People love to buy, they hate being sold. You've heard that before and know it's true, yet many salespeople still go in with the objective to "sell" the prospect. We often start by asking questions but when we see that first opening (need)...bam, we're sellin'! Often, unintentionally, the "feature benefit machine gun" comes out and were blasting the prospect with our "best stuff." They feel pressure and ironically so do we!
One of the great challenges that face all of us in sales is the reputation that has been left by all of the "amateurs" that have come before us. Whether you like to admit it or not, there is a negative stigma still associated with the sales profession. Remember the old game "password", I give you a word and you come up with clues (synonyms), to get the contestant to guess the word. If the word was "salesperson" what would some of your clues be?? I'm not asking you to think of yourself but of all those "other" sales people out there. If you're honest, it's not pretty.
In my last post, on how to answer "what makes you better", I began to reveal the essence of the "non selling posture". Saying anything or doing anything that typical sale people do will have you digging a hole for yourself and on the fast track to creating "sameness". The strategy will give you a label you really don't want. That's why it's so important to take a "non selling posture" and to not be afraid of sounding a little negative. It will go a long way to building trust with your prospect and help you to avoid sounding like a typical "sales person".
Don't be afraid, on new prospect calls, to start out by saying things like:
I'm not sure we can help you.
Our product/program may not be what you need.
Why were you considering an option like this?
We're helping a lot of companies like yours, I'm not sure we can do the same for you.
On your next new account call try some of these phrases and see if taking a "non selling" posture will remove some of the natural defensiveness from your prospect. It may seem awkward at first but most new behaviors do. I'm confident that this approach will pay dividends and improve your winning percentages! On second thought, "maybe it won't work for you..."
Good stuff John! The reminder on "Going Negative" with a prospect works great. Used it this morning with a different buying influence than what we normally call on. The gentleman who was first short on time ended up asking me several questions. I'll finding out later this week if we move to the next sales step.
Posted by: Gordon French | October 25, 2006 at 03:37 PM