What makes one salesperson better than another?
Quite frankly I am tired of the same old preachings of “micro-sales” techniques intended to enhance sales “efficiency.”
There is little discussion on what I would call the “effectiveness” of sales: the ability of a salesperson to consistently win over the competition; to be chosen every time out.
It’s not good enough to be merely competent at your craft; you need to be the ONLY one who does what you do.
Many technically competent individuals don’t make it because they are indistinguishable from the sales herd.
More than sales competency is needed. If you can’t answer the question “Why should I buy from you and not the other guys?”, you’re like everyone else: indistinguishable, invisible, unremarkable and boring – and your sales record will be marginal at best.
These 7 tactics will make you DiFFERENT and memorable.
1. Take a long term view; don’t try to exploit the moment.
Pay attention to your quarterly targets, but have a long term context to govern the way you treat your clients. Purely focusing on your quarterly numbers will likely force you at some point to place too much emphasis on your products and not your client’s needs. This short term focus builds neither trust nor loyalty. Take a long term view and behave accordingly.
2. Make the sales process a memorable experience.
Make your client feel heard, listened to and engaged; avoid using the conversation to feed your ego. A strong unbridled ego generally results in a one-way “transmit mode” conversation with a client. It’s a one-way embellishment of the salesperson, their products and organization with no regard for the client’s wants and needs. Many sales people get sucked in to this; avoid it like the plague.
3. Build relationships; don’t jam products down your client’s throat.
The end game is a deep meaningful trusting relationship that will spawn revenue for several years. Flogging products can force someone to take a defensive position; it takes away from building relationships.
4. Ask questions.
The prime directive is to understand client secrets; the wants and desires that no one else knows. The only way you get there is by gently probing and taking notes of whatever you learn. No act shows that you care about what they say than note-taking.
5. Respect silence.
Give your client the opportunity to think about the points raised in the conversation and thoughtfully respond without having to compete with your “verbal incoming”. Too much information is not a good thing; if they feel like they are drinking through a fire hose, they will shut down.
6. Honor integrity and honesty.
Don’t do whatever it takes to make the sale. And if a sale isn’t in the cards, find another solution to your client’s problem even if it involves another provider. Protect the client relationship regardless of the personal short term outcome.
7. Be a passionate advocate for your client inside your company.
There is nothing worse for any client than having to battle your internal bureaucracy when they have an issue or they need help. Wage battle for them on your “inside.” Absorb the body blows your organization has to offer. Establish your currency as a recovery addict and do whatever it takes to fix mistakes and correct errors to the delight of your client. Learn what it’s like doing business with your company. Maybe you can help improve it.
How do you know if you are heading in the right direction?
Ask your client if you “touched their heart.”