What if the Customer’s First Impression is Wrong?

Would you agree that in sales, first impressions are important? It turns out that second impressions are important, too…as are third and fourth impressions, and so on. But, how can you be successful if the customer’s first impression of your product or service doesn’t reflect that actual value of your offering.

Suppose you work for a company like IBM. A small business owner could write you off by assuming they’re not big enough to deal with a tech giant like IBM. Or, in healthcare sales, a healthcare professional could easily assume a certain drug or medical device isn’t viable solely based on a comment made by one of his or her doctor buddies while playing golf.

In competitive industries, most prospects have already formed an impression about what your product or service does, and whether or not it might be valuable for them. In some cases, they’re intuitions are 100% correct. In other cases, they couldn’t be more off base. That’s why personal interaction with a salesperson, and more importantly-education, is the fulcrum that will make or break your success in developing new business opportunities moving forward. Hmmm? Click to Read On>>

How Mid-Year “Skills Training” Can Help You

Exceed Your Numbers…

Were you aware that sales is the ‘least taught’ profession in the world? Though revenue drives every company, I would bet that very few if any of the salespeople on your team have a college degree is sales. Thus, we are by default dependent on whatever sales training courses they may have attended thus far in their careers.

But, if you pull a few of the sales books off your shelf and open to the copyright page, you might be surprised to learn that much of the sales training material that has been delivered over the last 2, 5, 10 years was actually developed 20 or 30+ years ago. Does that mean the success of your company now rests on whatever strategies or techniques may have worked prior to when many of your salespeople weren’t even born?

One of the primary themes of the project I’m currently working on (book #6) is the irony that many companies are basing their sales approach on the same models as their rival competitors. Therein lies the rub, where teaching people to sound the same as everyone else is the quickest way to commoditize your company’s value proposition.

As an example, even though every sales program ever created talks about the importance of “uncovering needs,” the act of uncovering needs is actually a bad strategy in 2015. Why? Two reasons.

First, isn’t it true that customers don’t always know what they need? When that’s the case, trying to “uncover needs” by probing the customer is a dead-end street. Instead, I would argue that one of your greatest opportunities (as a salesperson) to add value is helping potential buyers recognize needs they otherwise wouldn’t have considered. The second reason “uncovering needs” is a bad strategy is because even if the customer does understand their needs, skeptics aren’t always open to sharing that information with a salesperson they don’t yet know or trust.

Today, most sellers already know “what” the objectives are, so do we really need to overhaul the sales process again? The upside moving forward is understanding “how” to execute more effectively. And strange as it may seem, minimal focus has been placed on teaching sellers how to increase their Return on Invested Sales Effort (R.O.I.S.E.) over the last 20 to 30 years.

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