A New Sales Model

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Have a new sales model for you.  Don’t fall asleep just yet, you should care about this.  It’s simple but different.   Different is good.  

A sales model for our purposes here is the process or the steps you take to make a sale.   The process you trust, the process you live by.   Sales models are important; they are a roadmap so to speak, of how to do what you want to do, which is of course, to grow the business.  

You use sales models all the time.  Want to go out on a date with someone?  Here is an age old popular model to get that done.

Prepare / Search / Impress / Close

First you go and Prepare (look sharp, take a shower that day (you can do it!) then go Search ( scope out the lounge, the beach, the bake sale – whatever) then Impress ( sound wicked funny/ smart/ nice and get your favorite pick up lines ready like “Excuse me do you have a tissue? I was just listening to Susan Boyle on my IPod“) and finally the Close (“I have a hankering to watch The Notebook again, would you like to join me?”)

Traditional Sales models have been around forever too.  A typical sales model is something like:

Rapport /Discovery / Present / Close.

That is to develop a connection, ask good questions, make a product offer and then close the sale.  You get it. 

I don’t much like the traditional sales models.  Not for us.  Not for anyone really, but especially not for us. 

Here is a new sales model

Time / Trust / Create Need / Discover / Advocate / Close / Support 

Looks complicated?  It’s not.  Don’t worry about the last 4 here (discovery, advocate, close, support), those are traditional and something to detail another day.  Just think about the first 3; Time, Trust & Create Need, those are the “New” in this sales model versus traditional ones.  

The New Sales Model is front loaded like never before.  It needs to be. 

The very beginning of any sales process has been underwritten and underplayed for 50 years.  Getting attention, earning the right to talk with or market to folks wasn’t like then what it is today.  It’s different now; how you really start or really begin is the most important part of the sales process.  Do that well, superbly well and the rest of the sales process is easy.   That’s why we need to change the traditional model.

Dig up any sales training or sales models from today or yesteryear and you’ll find almost nothing on getting salespeople to see TIME as a critical commodity that must be purchased from the prospect before anything happens.

Search Google and look for all the TRUST training and theory out there for sales forces of the world; you’ll find some for sure, but mostly you’ll find a lot of superficial blather about “building rapport” or “forming relationships”.  Used to be a hearty handshake or some smart product knowledge or “my office is down the street” was trust enough to get the sales process started.  No more.  Nobody’s company has that kind of infallibility anymore.   It’s take a lot more and a lot different now to earn the Trust you need today.

Instead of CREATE NEED help, you’ll find a gazillion sales theories and courseware around “finding needs” or “finding pain points”.  It’s as if the prospects and customers of the world are walking about “injured”, “lost” or “clueless” about themselves anxiously waiting for a company or sales rep to come in diagnose and prescribe medication to fix the pain.   I don’t think so. 

Sales Theory in large part is not keeping up with the times.    Much else is different in the marketplace than when some of the biggies rolled out their iconic sales models (companies like Wilson Learning, Dale Carnegie, Huthwaite and the like).  What’s changed?

    Everybody has gotten smarter; your customers in a couple of clicks can get a lot more info and now need a sales rep to be smarter than them in different places, in more Trusted places.

    It’s harder to be unique.  Companies are changing and entering new spaces but consumers still have lots of choices (more than ever) for a provider.  It’s like Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink who said essentially that “if given too many choices, then nothing happens”.   Create Need my friends.

    Used to be you could be assured your customer “listened” to you, now they are in control.  Their Time and attention is precious and they know it- YOU know it.   Marketing is changing radically to respect this; Salespeople need to too.

This model is your map to better success.    This model needs our attention, our rallying around, our design and planning around.

Old sales models are for old companies and old sales reps in old marketplaces.   Don’t believe for a minute we are old.  Nope, we’re new, brand new.   We have to be. 

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

Want more fodder for thinking about the new model?   Take note..

  • Seth Godin gets totally the “time” piece of the model; so read his book Permission Marketing
  • Gitomer and Steven Covey Jr. (the son, not that father) get the “trust” piece fairly well so have a gander at Trust by Gitomer and Speed of Trust by Covey Jr. 
  • Lastly go here  http://www.icrinc.com/web/videoportfolio.php  Scroll down to Easton Bell Sports who essentially base their sales philosophy on “creating need”.  Love it 
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