There are a lot of buzz words in sales that, for the most part, seem to be the “answers” to making sales. Come on, you know them… right? You must be able to            relationships. The customer has to see the            in your product or service. The prospect must            you before they buy from you.            is everything.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what I’m talking about. The words are Build, Value, Trust, and Attitude. Of course there are more factors to great selling, but this is the cornerstone. But if we all know this, then how come we’re not all making a fortune as salespeople? The truth is, very few people study the elements of these key factors, and even fewer people know how to implement all of them into your daily routine. So here’s a short, and by no means exhuastive, breakdown of what it means to master these principles.

1. Building Relationships
Ever heard the expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well, neither are your business relationships. Truth is, nothing with stability is built in a day, week, or even a month. Building anything takes time and knowledge, and in this case knowledge about your prospect. Now Webster’s dictionary definition of Build is “to establish, increase, or strengthen.” The problem is not enough people do the latter two words of that definition. For newer salespeople, realize those senior sales reps didn’t do it over night. More seasoned folks should also realize, especially when business might be down, that relationship maintenance is a part of a “builders” scope of work. The question is, are you doing enough to increase and strengthen existing relationships?

2. Value
If we know value is the key to making a customer move, then why are we losing sales to price? Is it because maybe what’s valuable in your mind means nothing to the customer? What I have found is value is a combination of elements.

  • Product/service exceeds expectations
  • The company exceeds expectations
  • The salesperson not only exceeds expectations but SHATTERS the perception of a typical sales person.

A lot of times, your “value” proposition is the complete opposite of what the customer’s idea of value is. You see “largest company in the region” they see “probably has low customer service” You see “locally owned and operated” they see “mom and pop store lacking stability” You see “high performance” they see “unsafe and complicated.” There usually is an event or prior experience that molds the way a customer views a company or product. It’s your job to ask as many questions SMART questions about them as needed in order to uncover their true buying criteria. If you can do that, you WILL shatter the customer’s perception of the typical sales person, and change it to a person of VALUE.

3. Trust
Tell the truth. That’s easy, it starts with always telling the truth. But how do you get someone to trust you in a short amount of time, such as the time allotted in an appointment? There are several useful ways:

  • Testimonials
  • Seeing risks from the buyers eyes
  • Friendliness

All of the above are important, but I have found that one phrase, especially when I was new to sales, helped elevate my trust factor. It was “Now let me just rephrase what you’re saying and correct me if I’m off the mark”, and then I would summarize the customer’s desired outcomes, concerns, challenges, whatever. This did two things; first it showed that I truly cared about understanding their situation and second, it opened the door to actually not being right and allowing the customer to explain their position and reveal more buying motives. Remember, your intent always shows. If your intent is to just make a sale, the customer will see it. If your intent is to help the customer achieve a dream, they will see that as well.

4. Attitude
There are 3 basic principles have learned in my relatively short time in the business world.

  • You choose your attitude every day, and it’s a daily maintenance program.
  • Your attitude is contagious, meaning you have the ability to spread it. This includes not participating in doom and gloom talk in office environments.
  • You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and if you’re bringing up the average you may be in the wrong group.

Now none of this is new. You can go to the used book store and find 100 books on “positive attitude.” In fact it’s been written about ad nauseam. But what are you doing to apply it daily, and more importantly, help others prosper from it as well. It’s so easy to get caught up in office drama, why does this always happen to me, the sky is falling talk that is all around us. The key is to master your ability to put life into perspective.

Posted in Ray's Rules by Tony Leone on April 26, 2010.

  1. Formidable points, all of vital importance. I know them all, I have them stored somewhere in my brain but I don’t use them. I will make a tiny cheat list and place it under my monitor.

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