in your company who are involved in the potential of closing a prospect. Identify them as people. Use their names. Put their pictures and short bios in your proposals. Make them human, and when appropriate get them involved in the selling process directly with you and your prospect. A key element in building trust !
STAY ON TOP OF YOUR GAME
For the past 15 years or so, we've been running these twice-a-year Sales Management Boot Camps focused on just that specific persona: managers responsible for revenue, be they CEOs, Presidents, VPs or Regional Managers of companies. When we were first starting these camps, I noticed that Tom Jessee, the highly respected and very successful head of sales at MFS had signed up.
Since I was pretty impressed that he was coming, I decided to give him a call and ask, quite simply, why, and his response was very direct in that he felt that in order to stay on top of his game, he needed to explore new ideas and step outside his own industry.
Over the years of now hundreds of attendees, Tom became very representative of our average attendee from a wide variety of industries and sizes of companies, all of whom had one critical mission: "I need to continue to rapidly grow sales, and since I know that the profession of buying and selling has now changed forever, I need to stay on top of my game".
Tom is no different than any professional athlete! Neither are you nor I. We all need to train, to stay on top of our game, and learn new skills especially in sales and in marketing today!
Take a look below, click on the presentation, email, text, messenger or call me, and I'll take you through the details quickly and share some of our experiences...
You should think about attending our upcoming November:
- 500+ graduates
- CEO's, Presidents and Heads of Sales-national or regional
- Tons of very positive testimonials
For more information, just click on below...
Derby Management...for 25 years
-Sales & Marketing Productivity Experts
-Business & Strategy Planning Specialists
-Senior Management Coaches for CEOs & VPs
Box 171322, Boston, MA 02117
Jack's Cell: 617-504-4222