When I started my career in 1992, I was introduced to the power of the sales pitch by my mentors who came from the old school. At that time, the sales pitch was king.
The sales pitch had to be perfected to a point that you knew that pitch by heart, and that was THE critical element of hooking the client.
Well, circa 2012, and Solutions marketing is fast gaining over traditional marketing and with that , sales strategy is evolving.
Today, successful sales reps know that, far from being a “sales pitch,” every customer meeting is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship and to engage with the customer with a long term perspective.
there are 3 simple rules that the sales rep of today can follow in order to evolve from a slick , fast talking, fast thinking sales pro, to a more strategic thinking, solutions oriented, business partner to his customer.
- RULE #1: Always seek the truth. You want to find out if you really have something that can help the customer. To do this, the meeting must be a quest to discover the real areas where the two of you can work together. Quick tip: your customer knows that you’re telling the truth when you’re not afraid to say something negative (but true) about your product or company.
- RULE #2: Always keep an open mind. When you walk into a customer meeting absolutely convinced that the customer needs your product or service, the customer will sense you’re close-minded and become close-minded in return. If, by contrast, you’re open to the idea that the customer might be better served elsewhere, the customer will sense that you’ve got his or her best interests at heart and will be more likely to listen to what you have to say.
- RULE #3: Always have a real dialog. A customer meeting should be a conversation, not a mere sales call. This means that you should be listening to the customer at least half of the time that’s spent at the meeting. Furthermore, the dialog should be substantive and about real business issues, not just office patter or chit-chat about sports.