The best sales professionals are always looking for the slightest advantage to help them connect with more clients and close more deals.
They focus on small things like time of day to make a call, language used during a presentation, or even what color clothing to wear to influence the buying decision.
You are one of those people. You’re good, but you want to get better. You’re looking for that one thing to make a difference and push you over the top to the next level. Sometimes that one thing isn’t small at all. It’s so big it disrupts your thinking and changes the way you act.
Everything you know about sales is wrong.
“Always be closing!” the person in front of the room screams at you.
“Sell me this pen,” commands the sales manager during the interview.
“Where are your reports?!” demands the regional manager when he visits your office.
Closing is for doors. You can get pens for free at a bank or in a hotel. And if they want reports, they should hire accountants.
Sales has changed.
People buy from and work with people they like and trust. If you’re shoving a product or service down someone’s throat, nobody is going to like you or trust you.
Build a relationship first. Then deliver value. This is more comfortable for both the client and the sales professional.
Whenever I introduce this concept to people they tell me it takes too long. After all, when you think about relationships you think about your best friend from high school.
The truth is: You can develop a relationship in 60 seconds if you know how. And therein lies the problem. Most of us never learned the proper way to develop a relationship.
Consider this conversation:
You see an attractive person across the room. You walk up to them and say, “Hello. My name is Dave. Do you want to get married?”
Would that work? Probably not. Yet we try it every day in business and that’s what people hate about sales. We approach people and immediately try to pitch them on what we are selling.
A better way to approach them is to connect on a personal level right from the start. This is done by highlighting a point of commonality – like why you both are in that location or the reason you both are in that location at that time. After making that connection, you can gently probe to see if you can be of service.
Here are three guidelines to keep you focused:
1. 70% of every conversation should be focused on the other person. Stop talking. People do not care about you until they believe you have their best interests in mind. This means you have to let them do the talking.
2. People want help, but they don’t want to ask for help. Sometimes they are too embarrassed to ask. Sometimes their pride gets in the way of asking. But if you allow people to open up, they will tell you what they truly need. That will give you the opportunity to help.
3. When you solve problems, you make money. Most sales professionals look for problems their product can solve. When that particular problem hits them in the face, they are great at matching the benefits of their product to the needs expressed by the customer. Where they fall short is when the customer expresses a problem outside the scope of their normal work.
Sales has changed.
If you want to sell something to someone, you must focus on solving problems – even those that don’t involve immediate financial reward.
When you have that mental attitude, people feel it and they open up to you – in the first 60 seconds. Join us for a free webinar to learn more about the power of the first 60 seconds during your sales relationship. Click here to watch the recorded webinar .
– David Lorenzo
David Lorenzo is a best-selling author, founder of Valtimax® Consulting, sales expert known for his 60 Second Sales System, and has built five highly successful businesses over the last 25 years. One of Dave’s most impressive projects includes taking a corporate housing company from a startup to over $50 million in annual revenue. He is a guest blogger for Zoho.