By Bob Beck
Every professional salesperson’s dream is that when opportunities occur everyone sees them for what they are. Sales people are offering solutions to business issues with the intent to help organizations and the individuals inside those organizations be more efficient, more productive and make their jobs easier. So why is the scenario of prospects recognizing opportunities that are presented to them or reps even having the chance to offer them opportunities, becoming more difficult?
At the end of the day, it’s all about perception. The most effective sales people today are very aware and understand they need to reframe the perception of their prospects. Prospects have been conditioned over the years and believe when a sales person calls on them their number one objective is to sell them something. Decision makers have no time for quota sales people to call on them just trying to sell them something.
Many sales people don’t help themselves much either. They act, sound, and come across like a quota sales person just trying to sell something. They do this by regurgitating the elevator pitch, the marketing literature or leaning on some ROI formula to sell.
To be consistently effective in this market reframing perceptions of what is and what could be is very important and is an effective approach for selling. Reframing perceptions opens every individual’s mind and enables them to see a circumstance, the opportunity, issues, in a different way. In other words, tackle challenges, leverage the opportunity, with better solutions, which lead to better performance and a more personally rewarding outcomes.
Decision makers need and want to be understood first and foremost. Effective selling demands you reframe the perceptions of the people you are calling on. They are expecting you to give them your “corporate commercial” with the objective of selling them something they may or may not need. A genuine trusted advisor understands this and takes the time to reframe their prospect’s perception before they offer them anything. In today’s world, you must have “prospect knowledge” and realize people buy because they feel understood not because they understand. To be fair to sales people, most companies today spend most of their training budget on product updates, enhancements, and new solution introductions. The objective is for sales people to go out and educate the market about these solutions. The thought is, if the rep does a good enough job of doing this people will buy. That is simply an outdated and not effective approach.
A sales professional’s ability to differentiate themselves and reframe perceptions is the key to success. You cannot feed into the perceptions of what your prospects have of you. We work extensively in our Transformational QPQ Workshops helping reps specifically and tactically learn how to do this effectively. (www.SalesBuilders.com) It is not always easy to break a stereotype and reframe someone’s perceived notions. Some pointers to get you started:
· Know about the role you are calling on, IE “Prospect knowledge”. What keeps them awake at night? What gets them promoted or fired? What are the common issues they are facing? Why do they have these issues?
· Don’t act like a stereotypical sales person. Phases like, “How are you today..” “Is now a good time..” I’m from X Corp and we…. “the commercial”
· Don’t be so positive you can help them. Even if you are 100% sure you have a solution to a business problem they have, you must let them come to the realization you might be able to help them.
· Be sincere. You must want to be purposeful and are interested in helping the person you are calling on. If your true objective is just to sell them something, then it will be very hard to reframe anyone’s perception.
There is much more to reframing perceptions and we would love to share it with you. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can explore the possibilities.