Gitomer: Old way or new way?
Friday, May 30, 2014 6:00 AM
The old way of selling is dead.
Unfortunately, the people who don’t know that include: sales trainers, authors of sales tactics books who are still trying to convey old messages, and several million salespeople still trying to cold call, pitch the product, overcome objections and close the sale. Don’t forget their managers who force them to use an uncomfortable “system,” a non-sales-helpful CRM, and hold their salespeople accountable for their actions and numbers. It’s over. Dead and over.
What killed it? Who killed it?
The Internet and its immediate access to any information – including one’s reputation – the economy, Google and online searchability in general, social media, smartphones, one-click buying, Amazon feedback and other ratings sites, and smarter customers and consumers, both B2B and B2C. WOW!
The online and smartphone evolution has become a sales and selling revolution.
The NEW big picture of selling is quite simple. Here’s what to train and teach your salespeople:
• Teach why people buy rather than how to sell. My mantra and trademarked phrase is: People don’t like to be sold, but they LOVE to buy.
• Teach customer loyalty, not customer satisfaction. Customers may never be satisfied but will continue to do business with you based on your perceived value.
• Teach salespeople to “ask” questions about the customer rather than “tell” about their product.
• Teach salespeople to be responsible for their actions instead of being accountable for their activity.
Here are 4.5 NEW ways of thinking, acting and selling responsibly:
1. FIND THEIR WHY. Uncover your customers’ intentions and motives for purchase before or during your sales presentations. Do online searchs for why they might buy, and ask emotionally revealing questions. Their “why” is your order.
2. TALK ABOUT THEIR OUTCOME. Share with your customers how they will produce more and profit more AFTER purchase. Explain what happens after they take ownership.
3. PROVE YOUR VALUE. Get several of your existing (best) customers to do video testimonials to corroborate your claims. When you say it about yourself, it is bragging; when others say it about you, it is proof.
4. DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A PRISTINE REPUTATION. Not just your company and your products – you personally. Information and reputation arrives before you do. Google yourself right now. That’s what your customers see before you arrive.
4.5. BEWARE AND BE AWARE OF THE INTERNET. It has changed and continues to change the face of selling, and the lives (not to mention the incomes) of salespeople. EXAMPLES: Retail sales, banking, trading stocks, buying cars, traveling and, most important, the ability to research the opinions and outcomes of others. Get Internet savvy. Get Internet fluent. Then stay there.
A few months ago, I wrote about the difference between aggressive selling and assertive selling.
Aggressive salespeople sell the old way. They talk, they brag, they give a demo, they manipulate to close the sale, they send proposals, and in general, they fight. They fight to get an appointment, they fight price, they fight competition, and they fight for the sale – a sale that even if they win, they have lost profit.
The assertive presentation challenges you, the salesperson, to bring forth a combination of your knowledge and value as it relates to customer needs as well as a superior ability to connect with that person or group.
The new way of selling requires more work on the part of the salesperson. The more research, preparation, knowledge, enthusiastic presentation skills, value differentiation and proof you bring to the sales presentation, the more sales you will make.
Which type of salesperson are you?
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