Whatever product or service you are selling, you should be able to empathize with her predicament.
Outdated sales skills do not address the fundamental issue of how we think about selling, and until we address that fundamental issue and permanently alter our thinking about selling, we will continue to struggle with the same counterproductive sales behaviors.
And we will continue to believe that the breakthrough we seek is always just one new sales technique away.
New Thoughts = Novel Results
Consider the table below and consider your current selling mindset.
What would happen to your selling behaviors if you altered your sales thinking?
Old Sales Mentality vs. New Sales Mentality
1. Always begin with a strong sales pitch vs. Commence a conversation.
2. Your objective is to always close the sale vs. Your objective should always be to determine whether you and your prospect are a good match.
3. When a sale is lost, it is typically at the conclusion of the sales process. Vs When a sale is lost, it is typically at the start of the sales process.
4. Recognize that rejection is a natural part of the selling process. vs. Subtle sales pressure results in rejection. By removing sales pressure, you will never face rejection.
5. Continue pursuing prospects until you receive a yes or no. vs Never pursue leads. Rather than that, ascertain whether there is a fit or not.
6. When prospects raise objections, they should be challenged andor countered. When prospects raise objections, validate them and reintroduce yourself.
7. If prospects contest your product’s or service’s value, defend yourself and explain it. Vs Never defend yourself or your offering. This adds to the sales pressure.
Let us examine these concepts in greater detail so that you can begin to expand your current sales thinking and become more effective in your sales efforts.
1. Put an end to the sales pitch. Commence a conversation.
Never begin a call with a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and the services you offer.
Rather than that, begin with a conversational phrase that highlights a specific issue that your product or service addresses. For instance, you could say, “I am calling to see if you are open to considering some alternative approaches to preventing downtime across your computer network.””
Take note that this opening phrase is not a sales pitch for your solution. Rather than that, you are addressing a problem that you believe they may be experiencing based on your experience in your field. (If you are unsure what problems your product or service addresses, conduct some research by asking current customers why they chose your solution.)
2. Your objective should always be to determine whether you and your prospect are a good match.
If you let go of the need to close the sale or obtain the appointment, you will discover that you are not required to take responsibility for the sales process’s advancement.
By simply focusing your conversation on problems that you can assist prospects with and refraining from rushing the sales process, you will discover that prospects will provide you with the direction you require.
3. Typically, when you lose a sale, it occurs early in the sales process.
If you believe you are losing sales as a result of errors made at the conclusion of the process, examine how you initiated the relationship. Have you begun with a pitch?
Did you use conventional sales language (“We have a solution that you truly require” or “Others in your industry have already purchased our solution; you should as well”)?
Traditional sales language instills in prospects the negative stereotype of the “salesperson.” This makes it nearly impossible for them to develop a trusting relationship with you or to engage in an honest, open discussion about the problems they are attempting to solve and how you might be able to assist them.
4. Subtle sales pressure results in rejection. By removing sales pressure, you will never face rejection.
Prospects are not the cause of rejection. You do — when something you say, however innocuous, elicits a defensive response from your prospect.
Indeed, there is something you say.
You can permanently eliminate rejection by giving up the hidden agenda of hoping to close a sale. Rather than that, ensure that everything you say and do stems from the fundamental belief that you are there to assist prospects in identifying and resolving their problems.
5. Never pursue leads. Rather than that, ascertain whether there is a fit or not.
Chasing prospects has long been accepted as normal and necessary, but it is rooted in the macho selling image that “if you stop chasing, you are giving up, which means you are a failure.” This is patently false.
Instead, ask your prospects if they would be open to connecting again at a specific time and date to avoid both of you playing phone tag.
6. When prospects raise objections, validate them and reintroduce the subject.
The majority of traditional sales programs devote considerable time to “overcoming” objections, but these tactics only serve to increase sales pressure.
They also prevent you from investigating or discovering the truth about what your prospects are saying.
You are aware that “We lack the budget,” “Send me information,” and “Call me back in a few months” are all polite evasions designed to get you off the phone. Put an end to your counter-arguments. Rather than that, shift your focus to uncovering the truth by responding, “That is not a problem.” Regardless of the objection, use gentle, dignified language that invites prospects to share the truth about their situation without fear of being pressed for a sale.
7. Never defend yourself or your offering. This adds to the sales pressure.
When prospects ask, “Why should I choose you over your competition?” your instinctive response is to defend your product or service because you believe you are the best option and want to persuade them. However, what is going through their minds at that precise moment?
Something along the lines of, “This’salesperson’ is attempting to sell me, and I despise the sensation of being sold.”
Put an end to your defenses. Indeed, state plainly that you will not attempt to convince them of anything, as this will only create sales pressure. Rather than that, re-ask them about the critical issues they are attempting to resolve.
Then consider how your product or service might be able to address those issues. Put an end to your attempts at persuasion. Allow prospects to choose you without feeling pressured.
The sooner you can let go of the traditional sales beliefs that we have all been exposed to, the sooner you will regain your confidence in selling and begin to see improved results.