People sell how they buy

People sell how they buy

People sell how they buy explains one of the problems frequently encountered in sales training. Salespeople do miss elements or have blind spots in the sales process based upon what they feel sales is and is not.

There are 3 components to the understanding this process:

  1. The sales training and knowledge the salesperson has will influence the sales process
  2. The personality and or beliefs the salesperson holds about sales in general can make or break the sales process
  3. How salespeople make purchases in their own daily life influences their ability to sell and overcome objections.

These three items combined do play into the action salespeople make when they are out in the field selling. The people sell how they buy idea is much more than just a few concepts placed together. Salespeople are largely rules by the three ideas about selling style and abilities listed previously.

Sales trainers for the most part treat sales training as a one size fits all event and then wonder why they are not able to get the same results for everyone.

 

The focus on people sell how they buy

Most sales training does not take into account asking salespeople what their buying style is or what they do.

The average sales trainer will bring students into a room and start presenting without having any idea the style needed to present to.

There are really three styles of buyers and they will be introduced as well as the main underlying factors of people sell how they buy.

Your buying style is your selling style

Sales training can only take salespeople so far. There are all sorts of great techniques and strategies to employ while out in the field it may be tough to choose from all of them.

One of the underlying causes of most salespeople’s failure is they revert back to their own buying style. A salesperson buying style tends to become their selling style.

In other words, people sell how they buy or you sell how you buy.

As an example if a salesperson struggles with being put under pressure they will have a tough time pressuring the buyer.

A salesperson who likes short presentation will tend to give a short presentation.

A salesperson will sell their product how they would buy or they say what they would like to hear if in the buyers’ shoes.

Your own buying process has more to do with your sales process than you could ever imagine.

Many times salespeople will enroll in great training only to discard the parts of the process because they are uncomfortable to their own buying style. There is a mismatch of sorts for their comfort zone and the strategies they could use.

For the most part what is uncomfortable for a salesperson typically isn’t performed or thought about. These processes may be role played with a sales manager or trainer but in the real world they are discarded and not used. Salespeople role play how they sell in the real world. Its not uncommon to hear a salesperson say “I don’t do that in the field” but they do.

You play how you practice and you practice how you play, this is true in sports and in sales as well.

Salespeople may have a belief of what sales is and they may be wrong. Sales may be a fable in their mind meaning they think they know what sales it but they do not. Doing the same process over and over again can hurt salespeople because they get bored and want to change the process.

It is easy to want to do a short presentation and hope the other person will make the purchase. The truth is every sales call takes time and effort in order to close the deal. Whatever you miss up front will have to be made up somewhere else.

Your greatest enemy in the sales process is your selling style if you are uncomfortable in any aspect of selling. This is also true if there are parts of the sales process you do not care for.

The sales process you will use does echo your own buying style and this can work for you or against you.

Not all buyers are the same and neither are salespeople. It is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback when it comes to breaking down a call but are you really comfortable with your sales process or do you leave aspects out?

Training elements of people sell how they buy

Watching sales training from the front of the room is not anywhere close to seeing the training from sitting with the crowd. Sales trainers get to see the subtle winces and flinches to the tough but necessary parts of the processes. All salespeople do this at some point in their sales lives and your manager or trainer does see it.

Chances are good if you think a part of the sales process would not work on you, then you may not use or even try it. Most salespeople hear what they need to do but when it comes to implementing the ideas they run away.

Some of the problems you will find in training is the lack of belief in results. If you as the salesperson does not buy the underlying message of the process none of the process will ever be used.

If there is a lack of belief in the sales trainer the process is doomed before the salesperson ever talks to someone who can buy.

Sales training may be easy to pay attention to but not always so easy to put to use. This is where you will see a group of salespeople get results and the rest will not. Implementation of the learned sales processes must happen as soon as they are learned.

The struggle some salespeople face is holding onto training and not using it until the perfect moment. This bank of horded information of sales information ends up never being used. Implementing ideas and concepts fast is the key even if it is against your own buying style. This lack of action is almost always done out of fear of the process not working out.

Sales training can be monotonous and tedious if the basics are being reviewed consistently and because of the feeling the basics boring they are largely ignored. There is nothing tedious about practicing the basics, this is sales.

You must determine your own selling style

In order to close more sales you must understand what you like to do in your own sales process as well as what you do not like from others. This is where you can find what your true enemy in the sales process is.

