“Sell the way you like to buy” is the answer I get in my workshops when I ask the attendees, “What is the best way to sell someone?”
My response is, “Are you saying people should buy the way you buy?”
They answer, “No not really. What we mean is, we should sell to people in ways we would want someone to sell to us.” I ask, “Does that mean other people are motivated in the same way you are? Do they want to get the same results as you? Are they thinking they have the same problem as you?
Do they want to accomplish a goal or avoid a hassle in the same way you want to?”
Then they get the message, and I make my point. “So, buying the way you like to buy works for you, but not for other people. Isn’t that right?”
“Well, if you put it that way, I guess you are right,” is their reply.
I do not know about you, but I do not like being sold.
Just hearing the words rubs me the wrong way. If I see the salesperson coming towards me, I want to turn around and go in the other direction.
I like to buy the way I like to buy. But how many salespeople know how to find out how someone wants to buy?
Do they know which questions to ask? Do they know that xv
what is not said is just as important as what is said? Do they know the specific trigger words that motivate the customer to action? Do they know how to recognize if that person is motivated by the stick or the carrot? Do they understand how the buyer makes a decision?
“Selling the way your customer wants to buy… Not the way you like to sell” is what you will discover in this breakthrough book.
Consultative selling made its appearance in the 1970’s and, since then, has gained popularity in just about every industry and service. It has become the de facto way we sell in today’s market.
What has changed since the introduction of consultative selling? What are the tools, techniques, and skills needed for a salesperson to become a top consultative sales performer?
What are the top 20% of salespeople doing differently than the 80% that barely make quota, if at all?
I faced the same questions in my role as a senior sales executive. I discovered our salesperson’s job description did not match what salespeople actually do! Worse yet, no sales system had what was needed in respect to training or techniques in one complete methodology. So I created one
– not because of a brainstorm, but out of necessity.
Sales Mapping “The process of connecting the dots and winning customers for life”® workshops were birthed, xvi
after many years of combining the best business processes with highly effective peak performance techniques. This book is based on these workshops to give you, the reader, the latest information on what works and what does not work in a consultative selling world.
This book describes how to get the same results that the best salespeople get year after year. What they do to achieve success was not taught or shown anywhere, until now.
Here is what is in it for you!
If you take the techniques found in this book and apply them, I promise you that you will make more money, have more fun and improve all of your relationships. A bold promise for sure, but I expect nothing but the best for you.
You will also get me as your personal coach, giving you free tips throughout the year on my website:
It is best to read this book from beginning to end. Once you have done that, you can then refer back to individual chapters to sharpen your skills.
Please enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.
~ CHAPTER ONE ~
Top 5 Sales Myths
Let’s face it – selling has changed! The formula we have used for selling is no longer effective, as it has became predictable to businesses and consumers. The new-age breed will roll their eyes as the salesperson begins their close, then tries their closing again. People do not resist –
they resent. Here are some hard facts:
➥ Order taking has been replaced by the Internet.
➥ The hard close has been replaced by the strong
➥ The willingness to buy lunch has been replaced by the ability to solve customer problems.
➥ Many companies report their sales force ability to meet quota is declining and is at 49% or less.
➥ 80% of the total sales revenue is coming from
20% of the sales force. Some companies say it is
a 90%-10% split.
Today, we embrace a consultative type of selling, introduced in the 1970’s, which promotes a better understanding of the dynamics of how to sell.
What was missing, until now, is the next generation of consultative selling for the 21st century… Sales Mapping, which fills this void.
The old ways of selling can be best described by the following Five Myths:
Sales Myth Number 1
“You Think You Sell ?”
When was the last time you bought something because the salesperson sold you?
How many times did you buy from a telemarketer who called your house? I bet if you had caller ID, you didn’t even answer the phone.
How many presentations have you been at, listening to a salesperson with way too many Microsoft® PowerPoint slides and way too many words? Did they tell you their service or product is the solution you need, when they clearly did not have a clue about the problem? Worse yet, were they boring? Did they convince you? Did they sell you?
Did you buy?
How many contracts have you signed because the
salesperson bought you lunch or dinner? Did another supplier have a better answer to your needs at a lower price?
“Everyone sells” is what more and more CEOs are
proclaiming. They realize that the person who answers the phone is just as important as the sales staff, when it come to selling the customer. In fact, many employees within the organization are finding themselves pressed into meeting with prospective buyers or existing customers.
The truth is, business and consumer buyers:
➥ Realize they have a problem.
➥ Know what is required to solve it.
