Posts Tagged ‘buying process’

When Your Sales Tank, What Do You Do?

sales-tahkMany tines when sales tank salespeople have a tendency to blame the economy, the marketing department (no sales leads), sales management, competition or even the potential customers? Yet maybe this is the time for inward reflection and realize they have potentially violated the first sales buying rule.

People buy from people they know and trust.

Possibly, your sales leads do not know you and do not trust you.  Yes this is a rather simplistic answer to when your sales tank because the focus is now on the buyer and not you the seller.

Yesterday I received a follow-up call from a webinar I attended. To say the seller was a bit aggressive is an understatement.  Since I did not know her and truly did not know the presenter, I did not trust her.

When I politely told her I was not interested in what she was offering, she said to me “So what is standing in your way?” My response was “You are.  I don’t know you and therefore I don’t trust you.”  This was not a sales objection she had heard before due to her immediate silence.

Attending one webinar that I left after 20 minutes because of the numerous “minnie sales pitches” as well as the ongoing “look at me (self promotion)” comments did not build my knowing of this person and my trusting of this person. In reality, this webinar diminished any potential trust I had for this individual.

Sales Coaching Tip: Self promotion comments do not build trust.

If your sales have tanked, maybe the issue is not your lack of sales skills, but you are rushing the knowing and trusting aspect of the buying process.  Sales research suggests it take five to 12 touches before someone is ready to make a buying decision and that is provided they meet the sales buying criteria so these sales objections are avoided.

Sales as Zig Ziglar stated is “the transference of feelings.” This is the foundation for building a sense of knowing and trusting. Maybe it might be wise to reconsider your own behaviors before you start blaming everything and everyone else for when your sales tank.

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What Is Sales Truly About?

The marketplace is filled to the brim with sales training, sales books to sales coaches.  Yet at the end of the day, what is sales truly about?


Credit www.

My father taught me sales was about buying.  You as the salesperson had to build a relationships between you and the prospective buyer or even center of influence to be successful. He believed focusing on selling was a big error and allowed the ego to interfere in the buying/selling bridge.  Maybe that is why he shared these two buying rules with me.

#1 – People buy from people they know and trust. 

#2 – People buy first on emotion; justified by logic.

In the ensuing years I added a third buying rule based somewhat on the Theory of Self Determination (Deci and Ran) along with the works of Dr. Eduard Spranger and Dr. Gordon Allport that being:

#3 People buy on value unique to them.

The reason I asked the question of “What is sales truly about”  is because there is so much focus on the behaviors of the salespeople, the behaviors including motivation of the buyers are often ignored.  What happens is the seller gets fairly wrapped up in his or her own ego, the mind is filled with a lot of next step triggers and the actual buying process takes a backseat to the selling process. When this happens, earning the sale becomes far more difficult.

Here is where some sales objections happen as well as where stalls pop up. Now the seller must work far harder to convert the reluctant buyer.

This is why I believe top sales performers naturally know to stay quiet and to focus on the prospect.  These individuals also appreciate the autonomy within the Theory of Self Determination and then leverage their knowledge of DISC theory as developed by psychologist William Moulton Marston.

Zig Ziglar recognized what sales is truly about when he said “Sales is the transference of feelings.” That transference always begins with the buyer.

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Are Your Efforts to Know All Complicating Your Sales Success?

Sometimes in our quest for sales success, we complicate what is essentially simple – people buy from people they know and trust.

sales-successSure gaining new knowledge through improved sales skills is important.

Yet the question remains:

“Is that knowledge taking away from your natural sales style, your ability to build relationships?

When we pack into our brains all those best practices for sales success from asking open ended questions to turning stalls into objections are we potentially forgetting about the person across the table?

Are we so concerned in our own sales process we are missing the signs of the ideal customer’s buying process?

Is our own unauthenticity revealing itself because we are so focused on our own sales success?

Are we failing to be human?

These questions are probably not asked in most sales training programs because they work against the goals of those selling sales training.

Sustainable sales success is developing your own knowledge while simultaneously not allowing that knowledge to take over and complicate a still rather simple process because people have been buying from people since recorded history. And those folks of years gone by did not have all the knowledge (sales training) that today’s sales professionals have access to and infuse into their professional roles.


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How Your Sales Process Collides With Your Propsect’s Buying Process

sales processSo in your better sense, you return a phone call with the knowledge that once again the person on the other end of the phone probably has a sales process that will collide with your buying process. And if history repeats itself, the person selling will become quite upset with your buying process because his or her sales process comes first.

I am all in favor of having a sales process, but not at the expense of the potential customer or sales lead. When your process overrules the buying process of your intended customer, then you have potentially killed the sale and all hope for any sales referrals.

Let me count the times I have heard this statement or something similar:

“We have a intake process and your questions cannot be answered until we finish our process.”

