- 13 Sep
The selling environment has changed dramatically yet consequently, companies and their salespeople are having to work harder to penetrate new accounts, while prospective customers are working even harder to keep salespeople at bay.
Don’t blame the customer. In the past decade, downsizing and acquisitions have burdened corporate decision-makers with greater responsibility, oftentimes without the benefit of additional resources. Meanwhile, workloads continue to increase, competitors are getting hungrier, and the overall pace of business has quickened. Even if they wanted to, customers simply cannot afford to spend time with every salesperson that comes calling
Many of the “old school” sales techniques no longer apply. Most prospects already know the tricks—things like calling after hours to avoid the gatekeeper, or leaving voice-mail messages that say so-and-so told me to call. They also know about the Ben Franklin Close, Alternate Choice, and Feel-Felt-Found. That’s why so many salespeople and sales managers have become frustrated with traditional methods. Teaching salespeople to be just like everyone else puts them at a competitive disadvantage. When a salesperson is perceived “the same” as everyone else, then they are only average, by definition, and their chances of winning are significantly diminished. Prospects and customers usually don’t buy “average” products from an “average” salesperson.
Also, being more aggressive will irreparably harm any chance of making a sale. People don’t want to be pushed.
The fundamentals in selling have remained the same. Salespeople must uncover needs before they can provide solutions, the product or service being offered must be cost justifiable, and the salesperson with the best relationship has the greatest chance of winning the business. People still do buy from people. But the paradigms of the strategic sale have shifted significantly and differentiation is now the key.
The sales process doesn’t begin with a relationship. Salespeople must first earn the right to engage. What’s the key to building effective relationships? The answer is credibility. Now the question becomes: What are you doing different than your competitors to establish credibility in your targeted prospect accounts? Everyone claims to have the “best product,” which once again, makes you average.
Leveraging curiosity to fuel the sales process is another paradigm shift — but it’s one that makes absolute sense. If a prospective customer is not curious, then it becomes very difficult for a salesperson to secure their time or their attention. On the other hand, a curious prospect will want to engage in a conversation about their needs and your solutions to satisfy their curiosity. Now the question is. . .What are you doing to leverage curiosity in the sales process?
I invite you to review our sales consulting services and talk with us. If you think we could help you or you would just like to know a little more, please contact us by telephone or email.
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