You may recall author Mary Shelley’s story about scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a ridiculous creature in an experiment by mixing and matching different body parts….So what does that have to do with selling?
Too many sales leaders, sale people, and organizations in general we have worked with over the last 15 years will say when asked about what sales approach they use:
“We took something from the training we had a few years ago, picked up some things from a new book we read, learned some things from my peers, my last sales manager taught me a few things, and we combined that with our own experiences and that is the core of our approach.” If you are a seasoned sales professional, and any of this answer remotely describes your approach to how you sell, you might be using the “Frankenstein” Sales Approach.
Let me be the first one to say there is more than on way to sell. A consistent results orientated approach is what you should be subscribing to. An approach that addresses sales in a practical way that offers duality. The duality of having a proven, time tested, approach and the freedom to allow you some room to make prudent decisions along the way. What we see today is really more of a “make it up as you go” approach, which in general terms is the same thing as the Frankenstein approach.
Frankenstein was ugly, clumsy, inconsistent, and didn’t function very well. Sure he got it right every once in a while, but over time he just didn’t work. As you read this, human nature may lead you to be defensive. You may be saying that the Frankenstein approach doesn’t apply to your team. Really? I challenge you to sort it out with just a few questions:
• What percentage of your sales pursuits, end up with no fruit for your labor?
• How many of your opportunities closed in the time frame you forecasted last year?
• Would your prospects (not clients) consider you a trusted advisor to them or a sales rep?
• Who’s in control of your sales pursuits, you or the prospect?
• Does your team apply a consistent approach to selling or is everything situational? In other words are you making it up as you go with a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of this?
If you have created a mixed bag of parts into “Frankenstein” Sales Approach and it is netting the consistent results you want and need, then great! If you are one of the very few that can answer all the above questions with pride and confidence, then by all means continue.
If you have any doubts about these questions, it’s time to consider a new approach. Selling in 2015 is not about relating your solutions to people. It’s about relating to people first, so they will be open to consider your solutions. What if your team’s consistent sales approach included:
• Controlling the sales cycle – not being put in a subservient position with prospects and clients
• Selling directly to decision makers – 93% of sales people sell at least one level below the decision maker
• Becoming a trusted advisor to your prospect – relating to decision makers on their level vs. 1990’s style “solution” or “value” selling
• Lead generation practices – fill your pipeline with qualified, high-level leads, consistently
• Opportunity qualification – not wasting time on unqualified leads and developing inaccurate sales forecasts
• Defining and following a consistent results orientated sales methodology – 98% of sales people do not follow a consistent sales approach
In today’s business world there is no time or patience for a make it up as you go sales approach. We have clients in 10 countries that are passionate about the results they have experienced from our partnership with their firm. Don’t be like Frankenstein and scare off your prospects! Contact us today to learn more about how to employ a consistent sales approach that works!
SBI: Sales Builders Inc. is a dedicated professional development firm that offers organizational assessment, training, and consulting all geared to help organizations transform, thrive, and expand. We’re architects of change and builders of constancy. We’re pioneers of innovation and masters in sales transformation.