The old way or the new way? It’s really not a choice anymore
My sales perspective flies in the face of traditional selling. And it’s not just a disruption — it’s the new way of sales. What’s your perspective?
Last week (in part one), I discussed the worthlessness of the old way of selling — everything from cold calling and finding the pain to overcoming objections and closing the sale. I referred to “the old ways” as manipulative, insincere and aggressive and cautioned customers and prospects are not only against it, they’re insulted by it. Ouch.
Me? I prefer being assertive. And there is a huge difference between assertive and aggressive. Here are the four majors:
• Aggressive salespeople tell. Assertive salespeople ask.
• Aggressive salespeople try to “close.” Assertive salespeople use testimonial proof.
• Aggressive salespeople go for the sale. Assertive salespeople go for the customer.
• Aggressive salespeople think “quota.” Assertive salespeople think “relationship.”
Which one are you? It’s the difference between the old way and the new way.
Here’s my list of what’s happening now in sales — The New Way.
Update: Sales will be happening the new way for the foreseeable future.
• Value attraction. A marketing approach that tells me how I win, not who you are.
• Social attraction. A social presence that’s value-message based — social messages that your prospective customer can find.
NOTE: It's time to rethink and revamp the so-called “law of attraction.” If you're looking to identify and attract willing buyers, value attraction and social attraction are the new laws. Value attraction and social attraction are the new way of selling.
• Find the pleasure. Things you both know about and like will make the sale easier and faster than painful things (likely none of your business) that make the prospect uncomfortable.
• Ask emotionally engaging questions. Ask questions about the prospect or customer that make them respond in terms of you. Uncover their experience, their wisdom and their knowledge.
• Discover the customer’s motive to buy. Why people buy is a billion times more powerful than how to sell.
• Give perceived value beyond price. As a customer, I don’t need justification to make a purchase. I need a perception the value you offer me in exchange for my money is greater than the price you’re charging. I need to know how I win, produce and profit as a result of purchase.
I already know what it is, I already know what it does and I already know how it works. I don’t need you to tell me you’re the greatest. I just need you to tell me how I win after I take ownership.
• Confirm the urgency of your offer. Once you understand the customer’s motive to buy, their urgency becomes apparent. If you haven’t uncovered their motive, you will never know when they intend to purchase.
• Provide “voice-of-customer” proof. Video testimonials are the new black. When you say it about yourself, it’s bragging. When a customer says it about you, it’s proof. Take advantage of your best salespeople — your loyal customers!
Testimonial videos can be offered as sales proof during a presentation and also can be posted on every form of social media outreach. One of the most interesting aspects of testimonials is they also reinforce the belief of salespeople in their own product.
• Be both available and easy to do business with. 24/7/365 is the new 9-5. I want a friendly, intelligent, live human being to answer the phone when I call, and so does every human being on the planet.
• Give “after the sale” value. Once I purchase, show me more and tell me more about how I can use, produce more and profit more from what I own. Give me a weekly value message, not another sales message. Serve me, wow me and surprise me.
• Earn customer loyalty. Loyalty is earned slowly over time. (Just like trust.) Loyalty is gained with quality of product, ease of doing business, availability of people, online alternatives to both purchasing and service, speed of response and value received. Loyal customers purchase time and time again without regard to price.
Loyalty is defined in two parts: Part one: Will the customer do business with you again? Part two: Will the customer refer you? If they do both, that’s loyalty. Any other measurement is bogus.
• Earn referrals. Asking for referrals has been replaced by earning referrals and giving referrals. Think about the last time you gave a referral. Oh wait, maybe you never have! That’s because giving referrals requires work.
I didn’t say the new way of selling was easy; I just said it was a new way. Ask before you tell. Give before you get. Earn before you ask.
• Build online and word-of-mouth reputation. What are you known as? What are you known for? What is your image? What is your Google image? What is your social image?
These five elements comprise your reputation. No asset is more valuable.
• Build relationships. Everyone talks about being relationship-oriented, but my findings show just the opposite. A quick review of the elements above will let you see exactly where you are on the “solid relationship” scale. I don't want you to be relationship oriented; I want you to be relationship building — every day.
Review this list and rate yourself between 1 and 10. Anywhere you score less than a seven is telling you you’re not near the new way yet. Work at it!
The new way will pay.
Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the June 30, 2014, Business Journal.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 books. His “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling” is available as a book and an online course at gitomerVT.com. For public event dates and information about training and seminars, visit gitomer.com or email Jeffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.