When you shop for goods and service in your own personal life pay attention to how you make decisions. It could be you write in a journal or you observe your style to see what goes into the sales process. If you have a significant other you may want to pay attention to their style as well because it may influence your presentation in front of buyers as well. Sometimes parents and close friends can influence your sales process as to what you may or may not do as well if there are comfort issues or lessons taught in life.

Most salespeople never think about the problems their own buying style creates for training they take or the sales process. Most failures in the sales process are blamed on the product, service, or the buyers.

Instead of just buying something blindly take the time to note how you have made your decision. This process of figuring out your own buying style does take time and effort but it will pay off when you need it the most.

There are quite a few items or questions you can take note of:

  • Do you take a long time to decide or are you a quick decision maker?
  • Are you a window shopper?
  • Do you like to be courted by the salesperson?
  • Do you like the salesperson to try and build rapport or do you like to cut to the chase?
  • Do you like the salesperson to address you in a specific way or does this matter to you?
  • Do you like discounts or do you like items that are unique?
  • Is there a certain amount of information you like to acquire or do you take the salespersons word for it?
  • What type of questions do you ask?
  • How many questions do you ask?
  • Do you like a full product demonstration?
  • Are you intrigued by all of the sales information you can get your hands on?
  • How patient are you with your salesperson or the representative being met with?
  • How do you talk to your salesperson, do you talk to them or at them?
  • Are there questions you do not want to answer?
  • Are there questions you feel manipulated when answering?
  • How long of a presentation are you comfortable with?
  • Is it all about the price or is it about the experience?
  • When do you become uncomfortable in the sales process with questions or closing processes?
  • Do you get nervous with silence?
  • What happens when the salesperson asks for the business?
  • Do you like direct questions or do you like the salesperson to beat around the bush?
  • Do you read reviews on product sites and ask the salesperson about flaws?
  • Do you ask for discounts and if so how many?
  • Do you play games with the salesperson or are you straight up with them?
  • Do you have buyers remorse once you buy or are you ok with your decision?
  • Does it satisfy you when the salesperson keeps in touch or do you find it annoying?

All of these questions do matter and can be asked for large purchases as well as small purchases. It may be time consuming to look at your own buying style.

What type of presentation do you like?

The amount of information you need to make your own buying decision has impact on the presentation you give to a potential client especially if you are struggling.

If you like to gather tons of information you may believe your buyer needs just as much as you do in order to make a decision. You may even over compensate for the sales not being made and make your presentation way longer then what it needs to be.

Pay attention to the previous list to help determine your own buying process and style.

On the other end of the spectrum you may not need much information to make a decision. If you like short presentations, you may get impatient with a slow buyer. If this style represents you there is a possibility you are cutting your process even shorter than normal to try and get to the next sale.

If you are a slow buyer you may feel rushed from someone who is a fast buyer.

Does a fast buyer seem like they are reckless to you and your sensibility?

All of these ideas can translate into how you sell and your own style and in the end will lead to objections, rejection or the sale.

When a salesperson struggles they will present to their own style especially if they are under great pressure to close the sale. This is the personality sale people try to make and go to the buddy sell. This means more than a sales process the call is a rapport process with no point.

Just because you only need a certain amount of information to make a decision does not mean your buyer has the same style as you. A hidden danger is when too much rapport has been built is to remove parts of the sales process and not just presentation. This reversion backwards in the sales process happens frequently. Sometimes the buyer has heard enough and they pull the trigger on the purchase.

When salespeople get the objections in the sales process they tend to blame the buyer for not making the decision to buy. The real fault lies in the abilities of the salesperson.

Once again your sales process is influenced from your own buying style or even what you believe sales is.

Referrals and other forms of buying proof

Some buyers love to get their hands on information from other people in the form of referrals or literature. Some salespeople hate giving this information out as it seems as if the buyer is dragging their feet. If you need tons of proof in your own buying process the chances are really good you are doing the same for your buyers. You could be giving them too much information and overloading their process.

On the other hand if you do not need all of the glossy pictures in order for you to make a decisions you may be leaving this part of the equation out for the buyer and their needs. This may seem pushy to the person you are working with and building resistance you do not need in your sales presentations.

If you do not deal with the concerns of the buyer in the presentation you will have to deal with them in the negotiation or discount phase depending upon how you sell. In other words if you cut out steps in your sales presentation you will have to cut out money at the end of the sales call.

