7 Assumptions – Which Ones to Make and Others to Avoid

We define our reality of a situation based on our past experiences, judgments, internal beliefs and bias. All mixed together and weighed differently, we create our perception. No two realities are the same.

But is our perception of reality true? It’s real? Yes. No one can take away your reality. But what’s real, may not be true. That is the questions we need to consider as we encounter new situations.

Below is a list of assumptions that may be part of our reality, and should be given a second thought to determine if they are true. Be conscious of them as we engage with others.

1) Prospect will only buy from me if I have the lowest price. If the prospect is making their decision on the lowest price, and not dealing in commodities, they are probably not talking to a salesperson, they are probably buying off the Internet. Salespeople add value to the purchasing process. And that is a benefit salespeople often forget when fighting a prospect on price. Prospects mask their vulnerability and lack of knowledge by putting up a front of buying on price. Prospect are guarded and their own skepticism and misconceptions prevent them from being open-minded and learning more about what makes a product different and the impact of that difference to them. [Read more…]

Who Knows More About the Problem

Last week’s post, Whose Eggs are They? (http://mnsales.com/eggs/), generated a common perspective of the interaction between a prospect and salesperson.  Below is the comment with my reply.  If you’d like to comment, I welcome your perspective.

“I would recommend just a bit of twist on this analogy to really make it stick.  I think the comment of “we have to help our customers find their eggs” is just a slight bit off.  I think the customer knows where their eggs are most of the time, we as professional sales people have to help them feel comfortable in revealing their eggs (problems) to us!  It is human nature to hide or mask any weakness or mistakes. We know where they are most of the time. We don’t need help finding them, we need help in admitting to the problem and in guiding our customers to a better way.  I also would not start with the consequences for not buying from me.  I would start with connecting with the customer so they know and understand that I am competent and that I have character.  Once this is established, they will trust me and as we all know, you have nothing without trust.  My two cents!”  – Rob

Thanks Rob for your comment and sharing your perspective.  With your two cents, I see two areas I’d like to touch on.  And thank you again for submitting your comment.  I’m grateful and welcome your response. [Read more…]

Whose Eggs are They

Bed time was the usual time of 8 o’clock for the kids, though they did not fall asleep quickly.  Tomorrow is Easter Sunday with the traditional Easter egg hunt in the morning before Church.  The parents were ready with eggs filled with candy, dollar bills and small gifts.  They would have to wake up before the kids so they could hide the eggs in the backyard.  All was ready and off to bed the parents went.

The next morning the parents awoke before the children and quietly snuck out to the backyard.  They hid some eggs under the big evergreen tree, a few next to the swing set legs, a couple under the trampoline, one in a tree and some along the fence.  They counted 24 the night before and all were placed for the kids to hunt for and discover. [Read more…]

You’re Not Being Tested

He walked into my office and sat down.  I asked him, “How you doing since our last session?”  He replied with, “I’m still struggling with confidence.  I wish I saw me how others see me.  I want to earn their (prospects) respect and when they come into the store, I want them to value working with me.  I want to offer them value, so they’ll buy from me.”

I asked him, “What do you think would be of value for them?”  He answered with, “The benefits of the machine.  What it can do.  To show them I know what I’m talking about.”

He obviously had been through the standard, new hire sales training program that emphasis’ features and benefits, with a summary test on product knowledge before releasing them into the wild.  This traditional onboarding program gives him great frustration, because he is not making his numbers and the month is closing in 12 days. [Read more…]

What Makes You Think I Need Your Help?

There are two types of answers prospects will give a salesperson.  One will position them in the best light, which means they will not share their ‘warts’ or problems with you.  Tough to work with anyone that is not completely honest with you.  The other one is when they are upfront about the challenges and struggles they are facing.  The one the prospect uses is decided by the way the salesperson positions themselves at the beginning of the conversation. [Read more…]

FOCUS: Think Inside the Box.

How many times have you heard the saying, “Think outside the box?” I have to weigh in on a different perspective after hearing it recently and giving it some thought. After all perspective determines our truth and our truth is what we believe. Those beliefs influence our actions that deliver the met or unmet results and outcomes.

My proposal to you is that you consider; “Thinking inside the box.” Here is what I mean. Inside the box is defined by a set boundaries or walls. These walls are made up of rules that define the space inside and out. Within the box offers the freedom of creativity, and a specific focus. [Read more…]

Why Now?

It is common knowledge that people buy emotionally and justify the purchase intellectually.  And people will buy based in their reasons, not the salespersons; which is why you will want to focus your conversations on them, rather than yourself.

Rule #1 in sales is; “It’s about them.”  It is about their needs and wants, not what you have and offer.  When you focus on them, you will ask more questions, while you focus on listening.  You will let them talk and tell you their story.  People love to talk about themselves.  Let them be the storyteller, again, while you listen. [Read more…]

Differences cause wars

I’m going out on a limb here and today I’m going to balance out the popular conviction that salespeople need to campaign on what makes them different when promoting themselves.  The question, what is your “differentiating value” may be leading you away from a sale, not towards it.

This notion that prospects make their decision on differences is a myth.  Most attributes in a decision are based on more similarities than differences.  In fact, differences infuse more risks for a prospect in making a switch or decision.
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Discussion: What are your favorite questions?

We have learned we sell more when we are asking questions.  Our questions prompt awareness, the first step in change.  Then we are able to submit the best solution in the form of a proposal.

What questions do you ask a prospect that give you the best insight into their challenges or the sales process?

5 Outcomes of a Sales Call or Appointment

Every sales call or appointment ends with one, sometimes more, of these outcomes.  Knowing this will help guide your call and make yours and your prospects invested time more effective.

1)      YES – The best outcome!  You got the sale, closed the deal and the prospect signed the agreement.  Just don’t spend the commission until their check clears.  Now go make another 10 calls with this renewed enthusiasm.  Call on the ‘bigger’ prospects that you have been postponing until the timing is just right.  Now is the time.  Don’t take a break to celebrate when there is still time in the day to sell.  If you keep a journal, which I highly recommend, write this in it and refer back to it when you receive the 20 no’s in a row in the future. [Read more…]