I was recently surprised when visiting the bathroom at the local mall. See, now I have your attention.
When washing my hands, a miracle happened. The automatic soap dispenser worked and perfectly delivered foam soap to my hands. I moved my hand to the sink and the water turned on, stayed on, and delivered warm water without any interruption. I then used the hand dryer, which turned on with only my hand positioned under the nozzle, and dried my hand.
It almost seems silly, but I could not remember a time when everything that was supposed to work automatically actually worked automatically. It seems like a reasonable expectation, but is seldom realized. The soap is normally empty. The water either doesn’t turn on, doesn’t stay on, or is the wrong temperature. I also hate the ultra powerful hand dryers because I think their main goal is to deafen us.
This is a great analogy for a sales force.
We spend money on hiring talent. We outfit the talent with tools like a CRM system, computers, iPads, and cell phones. We allow them to work remotely and travel as needed. We support them with marketing for lead generation and sales support materials. We give them expense accounts and credit cards. We give them everything that might help them become more successful.
But the sales don’t come in. The new clients don’t show up. The automatic sales machine that we built does seem to perform automatically.
The reality is that a bar of soap, a manual faucet and a towel are nearly 100% dependable in washing your hands. We could forecast our ability to wash hands purely by having those three things in front of us. There would be nearly no doubt that we would be successful at washing and drying our hands.
So why don’t we treat our sales culture the same way?
Selling is a simple concept. To be able to sell, you must:
- Interrupt the normal patterns of human behavior—the behavior that is trying to reject you.
- Professionally establish a connection and rapport
- Agree to what will be decided
- Compel the prospect to act
- Help the prospect decide what is right for them
- Create value
- Differentiate yourself
- Get the decision that you were promised
- Manage expectations for what will happen after the sale
That’s it. It’s that simple.
But are your people able to perform those simple tasks? Are you spending more time getting the CRM to be used than focusing on your people’s inability to compel a prospect to make a decision and act? Are you’re your people able to create enough value for the prospect to feel like you are the right decision? Are you your people making the case for how you are different, or are they just trying to make you look different—by sounding like everyone else?
Here is another simple concept: Prospecting. If your people are not prospecting for new business, you will not get new business. No new customers? I guarantee that you have not asked your people how many calls or meetings that they have had with new potential prospects. If you did, you would find out the truth—and maybe that’s why you’re not asking—that they are not prospecting.
It’s time to put out the bar of soap and towel and get the business you deserve.
Changing Beliefs on Sales Techniques