SmarterSelling

Most of us have a curiosity about where we came from. In the late 70s, Alex Haley’s book Roots, and later the award winning miniseries based on his novel, started a trend for Americans to research their family history. Today, Ancestry.com along with other similar sites is hugely popular. Being able to trace our roots to other countries and cultures creates a unique experience. I personally regret not getting sufficient family information in my younger years. The oral family history is now mostly gone. Only having bits and pieces of family stories do not make the job of tracing your family genealogy very easy.

In the world of sales, managers need to know if their agents have sufficient curiosity and drive to know their chosen profession’s roots. Do agents want to know about and learn the craft? To be successful in sales, you should know sales genealogy. With that solid foundation, then you move forward to what works in today’s world. I think we all understand that what worked in 1950 does not necessarily work with today’s buyers. But the basic roots of sales haven’t changed over the years. You have a product or service that a potential buyer wants or needs. The sales professional’s job is to create a match in order to make the sale. As I have said before in these articles, what changes in the sales journey is how you get there. Older generations of immigrants came to this country in very slow boats. In today’s world, the plane makes the journey in a fraction of the time.  The need is the same but what is different is how you get there.

If you have been in the sales profession for any length of time you have been exposed to all types of selling methods. If you are relatively new, read about some of these older sales techniques. There is Critical Path, Personality Types, Relationship Selling, Buyer Centric, and the list goes on. In the end, a good sales professional absorbs the best of all these sales techniques, makes it their own, adapts it to their personality, and learns to be flexible. The worst thing any sales professional can do is come across as robotic and staged. Buyers do not appreciate the canned sales presentation. To earn trust, an agent must convey sincerity.

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Both the older sales techniques and the current selling methods are comprised of similar elements. In sales you do need to know the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. What differs for each style of selling is how you obtain that same core information. To achieve sales success, agents need to develop the skills to effectively acquire these fundamental components. 

1.    Q&A:  A good salesperson asks questions and listens to the customer. But does that mean that all you do is ask questions and listen? Engaging a customer in conversation to establish that personal connection is critical. Once you have connected with your customer, you are then able to glean a lot of information through conversation.

2.    The ABCs:    A good salesperson knows how to "ask for the order" and is good at closing. But does that mean all you do is close? You know the ABC mantra ‘always be closing’. While agents need to assume the sale, they need to earn the right to ask for it. Earning that right requires an agent invest time in the person and the process.

3.    Product Knowledge:  A good salesperson knows his or her product or service and can persuasively describe the features and benefits. But does that mean all you do is increase your product knowledge to disseminate all at once? We all know what information dumping can do to a prospective buyer. It doesn’t take long for the glazed eyes to appear. What information you do provide, must be targeted and relevant to each buyer.

For sales success, you should not always use the same sales method for every buyer. Yes, questioning, listening, asking for the order and product knowledge are all important. But, of more importance is knowing when and how to use each of these skills and techniques. If you stay flexible and learn to adapt your sales style, you will succeed. There is no singular way to sell to all people all the time. Yes some selling styles are more effective than others. And that is the challenge for each sales professional. Learning what best works for them and yet fit that style into their company’s sales platform. In short, know your roots and learn to be flexible.

Managers, when it is time to evaluate the roots of your sales team, allow LeBlanc & Associates to document their sales genealogy. We are flexible.  It’s easy. Give us a call!

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Top 5 Best/Worst States to Make a Living
To find out which U.S. cities are best for small business, Thumbtack looked at several metrics, including ease of starting, ease of hiring, regulations and networking. Texas grabbed four of the top 10 slots, while Colorado and Tennessee took two apiece. But Manchester, New Hampshire was the surprise winner due to the ease of both starting and growing a business there. Here’s the top 10:
1. Manchester, NH
2. Dallas, TX
3. Richmond, VA
4. Austin, TX
5. Knoxvile, TN
6. Nashville, TN
7. Houston, TX
8. Fort Collins, CO
9. Boulder, CO
10. San Antonio, TX
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