The power of questions in the sales process

Questions are one of the best ways you find out what to deliver to the buyer in the form of needed information.

One of the questions you could use is:

The last time you had to make a similar purchase what did you need to move forward?

There are literally thousands of ways to ask this same question to the buyer. Salespeople who do not look for buying criteria may be hoping the information they would need to make the decision would be enough to buy.

Most salespeople do not ask enough questions as if they are scared of the answers. Great questions are the road to understanding what the buyer needs. If you get annoyed at salespeople asking you questions there is a good chance you will not even come close to asking enough of the buyer when you met with them. The key to questions is to pay attention to the answers and ask clarifying questions to determine what the real answer was.

Under pressure of closing the sale or in a struggle questions are typically ditched for stories with no point in the hopes rejection will not happen from running the sales call the right way. Salespeople can talk themselves right out of the sale.

The sales struggle and the sub routine

In a sales struggle you go to your buying style, this is one of the main reasons why you need know how you buy. This is not something taught in sales training because most sales trainers do not know this piece of information. This is part of the key to being able to sell more consistently.

You will want to look for all of the items that annoy or frustrate you in your own purchases because you will tend to remove them from the sales process with the buyer. You will want to present the entire amount of information needed for the person you are sitting with.

In your struggle with sales you will lose focus of the buyer and focus on yourself. You may even use the phrase “If I were you” more than you know.

When it comes to not making sales your ability to recoup depends upon your knowledge of yourself and your go to buying actions.

Negotiations and how you sell  

In your own buying world how do you like negotiations to happen? Are you one who asks for a discount on everything or do you not care.

Do they make you uncomfortable to ask about if so does it annoy you when you are asked for discounts.

Do you get annoyed with people who use coupons or look for every bargain they can get?

This information matters because you will either respond or react to your client and how they buy.

You may identify with the buyer at any point in the sales process if they buy like you especially in the end zone where negotiations matter.

If you look for big discounts you may give up too much money too quick in the deal. If you look for deals and bargains you may identify with a buyer who wants to stall on the sales process. If you are a unique buyer you may miss the signs from the buyer who wants a discount but is scared to ask for one.

Almost all sales end up in some sort of negotiation so why not be ready for it. If you do not like to negotiate when you buy then you may be creating problems for yourself when it comes to “talk turkey” with the buyer.

If you get stressed out in a long negotiation so will the buyer. The buyer will react to you or they will respond to how you work with then.

Your ability to negotiate at the end of the call may be the difference between making the sale and walking away with nothing from the buyer.

Managers and sales trainers

A sales manager or trainer can only train to their comfort zone or capability. Managers, trainers and salespeople all fall under the “People sell how the buy” banner.

A manager will manage salespeople to how they would sell the product themselves out in the real world. This can work for you if they have a similar sales style or against them if you have opposite beliefs in what selling is and is not.

You may not buy into what your manager or trainer teaches because of your own buying and selling style. This does not mean they do not have good information, what it may mean is the information they have does not work for your selling style.

This doesn’t give you any reason to give up on the sales process, it may mean you need to find someone who has a similar style to your own. You should always be looking for a way to improve and push your own boundaries and sometimes it takes time to find the right manager or trainer.

Ask for the business – close the deal

If you don’t like someone asking you for the business then you are in for a rough ride when it is your turn to ask the buyer for theirs.

Your own fear could be creating your own sabotage in the sales process. If you are uncomfortable with a salesperson putting any buying pressure on you there is going to be a problem when you are in front of a buyer.

The numbers are staggering where the salesperson never asked for the business out of fear of rejection or because it was out of their comfort zone.

If you buy into what the buyer says because it rings true to your own style you are leaving money on the table for someone who is willing to close the deal and collect the commissions.

Common objections like “I wanna think about it” or “I need more information” could be your own worst enemy if you have a tough time making a buying decision in the sales process.

In conclusion

Your buying style really is your selling style and it can hurt you or help you to know this information as it envelops your entire sales process.

 

 

 

The power of a hot seat panel

 

 

The power of a hot seat panel

Hot seats are an event within an event usually at seminars. The premise is there is a panel of experts who listen to a business owner or entrepreneur explain a problem or problems they wish to have solved. Once the panel hears what is going on they prescribe the “fixes” that could take place in order to increase business.

