My sales team members, especially the future stars often asked me- how can we make our engagement with our clients effective so that the sale is closed quickly and the client is satisfied that our offer (product or service) is the best from among the competition?
The difference between an ordinary sales rep and a star is that, the regular sales rep thinks that a sales call consists of a rambling speech, a monologue in which he talks about the company he represents, talks about the product or service that his company offers in elaborate detail and then goes down to some “rapport” building exercises!
Please note – I used the word MONOLOGUE, and thats a dead give away! The description of a sales rep- client engagement mentioned above is what happens in almost 90% if cases, where the sales rep believes that he just pocketed the sales by leveraging his communications skills, his articulation skills and his smarts!!! (he conveniently forgets in this assessment that during this engagement, he spoke for 80% of the time, while giving the client only 20% of time to make his point!!)
This is bound to lead to failure! Wrong assessment on all counts!!
This “show up and throw up” approach is particularly common inside companies that are proud of their products and services ( to a fault) and believe that the quality and capabilities of those products and services are what drives their customers to buy. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Unfortunately , marketing and sales heads in these companies let past successes of their products and services get to their head and complacency often sets in- the consumer / client is relegated to the position of “needy buyer” who has no choice and no alternatives!! wrong again!!! THATS SALES HARA KIRI!!
Customers don’t give rat’s rear end for your business, your company or your products. Customer are interested in their own career, their own company, and the ability of their own company to sell to their own customers. In that order. Your “stuff” isn’t even on their list.
(Marketers WAKE UP and smell the coffee!!)
With this in mind, here are nine questions to ask yourself before you make any sales presentation:
- How does this individual perceive the problem I intend to solve?
- What is the pithy summary of my idea that will appeal to this person?
- What roles does this person play in the decision-making process?
- What is my goal for this encounter?
- What is the basis for my credibility with this person?
- Will my idea conflict with any of this person’s beliefs?
- How might my idea conflict with this person’s interests?
- Can I leave the relationship better than I found it?
- What kind of public commitment from this person would best build momentum?