Do You Understand that Simplicity is the Business of Selling?

People – your prospects and customers – are quite literally overwhelmed by complexity.

The frustrations you’re experiencing selling today is ALL related to complexity.

  • Gatekeepers and Voice Mail keeping you OUT
  • Easily deleted emails
  • Appointments being harder to get and fewer in number
  • Busy Busy Busy – everyone is too busy

That’s actually very good news…

Because there is a solution: do you know what business you’re in?

Reducing Complexity.

The salesperson who can make things simple, who can remove complexity from their customer’s and prospect’s lives will prosper. So few are doing this.

Think on this…

Most businesses are a collection of things (people, products, technology, services, processes) that used to work but don’t anymore!

Ever wonder why so much seems to go wrong today in business? Why is it so difficult to get an order processed accurately or to have the service department communicate with the customer in a way that makes them satisfied? Why is marketing not able to get the messaging right or produce good leads for sales? Why are salespeople spending more and more time putting out fires instead of selling?

You have your answer.

Most businesses are a collection of things (people, products, technology, services, processes) that used to work but don’t anymore!

Something starts out simple but layer upon layer of new processes, technology, and information gets built up. We had a problem three years ago and added a new step to the system. Is that step relevant today? Oh, no-one knows. Just keep it then.

We have websites, Facebook, Twitter. We have new CRM software, new Fulfillment Processes. Just add it on. Soon you have a complex system that no-one really understands and in many cases doesn’t work.

95% of industries are trapped in this complexity. Your prospects are desperate for help, for solutions that clarify, simplify and declutter their lives.

 Apple figured this out

The solution is often taking away, not adding to.

What was Apple’s great “innovation” that rocketed them to stardom? Taking away, not adding to. iPods, for example, removed all the controls and put in one easy to operate wheel mouse. Their marketing was short and simple “ten thousand songs in your pocket.” Apple wasn’t the first MP3 player in the market but remains king. Why? They took a complex and confusing process of listening to music simple. From the device itself to getting the music digitally downloaded. Simple. Simple. Simple.

And they busted every possible sales result!

I know, you’re not Apple…

So what can a salesperson do to reduce complexity? Turns out quite a bit.

First, get your messaging right. Unless you’re selling in a very specific market and to innovators:

  • Stop selling innovation and trying to beat your competitors in a feature/bell & whistle war
  • Sell to the pain and frustration, not the gadget or solution
  • Streamline every presentation and touch point you have – talk less, listen more
  • Talk about advantages instead of features and even benefits – advantages are what your solutions do that are relevant to the goals of your customers

Second, do everything possible to make the buying experience painless and easy. Perhaps even enjoyable.

  • If the company’s quotes are hard to understand, write a summary presentation
  • Help the customer use your solution even if that means assisting your applications and installation people
  • Follow-up with customers after they buy (only 18% of salespeople do this)
  • Shield your prospects from your company’s internal friction points and dysfunction
  • Under promise and over deliver – set the correct and deliverable expectations

Wow, this sounds like work

Mark Twain once wrote a friend and started by apologizing for the length of the letter. He said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to write a short message.”

In other words – this is going to take work. It always takes work to think through what makes sense and how something can be made as simple as possible. It is easy to follow the path that everyone else does or to follow a system no matter out crazy or convoluted it is.

But your sales will explode.

Your customers will love you – meaning loyalty and referrals

It’s not hard – it just requires thinking and then doing.

Remember the 80/20 rule.

Make your presentations, your processes, and your selling simpler.

Find ways of applying your solutions in ways that makes your prospect’s lives and businesses simplier

Make complexity your enemy.

That is the business of Selling today.

What is the Most Effective Sales Messaging?

You’re in the business of persuasion and influencing. When it comes to those topics there is a whole lot of craziness.

I just went to Amazon. Did you know there are almost 70,000 books on persuasion and influencing? Not only is that overwhelming

But most of it is nonsense.

  • NLP
  • Mirroring
  • Closing techniques
  • Power words
  • The topics are endless.

Certainly they all have value. However while salespeople strain to learn all of these complex ideas, they are missing the big picture. What should be we be doing and saying if we want to successfully influence buyers?

What is the Occam razor that we can use to cut through the cutter?

Sales messages only come in three forms

  1. Features
  2. Benefits
  3. Advantages

Unfortunately most salespeople don’t know the difference between those three things.

I was at a presentation where the speaker become so enthusiastic about his demo that every jot and tittle got discussed. He even said, “if you were a bank you would love this feature” and then to my horror he demoed that feature. The customer was a doctor – not a bank.

