The Selling Newsletter
*A free monthly newsletter of ideas to help make your selling easier*
Selling is the easiest job in the world…Just ask anyone who is NOTin sales!
My mission is to help make it easier for you to sell.
Best wishes for YOUR successful selling—Maura
“The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence.” – Robert J. Shiller
Sell more intelligently by focusing on what’s important and forgetting what’s not. If a customer rejects your products, the customer is not rejecting you. Remember, some customers don’t know what they don’t know! Move on to the customers who do ‘get’ what you and your products are all about.
THE SELLING IDEAS FOR THIS MONTH
WHOLE BRAIN SELLING
I tell clients I can make a willing person able. If a sales professional wants to improve performance, I can help with techniques and strategies. I also tell clients I cannot make an able person willing. I cannot instill the drive to perform in someone who is not willing. Mr. John Fullingim, President of Applied Behavioral Sciences Marketing (www.absciencemarketing.com), has developed a marketing process that can make an able person willing. His company’s consulting model, Whole Brain Marketingâ creates strategies to cause buyers to become motivated to purchase products. Clients include TXU, Verizon, Texas Instruments, and others. His work will give you new insights into how you can sell more effectively.
Connect with your customers early. Fullingim has found that it’s more expensive to influence customers at the time they’re ready to buy instead of earlier in the buying process. Why? Because when a customer is ready to buy they’ve already defined and narrowed their criteria of selection. Mr. Fullingim says, “You have lost your ability to control what the buyer is thinking.” It’s then too late for the seller to influence the buyer and help define buying criteria. If sellers really want to make a sale at this late stage their only option is to make incentive offers, often costly, that entice the buyer to consider the salesperson’s proposal. In automobile sales this could be no cost financing or other incentives.
In Mr. Fullingim’s business, extensive research uncovers customers’ internal dialogue and the concerns about which they are unconsciously thinking that will ultimately lead to a purchase. For example, well before someone buys a car they may be thinking about their car’s age and are concerned with higher maintenance costs or safety issues. To influence the buyer’s thought process early in the sale, you must reinforce what they are already thinking by asking questions about these concerns or desires. This unconsciously gets your customer’s attention before they even realize that they are shopping. Shaping their criteria and steering them to your brand at this stage is easy and relatively inexpensive to do. If you do this correctly they may never even consider competitors’ products.
In your selling, conducting the extensive research to uncover what is important to the customer is the seller’s job. Before your sales call you should understand your customer’s industry to surmise their areas of concern. Then you should ask your customer questions about the areas you think may be problems for them, to determine if these are your customer’s specific concerns. This must be done early in the buyer’s mental shopping process to enable you to guide your customer’s decisions and criteria.
Match the risk and the call to action. Mr. Fullingim says, “To influence someone to take action, it has to be the correct action. You need to know how much risk they will take; the involvement they will agree to invest; and how they determine credibility.” Too often he sees efforts fail when the call to action is too risky or calls for too much involvement. One mismatch would be a salesperson asking an engineer to specify a new component into a design. The engineer would perceive it to be risky without extensive testing or adequate proof. The engineer would probably be unwilling to proceed since many view salespeople with mistrust. A more appropriate call to action would be for the salesperson to ask a field application engineer to explain the component performance in engineering terms with sample applications to an engineering decision maker. That would be less risky and require minimal involvement. A salesperson would have enough credibility to close on that request. More information on Whole Brain Marketingâ can be found at www. www.absciencemarketing.com.
Now that you know how your customers think about buying, you may be thinking differently about your selling. You’ll also be able to make your able customers more willing.
SELLING ACTION ITEM
At your next sales call with a prospect, ask when they plan to buy and where they are in their buying process. You’ll find out if you’ve connected with your customers early enough to influence their decisions.
Do you know what’s important to your customers so that they would want to buy your products and services?
What are the calls to action you could ask a customer to do? Are they appropriate in risk to the type of person you are talking with?
If you use a database manager like ACT! help yourself to follow up with customers. When a customer or prospect tells you that they will call you at a future date, put that date on the calendar. Some customers forget. Without the reminder, you’ll have no way to know that your customer was supposed to call you on that day.
I’m always looking for success stories and other tips from sales professionals. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas that have worked for you. To thank you, you’ll receive a free subscription to The Selling E-Letter™, a bi-monthly selling newsletter. ($50 value)
Mission: Best@Selling works with business and sales professionals to make THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD (selling!) easier and more effective. After all, how can you make a difference in the world if someone hasn’t bought something from you? And don’t forget about the ideas you’re selling every day.
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Maura Schreier-Fleming works with business and sales professionals to make it easier to sell more and be more productive at work. Her clients want to create long-term client relationships. They include Fujitsu, Fannie Mae and Dr Pepper/7UP. She has an M.S. in Textile Engineering from Georgia Tech and was Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. With over 20 years of sales experience, she teaches the art and science of selling with a unique hands-on perspective and a great deal of real-life insight. She is the author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results. Her business column ‘Selling Strategies’ appears in the Insurance Record magazine. You can contact her for seminars at company or trade association meetings at 972 380 0200 or info@BestatSelling.com
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*Written by Maura Schreier-Fleming, president of Best@Selling.
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