Sales & Sales Management Expertise

5 Really Important Sales Concepts - Today's Lesson - Be Unique

Tags: sales attitude, improving sales, sales prospecting, sales techniques

 

In our sales training classes, we spend a great deal of time on the appropriate "attitude" required to be successful in selling. With the right attitude, you can count on consistently executing the required conduct and sales techniques to be successful.  I once heard another sales development expert explain that "sales technique is just a change in language.  You already have a sales language; it just may not be as effective as it could be."  (If you want additional information on "attitude", you can find more posts in our blogs.) 

Today, and for the next 4 days, I am going to focus on 5 really important sales concepts.  You can also call them "techniques" but sometimes problems occur when someone tries to duplicate the exact technique that a trainer uses.  For example, if your facilitator is from the northeast part of a country where the communication style is a little more direct, faster paced and some would describe as "aggressive", but you are a mid-westerner, then you may find yourself failing to bond well with prospects, not because of what you have said, but more because of how you said it.  So, for that reason, we'll focus on the concepts and let you develop your technique. However, with that in mind, don't let your "record collection" or "need for approval" get in the way of executing the concepts. (There I go again- back to attitude)

Today's lesson:  Be unique.

You have your elevator speech, your 15-second commercial, your value proposition, your positioning statement, etc.  It doesn't matter what you call it.  The concept is this:  Have a concise way to describe to someone what you do when you first meet him or her.  Here's the problem.  Everyone in selling has been taught the elevator speech, the 15 second commercial, the value proposition and the positioning statement, etc.  You know it's supposed to describe what you do: 

"I help companies like yours manage their insurance risk." 

"I sell customized clothing to busy executives."

"I own a CPA and tax consulting practice specializing in the needs of companies that generate between 5 and 10 million dollars in revenue".

Sound familiar?  That's the problem.  There is nothing unique about the approach from any one of these statements. Here's the rule about the concept:

What you say should cause the person with whom you are talking to respond either verbally or mentally in one of three ways.  You have to give the prospect a compelling reason to keep listening. When you deliver whatever it is, they should respond with either:

  1. "That's me".
  2. "How do you do that?"
  3. "Tell me more."

Examples:

Insurance:  "I provide people buckets of money in the right amount, at the right cost and at the right time." (How do you do that?)

Banking:  "My clients are companies that discovered that working with a bank should be more than just a place to get money or leave money." (Tell me more.)

Accounting:  "I'm in the business of helping small businesses that are sick and tired of sending the government more money and keeping less." (That's me!)

The idea is to think about what people or companies have chosen to do business with you or your company or why they buy the product and service that they have bought from you. What problem was it that they wanted to go away or solve?  Or what benefit were they looking for that they weren't getting?  Take that information and create your "unique sales approach" (usa).

The technique:  Before you deliver your "usa", you may want to start by telling the person that you are talking to that it is easier to describe what you do by asking a couple of questions. "In a nut shell, what I do is...(deliver your usa)" and close by asking, "May I ask you a question?"

By the way, I work with presidents and CEOs that have at least 10 sales people, generate more than 10 million dollars a year in revenue and want more consistent and predictable sales revenue growth.  If you know anyone that might say, "that's me", send them my way.

Thanks in advance.

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What’s Your Funniest Sales Story Ever?

Tags: sales people, sales techniques, training sales, inspirational, sales problems

I'm heading to a sales training session about 12 years ago.  It's a client in downtown Cincinnati and I've been working with them for two years.  They know me as a high energy, enthusiastic and entertaining sales trainer.  In other words, I stand up, I move around, I'm engaged, I role play, we learn a lot and people make more sales.

I'm running late this one particular day, so I grab a chocolate chip bran muffin (These are the best bran muffins made in the world and they are made by my wife, Linda.) and a bottle of Gatorade then off I go.  It is early, about 6:45, and it is dark, mid January.

As I am driving and eating, I sense that something has fallen from my muffin onto my lap or more accurately under the crotch of my pants.  My best hope is that it is a piece of the bran muffin.  My worst fear is that it is a chocolate chip.

I get to the office early. Thank goodness no one else is there yet, and so I sprint to the men's room only to discover my worst fear.  As I turn around and look at my "disaster khakis" (They are called this because it seems that I always come home wearing some food on them somewhere), there in exactly the right spot on the back of my pants is a notable brown spot that will easily be seen by anyone behind me.

I get to the training room, set up my flip chart with my notes, the white board with further information and then firmly plant myself in the chair at the head of the conference table and I do not move again for the next 3 hours.

Now, I don't know what the participants thought.  Surely they had to find this strange as I never sit down during a session.  Certainly, I was polite as I shook hands with them as they left.  Then and only then did I find a way out of the office with my spot undiscovered by any of my participants. I immediately go home and rid myself of the disaster khakis once and for all.

So, what is YOUR funniest sales story ever?  We know that you have one!  What we're looking for here is a little fun over the next several weeks.  We would love for you to share with all those that view this blog your funniest or most embarrassing sales moment, sales call or selling situation.  After 30 days, we will announce a winner for this years' "Funniest Sales Story".

Come one, come all, let's have some fun.  As a matter of fact, I will call on our CMO, Jeni Wehrmeyer, to share her story.  It may be one of the funniest of all!

 DOWNLOAD our FREE eBOOK -   Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?