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Is your approach to the sale the old or new way?

The time for systems of selling has passed.

The time for sales manipulation has passed.

The time for “finding the pain” has passed.

The time for “closing the sale” has way passed.

I wonder if you’re using yesterday’s approaches to complete today’s sales.

Many, if not most, salespeople — not you, of course — walk into a sale with product knowledge, a few questions, a sales pitch and hope. This is a strategy that will result in “How much is it?” Bad strategy.

It’s time for you to create an approach that works and wows, an approach based on value and differentiation, an approach that’s personalized and customized.

Problem: This requires work. Hard work. And in my experience, most salespeople aren’t willing to do the hard work that makes selling easy. They would rather do the easy work that makes selling hard.

Salespeople are not willing to build reputation, build expertise, network, work longer hours — especially in these times — and prepare harder than the competition.

I have an approach that’s different from yours. It’s an approach that has evolved from years of selling and years of practice. And I am current. Internet current. Google ranking current. Website current. Social media current. And technology current.

Here are my approach strategies and actions. See how many of them are yours:

  • I have done my homework about their company.
  • I have done my homework on the person I’m meeting with.
  • I’m prepared with questions of engagement about them.
  • I’m prepared with ideas in their favor.
  • I’m more relaxed than formal.
  • I’m confident, not cocky.
  • I’m more friendly than professional.
  • My business card rocks. People comment when they get it.
  • I give signed books, not brochures.
  • I don’t start until I have established rapport and found common ground.
  • I ask more and talk less.
  • I walk into the sales call with ideas and questions, not a pitch.
  • I look for their pleasure, not their pain.
  • I don’t talk about what “we do.” I talk about how they win.
  • I ask for and get their Santa Claus list (what they’re hoping to achieve).
  • I discover my customer’s reasons and motives for buying.
  • I answer with questions, not just statements.
  • I dare to inject humor. Often. Not jokes, humor.
  • I don’t make presentations from my laptop. If I use slides, it’s from a projector.
  • I’m prepared with slides if the meeting gets that far.
  • If I use slides, they’re fun, they’re customized for the prospect and they’re not canned.
  • I make my own slides.
  • I often clarify a statement with a question before I answer.
  • I discuss money openly (it’s my favorite part).
  • I listen with the intent to understand and then respond.
  • I take notes to make certain I remember what was said and what was promised and to show respect.
  • I use testimonials to prove points and create a buying atmosphere.
  • I am more patient than anxious. I wait for them to ask, then tell.
  • When I hear a buying signal, I ask for, and confirm, the sale.
  • I don’t leave without asking for the sale or formalizing the next step.

The secrets: I have a reputation that’s Googleable, and I have a presence on social media that anyone can find and be impressed with. My company answers the phone with a friendly human being on the second ring 24/7/365.

The hard work: Internet presence.

The hard work: Social media presence.

The hard work: Attraction through value.

The hard work: Earning and acquiring video testimonials.

The hard work: Preparation for each and every prospect.

The hard work: Get up early, study and write.

The old way of selling doesn’t work anymore, and the new way of selling is difficult for seasoned salespeople to master.

This leaves a gap and an opportunity for anyone. But it takes hard work for everyone. Huge opportunity. And you could be the one.

Want some social media help? I created a video that will give you understanding and direction. Go to www.gitomer.com and enter the words “get social” in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs sales meetings and conducts Internet training on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com.

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