2012 is the year of debates. It feels like there’s a debate among the Republican Presidential candidates every hour on the hour. As I try to be an informed citizen and watch the debates, the only thing I become more certain of is that the claims of accomplishment or failure become more ludicrous with each passing moment. And as each candidate tries to outdo the other with new and innovative ideas we end up with suggestions like “let's colonize the moon”! Should we ever colonize the moon, I’ll trade all my worldly goods to get the chance to select the first 10 people we send to the moon – honestly, all my worldly possessions!
But histrionics aside, the debates remind me of the sales process. The sales process requires the introduction of an idea or solution and the discussion of the reasons behind why that particular solution is the right one for the prospect or client. Success in both sales and politics is tied to how effectively you listen to your prospects needs and wants and at least in selling, how effectively and most importantly, how truthfully you position your product or service. The “sales call” could be considered a debate between sales person and prospect.
How closely do your sales people resemble politicians when they talk to prospects? Are they truthful when presenting your services capabilities? Can they conduct a debate with a prospect about your product without defaming your competition or exaggerating the results your product or service will deliver? Can they effectively solve objections? Do they believe that the end justify the means?
The answers to the above questions lie in how you as their manager believe propsects and customers should be treated. Political candidates use attack ads because they say they work. What that says about the public is a discussion for another day! But does bad mouthing your competition work in the long run and what does it say about you as a company? You want customers for life not just for the next two 4 year terms. Sales people who demean their competition or who sell on price alone lack confidence in your product and clearly do not understand your value proposition. And perhaps more important they don’t respect your prospects or customers!
Do you know how your sales people sell? Do you ride with them on new sales calls? Do you make the sales people practice presenting your service in front of the team? Do you role play difficult customer sales calls and coach the team through them? I don’t need to tell you that the answer should be Yes.
Establishing colonies on the moon may or may not be feasible, advisable or reasonable but without a valid need for doing it and without a thoughtful plan to execute the idea, it sounds well, you know what it sounds like. Selling is no different. Your sales people must uncover and establish that the prospect has a need for your product first and foremost and then they must demonstrate that they have the right solution. Just making wild claims doesn't earn trust whether in selling or in politics!
Call Catalytic Management today for a list of the Top Ten people we’d like to send to the moon. Then ask us how we can help your sales team close more business by presenting your service or product with honesty and integrity.
Last month's newsletter on customer service used ComCast as an object lesson in how to anger your customers. Well, that touched a nerve and emails of ComCast horror stories poured in.
If misery loves company, then ComCast has created an entire community of unhappy customers.
Many thanks to those who shared their scary service stories!