BOSS THE GAME

The traditional philosophy guiding selling approaches has been based on a reverence for relationshipsand building rapport. And in recent years we have been fed the unfounded notion that the customer has all the information, has already decided our fate based apparently on “web research”, and therefore has all the power.

These convenient notions lead to needless discounting (“pencil sharpening”), annonymous giving and  unnecessary deferential behaviour towards customers.

Because we’re wishing it was easier, we wait for the prospect or customer to give us the breaks and comfort that we should have created for ourselves. Our job in a sales role is to invest our time in profitable relationships and there are certain – professional – moves salespeople can make to boss the game in a perfectly acceptable way that is actually beneficial to the buyer.

1 Build a strong sales pipeline. That way, you create more options for yourself, reduce the need to negotiate (discount) and invest time in profitable, equitable relationships. That’s why the most effective salespeople spend so much time prospecting.

2 Become a subject matter expert (not the same as being the technical expert, by the way). When you are seen as worth talking to, you get treated as a peer and with respect. But that has to be earned. It’s no co-incidence that salespeople who are actively prospecting and creating opportunities, tend to be stronger in terms of domain knowledge because they get in more practice doing hard things.

Because we’re wishing it was easier, we wait for the prospect or customer to give us the breaks and comfort that we should have created for ourselves. 

3 Protect your calendar. You can secure at least 80% of your meetings (phone / face-to-face) at a time that suits you. Don’t email the prospect three calendar slots for them to choose from. Don’t spend time on proposals that get emailed an ignored. Don’t get tied up in meetings with people who have no stake in the decisions being taken.

Number 1 above is the most important. When the sales pipeline is weak, all the other bad practices replace them and we end up trying to sell using a non-existent relationship.

Buyers prefer dealing with salespeople who are firm and clear. Ironically, it’s this type of salesperson who knows best how to be usefully flexible, without giving the shop away.

Our job in a sales role is to invest our time in profitable relationships and there are certain – professional – moves salespeople can make to boss the game in a perfectly acceptable way that is actually beneficial to the buyer. 

SMART SALES TALENT