Are you finding that you aren’t as successful as you used to be in your sales efforts? Are you losing sales that you thought were a done deal? Are you placing blame on the state of the economy? Are you saying that “if I had a better price I could sell more”? Well maybe it’s not any of these. It just might be your approach to selling.
If you are like many tenured sales people in the market today you probably learned how to sell by implementing your company’s old school selling process. Let me guess, you probably received training in one of the following: Solution Selling, Strategic Selling, Target Account Selling, or one of the numerous other buyer and account focused selling processes. Well here is a news flash, what worked 5 years ago or even 2 years ago doesn’t work today. The Old School of Selling is DEAD!
Studies have shown that in the past buyers would spend up to 70% of their time meeting with or listening to various vendors in order to understand product capabilities, features, and benefits. Sales people were the information source for buyers. Selling in today’s environment has become much more difficult because technology has replaced the salesperson in the initial stages. People can now find suppliers and service providers with ease. Search engines have become the new normal. Calls from salespeople are not needed or wanted in the search for new products or services. In today’s environment, if a rep gets a call at all it is for a price quote or for an RFP that is based on what the client uncovered on their search.
Bury the dead and enter the New School of Selling! Your path to success is more complex than ever and it begins with a different mind-set and a commitment to creating long-term customer relationships. The focus becomes the customer’s needs and your ability to solve their business problems. To be successful in today’s environment you need to deliver a degree of value that goes beyond the products and services you sell. Truly understand your client’s business and make it as if you work for them instead of your company. Make yourself available and accessible! Incorporate social media so that when they search they find you! Most successful business relationships are true partnerships, and like successful marriages, they are developed over time. They involve trust, mutual respect, and a lot of hard work. Be accessible, add value to create trust, work hard for your customers, and be in it to solve their problems. If the customer wins you win!