Your weekly disruption
Your weekly thought-provoking exploration into building disruptive capabilities.
For The Love Of Sales – Part 1
Last week we looked at the power of positioning and in particular the final three growth platforms of the New World Selling ladder – referrals, recommendations & positioning.
Considering that CEB research states that 76% of all salespeople do not like selling, there is a challenge for anyone to rise up this ladder. Technology has definitely changed the way we do business. But sometimes there is no substitute for actually sitting in the same room as someone, being able to look them in the eye and have a real conversation. And the sales meeting is definitely one of those times. The following process looks at how to manage a sales meeting powerfully and respectfully – in terms of your mindset, your energy and your conversation.
We want to develop the right thinking (mindset), the right tone (energetic state) and what you need to say (conversation) for each and every selling conversation. This applies to each stage of the conversation before (what happens prior to the sales meeting), during (the body of the meeting) and at the decision point (the end of the conversation where the prospect is choosing whether or not to do business with you).
Strangely enough we believer that the first stage is the most important. What happens before you get into the room with a prospect has more bearing on the outcome than what you say during the meeting, or how you ask for the business (although obviously these things matter too). But unfortunately most sales training focuses on what happens during the meeting and the close.
Likewise we believe that your mindset and your energetic state is every bit as important as what you say, even though most sales theory is only about what you say. As you can see, the model explores all three aspects (mindset, energy and conversation) before the meeting, during it and at the close.
In todays blog we are going to focus on the elements before the meeting – cool, sold and clean.
The mindset we want before a sales conversation is to be cool, recognizing that sales are a numbers game. When people are weak at sales and not powerful with commercial conversations, it generally comes back to a fear of rejection. Instead of understanding that the prospect is saying no to the product or service we’re selling, at some level we interpret the no as a saying no to us, to rejecting us.
Thinking about sales as a numbers games helps eliminate that. There is an expected conversion rate. We know that some people will say yes, some will say no and that is the game – “some will, some won’t, so what.” The conversion rate depends on the size of opportunity, the previous relationship and a number of other factors. However, as a starting point, with anything new that we launch we factor in a one-in-four conversion rate. In other words, we are aiming to make a sale in 25% of our sales meetings.
Going into a meeting knowing that it is a numbers game, and that aim is to get to a yes or a no without much attachment to which, lets us be much lighter in the meeting. And as we’ll see, it helps us be surrendered at the decision point.
Stephen Covey says that every project is created twice: first in your mind, then in reality. In the same way, every sale is made twice: first to yourself, and then to the prospect.
If you aren’t sold yourself, you are not ready to have a sales meeting. You need to go back to work on your product or your offer until you’re in love with it. Ironically, in many of the transaction-based selling methods salespeople learnt that customers were likely to present objections to why they may not to buy the product. “Too pricey, don’t need it, not now.” In reality we have found that it is more likely to be the person selling who has objections and not the customer. Customers have questions, considerations, alternative options and time. People selling object to the customer saying no as it feels as if they themselves are being rejected. They object to having to sell something they do not truly believe in. They may even object to being a salesperson.
You know you are sold when you almost wish that you were a customer just so you could get what it is that you’re selling.
There is nothing worse than going to catch up with someone, or showing up at a social function, only to find out that there was a hidden agenda to sell something. Imagine being invited to a dinner party only to be offered a great ‘business opportunity’ in a multi-level marketing business or a time-share resort. It is a nightmare, and many of us have lived it.
And unfortunately, when we’re not clean with our set up, this is exactly what we are doing to our prospects. Perhaps not quite as bad, but definitely in the same spectrum. Too many people will set up a sales meeting with a loose invitation to catch up for a coffee. The meeting won’t be powerful and will feel sleazy. You know you are there to sell something but can’t be too overt about it because the meetings intent wasn’t set up properly. The sale part of the conversation will be weak, and the experience wont be great for either of you.
You’ll end up catching up for half an hour, talking briefly about what you actually want to sell, and not getting to the invitation, let alone to a decision.
The conversation before the actual meeting needs to be a clean set up. Be upfront and transparent about what the meeting is about. If the purpose of the meeting is to tell the prospect about what you are offering, to find out if they need it and to make a commercial offer, make sure you communicate that. Both parties need to know beforehand what is on the agenda.
A clean setup makes everything else much more powerful.
Next week we are going to delve into the elements required during the sales meeting – selective, dance and clicking..
We believe you need all six platforms to make a business hum. A black belt salesperson uses these ideas to tilt the table of sales to their advantage and by doing so to affect their results and the success of the business they work within. They do this, not by a few percentage points, but by a factor of ten. One salesperson operating from this space is worth ten who don’t.
If you are looking at turning your Salespeople into ‘C’ Based maestros with the power of Conviction either email Mark at email@example.com OR
dig for more information at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/storytelling/workshops/
At Superior Sales we build programmes leveraging all the core drivers of capability – organisation, people, process and culture, not just skills. Refer to our white paper at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/storytelling/whitepaper/
At Superior Sales our capability experts work extensively with companies to equip sales teams, and indeed the whole organisation, to deliver a better customer experience. Please get in touch at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/contact-us/
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