Shift Your Sales Mindset
Most of what we read and write about the art of the sale focuses on the successful closing.
We want a deal to be done, cash to be exchanged, contracts signed and commissions added up.
But if you shift your mindset from the closing to the opening, it can make a tremendous difference in how fast and how surely you get to the close.
In other words, you need a good beginning if you are going to have a good end.
When you meet a new client, you need to have your sensitivity scanners turned on high. Stay in the present moment. Be aware of everything that is going on with and around your client. Don’t start to push forward until you get a clear signal from your client about where they want to go.
I am not suggesting you spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the weather. But do take time to notice a new piece of art in the client’s office, a new photo on the desk, or changes in the mood or energy of your client.
Remember that the sales process is all about making life better for your client. It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, that is your goal. So if you can determine what the client’s problems or challenges are near the beginning of your conversation, you are better equipped to present your product or service in the terms that show how clearly it will make their life a little easier or better at the end.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling has an effective way of explaining why we need to change our sales mindset and focus more on the beginning process.
He says: “Today’s salespeople better be question-based, value-driven, customer-focused, and be able to prove their product rather than try to sell it.”
When you interact with clients to sell to them, the most important rule today is to remember that buyers must find relevance and meaning in what you are selling, as well as value.
Today it is about relationship selling.
Jim Cathcart, whose book Relationship Selling is a must-read for sales people today, puts it this way:
“People don’t buy because they understand your product; they buy because they feel you understand their need.”
So you have to show right at the start of every relationship that you are interested in what is really going on with your client. Answer their questions, of course, but make sure that you ask a few of your own.
Within my companies, I’ve been in sales all my life. Nothing in my businesses will grow if I can’t go out there and sell it.
To make sure my sales well never runs dry, I know that I have to keep the pump moving. We do that with what we call the 3-2-1 Plan.
It works, it is simple, and you can do it too.
Every day, no matter how busy our calendar is, we find time to call three past clients to touch base with them and see how they are doing and share with them what we are doing. That is one of the ways we keep our relationships alive.
Then we find two new prospects and contact them to see if we can schedule a meeting with them next week. They can be people we met at a conference who expressed an interest in learning more about our business, they could be someone we heard about who has a business we believe we can add value to, or they may be someone we think we could help grow their business in some way.
That’s three and two. Number one is significant. It means that every day, no matter what, we learn one new thing about selling. We believe that like other things in your toolbox, you need to keep your sales skills sharp and constantly add new features and components to them.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion. 24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s best selling books: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released December 6th “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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