Provocative or Bold, it’s About Taking a Chance
I’ve been reading a lot about different selling systems or processes lately and several are acting like they have invented some new super effective selling process! Well, having been around good to great sales people for the past twenty years it is not that revolutionary.
The keys to their success are the same keys the best sales people have been using for years. It’s all about being somewhat bold, aggressive or provocative AND TAKING A RISK. In today’s environment, too many people are playing everything safe and risk free.
When I was learning about finance in college, one thing was made perfectly clear. No risk equals little gain or profit. Too much risk equals major loss potential. So, the right thing is to make a calculated or balanced decision – take some risk (or chance) and get a higher return.
Again, this is elementary finance, yet, it can be applied to the world of selling and have serious meaning. In this economic downturn, no one has a normal budget to operate, in fact, some budgets have disappeared. Decisions – if made at all – are going higher in the organization and are heavily influenced by the financial “bean-counter” types.
So what does this mean for today’s sales person? It means you can not continue to play safe and keep going to your friends in the customer or prospect organizations. You can no longer afford to maintain a “normal” course of action and take little or no risk. Unless of course you are truly independently wealthy and have played the options market very effectively during the downturn in the market. But wait! Doesn’t that mean you are comfortable with taking risks and getting higher returns!
It is time to start asking difficult or hard questions of higher level decision makers. These questions can be effectively worded so it is not taken personally by the executive – yet, the questions must be bold and force thought. Thought is the key for the sales person. A thinking decision maker is not on automatic pilot with knee jerk responses – we have no budget for this, let me talk to others, we are currently satisfied with our supplier, vendor, provider.
As a sales person, it is time to think about what is happening in your customer or prospect’s business, what is costing them dollars even without a decision to change? You need to become a CSI agent for customer well-being. Find the source or cause of major pain to point out to the executive – even if they do not see it (This is difficult for some sales people to understand – customers sometimes do not see the problem unless it is pointed out to them.)
You can improve the quality and delivery of questions. It does require some practice time – winging it is NOT AN OPTION! If you can’t afford a consultant – get the financial types from your company or the local banker to practice your questions and handling of responses. If you do want some professional guidance, give me a call at 901-757-4434 and let’s talk about how to be bold and effective.
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