The question is whether to follow a selling system or not.
(You can make your comments at the bottom of the page)
I read an interesting article this week written by a prominent sales trainer.
Jeffrey Gitomer (who wrote The Little Red Book of Selling) is very much opposed to using a system to sell.
To quote Jeffrey ,
"Over the years there have been HUNDREDS of selling systems, all designed to increase sales. I don't use them, I don't teach them, and I don't believe in them….
Find the pain. Create the deficit. Create an up-front contract. SPIN the questions. And other sales system crap needs to be eliminated from your selling scenarios."
Now if you've been following what I write for any length of time you'll know I have a similar attitude to sales scripts.
Don't like em, never used em. Too unnatural.
A person says something out of the ordinary to a salesperson using a script and the sales person is lost and in a mess.
But I'm NOT against the use of a system. A sort of road map to follow.
To further quote Jeffrey,
"Does that mean all systems of selling are bad? No. What it means is most systems of selling are confusing, sales-based rather than customer-based, manipulative, and in general cumbersome….
NOTE WELL: A system requires tons of study, memorisation, and often manipulative techniques about "it." Wrong concept. These are "selling" concepts."
Why is it the wrong concept?
Because people do not like to be SOLD !
People who promote their selling system will tell you how wonderful it is and if you just follow the system all your sales dreams will come true. Really ?
Jeffrey goes into a spiel about being authentic as a sales person
and creating an atmosphere where people want to buy.
I agree with that wholeheartedly.
"The authenticity of the sale is in the salesperson, not the system. If you're authentic, you don't have to say it or prove it. It shows and speaks for itself. The most powerful part of authenticity is that, if done properly, it's unspoken."
I touch on this sort of thing in other pages on this website :
Confidence (and Congruence)
(I just remembered I even wrote an article called "Be Yourself")
I have long been an advocate of the concept that selling is about helping the prospect; it was my motivation when I was selling B2B.
If I didn't have anything to help them why was I wasting their time by trying to sell them something.
My sales calls were an exercise in discovery.
Discovery of what the prospect did, what were their problems, what did they want, what was important to them and what were they trying to achieve.
(And even more discovery I'll mention below.)
Jeffrey puts it well,
"If you're going into an important sales call, do you think it's more important to be prepared with questions about the other person, with ideas in favour of the other person, and with knowledge about their business and their present situation - or do you think it's more important to concentrate on your …. selling system?"
He goes even further (and I would like to go even further still).
"Your job, as an engaging person and a value-driven salesperson, is to make your presentation in terms of the customer. How they benefit, how they profit, and how they produce will trump every system of selling ever created."
Yes, Yes Yes ! (sounds a bit like the movie "When Harry met Sally")
Jeffrey writes about "benefit" and "profit" for the prospect,
and that is absolutely correct.
Your focus should be on those things.
He also states something that I place just as much significance on.
He writes, "make your presentation in terms of the customer".
And I say that does not just mean benefits and profit.
That assumes all sales are made on facts and logic.
Sure they're an important part of it but it's not the whole story.
Selling is about communication and your communicate with a person.
That person has their own language, not just English or Spanish but words that have MEANING for them.
Words that link to deeply held beliefs and values and emotions.
To the extent that you can understand those values and beliefs you'll improve your sales a quantum leap beyond those who stop at benefits.
I would reword that last quote as, "make your presentation in the terminology of the customer" so that they can understand what you say, relate to it and be moved by it. Moved to act and moved to buy.
That was the part of my discovery in my sales calls that I didn't mention above.
I found out WHO I was talking to.
Their values, beliefs and how they bought.
Add this to benefits and profit and learn how to build sales rapport and your sales will skyrocket.
There is a lot of reference to this sort of thing throughout this website sprinkled in amongst other more traditional sales information. They are all relevant.
Learn the skills, let them be in the back of your mind
and they come out as you communicate with the person that is your prospect not as a rehearsed part of a selling system. The more of these skills you master the greater will be your reward.
Go to it !
PS: Many thanks to Jeffrey and his article for getting me on my soapbox.
Feel Free to make your comments below.
Do You Follow a Selling System ?
Share your experience.
Did it help or hinder you?
What do you think about my attitude about selling systems ?
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
General Sales Manager Not rated yet
I KNOW OF NO MAJOR COMPANY THAT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT A SET OR SYSTEM OF STEPS THAT LEAD TO A SALE. EVEN A TRAIN NEEDS A TRACK TO RUN ON! ONCE YOU …
Sales Trainer, Media Advantage Not rated yet
Great thoughts on being authentic! If the salesperson doesn't believe that the product or service is worthwhile for the client, there is a selfish …