Salespeople react very differently when it comes to sales techniques. I think it’s because most salespeople don’t really understand the part of selling that relies on techniques. I’ve seen it over and over again in my 21 years in the sales development business – salespeople hear the technique, learn the technique and use the technique. The problem is, that’s not the purpose of a technique. You shouldn’t ever have to use a technique!
A lot of subscribers have asked me to provide some advice relative to the way they approach their sales calls. They tell me about how they position themselves, what they say, what they show, how they build value, and what they present. Then they tell me how their prospects respond and ask how I might do things differently. I can’t respond to all of these requests individually but this week I’d like to attempt a generic response.
I get many emails from people who are selling products that always were or have recently become commodities. Most salespeople, when faced with a commodity sale, try to provide reasons for a prospect to buy from them instead of the competition. This strategy further identifies them as a commodity seller. Others attempt to further devalue their offering by quoting what they hope will be the lowest price. Neither option is an effective short or long-term strategy for this challenge.
I receive a great number of emails on the subjects of beating the competition, increased competition, difficult competition, writing winning proposals, making winning presentations and selling value. In the end, if you can effectively sell value, chances are that you can handle the other challenges that come your way. The problem is that most salespeople don’t even understand the concept of selling value, never mind being able to execute it. This week’s tip explores some of the principals of selling value.
I just spent an entire week working with a sales team facing increasing competition and suffering from a less than stellar closing ratio. They were having difficulty differentiating themselves despite their position as the market leader.
My brother-in-law was asking me about how difficult it is to train salespeople on the execution of Baseline Selling compared with other selling methodologies.
Last week I provided examples of the kinds of questions you need to ask on the way to 2nd Base. I also invited readers to send me their questions and I would let you know if you got them right. I still have a number of emails to respond to but will share this reader’s questions because they were so good.
Reverse Selling was conceptualized by Elmer Wheeler in the 1930’s and 1940’s. If you have read Baseline Selling then you may remember that Elmer is the guy who coined the phrase, “sell the sizzle, not the steak”.
What constitutes a good sales call?
I hear salespeople tell me, “it went well!” When I ask why they think so, I hear things like, “we had a great conversation”, “we hit it off”, “they’re going to spend a lot of money”, “they loved what I said”, etc.
I accompanied Bob and George on a sales call yesterday and mostly sat and observed. Not much happened, there weren’t any obvious compelling reasons for the prospect to do anything and the call seemed to be a waste of their time. I jumped in twice, the first time to rattle off some issues that I had heard but which weren’t addressed. That moved the call a little bit in the right direction, but not enough.