Do you understand how to sell your products/services to potential customers or are you afraid to tell people that you're a salesperson? What's the first thing you think of when you hear salesperson? Chances are, if you're like most people, you thought of something negative. In my mind, I think of a sleazy used car salesperson; A guy dressed in a bad suit that's trying to sell me a car that's not good for me. Guess what …. the sales industry is not the same. For one – many women are in sales. In fact, I was at a conference this weekend with Daniel Pink as our keynote speaker. He shared that the sales has changed more in the past 10 years than in the last 100 years.
The OLD ABCs of How to Sell
Did you ever see the movie (or a movie clip) of Glengarry, Glen Ross? It's based upon a play about a group of desperate real estate agents. A very young and handsome Alec Baldwin embarrasses the salespeople on the team. It's horrible, but pretty hilarious. You should watch the clip here if you haven't seen it yet. “A – B – C – Always Be Closing.”
Here's the thing. Back then – that's how they trained people! I mean, not to such a horrible extent – but I was trained to “Always be Closing” during my training in corporate America. Many successful salesperson's (well, let's be honest, mostly men), used these kind of tactics to “get” people. The power was in THEIR hands.
But things have changed. Yes, times have changed.
The NEW ABCs of How to Sell
Knowledge is power. And now, the consumer has access to INFORMATION everywhere! So the power parity has changed. Daniel Pink shared with our team, scientists have identified the three new qualities for persuasive selling.
Attunement: persuasive salesperson must have perspective. She or he must have the ability to see things from multiple perspectives – most importantly, from the customer's perspective to determine how to sell to their customer.
Buoyancy : The life of a salesperson in full of rejection. A successful salesperson must figure out how to stay afloat in the ocean of rejection.
Clarity: There's so much information out there. A strong salesperson knows how to curate the information to make sense of it. The need has shifted from being a problem solver to being a problem finder. A great example of a company that created a problem and then a solution – Uber! A successful salesperson can help identify a problem that their customer didn't even know they had and provide a solution custom made for them!
Once you understand and have the attributes of the new ABCs, how to sell to your customers becomes more evident.
Other key points to consider.
- The MOST successful salesperson is neither a strong extrovert nor a strong introvert – she's an Ambivert! An Ambivert is in the middle of an extrovert and introvert. She's an expert on when to talk and when to listen. If you're strong on either side of the spectrum, start focusing a little on moving yourself to the middle of the spectrum while your in sales mode. Since I know I like to talk, I have to work on keeping my lips shut more often and really listening to my customers. For you, you might be on the quiet side – so you'll have to start talking a bit more. Listen, I know it takes a lot of energy to not be yourself. Don't worry, you can go back to being your awesome self to regain that energy.
- A great way to determine how to sell to your customers is to leverage the contrast principal. Your customers are more likely to BELIEVE you if you have a small negative next to your long list of positives as to why they should buy your product or service.
- Build an “off ramp.” Instead of spending a lot of time trying to CONVINCE your customer that they need your product, try making it as EASY as possible to get it. Customer service goes a LONG way to keeping happy customers.
- Leverage “endings” as a meaning maker. If someone believes it's their “LAST chance” to get something, they're more likely to want it and savor it.
Now as much as I'd like to include a video of Daniel Pink in here, I don't have the authority to do that. Instead, I highly suggest you pick up one of his books: To Sell is Human and A Whole New Mind.
I gave a high level overview of Daniel Pink's keynote speech on my personal page.
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