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The New World of Sales

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The New World of Sales

By TJ McCue
Published: June 1, 2011 Updated: June 1, 2011

By TJ McCue

The life of a salesperson is changing, but not as fast as buyers are changing. It is arguable if sales techniques and methods in use at most corporations are even close to in tune with the market. Instead of Selling we need officially to call it “Selling to Buyers” just so we don’t get confused about what we’re doing.

If this sounds rudimentary, forgive me, but most sales people I know think that selling is about sharing what they know, what their product does, pitching, talking, presenting. That’s not what it is about. It is about listening and building a relationship. I’m not talking about some warm, fuzzy notion of “I know what school you went to and that your kid likes baseball and mac and cheese.” I’m talking about knowing what challenges your buyer faces in his or her work environment and looking for ways to solve that specific problem.

Not long ago, I had a conversation with best-selling author, Jill Konrath, about how she approaches sales. Her new book, Snap Selling, has helped me wrap my mind around this new world of sales: Buyers are crazy busy, Jill says, and that should change how you connect and serve them. Her core message: You have to put the buyer at the center of all you do. 

How does this seem different than other advice you might have read? For one thing, you have to think faster and present faster. I don’t mean just talk faster; shorten your message to make it more digestible. Tips from my conversation with Jill:

1. Think in 90 word increments. Whether on the phone or sending email, you don’t have to share your entire message in one burst. Spread it out. Slow and steady should be your mantra. Map out your communication campaign. Plan on 10-12 messages. It is very likely you’ve already experienced Voicemail Jail. Use it smartly. 

2. Build credibility as fast as possible. In your first sentence of an email or in the first few seconds of your phone or in person conversations. “In my work with VPs of Sales…” Okay, now the buyer knows you deal with a lot of Sales VPs. Obviously this would get customized to your work.

3. Don’t overwhelm your buyer prospect. Don’t send too many attachments. Think about your subject line carefully. Even though this sounds like email-only advice, it isn’t. You can apply these ideas to other areas of your sales communications. 

One thing that Jill does that I haven’t seen her mention, but I’ve observed. Her email “from” field states her work phone, then her name. Brilliant. 

All of the best traditional techniques are built on you doing something to position yourself and your product favorably. They don’t take the buyer into consideration, not really. Jill offers 9 questions in her Buyer’s Matrix which completely, in my opinion, answer the question about how to sell in today’s busier-than-ever market. You can download those resources from the Snap Selling site.

One thing that hasn’t changed about sales?  Every business wants more of it. At the top of every survey result I have seen about sales from a small business perspective, and large ones too, is this:  Increase Sales. If you follow these ideas, you’ll be on your path to greater sales.

Today’s buyers (no matter what the industry) have access to nearly perfect information over the Internet and they begin every sales interaction from a position of relative apathy or downright distrust.

How Customers Make Decisions

No matter what you’re selling, your customers are insanely busy, frazzled, and don’t have time for you.  In SNAP Selling, Konrath outlines four strategies (SNAP) that you can use to get your crazy-busy prospect to stop and pay attention to what you have to offer.

Keep it Simple: Make it easy for your customer to decide to buy from you.  Eliminating complexity and effort from your prospect’s decision-making will improve your chances for success.

Be invaluable: In a world of copycat products, the personal relationship becomes essential.

Always Aligned: Stay relevant to your client at all times.

Raise Priorities: You want your customer to see your product or service as an urgent need.

About the Author:

Comments:

Indeed being a sale agent you are obliged to share information about the product and services you've offered. It makes a challenge on how to market it through communicating to people who are consumers of products. I agree with the given tips above most especially with the style on how you make your sales talk, short yet informative and straight to the point. That's what majority of people are looking for. Philippine real estate
I fully agree with the point about spreading out your message. Spreading out your sales message to the customer will help to make the communication more easily understood without overwhelming the client. It also paces you so that you focus on developing the relationship with the customer over a period of time. It's great advice.Increasing Low Sales
those are pretty useful tips for sales. a very informative article you have there that is definitely a good share on social sites. boxing live stream I will definitely share this with my group, a group of businessmen who would definitely enjoy reading this article juan manuel marquez since it is full of useful information that we can share with out workers and business partners. Thank you for sharing this here. watch pacquiao fight online
All of the best traditional techniques are built on you doing something to position yourself and your product favorably. They don’t take the buyer into consideration, not really. Jill offers 9 questions in her Buyer’s Matrix which completely, in my opinion,buy google plus 1, answer the question about how to sell in today’s busier-than-ever market. You can download those resources from the Snap Selling site.
Nice job, TJ! I'm trying this, now; "One thing that Jill does that I haven’t seen her mention, but I’ve observed. Her email “from” field states her work phone, then her name. Brilliant." I am so skeptical these days. The trust factor has to outweigh everything, before I buy in. The Franchise King® Joel Libava
Thankyou very much for sharing this and the techniques involved,i agree it does appear that the online market too is very much changing almost everyday and as the author writes its more oftem than not about knowing what the market wants instead of trying to just sell we must learn to do as much research as we possibly can to further educate ourselves first i shall take some of these tips and use them in my own business and review the results - thanks once again for a enlightening share
This is a great article. The information can be used in any sales situation, including writing proposal for federal work. Keep it simple, provide real solutions and always help the customer.

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