➥ Do their own research. (The Internet is a
tremendous source of information.)
➥ Select a service or product that will give
them the results they expect.
Buyers are already sold… by their selves!
Sales Myth Number 2
“Selling is an Art”
Ask a salesperson to follow a procedure, write a report, or update the sales system, and they will tell you they do not have time. They’ll tell you, “Sales is an art.”
Is sales a process or is it something created for each sale?
Is it okay to occasionally update the Sales Force System? Is it really necessary to update the Customer Relation Management system? Or do you get a free pass? Do you really need to follow the procedure that requires a follow-up letter going out within 24 hours, or can you skip it because . . . well, you are not in the mood?
I bet you would get upset if your commission check was late because someone decided not to follow the procedures.
What if the accountant said: “Well, is it really necessary to enter this information into the commission system today?
Do I really need to check to see if the correct amount was entered? After all, accounting is an Art.”
If you believe any aspect of business is simply an “Art”, just ask the Enron CFO if that works?
What is the purpose of a procedure? It’s not having to reinvent the wheel each time, but most important it is: Procedures produce
predictable and repeatable results.
Sales is a series of processes or procedures comprised of generating a lead, qualifying a lead, interviewing the client, preparing a proposal, developing a price, signing a contract, delivering the product or service, and managing the account.
The Undocumented Tragedy
The first areas to look to for change are within your own sales processes:
✔ Are your procedures current?
✔ Do your procedures produce the results
✔ Are all procedures documented?
✔ Is the staff trained in their use?
✔ Do you have metrics?
✔ Do you monitor the implementation
of your procedures?
We have no recognized standards in sales, but we have plenty of sales models to choose from.
Many sales forces use all of them, some of them, or some hybrid of them. Unfortunately, allowing the sales force to follow their own model creates a considerable disparity of which model is working best.
Let’s examine some of the models that have been
developed along the way and that sales trainers have been delivering. Which ones are you using?
SALES SCRIPTS MODEL
This model contains instructions on not only what
salespeople should say, but also what they should do while saying it. For example: the salesman points to the item that he is referring to.
The sales script is divided into four steps:
In the approach, the salesperson makes no mention
of the product. Instead, he explains that he wants www.unleashingthepowerofconsultativeselling.com
to help the business person find ways to increase
profit; he wants, in effect, to act as a consultant.
In the demonstration, the salesperson carefully leads the customer up to the point of a purchase.
In the proposition, the salesperson describes the
product for the first time and explains how it would help the customer solve business problems. The
goal of this stage is to schedule a demonstration of the product. Once the proposition is clear, and the salesperson feels sure the prospect realizes the value of the product and the moment seems right, he
attempts to close.
This is the toughest part of the sale. The sales script offers a number of techniques for closing, including the following:
■ Do not ask for an order. Take for granted that
the customer will buy.
■ Say to him “Mr. Blank, what color shall I make
it?” or “How soon do you want delivery?”
■ Take out your order blank; fill it out and hand
him your pen saying, “Just sign where I have
made the cross.”
■ If he objects, find out why.
■ Respond to his objections and again prepare
him for a signature.
■ Make the prospect feel that he is buying
because of his own good judgment.
■ Find out the real reason why he resisted and,
chances are, it is the very reason why he
■ Concentrate your whole force on one good,
■ Appeal to judgment; get him to acknowledge
that what you say is true, then;
■ Hand the pen to him in a matter-of-fact way
and keep on with what you were saying.
This will make signing the logical and obvious
thing to do.
The sales script requires exerting pressure in a forceful, yet subliminal, manner. The key is to prevent a prospect from feeling manipulated.
Avoid giving the impression to the merchant that
you are trying to force him to buy....
No person likes to feel he is being sold.
At the same time, it is important for the salesperson to exude confidence and honesty.
Over the years, the sales script underwent frequent revisions. Not long after the method was introduced, a Book of Arguments, containing a catalog of answers to frequently asked questions, supplemented it.
Companies also produced a more formal Sales Manual that combined the two. The Manual reached its maximum size at nearly 200 pages. Eventually, it was condensed, so it would be become easier for sales representatives to master.
A later edition was a booklet of 56 pages.
Changes to the sales manual were regarded like alter-ations in the product—both part of an effort to constantly improve and keep up with shifting customer needs.
E. St. Elmo Lewis, an employee at Burroughs, who later became head of advertising, called the sales manual, “one of the fruits of the scientific attitude towards the problem of gaining greatest efficiency in selling goods.”
