There are many who believe that SELLING means persuading someone to buy something. If they wanted what was being sold that just made the persuasion a little easier. They still needed to wrestle them to the ground like a cowboy fighting a steer at branding time; wrestle them, brand them and declare victory.
I was recently in an auto parts store and was watching the sales interaction. You may not think that people behind a service counter are real sales people. As the clerk approached the waiting client he asked, “How can I help you?” The customer told him the story of what was broken and hoped the counter person would help him fix the problem.
If the service man had the part, which he usually did, he asked the client some questions about the installation and how he was paying for the part. Then he went and got the part from inventory. The odd time he had to say, “No, I don’t have the part,” and he would ask if the customer needed it immediately or if he could order the part. Sometimes he had to suggest another shop where the customer might get it now. The question is, are these people real sales people?
Naw, many would think. Real sales people go out and talk people into buying things. They call on people. They ask for appointments. They get dressed up in coats and ties, carry briefcases and practice their presentations until they are perfect. I’ve known people who believe the key to successful selling is based on their power point presentations and their power to convince prospects that they should have what they were selling. They worked hard. They struggled with prospects to close them. And even then they had to stay on top of the new client to make sure they didn’t back out of the deal. It’s a tough life.
But what is wrong with what the counter man did? What if, instead of spending all their time getting a presentation ready, sales people spent their time finding people who had a broken part needing to be fixed, repaired or replaced? What if they spent most of their time with the prospect trying to find out what, if anything was broken rather than trying to persuade the prospect to buy what they have to sell?
Looking back at those counter men, I begin to think they really were good sales people. They only sold to people who had needs, real needs, needs that kept them from doing what they needed to do. They found out what the customer wanted. They also found out how payment would be made. Then, they presented the solution. And it was always the customer’s decision about whether or not he was convinced the part would work on his broken vehicle.
I still have a lot of respect for those sales people who work hard to perfect their presentations, closes and pitches. They work a system. They work hard to make it work. If I could give them anything to make their lives easier and more profitable, it would be a system more like the one the counter men used. If they worked as hard perfecting that kind of system and committed themselves to make it work, they would be truly awesome!
Reprinted from The President’s Club Report, © Sandler Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2013 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.
John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or view his website at www.glennon.sandler.com