Gitomer: A new sales perspective
Friday, June 20, 2014 6:00 AM
My sales perspective flies in the face of traditional selling. And it’s not just a disruption; it’s the new way of sales. What’s your perspective?
Here are seven realities to get your thinking started:
First reality: Traditional selling is aggressive – telling, pitching, manipulating and closing. This old-world approach to sales is over and has been for more than a decade.
Second reality: The first sale that’s made is the salesperson. If the prospective customers do not buy you, they’re not buying anything.
Third reality: The customers are as smart as or smarter than you are. The Internet has provided them with competitive savvy, and social media has provided proof.
Fourth reality: Your customers and prospects are busy with THEIR stuff and may have little or no time to be bothered by you.
Fifth reality: Customers and prospects want intellectual engagement about how THEY WIN, not a sales pitch! They only care about their urgency to make a profit.
Sixth reality: The prospective customers must perceive value in your sales offering, trust you as a person and as a company, perceive that they win as a result of purchase, and be able to visualize outcome after purchase.
Seventh reality: You better have a social presence and a social reputation that proves your worth to others, and provides peace of mind to the prospects.
Look at this list – carefully – and see if what you do, the actions you take, or any of the strategies about how you sell are contained here. If they are, you will consistently lose to the “new way.”
• Cold calling. If selling has a dark side, it’s the cold call. Total interruption of others’ time (the prospects), and predominantly a waste of salespeople’s time.
• Hunting and farming salespeople. This is basically a sales specialist making a sale and then running away. Leaving behind the service department, or inside sales, or the delivery guy, and the customer to feel deserted.
• Find the pain. Perhaps the rudest of all sales processes, it’s “probing” to make prospects feel uncomfortable. This is an old-world tactic, where the salesperson miraculously proposes a solution to an issue that the prospect has.
• Pitch the product. Telling your prospective customers stuff about your product that they could have found online in three seconds, or that you could have emailed them in advance of your meeting.
• Overcome objections. “Your price is too high.” Really? You still dealing with that? Where’s the value? Where’s the relationship?
• Close the sale. Manipulative closing is a thing of the past. The sale is made emotionally, not manipulatively.
• Proposals and bidding. This part of selling will never go away, but it can be significantly reduced with loyal relationships and proven quality.
• Insincere follow-up. Call looking for money.
• Customer satisfaction. J.D. Power and Associates gives “customer satisfaction” awards to airlines. Do I need to say anything more about how ridiculous customer satisfaction is?
• Ask for (beg for) referrals. Instead of asking for referrals, why don’t you give one?
• Low or no social media presence. Failure to understand the fact that social media is a combination of attraction, proof that you are who you say you are and a sales tool.
• Low or no relationship. The quality of the relationship allows you to make multiple sales, earn more profits, earn referrals and gain their testimonial proof.
Me? I prefer to be assertive. Assertive salespeople ask. Aggressive salespeople tell. Assertive salespeople go for the customer. Aggressive salespeople go for the sale.
Which one are you? It’s the difference between the old way and the new way.
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