Selling Selfishly

Although we call it a sales process; it’s really a purchasing process — and we, as sales professionals, are really only along for the ride.  We’re there to help our clients along their buying journey.  So make sure you keep the client’s interest in mind with everything you do. You’ll be more likely to win the deal — and create a client relationship that will last a long time.

Always be closing

For high value products and services that high achieving sales professionals sell, you need to earn the business; not just ask for the order.  So, instead of always be closing, it makes more sense to spend your time learning about the client & his needs, making sure there’s a match, and creating the relationship.  If you’re always closing, you’ll miss the signals and the opportunity to have a long enduring relationship with a lifetime client.

Obscuring the benefits

Many sales people suffer from diarrhea of the mouth  — where they have to say everything about their product, no matter how small or unimportant the detail.  This means long winded pitches and long, difficult to read emails. You can do better — keep your emails short. There are times where long emails are appropriate — maybe even necessary.  In those cases, make sure your reader can pull out the key points while skimming.  Consider using journalistic style, where your message starts with the most important point and continues with the next points in order of importance.

As Dale Carnegie says, “Tell the prospect everything he needs to know about your product to buy — and no more”

Wasting the time of the other person

Many salespeople, especially when calling, try to force the prospect to listen, even when it’s not the right time for him.  They often use run-on sentences — because if you don’t pause between sentences, they can’t tell you no. But it’s not a good way to earn the business.  I always ask if it’s a good time to talk — and often to call at a different time if it’s not.  

Even better, send them several times in advance to set up a phone call.  That way when you talk, they’ll be able to give you full attention.  If you give them a choice of time instead of the usual single time invitation, they’ll be sure to pick the time that fits their schedule best.

Getting Lost

While nobody wants to be pestered, it’s a wise practice to be visible — especially when the prospect doesn’t know you or your company well, or when you’re competing with others for the business.  But it’s equally unwise to disappear from view, especially in long sales cycles.  Find a way to stay to visible.  Send an occasional email with a value added article; give an occasional phone call with information that can help the prospect — even if it’s not directly selling your product; leave an occasional voicemail with details of an event he might want to attend.

The prospect will see that you’re adding value; not just selling — and you’ll be more likely to get the business.