During my roles in solutions sales B2B businesses, I was often asked by my team members about my mantra for success.
My answer , based on my analysis, was the following- make 3 critical changes in the way you engage with your clients, internalise these changes, and you will have been served well .
These 3 changes that I mention are-
- CHANGE #1: Describe what you’re selling as a “verb” rather than a “noun.” For example, suppose you’re selling for an industrial glue manufacturer. If you think that your job is to sell “glue” (a noun), you’ll talk to the customer about product features. If you think your job is to sell “gluing” (a verb), you will tend to uncover your customer’s gluing needs. Then you can show your offering can fulfill that need.
Another example that I can give here is when I was selling packaging solutions- I would never go and tell my client that I am selling packaging, BUT that I was selling his brand , profitably. This sort of had “shock value” in a market, where all my competitors, were selling packaging, and I was the only exception, selling my client’s brand and that too with a profit- therefore the engagement became more of a solution as opposed to a me-too, product, competing on price. Needless to say that my rate of client conversion was way higher than that of my competitors! Now think of applying that to chemicals industry…that’s another story folks!
- CHANGE #2: Think about selling as helping the customer rather than making a sale. To do this, you simply expunge from your mental vocabulary the standard ways of describing sales process, like “convincing,” “persuading,” and “overcoming.” Instead, you reframe the selling process of visualizing, with the customer, how (if they had your product) their problems might be solved and their goals achieved.
Guys, if you want to stand out from the crowd of other sales reps in the market, you seriously need to develop superior, communication skills to begin with, and slowly easing into story telling skills, using both visual as well as non visual formats to tell your story to your client- this follows from the change # 1 that I spoke of earlier. First use the change#1, and then follow up by using story telling skills to make a lasting impact.
- CHANGE #3. Consider a sales call successful even when you don’t make a sale. Many salespeople get so caught up in “winning” that they foist unwanted products onto the customer. Rather than adopting a dogged determination to make the sale, make it clear — first in your own head and then directly to the customer – that you’re more than willing to leave if you can’t actually help the customer.
This comes from having a high EQ. Simple.