John Patterson, a past President of NCR, developed the
“Sales Script” model in 1887 and also introduced the sales primer for selling cash registers. This is not a typo – 1887!
Patterson has been given credit for pioneering professional sales representatives.
CLOSING SALES MODEL
The 1950’s introduced this model, which concentrated on the product being heavily emphasized.
The key elements defining the Closing Sale Model are:
✗ Presentation Skills
✗ Trial Closing
✗ Overcoming Objections
✗ Final Close
This model is still in use today, usually in high-pressure sales.
PRODUCT/SERVICE PUSHING THROUGH
PERSONALITY, PERSISTENCE AND PRICE
➲ The salesperson is tenacious, persistent and usually has a low-cost item and works on a numbers game.
➲ The natural born salesperson enjoys interfacing with people and usually has an engaging personality.
RELATIONSHIP SALES MODEL
➲ The salesperson builds a relationship, over time, with repeated visits.
➲ The buyer and seller get to know each other on a personal and professional level.
PROBLEM-SOLVING SALES MODEL (1960’s)
➲ Open-ended questions - Role-playing is used with students to get them to understand how to get
clients or prospects to talk about the things that are important to them.
➲ Closed-ended questions - Closed-ended questions
require a yes or no response.
➲ Listening skills is a key component.
➲ The salesperson takes the information and then
VALUE ADD SALES MODEL (appeared in late 1960’s).
Price objections raised by the “Problem-Solving Sales Model” can be countered by adding additional services. In this way, adding these services to the base product/service gives a perception of the value received versus the price.
CONSULTATIVE SALES MODEL (surfaced in early 1970’s)
➲ Determines how to lower the clients costs and/or
➲ Determines how to increase the client’s revenues The company requires a depth of understanding of their clients’ business, as well as a solid track record in delivering proven results. Start-ups find it difficult to compete in this type of sales model.
This model became the buzzword used by salespeople – not in creating a legal entity, but in building a joint plan for creating an opportunity. The sale is conducted at the highest level of the company and an output is a business plan targeted at a niche within the clients’ market. The term 10
partnering became highly overused and misused. Clients and prospects soon tired of hearing the word.
TEAM SELLING MODEL
Though not new, the Team Selling Model became increas-ingly more integrated into the sales model. The salesperson in this model must coordinate all of the activities within the organization and external to the organization, in order to win the business.
COMPLEX SALES MODEL
✗ Large ticket sales
✗ Multiple decision makers
✗ Extensive coordination, both internal and external
✗ Long lead times
The role of the salesperson involves taking on a strategic role in developing win themes, internal politics, competitor analysis, and legislation, as examples.
Review the different models you are using. Are you getting the results you expect? If you are leading a sales team, what model does your team use? Or, are they all using different ones?
Sales is not an art ... it is a process!
Sales Myth Number 3
“Salespeople who are
‘Good Talkers’ with a ‘Great Pitch’
win the most”
Place a salesperson in a selling situation and they are set to give you their “Pitch”. In fact, I have heard prospects tell a salesperson, “Go ahead, give me your best “Pitch”. The reality is that the “Pitch” works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Using a metaphor of baseball, imagine the role
between a pitcher, catcher and batter, as they plan and play the game.
The catcher has studied each of the opposing
batters and understands which pitch will work and
which one will not.
He sends non-verbal signals to the pitcher, believing they will be the most effective.
The pitcher’s role is to accept the non-verbal signal and deliver the pitch across the plate.
The batter, of course, is also receiving a set of non-verbal signals from the manager, letting him know
what kind of hit is suitable in this situation.
➣ What if the catcher sends a non-verbal signal for a curve ball and the pitcher throws a fastball?
➣ What if the catcher sends another non-verbal signal for a change-up and the pitcher throws a fastball?
➣ What if the catcher sends another non-verbal signal for a slider and the pitcher throws a fastball?
The pitcher, in this example, ignored the non-verbal signals, because this pitcher was not aware of them.
Will this pitcher succeed? Because baseball is a
numbers’ game, success will come some times; but,
over time, this pitcher will lose more games than he will win!
What if the manger sends a non-verbal signal for a bunt and the batter ignores the signal and continues to take full swings and strikes out? How long do you think the batter will have a job if he keeps on ignoring the non-verbal signals?
What do the salesperson and pitcher have in common? One throws a baseball across the plate, while the other uses words to get across the plate.
How many salespeople did you recognize through this example? Are you one of them? The ones with one great pitch will win once in a while but, over time, their record will show more losses.
Salespeople can talk
themselves right out of the sale.
