Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Selling: It Really is Simple

For over a year now, maybe longer, I have been following this small sales training firm, Caskey, in Indianapolis. Bill Caskey and Brian Neal present great stuff and I encourage everyone in sales to subscribe to their "Advanced Selling Podcast".

Check out "High Intent" and "Detachment" two of my favorites.

I have copied and re-posted a pretty good post - enjoy.

Complicated Strategy Not As Good As Simple Sales Advice

by Bill Caskey on March 30, 2009

As sales trainers, we get invited in to companies to help them solve some pretty complex issues. Yet, often, the answer to their sales frustration is quite simple.

I was watching the Michigan State ‘upset’ of Louisville last weekend. The camera / mic caught a frustrated Rick Pitino (Louisville head coach) as he was watching his team implode.

Despite all the complicated game plans and strategies I’m sure he implemented, his admonition to his players at that point in the game was, “Stop dribbling. Pass the ball!!!”

As an avid basketball observer that is one of the things that drives me crazy–a player dribbling but going nowhere.
Sales Is Simple Too, If We Let It Be

But in sales and sales training, the admonition we have for our clients gets very simple, too. Here are three instructions I would shout if they had their head phones in during a sales call.

1. Shut up and listen. Stop talking. Stop pontificating. Stop sharing all of your wonderful opinions of how great your service is. (OF COURSE YOU THINK IT’S GREAT–YOU’RE SELLING IT!)

2. Ask a follow-up question. Amazing too me how few questions sales people ask and how even more rarely they ask a follow up question after the prospect has answered the first. Think about how absurd it is for someone to answer a complex question and give you ALL of the relevant information on the first try.

3. Give some space. After someone answers a question, give it some space. Don’t jump right in and think you have to talk. This is an in-law to Shut up and Listen, but a little different in that it’s about “giving space.” In fact, that’s what our entire philosophy is built on ’space for the prospect to sell you on why he needs you.’ As long as you’re talking, you’re taking up space–not making it available for your prospect.

So, keep things simple–never as complex as they need be. And watch your sales effectiveness jump a notch or two.

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