It ain't what you do...
“If selling was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
That phrase resonates because.
1) Those who do it, and do it well, reap the rewards! They have tapped into the incredible earnings potential available for those that choose to excel at ‘Selling’ as a career.
2) Those who don’t do it, don’t like it, and will do anything to avoid it. Sales don’t come easy at all, even to the best of us.
The ‘novice’ and ‘experienced’ seller agree wholeheartedly on one thing. Of all the ‘challenges’ they face in selling, prospecting is the biggest.
Many Sales Professionals (those paid to ‘sell’ for a living) spend entire careers trying to hide from or avoid prospecting. The prospecting landscape is littered with pitfalls and traps that have claimed many a ‘seller’. We all know someone who has floundered at the ‘prospecting’ step of ‘selling’.
Sandler Success Triangle
There are 3 core components to prospecting success.
If you do not have this trilogy of powers, in equal balance, you too may succumb to the allure of non-prospecting.
Let’s take a deeper look at the third of these three components.
If attitude and behaviour are considered the ‘blueprint’ of the belief system that sellers exist in, technique is how we go about our business.
It is what we say and what we do and how we do it.
The actions and words we use, when influencing others, are designed to have a positive outcome.
Poor discipline when it comes to technique can have a devastating effect on your success. Although it is governed by different rules to bad behaviour and attitude.
The trouble is Technique is given far greater importance in most trained selling methodologies and sadly by most sales professionals and leaders.
That said, there are some technique challenges you are going to want to overcome.
1) Not learning your lines
As a Salesperson you should have a few things developed in your ‘muscle memory’; one of those things is your ‘talk-tracks’.
These are the phrases, the words, the language you use in specific situations.
This is your library of techniques. You should be able to jump straight to the right talk track for the right moment, at a moment’s notice.
This goes beyond explaining the background of your company. Or regaling the world of the undoubted benefits of your proposition.
You should have pre-set language that helps your prospects overcome their objections and move towards purchasing decisions.
Asking the right question at the right time. Delivering the right line at the right time.
Remember: Sales should be a 'pull' process, not a 'push' process.
People love to buy, but they hate to be sold at.
Professional salespeople know they should be listening than talking.
2) Not preparing for the performance
All that starts well tends to end well.
A productive sales conversation requires participation from both sides.
Early in your engagement with a prospect you will want to establish how long you have together, the purpose of the meeting and confirm how the time you have together will be best spent.
Once that is established start to lay the groundwork for your call and the subjects you would like to cover. This will allow you to cover everything you wanted and give your prospect clarity about what path your questions are heading down and why.
Setting up a strong agreement in advance enables you to cover everything that is value to them, thoroughly. Equally, you will get the time you need to cover everything you wanted.
Both parties get the opportunity to come to a mutual conclusion, at the end of your time together, about what the future holds.
3) Not hitting the mark
People do things for the own reasons, rarely, if ever, for ours.
The fastest way to fulfil your prospects needs is to uncover what pain(s) they are experiencing and position yourself as the solution.
If you fail to uncover real pain(s) on your call, then you’re are going to struggle.
Imagine you’re the “doctor of sales”.
You need to ask good questions of your prospects to 'diagnose' what is ailing them.
You continue to ask questions to understand the circumstances and impact.
Never prescribe a solution until you have taken the time to completely understand the symptoms of the ailment your solution is intended to address.
If your Doctor said, "Take 2 aspirin a day and plenty of bed-rest" for a broken arm you be straight on the phone to an "Ambulance Chaser".
The three components of success – Behaviour, Attitude, Technique – are the foundation of the Sandler Success Triangle, but they aren’t the only contributors.
Each of the three sides are connected to one another through specific methods.
COMMITMENT is the connective tissue between Behaviour and Attitude.
This connection relates to maintaining devotion to your cause in the face of difficulties. Determine what drives you to be successful and continue to remind yourself of this as you navigate the 'roller-coaster' that is a career in selling.
CONVICTION connects Attitude and Technique.
This is the decision to become the 'immovable rock'. To plant your feet and not budge unless the position is mutually beneficial for both you and your prospect. Before engaging in a sales process with anyone, determine what you are, and aren't, willing to compromise on.
CONSISTENCY connects Technique and Behaviour.
This is about designing, implementing, and sticking to the plan. This is about remembering those the only people who need a Plan B are those people who don't believe in their Plan A.
They say, “practice makes perfect.” There is more to that than just going through the motions.
You must believe wholeheartedly in your process and maintain it with an obsession to be truly successful.
Prospecting can be a daunting task for any seller, but it’s an imperative if you want your career to grow and develop at the highest level.
By following the Sandler Success Triangle and maintaining proper habits surrounding your behaviours, attitudes, and techniques, you can avoid traps that the average seller may fall into.
To enjoy even more success, incorporate a mastery of Commitment, Conviction, and Consistency, and you’ll be well on your way to refining the way you add prospects to your funnel.