THE BUYER IS NOT A STATISTIC – NO MATTER WHO TELLS YOU THAT
The direct selling game since the year 2000 has (to its credit) managed to somewhat streamline itself and become more professional in the process. That doesn’t mean that the robotic type presentations by inexperienced sellers, created by sales managers trying to impose 60’s, 70’s and 80’s style selling techniques has been eradicated. Far from it.
What has crept in over the past few decades are sales managers that are convinced that selling is a “numbers game.” And they’ll tell you is you do the numbers you will get the sale. What? They say, “just make the calls and the sales will come.”
Does that mean that you now their permission to “burn” valuable leads and territory just to make a sale here and there, now and then? That’s not what selling is all about.
THE PROSPECT IS NOT A NUMBER IN A VAST RESERVOIR OF ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES
A depersonalised sales ideology that sales presentations are reliant on simply “making up the numbers” in order to “get sales” has no place in professional selling. That heartless approach suggests every prospect is a number in a reservoir of a host of other numbers, ensuring that an unsold prospect is just another statistic that “way too stupid to buy.”
If the salesperson has that attitude, and worse still, believes what he or she is doing, they are headed for disastrous results every time. The minute the buyer senses this attitude in the seller the buyer backs off and no sale is the result.
Furthermore, this mental backwater perpetuated by the seller will quickly filter down through the office to the back-up staff. The customer in turn will be treated as just another number (or even an imposition) and receive second rate treatment and/or service.
In time, both the prospect and the seller will be looking to work elsewhere simply because they “have run out of leads” to sell to. Or so they will say.
PROFESSIONAL SELLERS BUILD TERRITORIES – THEY DON’T DESTROY THEM
Professional sellers on the other hand calculate carefully and work with statistics that give them an indication of how to improve their prospecting skills, because each time they see fewer people and obtain better results.
They carefully calculate and improve on their call to presentation ratio. Then subsequently are rewarded with a higher closing ratio that either stabilizes or improves with time.
Put a professional into the same territory that has previously been worked over by someone who worked it over believing sales to be a “numbers game,” and they will work the territory year after year, and rather than running out of leads, as the “number crunchers” seem to, the professional seller will require another professional seller to work with them because of the number of additional prospects buying from them.
THERE WILL NEVER BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR TRUTH AND INTEGRITY
I’d like a dollar for every time I’d heard someone tell me that at the point of close, “You look them straight in the eye and tell them anything , as long as it sounds good – the piercing eye contact makes it seem plausible and truthful.” That’s cute, and sounds very macho, but all the professionals I know will tell you a truth is a million times stronger than a lie. But it doesn’t stop there. The truth is the most powerful sales weapon known to man. Here are just some of the side benefits of telling and selling with the truth as a firm foundation:-
1. The truth will exert all the pressure the seller will ever need to make a sale.
2. The seller can (if the situation warrants it) beat the prospect senseless with the truth – and if the prospect knows it’s the truth, most times he or she will take the punishment and may even apologise for being so contradictory.
3. In essence, the truth is the only 100% guaranteed closing weapon available to the seller. And if you want to close more sales, more often, you must learn to honour, respect and use only that which is truth – a stretched truth is precisely that and not the truth. That’s the truth.
THE SELLING PROCESS SHOULD ALWAYS BE A TWO-WAY DIALOGUE
Any top sales performer will be quick to tell you that the most successful salespeople, are the ones who actively involve their customers in the selling process.
The sales presentation should always be a two-way dialogue, with the salesperson in control of the proceedings at all times. However, it is also crucial that the salesperson fully involve the prospect so they may work together to find a solution to a particular challenge.
The professional understands that the prospects who participate in solving their own problems are more likely to accept the solutions.
Here’s another tip for getting your prospect involved in the selling process.
Each time you ask a closing question, whether it’s a trial close or a power closing question listen carefully. If in your opinion it’s a minor detail, write it on the page you’re discussing as if it were of major importance. This will make them feel secure.
On the other hand, if it’s an idea you need to discuss but not a deal-breaker, discuss it immediately and make notes in order to diffuse the point they are wanting to make.
However, if it’s something major or if it takes the rest of your proposal completely off track, and brings up issues you were not prepared for, you could say, “Based on this new information, I’d like to rework this proposal so we’re covering all of your needs. Can we make an appointment to talk about this in say three days from now?”
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and of the 130 books he has written over the past 48 years, Peter has 65 Business Books to his credit, (but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale). Peter also has written 23 Christian books. One of Peter’s books, sold almost 2 million copies in the late 1970’s and is still selling well through second hand online marketers worldwide. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, all rights reserved.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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