According to Dan Pink, to sell is human.
We are ALL salespeople.
It does not matter what “title” you or your company gives you….you are fundamentally a salesperson.
We are all in the business of motivating others into doing something we want or we perceive them to need/want.
Sales professionals everywhere are familiar with the 1992 Movie Glengarry Glen Ross, where Alec Baldwin’s character is screaming what he believes to be the core of successful selling: ABC…..
Always Be Closing!
Watching this clip over 25 years on, makes me realise that we have come along way, that we have evolved our human consciousness and certainly, our approach to selling has evolved.
At the recent Pendulum summit in Dublin (January 11th and 12th), I had the honour of meeting Jack Daly, who is a global authority and expert sales advisor. He screamed at the audience to STOP selling….people hate being sold to……..instead help people……even if it means they don't buy from you.
Hallelujah, YES Jack!
When I first sit down with clients to understand how they are currently selling to their customers, 9 times out of 10, I still hear the old ABC (Always Be Closing) way of doing business, almost as the underbelly of their organisation. It is something they don't necessarily talk about or promote, but it still forms part of their aggressive selling blueprint and sometimes creeps into their actual narrative.
The reality is that sales professionals everywhere are told to become “ Trusted Advisors”. So we give them new titles. “Advisors” or “Trusted Advisor” but fail to give them the tools or the actual roadmap on how to actually build trust with their prospects and clients.
We assume that people know how to build trust, that it is a basic human function, like breathing but the reality is, like most things in life, it is something we must learn. And if we want to be great at this skill, then we must take time to learn the best and most efficient ways of acquiring it.
Unfortunately, knowing how to genuinely win/earn someone's trust eludes many of us. In a world where people are photoshopping almost every aspect of their personal and professional lives, how do we know whats real and whom can we trust and how long does it take?
It is true that trust is something we must earn and that it is heartfelt. Over the years I have had the misfortune (or fortune!) of working with some narcissists and they are adept at technique-ing/manipulating people into trusting them.
People everywhere are waking up to this, becoming more and more conscious, especially our customers!
They may not be able to articulate it at the time, but more and more people are waking up to the uncomfortable feeling that our body signals to us, when we are being externally technique’d….and it is the antidote to building TRUST.
Old school manipulative or seducing tactics no longer have a place in today's successful selling.
There is a genuine way, however, to fast-track our way to becoming the authentic trusted advisor, we are all meant to be, and it starts with the what I call the new ABC:
Always Be Compassionate.
When we let compassion be our competitive advantage, not only will our business & our revenues thrive, but so will our health.
I am often saddened when I hear sales professionals tell themselves and others that they are so stressed, especially at the end of the quarter. We wear our sales stress like a badge of honour. But the research shows that this is actually suppressing our potential for success and we know that stress is the major contributor to adverse health issues.
When we become compassionate, we automatically become better listeners. According to a recent Hubspot survey, when asked what makes an exceptional buying experience, 69% of respondents said “Listening to my needs”. At the core of every human being, whether they wear a CTO or CEO or a Manager hat, at the core of every human being, is the need to know they matter.
When we are compassionate, we can more readily practice experiential empathy, with the intention of ending our prospects suffering (their pain points) and offer up an appropriate solution…..even if it means losing the sale. Yes, even if it means losing the sale in that moment or this time around and advise they go with a different product or service. You may lose the current opportunity but what you gain is far more valuable…… and that is your prospects/clients trust.
Do the right thing, even if it means losing this time.
It is in the moment of offering the right solution to end their suffering, even if it means, offering up a competitors product or service, that the trust gets locked in……..and in most cases forever.
Doing the right thing for someone else feels incredible and has a profoundly positive effect on both your mental and physical health. And delight further, safe in the knowledge that The Law of Reciprocity has your back!
The Law of Reciprocity and it is very much an irrefutable law, says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed.
The customer you have just advised to go somewhere else will undoubtedly offer you up a far more valuable opportunity in the immediate or near future, whether it is in the form of a valuable referral or he/she comes exclusively to you the next time he/she needs what you have to sell. It is how the Law works.
When you adopt the new ABC’s of successful selling, Always Be Compassionate, you will fast track yourself and your company to meteoric success beyond your wildest dreams.
What the world needs right now is more compassion and that goes for your customers too!
May you become the happiest, wealthiest, most fulfilled sales warrior you know.