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As sales professionals our job is to sell, right?
Well, we are in a critical state now where we need to be less “sales-y”.
What does it mean to be "salesy"?
I’m sure you’ve all been in a position where you felt cornered, pitched at and pressured into hearing what someone is pitching/ selling without showing any interest to purchase. The focus is on the seller. They typically deliver a monologue and rarely invite thoughts or comments from the buyer’s side.
Why do people do this?
Well, unfortunately, they have made the whole experience one-sided. They have not considered their audience’s starting point, what they might be feeling, thinking, or hoping to get out of the exchange. They are unable to meet them where they’re at.
Many of the clients I work with started that way, leading every email, phone call, and video talking about them, their product or company.
Our brains are wired to care about our self-interest. The more we have to think outside ourselves the harder something is to process, says Will Allred, Co-Founder of Lavender.
Knowing this, how can we shift the focus to our client, come at it from a point of curiosity. Make the focus to learn about them, their business, and what are they doing today.
Curiosity invites your customer to share and open up, whereas telling them about you, your solution and why they need it shut them down. Most buyers are not in buy mode, they are unaware they have a problem or the impact if left unattended. So, what do we do?
We must tee up the right questions, and increase their self-awareness, by sharing insights, trends, and stories that invite your prospect to see themselves in the “before” stage of the picture.
“A-ha” light bulb moment happens, but it must happen from their end. They figured it out, it was their idea, their awareness. Following this breakthrough comes a sense of accountability and ownership. Now I must act on it. The tables turn and they ask, “what do you do?” how can you help me?”
Like a child, as tough as it is watching them build a tower block by block and watching it topple over because the base is too narrow. It is easy and obvious for us to see the solution.
How can we increase their critical thinking skills?
Invite them to lean into their curiosity?
Ask them why they think it’s falling over?
What ideas do they have to keep it upright?
The excitement, joy and sense of satisfaction and wonderment are no different in our prospects.
Our role is to present relevant insights, in a meaningful way. Create dotted lines and let them connect them.
Next time you are in a coaching call with your team, or a meeting with your prospect, I encourage you to ask vs tell.
Seek first to understand, make it about them.
Learn more about them as people, and their business, and get a full picture to increase your understanding of their situation.
When we jump in with half the information, we reduce our chances of advancement by more than half. Play the long game, detach from the outcome, and be present in the moment. Our only job is to learn more about our prospects. Keep it one-sided, their side.
What one thing will you do differently on your next call to ensure your prospect feels heard and the focus is on them?
For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.
Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.