I have been a fan of Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson for a very long time – ever since reading their book ‘The Challenger Sale‘ – It’s a great read and will be of special interest to anyone who wants to build a distinguished (yes, I use that word deliberately) and productive sales team.
In fact, I base much of my evolving thinking on what they write and their thoughts about how the sales industry is moving, and how best the sales profession can respond to those changes.
That’s why I was delighted to get this article this morning called The Worst Question a Sales Person Can Ask…if you mouse over the link you can read the full article for yourself.
The bit that was of greatest interest was towards the end of the article.
To summarise, they found that when considering customer loyalty and all the elements that could impact upon such an important factor, that the customer attributed over 50% to how much they felt they benefited from the ‘sales experience’.
They concluded that what you sell isn’t nearly as important as how you sell.
Now some of you many implicitly have known that to be true, but it’s always good to see it supported by valid and extensive research (over 5000 business customer were surveyed)
Whilst I recommend highly that you read the full report – it will take you 5 mins – or if like me you put it in a ‘special file’ to read later, yes, you know, the one that you will delete over Christmas when you clean down your hard drive… if that’s the case then let me give you two quick snippets:
Specifically ”customers reward suppliers who offer unique and valuable perspectives on the market” and ”educate them on new issues and outcomes”
Even more startling is this:
”They (customers) perceived very little difference between suppliers on things like brand, product or price”
So my questions to you are:
How are you training your sales team?
Are you training them to sell the benefits, sell the price and close, or are you training them to educate and deliver new perspectives and insights to the customer before they start to sell?
Let me give you an example – Too many times I get asked to help sales team overcome pricing objections – I have to explain that if price is the only objection then it’s not help handling price objections that the sales team really needs…and this simply highlights the points that Dixon and Adamson make in their article, that educating the buyer is a must, as without that all else will fail.
Historically, suppliers were almost always the person in the room who was the most knowledgeable about their market, that is often not the truth these days. Buyers have a vast resource at their finger tips to get genned up on any market in a matter of hours…So, unless the sales person brings something to the table that adds to, challenges, causes the buyer to question, expand, refine his thinking then the sales person has just nicked time off of a busy buyer – and that’s a crime.
Read the article – mouse here – you won’t regret it.
0779 002 1885