Brief, Random Sales Observations

in Random Rants

Each month in my Telephone Prospecting and Selling Report, the eight-page newsletter that is part of the Smart Calling Online membership, I share my brief sales observations and experiences from the past month.

If we are aware and just look around us every day, you’ll constantly see sales situations you can learn from. Here are just a few.
I attended one afternoon of the famous Barrett Jackson auto auction when it was here in January. If you’re not familiar with it, hundreds of collector cars are sold and bought for crazy amounts of money, some up to a million dollars. Cars that sold for $3000,  new,when I was in high school were going for $100,000+. Well, I think it’s crazy, because I’m not a car guy.

But obviously those people DO attach lots of value to what I perceive as, well, old cars  And thus the critically important point for anyone in sales:

YOU are not your customer.
Don’t let your own biases affect what you sell, and the amount you sell it for.

Too often I see reps “selling with their own wallet,” meaning that they presume someone would not want to pay full price. And they then prove themselves right.

If you have to assume anything, assume they are going to buy, at your price.

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A sales rep for office supplies called me, didn’t have a very good opening–but I stayed on the call anyway thinking I’d get some material out of it–and he immediately started with, “Tell me about your office supply needs.”

I told him I had no needs. He said thanks and hung up.

If you hit someone with a vague question like,”What are your needs?”, and they are not thinking about their needs at that very moment, what are youlikely to hear?

“Uh, we’re satisfied with what we have,” or,

“We’re doing fine where we are.”

Bottom line, you will not get them talking about something they haven’t thought of, or aren’t thinking about at that second.

As an alternative, frame a question around a need they likely have … a question that helps them visualize and feel the need you can fill.

Don’t force them to come up with the possible need on their own, you paint it for them, then ask them to react to it. For example,

“Tell me about your ordering process, and how many different vendors you usually need to contact to find the supplies you want.”

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In working with sales reps in training programs sometimes question something they said on a call, an opening technique, particular question, response to resistance, etc. Often I hear the response, “Well, that works for me.”

My reply usually is, “What does ‘work’ mean?”

My intent is to get them to realize that perhaps what they think is working, really isn’t really working as well as they’d ultimately like, and that perhaps there might be an alternative that might work better.

When Tiger Woods was at the pinnacle of his game before his, ahem, trouble, he completely rebuilt his golf swing. TWO separate times!

He was the top player in the world. Something was “working,” right? But not to his satisfaction. He felt there might have been a better way, and there was.

The best sales reps do not settle for “good enough.” They are always looking for the edge. I hope that is you.
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