Mathematics and science are based on certain fundamentals. Gravity exists and exerts forces on all of us. Light travels at a certain speed and in theory nothing can go faster than it. What about sales? There are some sales principles that you might not think about, but you should consider. They will help you sell more.
Sales principle 1. Your customer is always more important than you.
Yes, I know you deliver value to your customers and you are worth it. At least you should be able to say that. Your customer is still more important than you are. He, not you, is the one who can buy. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean that you give your products and services away. It does mean that you demonstrate his importance in how you act.
One sales professional forgot this. He was meeting with a prospect and suggested that instead of the salesperson coming to the prospect’s office he suggested that the prospect come to his office. It wasn’t for a tour either. There was no strategic reason to be meeting in the salesperson’s office.
This salesman simply wanted to meet and begin his sales process. Here’s the problem. The location was a one hour drive for the prospect. What was this salesperson thinking? That is not respectful and demonstrates that the salesperson thinks his time is more important than the prospect’s time. Both people’s time is important. In sales, you must demonstrate that you understand the value of your prospect’s time.
I have noticed that the most successful salespeople have what’s called a servant’s heart. They recognize that they are in business of serving their customers and do so graciously. Of course they do it for a profit. That’s why they are successful.
Sales principle 2. There are things you think you know, but you don’t.
What gets a lot of salespeople into trouble is when they act on some of their assumptions. Yes, you have to make certain assumptions and move forward. What gets salespeople in trouble is that they don’t test their assumptions with their prospects and customers before they act on them. Here’s an example.
You get a referral from a customer and you think you know why the referral was given to you. You assume it’s because of the way your worked with your customer and the results you produced. While that may be true, you never ask your customer why he thinks the referral is a good fit for you. You don’t ask why he referred you now.
Your assumptions get you in trouble when you call the prospect. You don’t get a return phone call. You leave voicemails that make you wonder why you were given the referral. The time to ask why is when you’re given the referral. Don’t assume you know why.
Sales principle 3. You’re always in danger of losing your business.
You are always in danger of losing your business no matter how delighted your customers are with your products or services. How can this be so? Because business is not always fair and situations change. I’ve lost business to a customer’s brother-in-law despite my having excellent products and services. Your company may make senior level executive decisions that impact your business. Companies go out of business, decide to sell different lines or raise prices.
Your job as a sales professional is to do all that you can control to demonstrate why you should keep your business. That includes keeping all promises which include returning telephone calls, meeting product performance claims and honoring meeting times. Those would be the choices I would make for sales. The world of sales is not going to suddenly change how it works. Once you understand these sales principles you can work with them to ensure your sales success.
Best wishes for your sales success. Always be learning!