There have been so many changes in the sales world in the past 10-15 years. Technology has certainly played a major part in it. However, the biggest and most recent change is the interaction between seller and buyer.
In his book, ‘To Sell Is Human:’ Daniel H. Pink talks about how the shift in information and the easy access to it has taken the simple transaction of caveat emptor to caveat venditor. In other words, we have gone from buyer beware to seller beware. It is the foolish and unknowledgeable seller that now must beware in how he not only conducts business but how he treats his customers and prospects.
“We are currently having issues with our supplier on…” You think: “Great! I now have something in which to make us look better than the competition.” You think this because you have yet to achieve the art of the next question.
Questions form the solid base to any sales calls. This should now be entrenched in everyone’s mind. The question then becomes, what kind of questions should you be asking?
I wish I could give you a list of questions to ask, but I cannot. Every situation is different, every prospect/client is also different and every industry is unique in its own right. However, this does not mean you should not have questions ready to ask.
Confucius said: “Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Why is that?
There are many times during a session of The Action Suite I get: “Joe, it can’t be that simple.” to which I reply: “Yes, it truly is.”
There are so many out there in the area of sales that are expounding all sorts of techniques and tricks as well as manipulative ways to get to the bottom of what the prospect may be thinking or feeling. Here is a thought; ask.
As most of you know, I am a voracious reader and I love to read business books primarily to do with leadership and business development.
I recently picked up a book on a new sales program and how to implement it. With most of these books, I can glean a nugget or two and think about it how it can enhance my own program. This book, not so much.
However, I took the book and read the part where it stated what you should do if someone asks: “What do you do?” After reading the two paragraphs to my group in The Action Suite, there were some interesting reactions.
You have planned for a couple of weeks. Put everything in place for a very important meeting with a major prospect including travel and accommodations as you will need to be there the night before to be able to meet them on time. Then you get the call: “Hi. I will be coming over to your town and would like to meet Tuesday instead of Monday.” All you can think is: “But, I had everything arranged for Monday in their city.”
“Now what do I do?”
This is where your versatility and mind has to shift because of an unexpected event.
We are all consumers. We have our favorite restaurants, body shops, gyms, clothing and even grocery stores. We expect and quite frankly, demand a certain level of customer service. If we do not experience it, we walk go someone who will.
What baffles me is that as business people we expect a certain level of service, but are we providing that same, or even better level of service in our own businesses? Recent surveys suggest we are not.