Did you know that selling is dead? That’s right, selling doesn’t work anymore.
The sales pitch has been replaced with something new, a by-product of social media and the current economic climate. Do you know what it is?
Selling still exists, if by “selling” you mean revenue generation. But most of the old sales strategies and tactics are as outdated as your Walkman. If you want to reach your customer, it’s time for a new approach.
Some of my good friends, like Anthony Iannarino, might have just fainted over the title of this blog post. If you’re still conscious…Read on, MacDuff!
If you are interested in influencing others, as a business leader, sales manager or business development executive, this post is for you. Today, selling anything – your ideas, your products, your company – requires a new focus on what persuasion really means.
Of course, as an elevator pitch guy, I try to have an opening that is unexpected – followed by a compelling value proposition.
What’s keeping you from hearing “YES” from your customer?
Instead of selling to people, consider that it is your job to teach them how to buy. The sales pitch, like the elevator pitch, has changed. Social media means that information is readily available – information about you, your products and your competitors. Google is the great equalizer. So, how can you differentiate yourself? How can you create a (wait for it… ok, here it is:) NEW elevator pitch – a message that fits for the digital age?
When you teach the customer how to buy, you create a connection that goes beyond a traditional “sales” role. You position your solution – and yourself – as a trusted advisor. If you want to sail past the competition, you have to be able to captivate the customer.
What’s the secret to captivating the customer in the selling process? Here’s what some have to say on the subject:[box type=”shadow”] “There is no such thing as an attention span. People have infinite attention if you are entertaining them.” – Jerry Seinfeld
“I don’t have a short attention span, I just…Oh, look! A Kitty!” – Anonymous
“The first eight seconds is the length of time the average human can concentrate on something and not lose some focus.” – Jeffrey Hayzlett, “The Mirror Test”[/box]
In order to captivate the customer, step 1 is: Stop Selling. That’s right: you have to stop selling, and begin teaching your customer how to buy. What information, if known by your customer, would change indifference to action?
“No, not interested” is the stepchild of “I don’t know” and “I don’t care”.
What you need to teach the customer, to change their perspective, is the best path to the solution you offer. Sales executives have to understand the enemy; your biggest competition is “Don’t Know” and “Don’t Care”. Fight disinterest with knowledge, and teach your customer how to buy what they need. Teaching customers how to buy is the service that changes the game.
What perspective helps you to capture the customers’ imagination? How have you overcome “don’t care” and beat disinterest in your business?
Image of “Shark Tank” pilfered from somewhere on the internet