Football teams have pep rallies to support their success. Sales teams sometimes need “passion” rallies to support their success as well. This idea came about in a recent discussion with a sales manager. She was distressed that her team seemed to lack the enthusiasm, passion, or excitement that came so naturally to her on a sales call. She believed this intangible deficit was definitely causing them to lose business. Why didn’t her team manifest that passion? How could she revive those feelings?
Why It Happens
Let me answer that question with a story. Years ago, during a seminar for media reps, I asked people to tell each other what they did as salespeople. Then, I asked them to volunteer what they said. Most of the group answered versions of “I sell advertising.” But one man said, “I’m out there transforming the world!”
When asked to explain, this (high performing) rep from Inc. magazine, said that when companies advertised in his publication, he believed they would “…dramatically grow their business which would help them expand, grow even further, and literally transform the economy!”
If you were a client, who would you rather buy from: someone who talks about advertising or someone who talks about helping you transform your business?
His response naturally led to a discussion of value and how the results we get are directly related to how we see ourselves in relation to clients and what we think we are doing when we are with them.
Vision Drives Action
As products from media, Saas, finance, technology, etc. become more complex and deliver more bells and whistles than ever before, it is easy for sales people to default to talking about the “whats” of their product or service. However, they forget that prospects don’t buy bells and whistles. Prospects buy what those bells and whistles can do for them.
Do you see yourself selling things or do you see yourself selling outcomes, results, value?
It is very hard to get passionate about a laundry list of features. It is much easier to get passionate about how your particular set of features will affect the growth and well-being of a prospect.
Bring the Passion Back
At your next sales meeting, try the following:
1. Ask people to bring in a list of their top five prospects.
2. Do the same exercise I did with my group of media reps: Ask them to turn to each other and say what it is they do every day when they are selling or presenting a demo.
3. Take their answers.
4. If you are lucky, you will have at least one rep who gives a response like the fellow from Inc. did.
5. If no one comes close, then give your view of what you do every day and use that as a basis for a discussion of how different visions of what they do would affect the entire sales conversation with a prospect.
6. Then, do any or all of the following:
o Have them verbalize what your product/service can help do for each of their five prospects
o Have them share war stories of why previous clients ultimately bought from them (It won’t be because of a particular feature, but what that feature did for their client.)
o Have them share the actual words/phrases they use to describe the value of your products/services
o Have them role-play talking about your product/service to one of the prospects on their list
7. Send them out revved up to sell the possibilities, the vision of what your products/services can do for prospects
8. Hold them accountable. Have a meeting two weeks later to report on their experiences and successes.
Hope in a Jar
Cosmetics legend Helena Rubenstein knew she wasn’t just selling skin cream. She was famously selling “hope in a jar.” You aren’t selling cosmetics, but the principle is the same. People buy what they believe and hope your products can do for them. Don’t disappoint them.
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2. I discovered a new sales tool that is a time-saving godsend for anyone who needs to find telephone numbers and email addresses for prospects. What can takes hours to research now takes only seconds (!) with Capture, a plug-in created by Ringlead. Capture does this and more. Check it out. www.ringlead.com/capture
3.I keep finding really useful online services. This one is for firms that want to show online demos that are tailored to potential customers. Check out Demochimp.Very clever.
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