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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 to watch?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Contributor: Drew Stevens

Published here on: 11-Sep-11

Classification: Sales

Website: http://www.stevensconsultinggroup.com/

 

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