Of course the report back to the Sales Manager was that we “hit it out of the park.” Oh, but did the customer buy? No, no he didn’t.

Features are the things your product and service can do.

Benefits are the tangle results that those features produce.

Advantages are the benefits and only those benefits both relevant and desired by the customer.

Take some time and think on the distinctions between features, benefits and advantages. It won’t do you any good or increase your commission checks if you just read these words and fail to act on the message. Advantages seem very close to benefits and benefits are derived from features. However there is a vast difference between them.

Customer’s get bored quickly. There is a small window of time for you to influence them. Remember they are tuned into WIIFM 24×7 – What’s In It For Me.

You probably have a feature rich solution that offers a wide range of benefits to all kinds of markets, businesses and people. However what is the advantage are those things to the person you’re sitting in-front of? Communicate that on every touch point – call, email, voice mail and presentation.

So what are you selling?

  • Do you know what the customer wants or needs?
  • Do you know want is relevant to the customer’s situation?
  • From the long list of feature and benefits of your offering have you whittled your messages down to what is advantageous for that particular buyer?

What it boils down to is knowing your customer and their situation. Period. Then figuring out how you can help.

Strip out everything else.

Please don’t misunderstand me. There are basics that you need to know. Skills that you need to have and be constantly improving

  • Listening
  • Rapport building
  • Use of language (I mean that is how we communicate isn’t it)
  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation
Selling Skill resource

The best resource on the basics of influence and persuasion

But those are the basics. After that you must craft Advantage Based Messaging. No more feature selling. No more benefit selling. Only relevant ideas that illustrate and inform your prospects to the advantages they will receive from your product and services.

If you need help in any of those areas I recommend “People Skills” by Robert Bolton. Instead of spending hours reading and studying “People Skills” distills influence down into three key areas: good communication, assertion skills and conflict resolution. An excellent resource everyone should read and apply to their selling.

Advantage Selling

Selling isn’t messaging the sizzle instead of the steak as one very famous author would have you believe. It isn’t about being a “Yes” man and agreeing to everything that comes out of the prospects mouth. Selling certainly isn’t about unrealistic expectations and boastful claims which can never really be accomplished. Leave that to marketing (just kidding all of you marketers out there).

Selling is, as one of my great mentor’s says

Finding out what the customer needs and then filling that need.

Which of course is the short version of messaging with Advantages instead of your product, your solution and all of the wizardry of a particular gadget.

Take the features and benefits of your solution and craft specific advantages for the client and the opportunity you’re selling into.

Make sure that above all else you understand your customer, their situation, and their objectives. This is much more than qualification. Qualification for most companies is about whether or not a prospect can buy. You want to learn if they will buy and if they will buy FROM YOU.

Listen more than you talk. Listen enough and the prospect will tell you how to make your solution relevant to them.

Cut out the clutter.

Message Advantages.

Your competitors aren’t doing that. It takes too much thought and effort. That is how you differentiate yourself and WIN.

 

How to Become Successful in Sales Training Coaching

So you want to start up your own sales training coaching program?

Before you answer that question you would do very well to acquaint yourself with everything that is involved with becoming a sales training coach.

How to Become Successful in Sales Training Coaching

How to Become Successful in Sales Training Coaching

For starters, sales training coaching is all about helping business owners establish their businesses and make their sales skyrocket. It involves a lot of consultations, sales management training sessions and product analysis to name but a few. Some small scale companies who are newly established find the services of a sales coach very useful as some of them don’t have sufficient knowledge about the trends in the economy or on proper closing techniques.

However, you cannot just become a sales coach if you don’t even have any experience in this area. You have to have a tremendous amount of knowledge in the field to succeed. Perhaps the hardest part of this type of work is establishing yourself as a reliable and reputable sales training coach. You can start small and offer your services to people you know or to friends who have their own companies. If they see that you are doing a good job and they like your input, they are bound to refer you to other people they know and as well as to other companies. This is the best strategy to expand your clientele.  At least it’s what worked for us.

Once you have established yourself as a reputable sales training coach, it won’t be hard to get clients. If you are good at what you’re doing then a lot of people will begin referring you to other people in the business sector.

Remember to always be accommodating and be reasonable with your terms. You need patience for this kind of job as it is not always easy to train first-time salespersons. Make sure you charge reasonably as well. If you charge by the hour, don’t try to lengthen the conversation by diverting to other topics, stick to their questions and stick with what you know.

We didn’t get to where we are overnight and neither will you.  Just be patient and willing to work very hard learning your craft and everything after that will work itself out.

For ideas on how to start your own sales training coaching you can always check out our program and go from there.