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Selling has officially become a game of “strategy”.
When I first started selling business telephone systems years ago there was no internet. Buyers relied on me to bring them product information, information on market trends and any information I could provide on their competitors.
Basically I was a “walking and talking brochure”, and they needed me.
When the internet, and Google, arrived on the scene information escaped. At that point in time the way in which I was needed shifted immediately and dramatically.
That was the point in time when selling was redefined.
The truth about this game changing shift is that the vast majority of sales professionals got their wish.
Many sales people felt uncomfortable with the pressure tactics, positioning and what amounted to manipulation techniques that they were being taught in virtually every sales training program.
Now, with information in hand, prospects overnight became more savvy, saw through the gamesmanship and demanded business insights that would support them in the accomplishment of their business objectives.
That’s what the vast majority of sales people claimed they wanted to do and become. A person that would be respected as a peer, who would engage in business conversations and be viewed as a trusted resource versus a “product peddler” and a “commodity”.
However, this newly elevated position comes at a price. It requires education, reading and study.
You can’t become a trusted advisor or effective business consultant without paying this price.
Salespeople complain that it’s viciously competitive out there. The truth is it’s not that competitive. It’s crowded. But there’s a big difference between the two.
“Competitive” says that the majority of Salespeople are studying the vertical markets that they call on and getting a clear understanding of the business issues and threats their prospects face.
“Competitive” says that the majority of Salespeople practice and role play how they will articulate the link between their products and the objectives of their prospects.
“Competitive” says the majority of Salespeople spend time creating killer business questions that not only uncover the prospects compelling reasons to buy but also the consequences of not taking action.
If you’re searching for a competitive edge this is it.
Good old fashion study & preparation. Not sexy but massively effective.
Don’t plod along with the crowd that’s winging it and taking the easy way out.
Challenge yourself to be disciplined, study, learn and prepare. Become a “business person” and leave the pitching and tricky closing tactics behind.
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