23/11/2011 - 10:50

Sales dilemmas can be solved simply

23/11/2011 - 10:50


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I get a lot of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve sales dilemmas.

I GET a lot of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and, most important, your sales thought process right now.

Q) Your seminars and books have been highly therapeutic to me in my budding sales career, but I have a question I’m having a hard time answering on my own. My wife is building a Mary Kay (cosmetics) business, loves what you do, and is dying to put your methods to use. Her business is 80 per cent selling product and 20 per cent recruiting. A lot of the recruits typically come from the product buyer’s group. How does one combine those two activities without turning off the ‘makeup-buying’ customers who are not interested in a sales career? Does someone like her put up a ‘beauty tips’ social media presence to promote to her ‘makeup-buying customers’ and then a separate one for recruiting people to a team? Or do you pepper one in with the other? My concern is turning off the product-buying public that is interested in beauty tips but not interested in being recruited. I appreciate your guidance. 

A) Luckily the product you’re selling has been around for years and enjoys a great reputation. I recommend you interview some recruits who have embraced the opportunity to sell and let some of your more successful people post on the website about how they started out loving the product and ended up reselling the product. If the message does not come from you, it will not be a turn off. The key is balance – and your job is to balance beauty tips with beauty moneymaking opportunities of at least 5:1 in favour of beauty tips. 

Q) How do buyers decide, and what are buyers looking for? 

A) Buyers are looking for 4.5 things: 1. A perceived difference of your product and service – and that of your competitors. 2. A better perceived value in buying what you have versus buying from a competitor. (Notice I did not say ‘lower price’, I said ‘better value’.) 3. Little or no risk in purchasing from you. The buyer must perceive that the gain of ownership is greater than the risk of purchasing the wrong thing. 4. The buyer must like you, believe you, have confidence in you, and trust you. But it begins with liking you. 4.5 Lowest price. Many people (maybe even you) will think I have done them a disservice by not focusing on price concessions or winning a bid. But, if you present the first four elements outlined above, price will go away as an issue in 60-70 per cent of the sales you make. The key is this: buyers and decision makers are looking for comfort, not just a deal. The decision maker has to feel that it’s a good fit for their company, or they will pass no matter what the price. The decision maker is also going to take into account past dealings and word-of-mouth advertising. All buyers and decision makers in any given industry know one another. Your job, besides having a great product, is to have a great reputation. Having a great reputation reduces the perceived risk and oftentimes is the very key to getting the order. 

Q) In these hard times, what can salespeople do to protect their jobs? 

A) The antidote is to be the best sales man or sales woman. No one’s going to get rid of you then. There is a challenge among salespeople right now. They’re not really willing to do the hard work that it takes to make selling easy. You need to tweet, have a business Facebook page, have a LinkedIn account, have a YouTube channel, have a blog, and have a website where you have registered yourname.com. It’s about building a personal brand. You have to have 500 people following you on Twitter, you have to have 500 LinkedIn connections, you have to have about 1,000 people on your Facebook fan page, and you have to have a least a dozen YouTube videos up where people give testimonies for you, or where you are giving valuable information to the marketplace. That requires work and time, and you can’t do it during your workday. You also need to network and do prospecting, but it’s a lot easier to prospect on LinkedIn than it is to prospect on the phone with people you don’t know. But instead of performing those strategies, a lot of people are going home at night to watch stupid television shows. Think about this: Will what you’re watching on television help you double your sales? Great salespeople are willing to dig in and do the hard work because they understand there’s no nine-to-five job in selling unless you’re at McDonald’s and you can ask the closing question, ‘Do you want fries with that?’ 


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com , will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email salesman@gitomer.com


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