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June 2013
Lessons in Selling From Carole King
I recently drove three hours to Bridgton Maine for the long Memorial Day weekend. Despite the horrible weather, I was determined to get away. It’s a long drive but listening to Carole King makes it worthwhile. On May 22nd Carole King became the first woman to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Recognition over 40 years in the making. Rolling Stone called her seminal album, Tapestry an album of “surpassing personal-intimacy and musical accomplishment". As I listened in the car to that magical album, I realized there were sales messages to be found in the lyrics of two songs on the album where every song is a classic.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow naturally speaks about lovers but this time I saw its relevance to sales people. As our sales teams make their pitches to prospects are they asking themselves this question, Will My Client or Prospect Still Love Me Tomorrow? At this critical juncture in the relationship, the sales person has a choice – they can honestly, ethically and with sincerity solve their prospects challenges or they can sell them their product – needed or not. They can be creative and present a customized solution or take the lazy way out and force fit the prospect’s problem into their solution. It may be overly dramatic but closing a sale is a lot about how much the prospect “loves” your sales person and not just about how your product or service works. The prospect knows the sales person will be the key contact and that in some cases they may even be the person delivering the service. So they’re asking themselves, after the sale will the sales person still be there for support? Will the prospect regret buying the sales person's “pitch”? Will the sales person still love them tomorrow – once the sale has been made?
Closing a sale is the goal of every sales person and sales manager. Sales people receive training, coaching and mentoring to insure they are successful. We train in prospecting skills, presentation skills, negotiation skills and many more but how often do we give our sales team training in “leadership skills”. Much of the time we don’t see them as leaders unless of course they are sales managers. But leadership is critical. Carole King’s song Where You Lead I Will Follow is the perfect metaphor for leading a prospect to closure. Prospects will follow your sales people when they demonstrate effective leadership. When your sales people communicate openly, accept feedback, display empathy, present a vision for the prospect with a clear path to making the vision a reality and when they exude conviction their prospects will want to follow them – prospects will want the results they believe your company can deliver. Purchasing your product or service is in essence, following your lead, following your advice and expertise and hoping their love has not been misplaced.
Would you like your sales team to become trusted advisors? How about becoming the kind of leaders that prospects want to follow?

Call Catalytic Management today and let's talk about our customized training and coaching services that will insure your prospects and clients will love you tomorrow! Ask to speak to the super fan who saw Carole King in her first concert! 978-561-5001