Perhaps Jeffrey Gitomer – author and expert on selling and customer loyalty – said it best: “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” Today, sales prospects want solutions for their needs, cures for their “pain.” And when they perceive that’s what they are getting, they “love to buy.” To achieve those outcomes, however, prospects need to be heard, listened to, and understood.
So, why do sales reps still pitch “solutions” that might not even begin to solve a real problem? Is it because it’s always been done that way, regardless of poor conversion rates? Or is it simply the notion that sales reps sell things, and selling requires, well, hard-core “selling!”? Frankly, with today’s better-connected consumers having so much information about choices and options, old-school sales methods tend to fail far more often than they succeed. In other words, the status quo means status “no!”
With this in mind, it’s time to adopt a new way of selling. Time to change your philosophy. Time to change your approach. And time to change your results!
Time to Change Your Sales Philosophy
The old way of selling viewed sales as a baseline numbers game: specifically, the more prospects in the pipeline and the more cold calls made, the better. But today’s numbers game is rightly more concerned with conversion rates, average sale, and cost of customer acquisition.
To optimize conversion, understand this: in most industries, cold calling is dead. Consumers are well-informed and can even access reviews, ratings, and competitor details during your pitch! Beyond this, cold calling has long had a notoriously low conversion rate. After all, you’re attempting to sell something without first learning if there’s a need your product or service. Good luck with that!
Regarding pipeline prospects, it’s better to work from a smaller pool of high-quality prospects than a larger pool of poor-conversion possibilities. The time you waste targeting poor prospects is time better spent nurturing a customer relationship where your product or service is actually a good fit, a true solution. In other words, choose quality over quantity if you want to sell more and sell better!
Time to Change Your Sales Approach
Just as choosing quality prospects over a larger quantity is a solid philosophical shift, it’s also important to change your tactical approach to selling. For example, choose serving over selling; use a servant leadership approach and go the extra mile with each prospect and customer. Sure, this requires extra time, but if you have fine-tuned your pipeline to connect with fewer but better prospects, you’ll have time to offer good-fit solutions and build stronger relationships for long-term customer loyalty.
As for the sales process, listen first, sell later. Ditch the pitch. Make the conversation about the prospect. Learn their needs, rather than launching into a stump speech about what you are selling. Start a journey of discovery. Remember that empathetic listening leads to understanding; and understanding leads to curing the prospect’s pain and making the sale. What’s more, the real objective of your initial conversation should be to earn another conversation. Then, and only then, can you determine if your solution is a good fit for the prospect’s needs.
Time to Change Your Sales Results
By changing your sales philosophy and your approach to sales, you can shift the balance of your results. Customer acquisition costs will almost certainly go down as conversion rates, profit margin, and customer satisfaction go up. But once you have made the sale, don’t stop there. Deliver on the servant leadership promise, forge a lasting partnership, build trust, and truly earn your brand loyalty.
The Bottom Line:
Again, maintaining the status quo in selling is to maintain “status ‘no’.” But by changing your sales philosophy and approach – dumping cold calls, ditching your hard-sell pitch, and adopting an empathetic, customer-focused brand of servant leadership – you can sell more by “selling” less.
To learn how modern sales methods and Sales Xceleration’s proven sales systems can help boost sales for your company, connect with an Outsourced VP of Sales in your area by clicking here. Or contact us today at 844.874.7253.