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Priorities ... A Sales Lesson


If you are in any position of authority you will, from time to time, get calls from salespeople who are going to save you <fill in the blank> … it could be money, time, resources etc.

They quickly move to the “value” statements, supported by exclamations such as, “Obviously you want to save money, right?”

Here is the thing …

I am a business owner and yes (duh) I do not enjoy spending any more money than I need to.  However, I have my priorities and it is highly likely that my business needs are not going to be aligned with what you are selling right at the point that you choose to call and disturb my day.

So … pointers for sales people.

1.  If you have a business solution that might be of interest to me then first you need to get my attention. Insulting my intelligence is NOT likely going to work.

2.  The way that you will get my attention is by understanding my priorities and whether your solution is even likely to be of interest in the foreseeable future.

3.  The “discovery process” (also known as consultative selling) requires that you listen a whole lot more than you talk.

4.  You are never going to sell me on the phone … so if you actually get to have a conversation AND can get my attention then your goal should be to get a meeting.

5.  At the meeting you will again be trying to lead me to a place you want me to go.  That requires listening carefully and speaking strategically.  It means being truly interested in my business issues and able to find ways that your solution brings value.

6.  This process does not in itself necessarily bring the sale, but it does move me through the sales funnel… and at some point I MIGHT become a real prospect.

7.  I become a real prospect the day that your solution and my priorities line up!

The take-aways:

Sales is a process NOT an event.

Selling is more about listening than about talking.

Buyers generally sell themselves, you just facilitate the process.

If you ignore the buyer’s priorities you kill your sale at the outset.

This is why you need to have a FULL sales funnel, because your sales prospects will be at different stages in the sales process … and many will drop off.  If you have all your eggs in one (or even too few) basket(s) you are very likely going to fail.

“If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”  Zig Ziglar