“I know what I’m doing…I can handle it.”
Oh yeah? What happens when they:
Q: Try to make prospecting calls?
A: They have the wrong expectations, beat themselves up and quit. They expect that because they are putting in the effort, the prospect should too. But prospects don’t answer and talk to us as we want them to. So you get frustrated, believe you’re doing one or one hundred things wrong, and quit.
Q: Want to get a decision maker on the line?
A: Many, many so-called experienced salespeople don’t know how to accomplish this straightforward-sounding task. They don’t sound and behave like their target, so they don’t get connected.
Q: Start a conversation with a prospect?
A: They believe that features and benefits sell, so they immediately begin bombarding the prospect with their product knowledge. Without even qualifying to discover whether this person even has a need for this product or service, they jump into a 10-minute oratory about its bells and whistles—not leaving a moment’s gap for the bewildered prospect to say a word. Most sales calls begin this way, and prospects are on to it. They’re terrified of it…that they’re going to get stuck on this call with no end in sight, listening to some salesperson talk on and on about a topic they have no interest in. And so they shut your call down immediately. “I’m not interested,” before they hear why you’re calling. Most calls begin so badly, this way, that there IS no rest of the call. And that’s why it takes you 400 or 500 dials to make a sale.
Q: Get someone who’s actually interested and listening?
A: Again without pause, they never take the time to find out exactly what about their awful “pitch” resonated: the feature or benefit that could fix the symptom or problem the prospect is aware of. Instead, they puff out their chests, confident that their product expert role is paying off, and expound further on features and benefits. The prospect’s eyes glaze over as they lose interest and end the call.
At every major step here is the opportunity for the conversation to come to an abrupt end. There is no sales process, just a constant barrage of features and benefits if the salesperson can accidentally get a decision maker on the line. The salesperson is thinking 100% from their own selfish point of view (“How can I make a sale and get money”) and 0% from an understanding point of view (“Does this person need my product or service? Does it make sense for them to afford it? Can I work with them on a personal basis?“) Crash and burn.
“Selling by phone or in person doesn’t work,” these unfortunate people end up exclaiming, sooner or later.
Sales, you know, is a very strange field. It’s one you can get into with absolutely zero training. Can you imagine an accountant being sent out there to work without any training? An engineer? A doctor? And what would you think their results would be?
Why is this okay in our world? If we sent an engineer with no training out to build a bridge, what would our expectations of the bridge be? That it would fall down, right?
No difference with selling.
We need a consistent sales process if we are going to be successful with selling. We need to know where we are, and what to do next—before the prospect knows. Otherwise, they’re in change, not us. And they know more about traditional selling than we do. I took courses as a buyer in my operations management program designed to unravel traditional selling. A different approach is required.
A consistent sales process leads you through the steps:
- You understand the correct expectations for the activity you’re about to do, so you don’t beat yourself up and can persist
- You know how to get decision makers on the line
- You know how to start a conversation so that there IS a rest of the call
- You know how to uncover symptoms or problems the prospect may be experiencing that you can solve.
Now THAT will lead you a long way towards the sale—and much, much farther than flying by the seat of your pants with traditional features-and-benefits selling.
Funny thing. I’ve already shared for FREE how to do all these things:
(Post #5 – The Little Unsure Technique)
(Post #1 – How To Start Your Calls)
Basic Sales Script
(Look for how I Monetize the Problem in that post—it’s a great qualifying tool for both you and the prospect, and leads easily to how much you should charge)
And most of all, the PLAN:
USE this stuff. It's the core of a consistent sales process. Your money is out there, waiting for you to claim it. You don’t need to create it, pull it away from someone or get them to give it to you. It’s yours, and it already exists.
Are you going to be lazy, or are you going to invest the hour to pick up this valuable plan I've laid out for you?