The New World of Selling
Guest articles >
The New World of Selling
by: Drew Stevens
George called me the other day totally frustrated with his sales team and not
meeting goals. It was not just the team that angered him but actually that the
sales industry is changing. After much discussion he agreed with me that the
profession of selling was undergoing a transition- one that has not occurred
since the development of the facsimile of even the cell phone.
Do you remember when it was easy to simply place a call to visit your client?
Do you recall simply making a call and the client actually picks it up? Do you
remember when budgets and goals were as easy as finding something on television
Years ago selling required onsite demonstrations and “live” representatives.
Today customer conversations are conducted over the Internet and demonstrations
are arranged with apps and cloud computing. In fact, to a large extent consumers
have full access to vendor information and products. They self- educate due to
lack of time unfortunately allowing them to know more about your business.
Customers do not want or need to be sold. If they want it they will connect
with you. Therefore the role of selling representatives has changed. Today you
must work smarter to become more engaged with your prospective clients. Here are
five quick things to develop to help you sell in the new world.
- The Cancellation of Old Practices – There are many like George that will
disagree with me but if you want to sell more today and not work so hard then
you need to stop cold calling. It does not work. Cold calling is abrasive,
inward, and transaction, disruptive and most importantly does not reach decision
makers. Rote procedures of yesteryear will not work. It is important to reach
decision makers with less abrasive tactics while producing better methods that
illustrate a valuable customer centered relationship.
- The Value of Customer Relationships – The concept required for every selling
professional and sales manager is value. This requires that all selling
professionals think about what a client will receive from conducting business
with you. Clients already know about features from viewing websites, forums and
social media. The intangible is the service differentiation they receive from
doing business with your organization. What is different? What is better than
they currently have? Finally, what do you provide that others cannot? Think in
terms of clients, not units.
- Differentiation with Customer Service – Over 60% of every interaction with a
client involves customer service. However some selling professionals filter
calls with caller ID, some do not return calls when promised because they are
too busy. And others might become dismissive in conversation. Jennifer recently
attended an event for her daughter. The facilitator spoke for over 65 minutes
without interaction. This was a sales promotion. It involved all features, no
benefits while patronizing the participants. Surprising nothing was sold. The
key differentiator today is customer service.
- The Wow Factor – Professional Presence – Rick is the chairman of a financial
services firm. Within one week of his new assignment he visited with one of his
representatives in Texas. The two were to meet a client for dinner. Rick’s sales
representative was dressed in a baseball shirt and jeans. The venue for dinner a
sports bar to discuss the acquisition of a $50MM loan. As expected Rick was
mortified but surprisingly the representative saw nothing wrong. The new world
of selling requires a keener sense of dress. Sales managers today must encourage
selling representatives to dress like the proud CEO of their organization. Dress
should be business professional with representatives carrying expensive
planners, pad folios and pens. Be the representative the client desires to
service and see.
- Customer Influence at Work – The last aspect of client attraction is the
knowledge of customer-to-customer influences. Customers speak to each other
about your organizations products and services. The world of social media
creates a new world of community conversation. This requires that selling
professions are actively and visibly creating community. Aggressive networking
is necessary in realizing that selling in the new world is a contact sport.
Selling in the new world requires a different mindset to remain visible to
clients. Today it is all about value to offer the differentiation necessary. If
you want to sell more than stop sitting on your past by being active in our
brave competitive new world.
© 2011. Drew J Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.
Drew Stevens Ph.D. President of
Stevens Consulting Group is
one of those very rare
sales management and business development experts with not only 28 years of
true sales experience but advanced degrees in sales productivity. Not many can
make such as claim. Drew works with sales managers and their direct reports to
create more customer centric relationships that dramatically drive new revenues
and new clients. He is the author of
Split Second Selling and the founder and coordinator of the
Sales Leadership Program at Saint
Louis University. Contact him today at 877-391-6821.
Published here on: 11-Sep-11