A mixed bag of thoughts this month to help you improve sales:
The first (a 30 second read) looks at why you, no matter who you are should invest some attention towards improving how you ‘sell’.
The second (a 50 second read) looks at a really bad but common way to sell, and offers an alternative that actually works.
The third (a 90 second read) highlights perhaps the most immediate and costliest blindspot that you or your sales people might face. And it suggests a fix.
1. Q: Is sales a dying profession?
It might appear to be to those who misunderstand it (that mostly includes people who don’t like the idea of selling and those who aren’t very good at it – and this includes plenty of people in ‘marketing’ who may lean more into selling through written content, ads, social media, and so on rather than through conversations with people.)
But, the need to ‘sell’ will always exist all the while one human wants something from another, one human really wants to help another, or when two or more humans are trying to solve a problem together that requires conversation and decisions.
Tip: If you think your future might include any of these situations then you might like to learn to improve how to ‘sell’ to other people (or how to help them make valuable decisions that improve their situation – which is what good selling is.)
You could make (and schedule) a decision to do that.
2. Here’s a really bad way to sell that I keep seeing well intentioned people doing:
They go for the “Hi – I’ve got this, do you want it?” approach.
And…they instantly look like a “sales person”, and a bad one at that.
So their prospective buyers protect themselves by either ignoring them, or just saying, “no.”
Here’s a really good way to sell that these people should upgrade to:
“What problem are you trying to solve? Why? Why now? I’m an expert in that problem and I help people in the same situation as you – I might be able to help you do this and save you some troubles too. Perhaps we should keep talking?”
It feels better, more sensible, switched on, relevant, trustworthy, professional, credible, valuable, respectful, and hopeful.
I don’t mean for you! I mean for your buyer! Oh, and for you too since you mention it. It’s better for everyone and is far more motivating for the buyer to act upon.
And it instantly differentiates you from that ‘other lot’ saying, “Look, I’ve got this! Do you want it?”
I’ll show you how to use it if you read on…
3. What’s the biggest blindspot holding most sales people back (and most sales leaders?)
I’d suggest that it’s thinking that they’re doing just fine at selling. If you thought that, then why would you ever improve? You’d have no reason whatsoever to put your attention towards improvement.
Make no mistake, thinking that you or your team are ‘good enough’ at this shuts down improvement. When this improvement might just make the big difference in your business or career.
It fixes our (likely flawed – who’s perfect?) approach as the world changes around us.
It’s easy to be blind to how good you or your team really are too. First we have plenty of biases. Dunning Kruger screws most people over pretty quickly. But also, if your offering is in demand, you could be just an order taker rather than a sales person. Then, when the market or competition shifts, you become exposed. You weren’t good at selling. You just gave people what they asked for. Nothing more.
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked. – Warren Buffet
Thinking that your team can sell ok (and will continue to do so) is a choice.
You could choose to think, “what if we’re overlooking some simple shifts that could create more value to our customers and ourselves?”
But if you choose to think that you or your team are selling just fine, then you’re choosing to put future improvement and results at risk. And better performance might just be what your business needs to move forwards?
In my 20+ years of selling and helping others to learn how to sell better, the people that improve and enjoy the rewards are the ones who think, “I could probably learn some better ways to do this.”
There’s a better way to do it – find it! – Thomas Edison
Then they decide to do so.
They make a point of deciding, then they act on it, they start learning, and they start challenging themselves to find easier, more effective, or more enjoyable ways to tackle the problem of connecting more value to more customers more often.
It’s a pretty simple formula, but you must decide to do so (and in my book, a decision isn’t made until you’ve taken action on it).
If you want your sales (or non-sales) people to improve their approach and results…
…and you want to get the ball rolling now, then I’m a specialist in that problem. I help people in that situation. I might be able to help you do this and save you some troubles too?
Perhaps we should be talking?
I might be able to help you with some coaching, training, online training, or just some advice to help you tackle your challenges ahead.
Would someone in your network benefit from this?
If you found this post useful then perhaps some people in your network might like it too? Please consider helping it reach them with a like and a share – many thanks!
Some FREE e-books I’ve written that you may be interested in:
If you’re looking at buying sales training you’ll make smarter decisions if you have these 10 conversations with your colleagues first.
Find the one thing to focus on to make maximum impact on your sales performance.
This will help you get an idea of the sales results that your could be within your team’s reach.
If you lead a team of engineers and you’d like to see them selling more effectively, then read this. And get in touch with me. I specialise in helping these people to sell.