Sales Myth Number 4
“Selling is Close, Close, and Close”
Say “Used Car Salesman” out loud and:
What images do you see?
What words do you hear?
Or, what feelings do you feel?
I am not slamming the car-selling profession. I have friends in the auto sales industry, who have high standards, are very ethical, and are good salespeople. However, a few bad apples make it tough for the rest.
The Gallup Organization took a poll in 2000 asking this question: “Please tell us how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields?” Four of the top trusted categories chosen were:
Four of the lowest rated were:
2. Newspaper Reporters
3. Insurance Salesmen
4. Advertising Executives
The lowest was ( you guessed it): Used-Car Salesmen.
Gallup has been taking this survey for over 20 years and, each time, used-car salesmen ranked on the very bottom of the list.
Do some used-car salespeople still practice hard-closing techniques today? I’d like to share a personal story to help illustrate the answer.
My teenage son, Sean, was ready to buy his first car. He had been saving his allowance for years and working in the summer to earn enough money to buy a car. The deal his mother and I made with him was that we would match his savings and earnings to help him get the vehicle of his dreams – a Jeep Cherokee or a Toyota 4-Runner.
He wanted to buy one from a used-car lot and I thought he should buy from a private party. He insisted he was right, so I said, “Okay, let’s go look this weekend.” Saturday morning came around and my son was eagerly anticipating finding his SUV.
We went to the part of our town where the used-car lots are located. You know the ones I am talking about – every city has them. The lots are on dirt, some are paved, and they usually have the little flags on lines all around the front. The signs say, “WE DO ALL OUR OWN FINANCING,” “SWEET DEALS,”
“NO MONEY DOWN,” and “NO OFFER REFUSED.”
These are the kind of places you drive by, but do not really want to stop at, because you dread the inevitable hard sales pitch. Well, I figured there was no better teacher than experience as we arrived at the used-car lot centers of higher education.
We stopped to look at a Jeep that my son spotted from the road. He rushed over with anticipation, as he knew he had found The One. Of course, this being the first lot we had stopped at, I guessed that this was not the case. Smiles from this young, ripe little puppy were a dead give-away as the salesperson approached, eating a sandwich. “Hey, how are you all doing?” He said. “Fine,” I answered, “My son is looking for his first car. “He replied, “I kind of guessed that as I saw the two of you coming into the lot.”
My son and I looked inside the car that had caught his eye and it was filthy. Sean began to ask some questions and the salesperson answered with his canned responses.
He asked if we would like to start it up. My son said,
“Yes!” He took the key and tried, but the engine made a slow painful whine. Our salesperson remarked, “It has been sitting for a while. All we need to do is jump the battery and she will start right up.”
My son asked for the price, which was more than he could afford. While the salesperson went to get his jumper cables, I looked at Sean and asked him, “What do you think?” Reluctantly, he answered, “Dad, I like the model of 16
the car but it is dirty, it doesn’t start and it costs more than I have. I concurred, “Yes this is true.” He then said, “Let’s go to the next lot”. I answered, “No problem, let’s go.” I realized he was beginning to understand. You see, telling him was not the key – the experience was, because he was inexperienced.
We left the lot and visited many more. He heard every close you can imagine, including the ever popular “Let me go talk to my manager about getting you a better price.” The salespeople attempted an appeal to me and I would say,
“He is your customer, not me.”
Then it came. “Sean,” the salesperson said, “I have three words for you: ‘Easy monthly payments’.”
Yes folks, it had come full circle. The script from the Gone Fishin’ movie was alive and well. Only thing he forgot was to give him a pen first.
Sean and I came home that Saturday afternoon tired, hungry and educated. Sean walked in the door and my wife asked, “How did it go?” I had already called her from my cell phone to relay the education and his disappointment.
Sean described his day and recounted, in detail, the cars, the prices, and the different pitches.
He then turned to me and said, “Dad you were right; let’s look in the paper and find the exact SUV that I want.” Relieved, I answered, “Son, you have learned some life-long valuable lessons today and I’m proud of you.”
Now, this is not the end of my story in Sean’s quest for buying the car of his dreams.
After researching for the year and model SUV he wanted, he concluded that he would need more money. He decided that another summer working, combined with the matching funds from me and his mother, would generate enough money for his SUV.
Every night, as it got closer to the end of summer, Sean was searching for his SUV. He narrowed it down to a Toyota 4-Runner and found the one he wanted. A call to the seller confirmed the condition, price, etc. Only then, did he come to his Mom