News From LBD

March 2015 Volume 7 Issue 3

  Cut Loose from Old Sales Thinking 


    No matter what our job is, we are going to have to sell. It may be a product or service to a prospect, an idea to a co-worker, or getting our kids to eat their vegetables, but no matter how we look at it, we are all in the sales world.  


    It has been said, "Nothing happens until something is sold."  In today's competitive environment, sales skills represent the critical success of any operation. Yet it is getting tougher and tougher to find successful sales people and successful sales results. Why? 


   People don't mind buying, they just don't like being sold and consumers today actually practice how to say "NO" to sales people. They have learned ways to counter sales tactics. They actually "outsell" the sales person.   


   Maybe it's time we take a different approach to sales and analyze our thinking to identify why we're not making more sales.  


   The first question to ask is; are our sales skills keeping up with the consumer? Outdated sales skills lose more sales than they make. They fail to address the core issue of how we think about selling and unless we get to that core, and change it once and for all, we'll go on struggling with the same counterproductive sales behaviors. How would our selling behaviors change if we changed our sales thinking? 

   For example; when we call someone, do we still start out with a mini-presentation about ourself, our company, and what we have to offer? Perhaps we should start with a conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that our product or service solves. For example, we might say, "I'm just calling to see if you are open to some different ideas related to preventing downtime across your computer network?"

   Do we still use traditional sales language? Traditional sales language leads prospects to label us with the negative stereotype of "salesperson." This makes it almost impossible for them to relate to us with trust or to have an honest, open conversation about problems they're trying to solve and how we might be able to help them.


   Do we find ourself spending more and more time focused on "overcoming" objections rather than solving problems? These tactics only create more sales pressure. They also keep us from exploring or learning the truth behind what our prospects are saying. What if we spent more time exploring how our product or service might solve those problems versus defending our product or service? Let's give up trying to persuade. Let's help the prospect feel they can choose us without the feeling of being sold.


   The sooner we can let go of the traditional sales beliefs that we've all been exposed to, the more quickly we'll feel good about selling again, and start seeing better results.


What Leaders are Reading     
The 4 Disciplines of Execution:
Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals - by Chris McChesney and Sean Covey 
By the time it finally disappeared, it's likely no one even noticed. What happened? The "whirlwind" of urgent activity required to keep things running day-to-day devoured all the time and energy you needed to invest in executing your strategy for tomorrow! The 4 Disciplines of Execution can change all that forever.

4DX is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following The 4 Disciplines of:

* Focusing on the Wildly Important
* Acting on Lead Measures
* Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard
* Creating a Cadence of Accountability

leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.
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Leadership Tip of
the Month

Tips to change

sales strategies to

get better results


1. Stop the sales pitch and start a conversation.


 Don't pitch your solution with an opening phrase. Instead, address a problem that, based on your experience in your field, you believe they might be having.


2. Your goal is always to discover whether you and your prospect are a good fit.


By simply focusing your conversation on problems that you can help prospects solve, and by not jumping the gun by trying to move the sales process forward, you'll discover that prospects will give you the direction you need.   


3. When you lose a sale, it's usually at the beginning of the sales process.


If you think you're losing sales due to mistakes you make at the end of the process, review how you began the relationship. Did you start with a pitch?


4. When prospects offer objections, validate them and reopen the conversation.


Stop trying to counter objections. Instead, shift to uncovering the truth by replying, "That's not a problem." No matter what the objection, use gentle, dignified language that invites prospects to tell you the truth about their situation without feeling you'll use it to press for a sale.


 5. Never defend yourself or what you have to offer. This only creates more sales pressure.


Stop defending yourself. In fact, come right out and tell them that you aren't going to try to convince them of anything because that only creates sales pressure. Instead, ask them again about key problems they're trying to solve.    


  To learn more, contact LBD.   

John Branstad
John Branstad
Quote of the Month 

"Most sales people try to take the horse to water and make him drink. It's your job to make the horse thirsty."


Gabrial Siegel 

John Branstad