Actually in many cases the sales process is in the second phase of selling and has skipped the first phase of marketing.

Additionally, these types of internal sales processes are in many cases ego driven, it is all about the seller and not about the buyer.

Should we be surprised when people go online to make purchases?

Is this only about expediency?

Could this behavior because the sales process potentially collided with the buying process?

If the sales process begins with marketing (attracting attention and beginning to build relationships) and you are not having success executing your own sales process, possibly part of the problem is you are jumping the gun and starting to sell.


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How to Make Buying Amazingly Simple

Courtesy Bing Images

Are you in sales?

Are your thoughts about how you are going to make that next sale or increase sales?

Are you consumed with what question you should ask, what you should do next?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then are you getting the results you want or need?

Sales is a process and within that process there are a numerous factors:

  • Potential qualified ideal customer (the buyer)
  • Salesperson (the seller)
  • Marketing (actions associated with attracting attention and building the relationship)
  • Selling (actions associated with fact finding, presenting the case, earning the sale and delivering the solution)
  • Marketing (actions associated after sale is complete including foll0w-up and asking for at least 3 referrals)
  • Solutions (products or services)
  • Support team members (intra those being other team members within the organization and inter those being outside of the organization such as vendors to centers of influence)
  • Environment such as market trends, competition, etc.

Sales Training Coaching Tip:  There is a lot of confusion regarding these 3 words, sales, selling and marketing. That confusion may prevent you from being the Red Jacket and instead you become one of the many gray suits.

The first factor is the most important.  The buyer! Yet many sales training coaching programs and even sales gurus focus on only the seller.  This is somewhat illogical given that no sale can be earned until a decision to buy is made.

What would happen if you as that crazy busy sales person or small business owner would cast off the role of “seller” and don the robe of “buying partner?” Would this change your perspective? Would you increase sales? And more importantly would the qualified potential customer view you differently?

Those who engaged in the role of buying partner probably have a higher sense of emotional intelligence (EQ) because they are recognizing the emotions of the potential qualified customer (prospect) and then managing those emotions as well as their own emotions. Additionally, these high emotionally intelligent individuals work with the buying cycle and appreciate that it may take more than 3 contacts.  Sales Training Coaching Fact: According to sales research, 90% of all increase sales are made between the 4th and 12th contacts, but 90% of all sales people stop at the third contact.

Becoming the buying partner works with the 3 sales buying rules and provides opportunities further upstream to put a lid on the 5 sales objections. What actually happens is you are pulled closer and closer to the buyer instead of having to push your solution to increase sales.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Pushy sales people get that description because they ignore the buyer and their egos are fully engaged in “Watch me go!”

Yes there are complex sales because the buying process is more complex. By adopting the role of buying partner it becomes easier to work through the complex sale.

Being in sales is difficult because first and foremost it is time consuming. Yet, when you as that crazy busy salesperson or small business owner recognize that time can be your ally, then you may find the role of buying partner amazingly simple.

P.S. Would you like to know how emotionally intelligent you are given that emotional intelligence (EQ) is viewed as a positive leadership and sales skill or competency? Until March 25, 2011, I am extending a totally free opportunity for any reader of this column to have such an assessment (valued at $150). The questionnaire is Internet based and requires 8-15 minutes to complete. Your results will be emailed to you within 24 hours. Again, it is 100% free. Contact me through this site.

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Focus on Buying Process to Increase Sales

Many sales training coaching programs may focus on the sales process or just dive into specific marketing and selling skills. However, I believe this is a sin in the truest sense of what this word originally meant and that is to miss the mark. In this case, the mark is the goal to increase sales.

To begin to focus on the buying process requires understanding the 3 Buying Rules or Axioms and the 5 Sales Objections Buckets. These changes in perspective or paradigm will help you to increase sales.

The 3 Buying Rules or Axioms are:

  1. People buy from people they know and trust.
  2. People buy first on emotion and then justify their actions with logic.
  3. People buy on value that is unique to them.

Now the 5 Sales Objections Buying Buckets are:

  1. You
  2. Your Company
  3. Your Products or Services
  4. Your Price
  5. Your Delivery

By understanding both the Buying Rules and Sales Objections Buckets allows you to reposition yourself not to mention your sales training coaching programs from the seller to what I have heard called the assistant to the buyer. However, I believe it goes beyond just assisting for at this juncture you are truly a buying partner because you also have a vested interest in the transaction from both your customers’ or clients’ perspective and your own as well as your company.

A close friend of mine once said: When you change how you look at things, the things you look at will change. Maybe now is the time to rethink your sales training coaching programs and just your overall sales process to ensure you actually increase sales.

Graphic courtesy of Bing Images –

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People buy results or rather people buy the feelings the results deliver.

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