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December 2017

An article by Mike Schultz of the RAIN Group recently caught my attention. This article was about Collaborative Selling. There have been different takes on this style of selling over the years. I am sure you are familiar with Relationship Selling. If you define collaboration you will find the words teamwork, partnership, association, alliance and cooperation. In short, collaborative selling is not seller centric. 

In his article, Shultz states that as sellers advance and refine their sales techniques, the more they make selling about conversations and collaboration, not presentations and pitching. Speaking for myself, nothing should grate a true sales professional more than hearing the term sales pitch. Writers pitch stories to producers. 'As Seen On TV' promoters are pitchmen. When one of these ads comes on TV, I reach for the remote and hit the mute button. Sales professionals should never pitch anything. If you are pitching, your buyers hit their mute button and tune you off. When done correctly, collaborative sales presentations should be having a conversation with your prospective buyer vs. talking to them (pitching).

There are numerous benefits to utilize collaborative selling. You can:
•    Create relationships and trust
•    Deepen the understanding of need (for both buyer and seller)
•    Reinforce solutions to stated and underlying concerns
•    Create uniqueness to differentiate  your product from your competition
•    Create a sense of emotional ownership

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While we have written about the importance of all of these points, gaining a prospective buyer’s emotional buy-in to your product is mandatory. It is part of earning the right to ask for the sale.  If an agent just utilizes the technical steps of a sales presentation, all they will have done is score points on their shopping report. Agents must be assessed by more than just total points on a report. The report LeBlanc & Associates generates with its Video Profiles has the below caveat at the end of our ratings page advising managers to assess the whole process and not just the agent’s score: 

LeBlanc & Associates stresses the importance of the spoken word in any sales agent evaluation encounter. It is highly recommended that both the audio and video recording along with the written report be considered in the final assessment of the agent’s selling skills.

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Combined with our narrative about the overall sales encounter, our reports do rate agents for their technical sales skills. While these technical steps are necessary, they are not the sole factor for sales success. With just sales techniques, your buyer will not feel any particular attachment to what you are selling. In previous articles I have talked about how the agent is charged with making the buyer feel right about their product. Sure it is easier to move product during a seller’s market. However there is always competition. If you are not involving your prospective buyer in a sales conversation, and your competition is, where do you think the emotional purchase decision will go? Buyers need to become emotionally invested in your product and community in order to move the purchase decision process forward.

Collaboration has always been part of how LeBlanc & Associates works with their clients. We want every client, small or large, to be part of the process. We will inquire about you, your product and sales objectives. We always listen to your concerns and clarify what we can do to resolve those concerns. So let’s collaborate on your next round of video shops. It’s easy! Call, email or submit an online request.

Top 12 Healthiest Cities
This was going to be another top 10 list, but since San Diego was just shy of 10, I had to increase it! To create this list, Sperling's Best Places ranked cities on 50 measures in 5 categories: physical activity, health status, nutrition, lifestyle pursuits, and mental wellness. California occupies 6/12 spots on the list!
12. San Diego, CA
11. Boston, MA
10. Austin, TX
9. Denver, CO
8. Orange County, CA
7. Sacramento, CA
6. Oakland, CA
5. Salt Lake City, UT
4. Seattle, WA
3. San Francisco, CA
2. Washington, DC
1. San Jose, CA
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Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Outstanding Evaluation