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Clients are bombarded with sales pitches from all angles. What can you do to make sure you don’t get lost in the noise?
Keith Dugdale, co-author of Smarter Selling says it is possible to get your clients to look forward to meeting you – as the most valuable hour of their week.
While clients can get answers from many salespeople, they have a great relationship with only a few.
You can maximise your value to the client and advance the relationship by asking great questions, actively listening, and sharing your experience, rather than being pigeonholed as a technical expert.
The Smarter Selling programme has helped companies in 26 countries boost profits, cut sales cycles and build better relationships.
Dugdale will be in Joburg from July 11 to 13 to run a series of workshops, hosted by The Consultant Powerhouse, an accredited provider of the programme.
In this series of articles, we will see how salespeople should adapt to remain relevant to clients who have become immune to sales-as-usual.
Last week we looked at why the conversation should shift from price to value.
We now look at how to become a smarter seller and at how to become the most valuable hour of your client’s week.
Few people like to be sold to. While they are listening to the sales pitch, they are usually thinking: Why do I have to listen to this person? How do I get rid of him without being rude? How has this happened?
Vanessa Bluen from The Consultant Powerhouse says most sales conversations are driven by the salesperson’s agenda.
“Someone is always trying to sell something to your clients: a product, a pay rise, a promotion, an idea or some plan. So, every word you say is being filtered by a cynical mind,” she says.
Bluen finds that the smarter salesperson focuses on the client’s needs; not on his/her sales agenda.
You will know you have cracked it when your clients look forward to meetings with you – the most useful hour of their week.
You will find that:
1. They want to see you again.
2. They trust you with more of their business.
3. They tell others about you.
Your part of the deal is to schedule meetings only when you know you can deliver real value.
Why waste your client’s time and squander the goodwill you have earned? But delivering value every time is not easy.
Dugdale says that you should become a general practitioner (GP) rather than a brain surgeon (BS). This can be quite a challenge, because it is comfortable being a BS – you only have to master a narrow range of expertise. The client, however, may want to talk about something else today.
As a GP you are able to contribute ideas, insights and questions outside your expertise, on issues at the centre of the client’s world.
To keep up, you would need to build:
1. The confidence to venture beyond your expertise.
2. A broader understanding of the client’s world.
3. The ability to engage in a thought-provoking but non-threatening way.
Your competence will grow as you develop a broad but relevant perspective on your client’s business, and as you become adept at asking the right questions in the right way.
If you would like to attend one of the Smarter Selling workshops or exclusive engagement sessions next month, contact The Consultant Powerhouse at 011 234 6127 or training@theconsultantpower house.co.za Visit www.theconsul tantpowerhouse.co.za
l Workplace and The Consultant Powerhouse are giving away a free seat at one of the workshops. To enter, send an e-mail to training@theconsultantpower house.co.za with the word “entry” in the subject line.