Selling Really is Simple
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Excerpt from Chapter Three of How
to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime.
Now that Iíve punctured your
misconceptions about what sales is, and given you some ideas about what
sales is not, itís time to hone in on the good stuff. Here
are a number of different definitions to help you come to grips with
what selling really entails.
1. Selling is
the science of helping people get what they want.
If your prospective customer doesnít
want or need what you are offering - if it
doesnít fill some need in the customer - then you have no business
engaging in the selling process with him. Now donít get too
hung up on the definition of ďneed.Ē If we define that too
narrowly, it would eliminate everything except food and
shelter. Our needs and wants are ever-expanding, and include
things that make us feel good or fill some emotional need as well those
that meet our basic needs. We may not really need a caramel
cream latte, but thousands are purchased every day. It makes
us feel good.
While selling is what you do, and
you can do it better, it is still less about you and more about your
2. Selling is
the process of helping people make decisions that often lead them to
purchase from you.
Effective selling begins with an
understanding that it is about influencing the decisions of the
customer. In other words, the ultimate location for the sales
process is the mind and heart of the customer. Very few sales
situations involve only one decision. One decision leads to
another, which leads to another, which leads to the decision to
Hereís an example I often use to
illustrate this point. Letís take one of the simplest selling
situations with which I have ever been involved Ė selling water
softeners to homeowners. This is a classic ďone-call
close.Ē In other words, there is only one sales call
necessary to help the customer make a decision. You either
sell it when you see them, or you donít sell it at all.
Sounds simple. But even
that simple, one-call sales process is quite a bit more involved, when
examined through the perspective of the decisions that the customer
must make. Look at the illustration below.
To initiate the process, the company
must advertise and make themselves appear to be a reputable solution
for hard water problems. The customer lives in the
land of apathy and ignorance. In other words, they donít know
the sales person or the company, and thatís fine with them.
Their life is OK without them. So, they are ignorant of the
company and apathetic about it.
The first decision the customer
must make is whether or not to call the company. The company
hopes to influence that decision by the quality of its advertising, as
well as its reputation in the market.
Letís say the customer decides in
the affirmative, and calls the company. Now, the customer has
a sales person on the phone. The customer now must make a
decision as to whether or not to interact honestly with the sales
person. If the sales person seems rude, arrogant, or
uninterested, the customer may decide to call someone else.
Some get that impression, and terminate the call. Others decide that
the sales person sounds trustworthy and competent enough to talk to,
and do so.
conversation progresses, the sales person is going to ask the customer
for an appointment to come out, look at their situation, and test their
water. Another decision for the customer.
Some decide not
to do that, for whatever reason, and they drop out of the
process. Others decide to make the appointment, and move one
step closer in the process.
customer faces yet another decision Ė whether or not to keep the
appointment. Somewhere around 20 Ė 30 % of those who make
appointments, decide, after the fact, not to keep it. So,
they make sure they are gone when the sales person shows up, or they
hide in the basement and wait until he leaves. Those who do
not keep the appointment drop out of the process, those who decide to
keep it, move one step further along.
The sales person
shows up, this time in person, in the customerís home. The
customer has another decision Ė whether or not to be honest and
forthcoming with the sales person. Should she let me test the
water? Should she take him down in the basement and show him
the old equipment? If the sales person appears competent and
trustworthy, she will generally decide to interact honestly and the
process moves along.
sales person tests the water, makes a recommendation for a new system
and asks the customer to buy.
one-call close selling process consisted of a series of six
decisions. Even in this simple selling process, the effective
sales person understands that it is a series of decisions, and his/her
job is to help the customer make each affirmatively.
Selling is at the same time both simple and incredibly challenging.
It is simple in that almost every adult of reasonable
has just a modicum of people skills, can understand it and do
it. It is incredibly challenging in that to become
exceptionally good at it takes the better part of a life-time of effort
example. Letís compare selling to the game of
basketball. Anyone can take a basketball, bounce it a couple
of times, and throw it up at hoop. In its essence, thatís the
game of basketball. However, there is a great distance
between the skills and competence of the novice and those of someone
like LeBron James. While the world is full of people who can
play basketball, only a handful compete at a world class level.
sell. Iíll show you how. But more importantly, you
can also sell better. Iíll show you that as well.
can do each step better
Itís one thing
to be able to do each step of the sales process, and itís another to be
able to do each step better! Just like every other field of
human endeavor, there are the average performers, and there are those
who do it better!
Hereís an example. I love to golf. But I am, at
best, an average golfer. Iím not nearly as good as many of
the golfers in my league. I know I can golf better Ė after
all, many of them are better. Every year I expect that I will
golf a bit better. But, alas, I just donít have the time and
energy to put into becoming better. If I did put the time and
energy into it, I would, no doubt, raise my game. So, while I
am an average golfer, I could, if I chose, become better.
So, too with
every one of these steps in the process. There is adequate
performance, and then there is better performance. But itís
not an either/or kind of situation. There are degrees of
better. Thereís lots of room between me and Tiger Woods.
Think of your
performance on each step as being like a dart target. You
know the kind Iím thinking about Ė it is split into six or eight pie
shaped slices, and has a number of rings, each smaller than the one
immediately to the outside of it. The bullís eye, in the
middle of the target, has the greatest scoring potential.
When you are
playing darts, you throw your darts at the target, and the closer your
dart strikes to the bullís eye, the more points you score. If
your dart strikes at the outer most ring, you score just a few
points. But you do many times better if you hit the bullís
Now, every time
you engage in one of the process steps, itís like throwing a dart at
the target. You can hit the outer ring and score a few
points, or hit closer to the bullís eye and score more. You
can do each step of the process, or you can do each step
better. And, like the ever-smaller rings of the target, there
are degrees of better. The bullís eye is always the vision of
we discuss each step of the process, Iíll show you how to do it, and
then, how to do it better!
The payoff for
you is far greater than just a better golf game. Youíll be
more fulfilled, make more money, and ensure you and your familyís
prosperity and security for the future -- all worth the time and effort
to become better at sales.
About the Author
Dave Kahle is one of the worldís leading sales authorities. Heís written ten books, presented in 47 states and eight countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level.
You may contact Dave at The DaCo Corporation, PO Box 523, Comstock Park, MI 49321, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-05-21 14:46:17 in Marketing Articles