No More Binge Selling
Mainstream sales people impose their unsolicited beliefs and advice on customers in a very unwelcomed way. It is often forced, stiff, fake, unnatural and does not even come close to the ideal of two people having an unencumbered conversation where propaganda and self-promotion is absent. You will be amazed at how persuasive and convincing you can be when you are not selling.
The fact that conventional sales people are so dependent and clingy to their product information, and want to constantly express it should be a "big tell " and "aha moment " that customers are probably the same way with their own story, and they are dying to express themselves also. Sales people deny customers their emotional needs by taking center stage, exclusively telling and pushing their story.
Mainstream sales people's minds are so cluttered with self-serving information that there is little room to take in the most important information at the selling event; the customer's information. Their cup is so full. It is constantly overflowing. They are so overly burdened by their proof of concept.
As long as sales people overwhelm (selling and telling), they will be underwhelmed by customers not buying. Traditional sales people use a bulldozer to do what a plain shovel could do. So use less information to encompass more, because the less you sell the more you know.
Classic sales people are taught to always believe in themselves, their company and their product. Unfortunately, too often this comes at the expense of not taking the time or having the interest in believing in their customer's problems, and their ability to independently draw their own conclusions.
"The traditional sales approach is all about using sales language (product), instead of using buying language (problem)," says Nicholas Read. Too many sales people are protective of their own story and dismissive of the customer's story. They do not realize that their story is the least important story at the selling event.
Strategic sales people are like pre-sales experts. All the heavy lifting is done in the pre- sales stage; questions, qualifying, challenging, trust building and establishing reasons for change. Mainstream sales people are mostly rhetoric experts spending all their time in the least important stage in the sales process, the after sales step; selling, proposing, presenting, demonstrating, product justification, proving and convincing. The real selling is in the pre-sale not in the after sale. Be an anti-sales person and provide the greatest value to your customer.
It is a rare sales person who can truly simplify the information process of the selling cycle. Most overcomplicate, over formulate, over communicate and overproduce. You simplify the process by getting a lot and giving little. Which is really the same as saying giving a lot. The more customers trust you and value you, the less they will demand for you to give information, and the more they will rely on you getting information from them.
Hard charging sales people who are a force to be reckoned with rarely achieve profound, engaging and participatory meetings. Their meetings are a whirlwind that is exasperating and exhausting for customers. Below all the energy and excitement is a lot of irrelevancy. However, when sales people blend in like a chameleon, then the intent of the meeting tends to shift where it is all about the customer, and has very little to do about the sales person's agenda. Do not be afraid to be subtle, unheralded, understated and to underplay your cards. The customers cards are really the ones that count the most.
Help customers think for themselves, not to tell them what to do, or what to think. Teach them to fish, do not give them bread. When you help them think for themselves, your ideas become a lot more original and creative. Empower independent thought and free thinking.
Traditional sales people do not realize that the more information that they give out, the more they dilute and devalue their most salient sales points and arm customers with a treasure chest to object to. The problem is that all that is valued (product information), has to be defended. Worst yet, when you give out a lot of information you are so protected and shielded from getting negative and constructive feedback back from customers. For a lot of mainstream sales people I guess ignorance is bliss.
Keep your product information and your solution in perspective. The world will not end if your prospect does not buy your product, and the world will not be problem free if they do. If you do not make the sale there will be plenty more opportunities as long as you keep your eye focused on the prize...the customer's story. When you think this way you tend to have a much better grasp of reality. Product and solution sellers think they own their information, but it really owns them.