IN case no-one has told you, the old way of selling is dead. Problem is, people are still using the old way and, even worse, the ‘experts’ are still teaching the old way.
Of course I realise all of you are the most innovative and creative salespeople on the planet. None of you ever resorts to old-world sales tactics and none of you ever needs a sale at the end of the month. Of course I realise all of you blow away your monthly sales number by the second week in the month. And of course I realise anything I say in this particular writing will only be a confirmation of how great you are.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin a realistic look at your approach to sales, your strategy of selling, and the tactics you’re using in order to gain a sale, build a relationship, and earn a referral.
Before I get to the new way, I am going to give you some of the elements of the old way so you can ...
• Determine whether you are old or new.
• Determine whether you are progressive or regressive.
• Determine whether you are endearing your customers, or disappointing them.
• Determine whether you are attracting prospects or repelling them.
• Determine whether this will be a great year for you, or yet another mediocre year of frustration and lack of earnings.
Let me give you the partial list of the old-world elements that, although not quite dead, are dying by the day and becoming irrelevant to the sales process; and even though you may be doing some of them, I promise that sales are a greater struggle for you and you’re seeking answers that may not be provided by your leadership, predominantly because they still believe the old way works. They are: getting past the gatekeeper; getting your phone call returned; getting your email read; preparing your ‘pitch’; using a standard PowerPoint or Keynote slide deck provided by marketing; trying to ‘type’ the buyer; trying to qualify the buyer; overcoming the objection; trying to go around a lower level person to get to the real decision maker; fighting price; closing the sale; and asking for a referral immediately after making a sale.
The worst of all the old world tactics is trying to use some manipulative ‘system of selling’ in order to walk the prospect through your way of making the sale, versus the prospects way of buying.
Fact one: The internet has changed the way businesses and consumers buy. Think about the last time you bought a car. Did you do research on the internet? Of course you did; everyone does. You do internet research: to get all the facts about making a purchase – finding the model, the features, and even the colour that suits you best ... and because you don’t trust car dealerships or car salespeople.
The most laughable part of this process is that the car dealer and salespeople have not changed their sales ways in 100 years. They are still begging, offering cars for a dollar over invoice, switching you from one salesperson to another, and using every reprehensible tactic in order to get you to buy today.
Hopefully this is not you, but I have my doubts. Take a second look at the list above. How many of those elements are you still using?
The new way of selling involves strategies that were employed 100 years ago, but somehow buried, or forgotten, or replaced by manipulative tactics that are no longer relevant or acceptable.
The good part about the new way of selling is that it’s easy.
The better part about the new way of selling is that it’s comfortable.
The best part about the new way of selling is that very few people will be doing it, thereby giving you both the strategic and a competitive advantage.
The new way of selling is simply this: Customise your presentation in terms of how the prospect wins after they purchase. Present in a conversational way. Ask questions that both engage, and prove that you are prepared. Give an idea or two in favour of the customer to prove that you have their best interest at heart. Show video testimonials from other customers who have purchased. See the value beyond the price. Love the product or service, and love you.
There’s more to it, but that’s a simplistic look at a process that will both redefine how you look at the sale, and redefine how the customer perceives you as a salesperson.
Happy, healthy, wealthy 2013. And happy new way of selling!