A global business development expert, Steve Hasenmueller urges us to Embrace the Effort…
Everyone in sales wants to sell more and selling ‘more’ normally comes down to our Efforts and our Effectiveness. I’ve always asserted that when you zoom way out – a salesperson’s job basically boils down to two things:
#1 – Building Value
#2 – Smoking out Objections, and how well we do at #1 impacts everything else that is going to happen. So, as we look for opportunities to sustain sales performance – there are three key areas of Building Value that need the focus of our Efforts:
This is either going to be good news or bad news for you – but the salesperson is the MOST influential aspect of any sale. We might like to think its “Product” or “Price” or some other magical reason – but it is us – individually – utilising all the tools we have available to use in the most effective manner possible.
Whether we are asking £2k or £200K for a product or project – we are going to first have to convince the prospect that we are indeed a competent and valuable aspect of the sale. The most important attribute we can bring – is to actually ‘Care’ about the prospect and the opportw-unity – and to treat them both with RESPECT. The old adage and truism that “no one Cares how much you know until they know how much you Care” is more critical than ever in high value selling.
John Wooden – the most successful basketball coach of all time – only had three rules to be part of his championship teams: A – Be on time B – Be neat and clean (in appearance and speech) C – NEVER criticise a teammate (for our usage – NEVER criticise the competition) All three rules take Effort (that actually make us better) – and all three convey RESPECT. I see these as the baseline of where we all begin. Caring is a very powerful sales technique. (Superpower)
2 YOUR COMPANY
You might assume the prospect knows about your company because of longevity, or marketing, or social media. You would be wrong in that assumption. The healthiest attitude we can have is to assume they know nothing about our company – because it gives us a chance to tell them the highlights, and to “stack the deck” in our favour.
An example: “BEFORE WE GET STARTED – LET ME TELL YOU A FEW THINGS ABOUT OUR COMPANY…….” This is when I get to state how long we have been in business, the type of work we do, the awards we have earned, the staff, the hours, the customer service, the dedication to the industry – etc. Tell me everything!!!
Don’t belabour the points – just get them out – the truth of the matter is most buyers (and competitors) want to commoditise the product – instead — all of these Efforts are to Build the Value beyond the price. A 120 second Company Credibility Statement that is verbalised every single time you speak to a client is possibly the strongest technique I have witnessed in 30 years – and without a doubt the VERY LEAST adopted and used. (Hint: opportunity)
3 YOUR PRODUCT
A common mistake is to put product first – when its position is #3 on influencing a sale – yes, it’s important – but the best product in the world doesn’t stand a chance with a salesman or company that doesn’t Build the Value of the entire purchase experience.
Also, as you know YOUR product – COMPLETELY – you are reinforcing your Value (#1) – which sheds a favourable light on your Company (#2) – and they all build on each other to create the total Value proposition of what the price is going to represent. I always advise – until you know YOUR product 100% – and you are deadly effective and persuasive with your information – do not concern yourself with the competition.
Most salespeople I’ve met give way too much credit to other products – as a result of not being expert on their own. Be the expert. As trite as it sounds – people buy from people – and the better we can humanise Ourselves and our Companies and our Products in our Sales Efforts – by honestly Caring – then we put ourselves in the best position possible to accomplish our goals There of course is a #4 – Price.
And this becomes only important in the absence of the other 3. If there is no Value in the Salesperson, the Company or the Product – then of course Price is the only thing I can consider. An anomaly that has struck me for over 30 years – the highest volume, most successful companies – have the highest prices(profits) – supported by the Value they create for more than the product. There is very little profit and very many struggles in selling Commodities (there is ALWAYS a lower price) – but that is another article.
Effort Today Enterprises