Selling Awareness – updated

For the sales representative (or small business owner), effective communication – getting through and getting action – drives business (nothing happens until somebody sells something!).  Open, honest communication is a two-way street that includes listening, comprehending and speaking.

One key to success Continue reading

Advertisements

5 Keys to Success for the Professional Sales Rep – Pt 5 RESTATE

The Professional Sales Representative’s role is to provide a compelling solution that meets a prospect’s need.

Of course, this assumes that you have discovered:

•    a prospect’s pain
•    what they currently like best about the existing solution and solution provider
•    what they like least, and, what the ideal solution would look like.

Know these areas, you then should be able to share how the value you deliver directly addresses the need they have and how your solution offers value that is different. A difference that offers a distinction worth noting.

Restate –

A call for clarification will clear up confusion. Simply restating what you think you have understood, often will expose nuances that will be important to understanding customer need (pain) before you venture with a “trial close.”  You want to demonstrate that you have listened.

You might say something like: “So, it (looks-seems-feels or sounds) like ____ and ____ are really important to you and that you are looking for ______.”

Your choice of the words in ( ) is important as it must reflect their communication pattern and the words they chose when talking with you.

Remember: gives gain; takers loose. Your role as a professional sales rep is to give – understanding; active listening skill; solutions, not answers; and above all, yourself.

Sometimes, your solution will not currently be the best option.

Build a bridge to the time when it will.

5 Keys to Success for the Professional Sales Rep – Pt 4 REFLECT

The Professional Sales Representative’s role is to provide a compelling solution that meets a prospect’s need.

Of course, this assumes that you have discovered:

•    a prospect’s pain;
•    what they currently like best about the existing solution and solution provider;
•    what they like least; and, what the ideal solution would look like.

Know these areas, you then should be able to share how the value you deliver directly addresses the need they have and how your solution offers value that is different. A difference that offers a distinction worth noting.

Reflect –

Building rapport begins with a conscious effort to “be just like them” in terms of body language. If they speak quickly and vividly, so must you.

If they are reflective in their speech pattern, and you are quick and vivid, you are not “just like them” and people like people who are just like them. Understanding what drives them, and reflecting back in the wording of your questions, establishes rapport.

If “we” and “believe” are words they often use, be certain to reflect fairness, and idealism and not be ridiculing or unhelpful.  If “I” or “know” are words they often use, they will respond to opportunity, new ideas, quick pace.

If “it” and “think” are their key words, reflect an unemotional approach to data, practical thoughts, and the tradeoffs.

Reflecting what drives a prospects behavior will help develop communication pathways to solving problems.

5 Keys to Success for the Professional Sales Rep – Pt 3 RESPECT

The Professional Sales Representative’s role is to provide a compelling solution that meets a prospect’s need.

Of course, this assumes that you have discovered:

•    a prospect’s pain;
•    what they currently like best about the existing solution and solution provider;
•    what they like least; and, what the ideal solution would look like.

Know these areas, you then should be able to share how the value you deliver directly addresses the need they have and how your solution offers value that is different. A difference that offers a distinction worth noting.

Respect –

Often the hardest part of selling is simply showing respect for past decisions about solutions experienced.

You may hear wrong assumptions, bad premises, and inconsistent conclusions in answer to your open-ended questions.

You must respect their right to be wrong (from your perspective). You may not agree with their view of the world, but as a “sales professional,” you must respect their right to hold that view. Your goal may be to change it; but can only begin when you make the journey together.

If you take the role of teacher or expert, you may create a barrier to change that will not be overcome.

Listen.

Learn.

Ask questions that show respect.

5 Keys to Success for the Professional Sales Rep – Pt 2 ROLE

The Professional Sales Representative’s role is to provide a compelling solution that meets a prospect’s need.

Of course, this assumes that you have discovered:

•    a prospect’s pain;
•    what they currently like best about the existing solution and solution provider;
•    what they like least; and, what the ideal solution would look like.

Know these areas, you then should be able to share how the value you deliver directly addresses the need they have and how your solution offers value that is different. A difference that offers a distinction worth noting.

Role –

Understanding what metaphorical role to play comes from this research. Prospects each are on different steps in terms of acquiring information about solutions, weight alternative offerings and arriving at optimum choices.

Your task is to determine if they are looking to change and then determining the motivation behind the change. Perhaps, they are discontented. Or they are simply doing research.  Maybe they have done their homework and are comparing solutions. Perhaps, they are been hurt by promises made in the past and have fear of change.

No matter the step, your metaphorical role is different. Sometimes you are a student with them. Other times you are the doctor diagnosing the pain. Sometimes you are a therapist pulling out their fears.

Know your role.

Win-Win Communication

Recognizing another’s communication style takes practice.  Matching that style will increase your communication effectiveness.  You’ll get through and get action.

First, you have to listen to what other people say.  What key words and phrases do they use? For example:

  • Is the tone of their conversation “full steam ahead” and “get to the bottom line”?  Do they want to know who is in charge—who the key players are? Then you need to match their style with an approach that focuses on opportunity, the essentials, and how one can get started.  Behavioral diversity demands that we become active listeners.
  • Is their viewpoint often laced with sayings like “I’ll believe it when I see it!” or “Better safe than sorry”?  Do they want to know the historical perspective—how and where its been done before? Match that communication style with a conversation that is logical and analytical, organized and systematic. You may be happier talking about opportunity but if they listen for structure, all your enthusiasm for the opportunity will be lost in their worry.

Second, focus on what they do. Do they influence others based on principle? Do they make allowances for others?  Do they want to be working on the most relevant project?

You can best communicate with people who prefer this style by focusing on the “rightness” of what you are proposing. Ask for their help while assuring them that you trust and value their input.

Active “listening” takes many forms: catching words and phrases, watching behaviors, hearing the kinds of questions asked, and reading between the lines.

Send me some information…

Ah, the deadly phrase…Send me some information. You know what it means:  Good-bye!

Hey!  It does not have to be that way:  this phrase could be the start, not the end of a conversation. Consider a phone exchange that may go something like this:

Prospect: “Send me some information…”

You [enthusiastic and sincere]: “Great!  What information would you like me to send you?”

Prospect: “Ahh, well, you know, your stuff about xxxxx?”

You [quietly confident]: “OK, what would you be looking for from a company like ours for {a product like _____}?”

Prospect: “this and that …and sales reps who get off the phone ….”

{it really does not matter what the prospect says – you want to listen to content, ignore editorializing and agree with making this conversation come to an end quickly…}

You:  “Thanks for that insight (OR something like:  “Boy, do I ever understand that”…) and tell me, how are you presently handling ______________[the problem that needs solved by your product]________?”

Prospect:  “We do this and that and use so and so…”

You:  “Yes, I see…describe the “ideal” ____________ for you (or the company)….”

Prospect:  “ideal stuff”

You:  “Thanks:  If you like what I send you, how do I go about getting a meeting with you?”

OR  “Thanks:  describe the ideal working relationship that would interest you in working with my company?”

OR “Thanks:  once you receive the information, where do we go from there?”

Finally:  “We really would like to develop a business relationship with your company:  how do we got about doing that?”

Remember: always ask for the business, because nothing really happens until somebody sells something.