Your Salespeople have lots of skills. Unfortunately, they are probably the wrong ones.
Buyers do NOT trust salespeople. So they have created a system to deal with them.
The system of the buyer is designed to:
- Provide the buyer with a feeling of control and security.
- Place the buyer in a strong negotiating position.
- Strip the salesperson of any differentiation.
In other words, the buyer’s system is designed to turn salespeople into apple vendors. Let’s call your top vendor Super Mario.
Buyers want you to believe that your apples are no different than anyone else’s. In their mind, it must be Mario’s job to PROVE that your company’s apples are worthy.
For most unsuspecting apple vendors like Mario, the buyer’s system creates the intended transactional dysfunction and feeds right into his behavioral preferences. Succumbing removes all differentiation from Mario and your company. Like most salespeople, Mario is equipped with traditional “selling skills” and unfortunately feels most comfortable deploying them along with all the other apple vendors. He quickly proceeds to:
- Shine Your Company Apple
- Provide References
- Give Quotes
- Wheel and Deal
- Use Goofy Closing Tricks
- Send (Unqualified) Proposals
If Mario is competing against four other apple vendors, the good news is that he might win “his share’ of around 20% of the business. The bad news is that he will waste loads of time, consume plenty of company resources, cut deeply into your profitability and further commoditize your company reputation.
If Mario wanted to differentiate, develop trust, win far more than “his share” of sales, and drive lots of profit to your bottom line, he would instead need to:
- Slow down a lot
- Start Being (versus acting) Trustworthy
- Listen (actively and empathetically)
- Stop asking leading questions
- Ask many more questions
- Ask better questions
- Ask tougher questions
Behaving in this new way would require Mario to leave his comfort zone. For many salespeople, this never happens. They behave the way they are behaving because they CHOOSE to behave that way. Most choose to behave like apple vendors.
Taking your sales to the next level is not rocket science. But in most cases it requires a commitment for salespeople (and their managers) to stop vending apples.
Copyright © Joe Zente 2012. All Rights Reserved.