Never the less I want to apologize to all those great sales guys and
customers who are women. There is nothing in this post which is
intended to be gender specific. Wherever the words he and man appear,
please subsitute she and woman as appropriate.
The relationship between customer and salesman should be seen as
creative tension. Both parties are interested in their own objectives, but
each can only achieve what they want by working with the other. Their
interests would appear to be mutually exclusive – the customer wants the
lowest price while the salesman wants the highest. But, if they don’t find
a way of agreeing a mutual objective, the deal never gets done and
nobody gets what he wants.
Understanding how this works is critically important to both parties if
they’re going to get the most out of the transaction. If one party
understands he can coach the other through process, from initial interest
to contract. If neither party understands the probable outcome will be bad
business, for at least one of them, if not both.
If the customer’s the one who understands, he’s going to get the most
out of the deal. If the salesman’s the one, he’s going to get the best
price, at the time he wants, for delivering the minimum requirement.
The top sales people understand this. I’m not sure how because none of
the training material I’ve come across explains it, and anyway most sales
guys don’t get trained properly. It’s probably a combination realism and
empathy. Enough realism to understand there is always a time to walk
away, and being prepared to; enough empathy to want to do the best for
Through experience these top achievers have built up their own
knowledge bases, full of tactics they can employ to get the customer
thinking the right way and doing the right thing. This makes them very
powerful people and probably explains why success in sales is seen as
some sort of black art.
It’s important to understand these professionals don’t misuse this power
to get the customer buying the wrong thing. To the top guys, their
integrity is of paramount importance. It’s what gets them easy repeat
business, gets them reference accounts, job offers and customers who
pay for the lunch. They use these tactics to manage the inexperienced
customer to the right outcome, at the lowest cost of sale.
How does this knowledge get passed on? Well in theory that’s the sales
managers job, but most sales managers don’t understand. They don’t get
the job because they understand sales - they get it because they go along
with the command and control structures in their companies. What about
the training companies? They don’t seem to understand either; they
certainly don’t explain it.
If professional sales people don’t get taught this stuff, what hope is there
for the entrepreneur who’s great at what he does, but needs to do the
selling as well? Now there’s an answer. Our Serious about Selling
knowledge base will provide them with a fast track to sales excellence.
Knowledge, built up over years by guys who have been the top
performers in selling is going to be available to anybody who`s interested
to Front Office customers as part of our service.
Now they can adopt the same principles to get more sales, more quickly,
at lower sales cost.
Top sales guys always approach their job with discipline, a hard dose of
reality and these Guiding Principles:
Beware the Serial Prospect
Call as high as you can
Never mislead a customer
Insist on being treated like a business partner
Ask the hard questions early
Are you going to get this deal?
Selling is about people
If there isn’t a business imperative, a time frame and a budget – it isn’t a
Coach the customer through your sales process
Always be prepared to walk away
Make sure the customer understands what’s in it for you.
If your customer wants your solution he will tell you how to sell it to him.
Never discuss price in detail until the customer is ready to sign
Only include in the deal as much as you need to get the business
Asking for the order is the most powerful thing the salesman can
do. It flushes out objections and constraints you don’t know about.
The Conditional Close is the best way to find out what the customer really
Negotiation and Concession are not the same
In future posts we`ll be looking at each of these prinicples - Please stay
Serious about focussing your business on customers?
visit us at http://www.frontofficebox.com