One of the best definitions of sales I have ever heard on selling“Selling is getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them, and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.”
Dan Sullivan (who is just a genius)
The definition is not that I have something they need and, by golly, I going to make them buy it. Please, please, please buy my services….
So let’s go through the definition again. Selling is getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them, and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.
So really, what does that look like? What are the steps to actually make that happen? Well I think number one, you really need to listen perceptively.
In the old days a salesman pitch was… you get it down, go over it and continue to role-play and do all the things to make sure that you, the sales person, was comfortable with the sales process.
I think one of the biggest challenges with something like that kind of pitch is rigidity. It’s great that you should know your sales process and that you should know what you want to say. BUT I think what probably more important than anything is that you need be yourself. You can’t go into a sales situation or presentation to your customer thinking that “I can beat the other guy’s price.” You really need to take ownership of who you are.
You have to be comfortable with who you are and you have to have the self-confidence of knowing what you can do. Knowing that you can provide the services and the quality of services that you’re presenting to your potential client.
I can’t really say that over all that it works on commercial clients, at least the ones that are only looking for the bid price. I do know that it works well with the residential customers and clients that I have. I don’t do a whole lot of commercial sales for the services that we have, but I follow the same process for that also. I am comfortable with who I am, I know who I am, I know the type of service that I am going to provide.
Most importantly, I what that service is costing me to provide! I know the type of profit margin that I need to make to keep my company sustainable in the marketplace. That’s what I mean by knowing particularly who you are. Be confident of the person in your skin.
I actually think that once you put yourself in the position of going through the sales process and second-guessing yourself and not knowing what you want to charge… thinking that “I know that Bob So-and-so my competitor was here, and I know what he charges, so I’m going to be real close to him, maybe a little below so that so I can get the business.”
That is not knowing who you are. That’s being wishy-washy. That’s not having the confidence in who you are, what you can do and what you can provide to that customer. YOU KNOW that customer sees you weakness, he sees your inability to be genuine and he sees your neediness because they see that battle going on in your presentation.
When you chase after what other people are charging, then you’re back to being a commodity and you are not going to make it in the marketplace and be an extremely profitable company.
In order for you to have an abundance mindset, you need to be who you are. You need to find your identity so that you can run the course, be positive, be genuine, and be confident in your own skin.
Here’s what really happens if you’ve done your marketing correctly and you have educated the consumer correctly through your marketing. Mostly your job is already done. They called you because they want to know if you could provide the value that you say you can from your marketing materials, so they just want to meet you. That’s why it’s so important for you to be genuine when you know who you are.
Also, story building is a great part of the sales process. Actually the nurturing stories are the greatest relationship builders. It is like Mr. Rogers used to say, “it’s hard not like someone once you know their story.”
As a sales person, we must first be able to relate to the customer to help solve the customer’s problems. I believe by delivering the facts, you build trust and by educating your client, you will give your clients new ways to think about their problems.
As sales superstars we do many things… we attract, we teach, we advise, we serve, we measure. And most importantly, we guide our clients and prospects by developing individual brand (that’s us) that stands for trust and expertise.
In order for all that to happen, for me to close and get the sale, I have to provide the client with the emotional response or let’s go back to our beginning definition…
“Selling is getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them, and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.”
This just takes a few simple steps. We will have to listen and be perceptive to what is actually going on in the sales meeting. We need to listen to what our customers’ real problems are and how they think that problem can be solved.
So what is perceptive listening?
Perceptive listening is when you hear, interpreting the words as they are said, AND that you also consider what the person isn’t saying, what she might really be thinking and how she is acting as they speak. This requires you to be totally focused on what their needs are and what you’re trying to sell.
Perceptive listening will tell you what the prospect says he Tells You. Prospect says he’s not ready to buy, but what he’s really saying is that he doesn’t understand the benefits of what you’re offering. Perceptive listening is how you draw out what the potential customers are really passionate about allowing you to understand their goals and objectives.
In today’s world there are so many teaching opportunities for our clients who are our future customers. Teaching them actually sells them, or at least presales them, by giving them useful expert information. That’s how you build an expert platform, by creating the information they need to make an informed decision, So by creating expert platform, you are now becoming the authority in that area (the industry and the geographic area you serve). Once you become that authority, you normally have very, very little competition.
You see, what you’re doing is you are sending a message that by being the expert, you are no longer competing on price as a commodity business.
You don’t want to show up at a customer’s house, write out a proposal and say, “this is the price.” You want to go through and educate them. You want to leave behind sales materials.
You want to talk with them and walk around the house, or sit down with them and go through whatever you’re going to go through with them. You want to explain the process, what you do and why you do it and maybe the safety factors. Go through all the benefits of working with your company.
By what you’re presenting, you are making them more informed, showing you have more expertise, you are better educated and more professional by the way you talk and explain things to them. Then you’re going to leave them with material that backs up everything you just presented. When they go over it, they will say, “I remember he said this, I remember he said that when he went through the information and our Proposal.”
So, let me just get you a couple of examples of something that just happened to me recently. In this sales situation I got a call to come out and do an estimate on some work at this potential customer house and he told me that everything he wanted done. I met him at the house, we walked around, and he explained what he wanted done. As we went through, I told him about what our process was, how we did things, how we protected things and as I got towards the end of our walk around the house, I asked, by the way how did you find out about us…
His answer was “on the Internet” and he said to me, I checked you out on the Internet. As a matter fact you were the first person we called, and something happened where you couldn’t get out. You were real busy, and we were impressed with all the information that you had on your website. It very informative for us and easy to make an informed decision. We have two other people that we got prices from and we called you again because we really wanted you to come out and give us a proposal on all the work we need to be done here because we felt that you were the most professional.
So, I put together the proposal, I talked to them about it and I left him some more information. Basically, everything that we talked about in a report that I give each potential customer and I will let you know how that turns out.
Next let me tell you another example of how I presented in a sales situation.
I had a phone meeting with someone that I want to buy a particular service. We had a meeting on the phone. I know the man, I like the man, I trusted the man and we had talked before but not about what I wanted to purchase from him. We just knew each other so that was a big plus on his side as we did our telephone conversation. He went over the his products and services that I was interested in, going into great detail about what the whole program was, what the benefits were and how he would help me get through the whole process.
We went over the dates of the seminar that I wanted to attend and he said, “listen, this is how I handle my sales process… I give you all the stuff we just went over and you know that the class is going to be very small, like just 4 to 5 people. The class will sell out and if you can’t make this one, that’s fine, and if you don’t want to do it all, that’s fine too. But if you do want to do it, this is the date. Let me know right away if you want to attend before it fills up. We have another class in January that you are also than welcome to attend” and that’s how he left it.
He followed the definition to a tee, “Selling is getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them, and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.”
Go sell your services at a premium! Until next week…
There are so many ways to do almost free marketing you just have to think about it or you could just go to the web site and pick up the free download.
If you have a story to tell and would like to be a guest on this podcast email my assistant Shell at Shell@contractorssecretweapon.com and she will send you our guest sheet.
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