If there is one area I am constantly bombarded on, its “how do you build an effective sales team”!
I have clients who have been buying from me for 17 years. That didn’t occur by playing the short game or getting the quick sale. It also hasn’t been difficult to achieve – the opposite in fact. Selling is very simple but so very difficult for most people.
Why? Salespeople believe that in order to close, they need to convince someone to buy their product or service. Wrong.
You need to do one of two things: one – show someone how you will remove pain from their life or two – show someone how you will solve a problem in their life. Simple. And it’s a win-win for everyone. And yet, something that is that easy is so misunderstood by so many. I’m more than happy to give away the following advice to our competition, because as the All Blacks say, you may be stronger than us, you be bigger than us, but you’ll never match our ability to do the simple things better than anyone else!
Firms, in Ireland and the world over, and in every industry, hire sales people and give them targets. Next they’ll increase those targets. Targets and more targets end up being the name of the game.
Firms of the world STOP and do this one thing instead: Take care of your customers. Even if it means selling them nothing, yes, nothing.
So how do you make sure you’re in the 1% of sales people who succeed?
The most important thing in business and life is taking care of people. It’s always better to give a client good advice, which may mean they don’t purchase your product or service.
However, you’ve now built something money cannot buy “trust”! That client will not only return to purchase from you in the future, they will also reference you to their peers in the industry and that’s how exponential selling is done. That’s what’s driven my success for nearly two decades now.
But when I said taking care of people, there are others to consider in that mix. As Richard Branson famously said, “clients don’t come first, employees come first, take care your people so they will take care of your clients”.
In Zarrdia, we marry the two. Our team doesn’t approach clients or potential clients with the pressure and desperation of ever-increasing targets. Instead, our team’s job is to simply listen to our clients.
We listen and then remind clients of our two core principles: Firstly, when it comes to IT, always ask yourself does this make business sense?
And secondly, always make sure the advice you’re getting is independent – lots of IT firms have partners and they sell their clients, you, their partners’ products. But again, does that make business sense to you?
Whatever product or service you’re selling – the same sales question applies.
Our sales process is really that simple. We listen. The client talks. And if there is a solution we can offer or a pain we can remove, then let’s get to it.
Listen instead of worrying
Over the past two decades, I’ve hired and fired more sales teams than I care to imagine. From the moment I decided to start Zarrdia, I never once worried about “winning business”.
Why? Poor listening – one of the most underrated of activities.
Poor sales people think they’ve listened to a potential client, then just rush in and try to equate their product or service to something that has just been said.
Listen to what the client is saying, that may mean an uncomfortable silence while you digest that information. But embrace that silence and let it work for you. It shows someone you’re actually listening to them and care about their problems.
Poor sales people
Finally, as I said above, I have no issue giving away any of these tips that show you how we “sell”. Why? I’m very confident they won’t be absorbed or understood by 99% of sales people.
Actually all you will tend to hear from poor sales people is “where is company deck”, “where’s the product/ service collateral”, “where are the marketing leads (my personal favourite)”, etc etc and then when they don’t sell, they will blame all of the above, you will fire them and the cycle goes on.
Be the 1%
And here’s the final tip in developing a high performing sales team. It’s very simple, everyone in your business should be able to describe your most complicated service or offering in 6 words or less, if they can’t? Get rid. Simple as. They don’t understand it and never will.
Hope this helps is some small way 🙂