2 Little Things Driving Me Nuts about Sales Advice
I’ll pontificate with the best. And there are a couple of things I don’t agree with regarding sales advice of late that are bothering me enough to do just that.
Difference here of course is that when I pontificate I am right. :)
Presentations Should Never Lead With Info About Your Own Company. Wait, what? If I had a dollar for every post, newsletter, tweet, LinkedIn post and e-book of late that said this I would be rich and then actually I would be poor cuz’ I wouldn’t sell anything.
I get it. Everyone says your presentations should lead with and be about your client, the result of your research, your discovery and how your company solves problems or drives revenue. Yes, I get it. But the reality is your company, its credibility, its experience, the friends it hangs out with and the intelligence of its people are always a concern for a prospect especially in this democratized world where a 1 person operation with a slick website and a social media presence can look like a big boy that has done nothing but looks like it has. Buyers and prospects are more wary than ever because while a national and global marketplace is advantageous to buyers, it is no assurance that providers are inherently credible.
I’m not saying blather about your years of experience, testimonial and client lists in slide after slide in your presentations but you must at least lead with stories that build the trust and credibility of you and your company with like clients and prospects and then move into your key learnings and what your company brings to the table for the client.
The Client Should Do All (or most) of The Talking: Really? I’ve heard and read this like from the beginning of time – and I still see it and hear it daily. But talk to the best sales reps out there. It’s not true. These sales people who are killing it are experts, challengers, loaded with insight and play a consultant role with prospects and clients. They do a lot of talking, a lot of teaching, a lot of the story telling, and a lot of the credibility building as well as some of the listening. They don’t just sit back 80% of the time and just take notes through the sales process. The key here is these sales folks inspire their clients to share and talk honestly about their needs and their ambitions as a result of sharing their insights and by asking great questions. It is far closer in effective sales to be ~ 50%/50% between client and sales rep than 80%/20% in favor of the client.
These reps know that Interrogation is Not a Sales strategy. These reps know that what they provide has to be different and more worthy than what the client or prospect can find on the company website or brochure and that requires communicating. These reps know the mastery of communication and conversation is not excelling at a mute Freudian analysis absorbing the soliloquies of the prospect or the client.
You may disagree with my take on both of these nagging feelings about sales advice. In fact, I expect many of you do. But you would be wrong. (Or maybe, it is possible, remote-though possible, that I am wrong).
Either way – only good comes from thinking about these two or discussing with your teams or colleagues; They are important places to focus
Till next time,
Grow The Business.