To the man who has carved out a career in one of the professions be it in Law or Accounting, or in Medicine or Dental Surgery, or the Arts or Sciences, selling appears to be a contradiction assuming enormous proportions. A contradiction based on experience. Each sales professional needs to learn the “Art of Salesmanship” in order to be able to survive and grow in their vocation. Yet what these professionals read about selling, generally contradicts what they see and experience salespeople doing in their day to day lives.
What makes it even more bewildering’, is that their professions require both an enormous amount of learning and continual updating. And, not one of them would expect one of their associates try and achieve results:
- by moving in the opposite direction to that expected within the industry;
- or by throwing out the tried and tested methods, or ignoring their basics handbooks and replacing them with a series of unproven quick-fix formulas;
- or by any other means foreign to a professional … and that includes working in their profession before receiving tertiary qualifications and/or accreditation.
The dictionary describes a PROFESSIONALISM as one: “Engaged in, connected with, or worthy of the standards of a profession.” If you think you’re safe because your “engaged in”, or “connected to”, lets look at the second part which stipulates, “or worthy of the standards of a profession.” Then the dictionary goes on to describe PROFESSION as: “An occupation requiring advanced education”. And without the appropriate education, you won’t understand the basics and therefore have trouble learning the more advanced concepts.
THE PROBLEM WITH SALES IN THE 2000’s IS … WE’VE BEEN TURNING OUT SALES-WISE REPRESENTATIVES. The ones Industrial Psychologists call “Comfort Zone Sellers”. People who are always going after new and innovative selling techniques before they’ve mastered the true and tried methods that have always worked.
They want instant fixes in place of sound training. They experiment, rather than apply that which is know to give results. Their language contains phrases such as “Trust me”, “She’ll be right mate”, “This is best for you” and a host of other easy to learn one-liners. To achieve results, their presentation has been rewritten to include phrases that exaggerate, overstate and manipulate. And rather than advise, they impress. In time they harden their attitude towards their prospects, their peers and their companies.
But the irony is – people who promise great things to get the sale, fail more often than those who bungle their way through a bad call. The fastest and easiest method of success known to a professional sheer hard work, learning what to do and then rehearsing it, and rehearsing it, and rehearsing it some more, before it can be used in a prospect with the desired end result.
Use a Summary as a Part of Your Close
When you finish giving your presentation, it’s important to summarize the benefits of what you’ve agreed to with your prospects … especially the points that have addressed your prospect’s specific wants.
You could say something like:
“A little earlier you told me that what was important to you was __________. Good, so let me summarize what we’ve agreed on here. If you agree to move forward, here are the benefits you’ll be getting. As I see it, your most important benefit will be…”
Good Listeners – Bad Listeners
Research shows that good listeners are involved in external reality – the affairs of others. Whereas poor listeners are involved in internal reality – their own agenda. And the only way to stay focussed on external reality is to go into the call with a pre-determined goal to listen to the prospect and absorb as much of what he/she says as possible. Invariably the poor listeners will turn the focus on themselves.
Use “We” When Negotiating
Professionals never refer to their superiors or the company as they. That distances them from being able to negotiate on behalf of their company. They simply use WE. And that automatically elevates their position in the eyes of the prospect and greatly strengthens their negotiatory ability.
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 has 65 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. 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.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com