A Sales Rule You Can’t Afford To Break:

Be Transparent

4/7 in a series

Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about six things we must do to be successful in sales. This week we focus on being transparent.

Most of these 6 imperatives are about how to get to Yes, but this one is about not creating a No. Being transparent through the sales process does not mean you will win the deal, but lacking transparency by being inconsistent, uninformed, or unclear can lose the deal.

Don’t sabotage your sale by getting caught off guard.

We’ve all been there. You’re having great conversation with your customer. They are interested in your service, and closing the deal is all but inevitable. And then they ask a question. You don’t know the answer, but you could make an informed guess. If you answer now, you can close this deal on the spot. If you wait to get an answer, they might change their mind or explore other options.

Some salespeople may have found it tempting to B.S. a little. What’s the harm? Your answer is probably correct, anyway. Right?

There used to be that kind of “wiggle-room” in sales. Even if you were tempted before, you just can’t B.S. it now. You can’t take the risk.

Buyers used to depend on salespeople for information about their products. Salespeople could have a little knowledge and a lot of confidence, and both parties might walk away happy. But thanks to the internet, buyers have access to as much—if not more—information as you do.

A recent study found 45% of buyers are doing more research now than they did just one year ago. We need a lot of knowledge, a little confidence, and easy access to answers for those out-of-left-field questions when they do pop up. And sometimes the humility to admit when we just don’t know.

We can’t afford to say one thing when our website, our ads, or our colleagues say something else. Think of the red flags that get raised when your answers don’t jibe with the other things they’ve seen and heard.

Were you inconsistent because you don’t know? They might question your credibility.

Were you inconsistent because you lied? They might question your integrity.

Were you inconsistent because the company doesn’t have a good process? They might question the business’ ethics.

People buy from people they trust. Now, more than ever, we have no choice but to be trustworthy. That means being transparent and consistent across all sources of information. What we say and do has to be consistent with what we claim—and what our company claims—our products and services can do. If not, we risk losing trust…and the sale.

The best way to avoid this pitfall is to be prepared. We can help.

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

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Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!

Want To Sell More Effectively? Focus On Them. Here’s What That Means:

It’s about them…part 3 of 7.

Good salespeople quickly realize they can’t bring self centered marketing, storyboards, and ego to the table when selling. It turns prospects off, destroys credibility, and wastes time.

In this series we’ve been discussing the six sales imperatives that keep salespeople and their interactions with clients relevant and meaningful. Last week’s session: ‘It’s not about you’ reminded us that being self centered during initial engagements with our prospect is risky and unproductive. So, if that’s the case…who is it about? It’s about them- the prospect. If you just said the word “Duh” in your head, you’re not alone. It seems so obvious. Of course it’s about them. Well, if that’s the case, why does it get missed so often?

You can have an amazing product, outstanding service, and an unbelievable customer support program and still fail to hit your target. You prepared well, you got the right people around the table, and your sales presentation went amazingly, but you still didn’t make the sale. 

Why? 

It’s possible you overlooked something. The buyer. There are 4 barriers of buying that must be cleared with every buyer if you are going to secure the sale and retain your customers. It goes without saying that your product or service must meet the needs of the buyer and their organization. As a good salesperson though, you also have to overcome the 4 buying barriers. 

Here they are:

  1. No Trust- The prospect senses that your intentions are selfish. 
  2. No Need- The prospect either doesn’t feel the need to act or doesn’t see any risk in delaying the solution.  
  3. No Help- The prospect has heard about your product or service, but they don’t see how it applies to them.
  4. No Satisfaction- The prospect (or people they know) has made decisions before that ended badly. 

Too often, salespeople don’t take the time and effort to research what the customer wants or needs. They fail to ask questions that uncover the buyer’s position, situation, or true desired state. Frankly, they spend too much time talking about themselves, their company, and how awesome they are, and too little time focused on the actual buyer. Buyers sense this immediately and throw up one of the 4 barriers, killing the deal. 

In order to overcome these barriers salespeople must recognize that our engagements have to be about the buyer. Thoughtful preparation must take place. At each stage of the selling process sellers need to do a check to ensure they have proactively addressed each potential barrier. They have to prepare in a way that makes the buyer feel comfortable, relieving tension that is often felt during the selling process. 

Think about it this way…..to address the 4 obstacles a seller should be thinking about the buyer position this way:

  1. No Trust- The prospect has to believe that you are someone they trust enough to do business with. 
  2. No Need- The prospect has to believe they even have a problem that needs a solution. 
  3. No Help- The prospect has to believe that your product or solution will actually help them accomplish with they’ve been tasked to do. 
  4. No Satisfaction- The prospect has to believe that your solution will not leave them with buyers’ remorse. 

Now, before your next sales call, prep n a way that reduces the likelihood of these barriers from ever coming up. Do the research, do the prep, and put yourself in the buyers shoes. 

At WinSource we teach sellers a methodology that not only shows how to overcome these barriers but to avoid them entirely. The model for our methodology is below. We’d love to show you more. 

Stay tuned for the other 4 sales imperatives. 

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

Please subscribe to receive future posts directly to email.

Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!

Sales – It’s Not About You.

Blog 2 of 7 in a series

Last week we discussed the increasing number of sales technologies and the importance of your role as a sales person, despite that. Over the course of the next few weeks we will discuss 6 sales imperatives–things in sales that are so customer-serving that they have withstood the test of time and lasted through many eras of how people buy and sell. When incorporated into the way people sell, these 6 sales imperatives are indispensable in driving success.

Here is the first one:

It’s not about you. 

In the movie Beaches, Bette Midler’s character throws out one of my favorite quotes: “Anyway, that’s enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do YOU think about ME?”

We all know that one person…no matter the topic, no matter the severity of the news, no matter what is intended, they can make it about themselves. It’s super annoying. We know it as soon as we see it or hear it. Generally, when I see someone do that it makes me uncomfortable and makes me question their emotional maturity. 

A huge part of building trust with clients and prospects is building credibility. To build credibility, I use the following model: 


 

Propriety: Behaving appropriately for your customer’s business and calibrating your behavior to meet their expectations. 

Competence: Demonstrating you can work in your customer’s business with the same care and results that they do. 

Commonality: Sharing ideals, hopes, goals, or history with your customer or prospect. 

Intent: Stating that you are there for a win-win relationship. 

Each of these things should be defined by the customer’s perspective, not ours. The reason for that is simple; at this stage of the game, we haven’t earned the right to make it about us. Showing up to a sales call and immediately launching into who we are, what our company does, and the details of our offer will damage our credibility in the eyes of the person we’re speaking to. Best case, it will make them a little annoyed or uncomfortable. Worst case, they won’t trust you. In either case, it is unlikely they will buy from you. 

Once we begin to realize that at the initial stages of a selling relationship it isn’t about us, it begins to change how we think about call preparation, how we engage, and what we say or do when we arrive. Taking a step back and ensuring that propriety, competence, commonality, and intent are all viewed from the customer’s perspective will ultimately make our prospects more comfortable. It will go a long way in building trust and will increase the odds of making a sale. 

All of the sales training WinSource provides takes a customer-first approach. Doing so leads to more closes, satisfied customers, and longer lasting relationships. If we can help you or your teams with the transformation to a customer-centric sales approach, feel free to reach out to us. 

Stay tuned for the other 5 sales imperatives. 

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

Please subscribe to receive future posts directly to email.

Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!