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The classic line in marketing is “people do not buy a drill, they buy a hole”. I am going to be very brave and say that from a sales perspective that is complete and utter rubbish!
People do not buy a hole and if you take time to understand a prospect’s buying motivation you will quickly discover that people buy a drill for many reasons. Why do they want a hole?
And why do they need a new drill? Why do they want one right now?
I love to watch movies, especially at the cinema. As well as being entertained by the stories I learn a lot from them too. One of my favourite movies, for many reasons, is Ground Hog Day. The central theme to the story is that the central character is a little mean and nasty and finds himself in a position where he keeps having to live the same day over and over again until he gets it right and then he can move on with the rest of his life.
Here’s a little story about a brush salesman called Martin. It includes quite a bit of the soft selling philosophy in it and is applicable to cold calling, professional services as well as selling brushes door to door!!…….
SPIN selling, Solution selling and the many other flavours of consultative selling are very powerful when used as intended. They are ways of being able to help both prospect and sales person to think through the problem at hand, discover the underlying factors and together arrive at some conclusions. The sales person can then make an informed proposal as to the remedy to the problem.
There are many myths associated with selling. One of the biggest myths is that it takes the ‘gift of the gab’ to succeed in sales. The reality is that being a good listener is far more important than being a good talker. There are plenty of training courses around covering listening skills. Real listening, however, is hard to learn as a skill.
People who are new to sales often tell me how attending sales meetings with senior executives make them feel nervous. It takes a while to get used to it. However, there is a way to boost confidence I learnt many years ago.
In this article I will share with you a simple 5 step visualisation technique I teach people that them transform from a shivering wreck to a super confident sales person.
I have used it myself for every sales meeting over the last 15 years. I also use it for every speech I do and anything that needs super confidence.
Yesterday I did a workshop for Business Link on ‘How to win more sales’ and there were businesses with turnover ranging from £1m to £8m. I asked around the room who had heard of terms like the ‘sales funnel’ and ‘pipeline report’. None of them kept statistics and knew what their conversion rates were.
This is basic sales management and doing it not only makes sales more predictable but it also provides all the answers to where in the sales pipeline you can work on to increase sales. For example, lets say a sales person had statistics as follows:
50 Leads Generated
I have just got the go ahead for a big project that actually started out as a small opportunity. A company asked for some sales training and it would have been so easy to just focus on what they said they wanted
I teach that you cannot start selling until you have the facts and the first thing to know is what is motivating the enquiry. By doing a sense check and discovering what they REALLY need starts the conversation into a whole new direction and potentially new oportunities.
I can remember a time when I would try and sell to everyone and anyone. Those were in my early and naïve days of selling before I had begun to study people getting consistently good results. I can remember one time driving 5 hours down the motorway for a ‘hot’ meeting only to find that my prospect that I was pinning my hopes on was on holiday! 5 hours there, 5 hours back! What a total waste of time.
Around 15 years ago I learned a technique that really boosted my confidence and performance in sales meetings and I still use the technique to this day for every sales meeting I attend. You are, however, more likely to discover the technique in a book on sports performance than a book on sales.