How Is Selling Different Today?

sales-techniques-2015In this age of instant information at your fingertips, the job of a salesperson has changed. For the longest time a sales professional had to both educate and sell customers on their product or service. Today, most buyers are educating themselves before engaging with a salesperson. How has this changed the job of a salesperson? How does this require new sales techniques?

CONNECT: If social media has taught us anything, it’s that people love to connect (people are social). It is now more important than ever for a salesperson to connect with their prospects on some kind of personal level. That is, we have to be relational versus transactional. How can you as a sales professional, help a well-educated buyer? If they know a lot. Great! Simply repeating what they know builds trust relationally, and it drives home value – “I see that you have done your homework. That’s great – I don’t have to tell you how incredible the new Widget 1000 really is and how it’s helping customers like yourself with X Y and Z.”

REFLECT: Many customers contact salespeople to find out the price because they have already done their research.  A novice salesperson will respond to this pricing inquiry by giving the price and then waiting for the customer to say they will buy.  A better approach is to reflect back the importance of price by highlighting the value of the product as well as the benefit of working directly with you. “I see you’re asking directly about price. It sounds like you’ve done your homework. I hope that we can work together on this as my clients are absolutely thrilled with the Widget 1000.”

REJECT: There are more and more salespeople becoming “order takers.” They are the ones closing the 10% of deals that would have bought just by calling in to a service center.  No sales skills required. They fail to recognize the 60% of deals that could have been closed by relational sales techniques and finding out the needs of the prospect and then meeting those needs. Reject the “order taking” approach and get on a sales training regimen that will break you free and keep you from amateurville.

If you stop and think about the best sales experiences you have had. Did the sale professional connect with you? Did they affirm and reflect back your values and needs? Did they work respectfully, rejecting the “order-taking” approach, and truly seek to help you in your buying decision? Yes. Yes they did.

You could boil the above down to a question: What are the top sales people doing today?  The answer: Asking questions and having conversations.

It really is that easy.

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~ DH/Theo

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