As Sellers we all spend time continuing our education and practicing our craft; at least if we want to stay relevant and current in our industry and for our clients. And there are countless methodologies for selling out there:
- Solutions Selling
- Counselor Selling
- The Challenger Sale
- Insight Selling
- Sandler Selling System
- The list goes on.
What I think many forget is that for any of these methodologies to “work” we as sellers have to first make a connection. And by connection I am not talking just a LinkedIn connection. I am speaking of an emotional connection. (This can be done on LinkedIn, it just takes more work than to say, “Let’s connect on LinkedIn”.)
I have been a seller in what is called the complex sell for a long time. This is defined as a sales cycle that is longer than six months. And as I have worked through the relationship with the users, procurement, and executives. I have observed that we seemed to get further with some than others. By further I mean more open discovery and disclosure, more relevant conversation to the problems and solutions. And then I saw this remark by David Tovey on a blog post
“You need to know that as buyers we choose who we allow to understand us.”
Did you hear that? It is crucial that we connect with our potential customers first, before we start the “process”. They can see and feel a process. What they need to feel is how deeply we care. How deeply we care about:
- Their outcome
- Their concerns
- Their needs
Until they know how much we care (and it has been said before) they don’t care how much we know.
If you are like me when I started this journey, I thought I was connecting. I was asking questions, I was showing interest and yet there was sometimes a disconnect. What was it? Let me suggest some ways to connect with your buyers:
- Slow down and get present. We all hurried and rushed to get “here”. Let’s now be “here”. (Thanks Mark Mussleman for that phrase)
- Let’s be clear about your intention to serve the buyer. If your intention is to make the sale they will “feel” that. And quite frankly the buyer wants help. But, they want to know that they are at least as important as your commission check.
- It seems simple and it is, when we remember; make eye contact and genuinely smile.
- Listen in order to understand them, not just to wait until you can pitch to them.
- Build intimacy, open the kimono a bit. We don’t need to share everything. And, people want to know you. Vulnerability is not a bad thing.
By all means have a sales process. It helps guide the sale. AND make sure you take the first step to connect with the buyer.
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