Let’s begin with a definition of sales. Sales is the process of helping people make good decisions. Order taking (“Want fries with that?") is not sales.
Most people who are in sales do not really understand what selling is all about. They seem to believe that they’re real sales pros because that is their job title, and they do make sales, even though they may cherry-pick, get orders from existing accounts, and sometimes get a hot lead that they manage to close. They rarely make cold calls, because they lack the skills needed to open a new account.
The most amateurish salesperson pitches features. This approach does sometimes work, which further convinces them that they’re a fully competent sales professional.
The problem with selling features is that it’s risky. It might well cause the prospect to think, “With all those features, that widget must be expensive.”
A better sales rep pitches benefits and advantages. This selling approach is much more effective than selling features. Most successful sales representatives do this, and they are convinced that people buy things because of the benefits and advantages the widget offers — when properly informed by the representative. This selling approach is what most sales trainers (aka sales managers) preach.
A frequent problem with all of the above approaches is the tendency of prospects to want to “think about it and I’ll get back to you.” Be Backers rarely become buyers. You can tell them about your company’s “Think About It Program” and even give them a free “Round To It” token, but good luck hoping they’ll come to their senses and decide to give you what you want: a sale.
Here’s what a champion does to close more sales and open more accounts. She or he has a strong sense of urgency and knows that it’s vital to motivate a prospective buyer to make a purchase TNT: Today, Not Tomorrow.
To accomplish that, a champion finds out if the prospect has the kind of problem that the sales rep’s company’s product or service can solve. If the prospect has the kind of problem that your company can solve, prospects are more likely to make a buying decision right now — TNT. They want relief from whatever problem is bugging them, and in that case, their decision will be an emotional one, not one that they’ll want to think about and talk to others about before buying.
If you want to become a bestseller, go thou and do likewise. If you need to think about it, see our boy in the back and ask him for a Round-To-It.
Tom Kellum is a job hunting consultant, helping people's dreams come true since 1987. He specializes in providing a personal job-landing service based on proven marketing strategies and methods. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.careerkeysman.com
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