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The hot seats can include people on the panel from all sorts of different business sectors or industries. This helps the answers vary and may give insights maybe not expected from the business person or entrepreneur who is being advised by the panel. It could very well be the person on the hot seat is a rookie when it comes to business or even that “hard core” guy who has been around forever but just has one of those problems or issues that just keep popping up.

 

So what does this have to do with you and your business?

 

Everything…

 

Chet Holmes used to say “there are only so many fundamentals”. This quote applies any industry or any service.

 

When you get the chance to sit in on a “hot seat” whether for”

  • ·         Sales
  • ·         Marketing
  • ·         Production
  • ·         Business development

 

You will find that something applies to what you do or could have an impact on your own growth.

 

The experts on the panel have a different view as to what is going on and many times have been involved in different industries. They key here is that as issues happen in our own lives we tend to focus on what is around us and stop looking for the things or items a little further out that could help business.

 

The sad thing is that for many people in the audience do not think that what they are hearing applies to them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The information given in the “hot seats” are pure gold most of the time because more than likely what is said applies to what you are doing somehow. The problem for many is that it takes just a little more thought than normal to figure out how to make it work for you.

 

So the panel has a question about marketing?

Maybe it really doesn’t apply to what you do but it may in the future.

 

Next the panel has a question about sales…

 

And sales can always apply to what you do. It could very well be that the salesperson is struggling. If the sales person is having issues you may want to take notes because more than likely someone in your own organization is having or will have the same struggle.

 

The cool thing about hot seats are that they give you a heads up of what to look for or they can help you see some of the challenges in your own organization.

 

Sometimes the information that you hear and gather may have to sit dormant in your brain for later use and implementation, this is why it is a good idea to make sure you take notes as to what is going on and the recommendations made by the panel.

 

Next level hot seats

One of the things you will see in just about any seminar or class is the dead silence that happens when the floor is opened for questions.

 

Many times business people do not want to look dumb in front of their peers so they will forgo the information that could be gathered to help propel business into the stratosphere.

 

Think about this for a moment:

 

Most of the experts who are on these hot seat panels charge a fairly hefty sum of Moolah to have a conversation with outside of the seminar setting and for some of them that is if you could get through to the “gatekeeper” on any given day.

 

It’s never a good idea to think that most of the business people know the fundamentals as to what they do for a job.

 

Let’s take this “hot seat” example and amp it up a few notches for you the next time you get a chance.

 

Some people are scared to death to talk to one of these “experts” because they may think badly towards the business practices being performed in the real life…

 

So what is a smart business person to do?

 

Go up and compliment the “expert” from the hot seat on what they said. Now this works because who in their right mind doesn’t like a well placed compliment. Now many times this opens up the doors for you to have a conversation about what you do. Almost every time this plays out the expert will have to ask about what you do for work and then they usually ask about what you learned on the hot seat.

 

This strategy works well if you are comfortable talking to strangers or even if you are scared to ask your question.

 

If you are not first you are last

Any time you plan to go to a seminar where you can “rub elbows” with some experts you should have some questions you want to have answered about your business or industry lined out. The more thought you put into what you want to know specifically the better chance you have of gathering excellent information for growth.

 

If you are ready for the questions you should be the first person to volunteer to get put on the “hot seat” and do so quickly. Usually the first person up gets the best amount of time and gets the best advice. Plenty of people in the room will squirm at the thought of having to be in front of the room but who would you rather have judge you: people you will never see again for the most part who could help you grow your business or team or your potential clients you spend hefty amounts of marketing money to get your hands on?

 

Most people will answer the experts but a few will sit struggling and “lead a life of quiet desperation”.

 

Your best option is to show up prepared with question you want to have answered even if there is no hot seat at the event.

 

Just think for a moment:

 

If you could ask just one question you have been dying to ask an expert in your industry or field what would it be?

 

Figure out at least 5 of these questions and write them on index cards before you go to your event. Keep them in your pocket and rank them from 1-5. Why 5 cards instead of 10? That is because there isn’t enough focus with that many questions. You also want to show the expert you are asking a question to that you have prepared enough to take his or her time. Normally when you show preparation the expert will be more willing to give you advice.

 

Now there will be times where the person you ask a question to doesn’t want to play ball and answer questions or talk to you, that is ok. Find someone else to ask the questions to but always be gracious and thank people for their time.

