Sales Training – Some of my Selling Secrets, Learned from 25 Years of Helping my Partners
Some of my Selling Secrets, Learned from 25 Years of Helping my Partners
I have been involved in sales in my various businesses, for more than 25 years now. During this time I have seen dramatic changes in the approach towards almost every aspect of selling. Cold calls are no longer an option, old hard core selling is a distant memory and viewing your customers as buyers of your products and services from a purely transactional perspective, is as effective as using a bucket to try to empty the ocean.
Selling has changed more in the past 25 years than it did in the past 100 years before that. The sales person is no longer the bearer of news from the outside world, that information is now readily available on every desktop. The new generation of salesperson, who wants to survive and thrive, in the current environment, must be a problem solver and solution provider. They must connect with their “partners”, forming mutually beneficial relationships with them, where they strive to consistently add real value to them.
What needs to Change?
Operating as a vendor of products or services is no longer an option. The old school aggressive approach to sales is pointless. Selling is now an art form, where it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your client’s situation, needs and a good understanding of their environment. Selling is all about connecting with your clients (“partners”) and providing them with a value proposition, which helps them to solve a problem or satisfy a need.
Long term sustainable sales success is dependent on building long term mutually beneficial relationships with your clients (partners). Look past the short sighted option of making a quick buck or a quick sale to any prospects or client. Always have your partners (clients) best interests at heart and engage with them to map out the best option for them to help them satisfy their needs or solve any challenges.
Your commission must always be a distant and very secondary objective and not even a consideration, when dealing with your partners. When you put their needs above yours, they will get to know like and trust you. They will really appreciate the fact that you always place their interest before your own selfish interests. This will cement the relationship and make them very confident to purchase your goods or services.
Help your Partners Map the best Route to Solve their Challenges
Find ways to integrate into your clients businesses. When you help them to map a route to save costs, improve productivity or solve any challenges, they will begin to rely on you as a crucial business partner. Purchasing your products or services will never be a grudge purchase, but a very necessary part of their business success. Show your clients you are there for the long run and will be right next to them all the way to the finish line.
Show your partners that you are not in the transaction business. Show them you and your products and services are all about value and solutions. This approach will turn them into raving fans and help them to become one of your best marketing and selling tools. They will no longer be clients; they will be partners, who will refer you to other people, hailing all the value you bring.
Sales is a People Thing
The psychology behind selling actually is actually quite simple. Yes of course the people, who buy either your product or service, must have a utility or need for either or both. In reality any prospect first needs to buy you as a person, connect with you and get to know like and trust you, before they will even explore your product or service to see of it is what they need.
So using this knowledge as a starting point for helping (selling), it is thus crucial to build connection and a great relationship with all your carefully targeted prospects, before you even try to sell to them or show them the value proposition you offer. You are never in the transaction based business, where making each sale is important. You are in the business of building connection and long term mutually beneficial relationships with all your clients and prospects. This is the best way to become and remain successful in sales (helping) today. As long as there is always a great relationship between you and your partners, in which a modality of fair exchange exists, you will be successful and everyone wins.
Sales Success is driven by Activity
As you know sales or any success for that matter is driven by activity. The more committed you are and the more targeted activity you perform every day, the greater will be your sales success. So if you really enjoy what you do as a sales person, where you truly love your product or service and you completely believe in the value it adds to your partner’s lives and/or businesses. You will not feel the long hours you will devote towards your sales success, as it will not feel like work; you will be doing what you love.
When you are completely dedicated to your sales success and you carry out sufficient targeted sales activity daily, you will succeed and become the sales giant you deserve to be. The activity I am referring to is seldom the stuff you would think of in the traditional sense of selling at all. I am referring to the crucial act of staying in contact with your clients and prospects, doing things for them that they would not expect, such as sending them articles on interests they may have or a really thoughtful gift relating to a personal need they may have revealed, during a conversation, etc.
Stay committed to your partners and keep finding new innovative ways to connect with and build a mutually beneficial relationship with them. Put in sufficient daily effort in this regard and the sales will take care of themselves. People always buy using their emotions, so the more you connect with people on an emotional level, the easier it becomes to help (sell to) them.
Technology has made people far savvier
In the past old school selling techniques worked because there was always a transactional element to sales, where people needed the sales person to inform them about features. This is no longer the case as people are able to research this all online and in almost every case they are very well informed before they even meet with any sales person. Any sales person, who competes like this for any piece of the business, will be competing on price alone, as there is no other way to differentiate their product or service.
Making a consultative sale
This is the way for sales people strive to add real value to their partners by offering helpful, useful advice and by creating and adding real value to them by solving problems and becoming a valuable contributing asset to their clients businesses. When developing this sort of relationship with your partners, they do not want to hear about just your mousetrap, which you have for sale. They want you to actually show them, where to put it, what bait to use and how this will benefit them and their business. They are looking for a value creator and never a value communicator.
Selling is no longer a process of persuasion, it is now all about connection, problem solving and value creation. To do this successfully the new sales person needs three crucial skills.
- They must be honest and always look for the best value for the client. Their commission can never be an issue
- They must be competent and understand the needs of their partners or prospective partners and completely understand their own value proposition.
- They must put the concerns and needs of their partners ahead of their own. They must look at every sale from their partners’ perspectives and never be in a modality of just wanting to unload their product or service on an unsuspecting client.
Always put your partners interests ahead of your own, build connection with the right people, know what your value proposition is, research your clients and their needs properly, carry out sufficient targeted connection and relationship building activity and you will become very successful at sales.
Author: Andrew Horton Sales Training