 

Relationships and advice

Now let’s just say you met the person on the hot seat you wanted and you got that special advice where you can take your business to the next level now what?

 

You do the smart thing and send them a hand written “Thank You!” card. No an email will not work so don’t think it’s worth it. Here is the really important part, expect nothing to ever happen once they get the card. You send it because it is the right thing to do. If you imagine the “expert” wanting to hang out after the event just because you sent a card it is ok to stop thinking that right now.

 

Always take the time to think out the questions you want to or need to ask and normally you get rewarded.

 

If you get a chance to be the “guy” or “girl” in the position for the hot seat jump on it as fast as possible and volunteer first.

 

Just remember even if you are not in a related field listen to the examples and figure out how to make the information work for you. Who knows you may very well grab that hidden elusive nugget of information you have been looking for.

 

Now go implement!

 

Scott Sylvan Bell

 

Connect on twitter @scottsbell

How to sell more: learn to be coachable

How to sell more: Its tough to get told something that you don’t like when you are in sales.

 

Its tough to get criticism and not want to fight every bit of it when sales are down or up.

 

Its tough to not justify why you are bad at something or how you have failed especially when you are not making any money.

 

Its hard to see others be successful while you are working hard and not seeing results and it feels like success is so far away.

 

Sales success comes from the ability to hear that you have a problem with something that you are doing in your sales cycle and then change what needs to be done so that you can influence better.

 

All too often when coaching sales people the excuses come out but what is even worse is when the people who are being coached are not coachable. So here is a short guide on how to be coachable when it comes to anything but especially sales training.

 

  • ·         Listen to what your coach says
  • ·         Take good notes
  • ·         Ask many questions for clarification
  • ·         Practice and implement

 

Did you notice on that list nowhere does it say justify your bad behavior, you are right it does not.

 

One of the fastest ways to determine if someone is coachable is by listening to what is said after the person is coached on something to do.

 

Here is an example while performing some persuasive sales training and working on some communication techniques:

 

Chris: In order to help people understand you better it may help for you to slow down and draw a simple picture like this.

 

Mike: I used to do that but people found it boring plus it takes too long so I don’t do it anymore and I do not think that anyone wants to see that.

 

That justification equals sales failure almost instantly and a loss of income. Mike may have felt like it was an attack on him and it was because he may not be the best at what he does or he could just flat out suck at his job. He was being told to do something differently and his brain was fighting off the right way or the better way to go. The ego part of the brain was really saying “I don’t want to do what you say because I know what is better for me than you do” or “I have a way that I like to do it and this is not it”.

 

The better way that leads to sales success should have gone more like this:

 

Chris: In order to help people understand you better it may help for you to slow down and draw a picture.

 

Mike: I have tried that before but I was not able to make it effective where did I go wrong, would you mind showing me?

 

Chris: right here is where you need to slow down and ask more questions to help understand what the buyer is thinking.

 

By Mike asking the question about how to implement a new strategy he was saying that he is open to try something new but also gained insight that he did not have previously for a sales strategy.

 

Now its hard to feel like someone is telling you that whatever you did was wrong but in order to get better at what you do the coaching is necessary and must be done. There are times where it may feel like someone is attacking you for your weaknesses but would you rather hear them from a sales trainer or from a client who says “I wanna think about it”?

 

A brilliant man has said “Do it till you are done”. Many nights people have stayed up many hours doing “it” till they were done. It may have taken a toll on the person with lack of sleep but in the end they gained the skills needed to get ahead

 

Its easy to get caught up in the “reason trap” or a way to say “I couldn’t do it because…..”.

 

Now you know the insider secret of how to pick coachable salespeople vs those people who will stay mediocre at their jobs for a while.

 

If you do get the chance to work with a coach or trainer for whatever business you are in take the time to learn what they are teaching you, fight the urge to explain why you have failed and find a way to implement the process.

 

Now there will be times that you do not always agree with those around you in how something should be done but at least work through the process and you may just find a new way of doing something that you probably would not have learned before.

 

Just remember justification will equal failure almost every time you use it because it does not produce results, it’s the easy way out.

 

Getting good at what you do takes hard work and discipline and the ability to listen and then implement fast.

 

As always I would like to thank you in advance for your comments and or questions

 

Now go implement!

 

Scott Sylvan Bell

 

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