The art of selling has changed, especially if you’re a new sales rep or a new business opening its doors. Authenticity reigns supreme at this day and age. No longer can you hide behind your marketing and PR. People will find out about you through Google, a Yelp review, Tweet, etc… Fancy sales lingo and closing techniques are things of the past (although I’m sure some still work).
PEOPLE WANT TO BUY
No one wants to be sold. Marketers used to tell people what they want. Now it’s a discussion or it should be. As a marketer you should put all the information you have out there. That’s what we’re accustomed to now. We’re information junkies and we want to load up on the info before we buy. If we’re interested in buying, we’ll ask you a question. Please don’t shove it down my throat.
Think about this – not too long ago if you wanted to buy a car, you’d see / hear the ad, visit the dealership, talk to a sales rep, negotiate and away you went. Now, it takes 2-3 months for the average person to go through the process of buying a car. For me, I had a general idea of what I wanted, so I went online and searched through a ton of info (customer reviews, spec sheets, videos, price comparisons, etc…). When I was ready to BUY (noticed how I didn’t say ready to be sold) I went to the dealership for a test drive.
My wife and I were interested in a hybrid and the Toyota Prius came to mind (Yes, we’re THOSE people). We popped into the dealership, got hooked up with a sales rep (this part of the sales process is still the same) and off we went for a test drive. We liked the car, so the negotiation began. Instantly I could tell the sales guy was going by the book (aka script). He was relatively young, and he’d only be doing this for a year or so. I commend him for going by the book. Why? Because that’s what our managers tell us to do. “Here use this script and all of your dreams will come true.”
Unfortunately, those managers have been out-of-touch for a couple years on what people want because they haven’t been ‘pounding the pavement’ like the sales reps. And they’re out-of-touch with the new generation of buyers.
We’re intelligent beings (for the most part). We know when you’re reading from a script and when you’re uncomfortable. We can sense it. The easiest way to sound confident and to be confident about what you’re selling is to be you. Be your genuine self. How many people 30-years-old and younger have ever bought something from a telemarketer? My estimation is slim to none. We know you’re reading from a script and we know you only have one goal in mind…to SELL us something.
When I started out in the sales world (everyone is in sales in some way, btw), I used scripts and techniques that were passed down to me. I read countless books on the sales process and human psychology. I tested everything I learned from those books, managers, and scripts and what did I find? When I CONNECT with people and put them into a position to BUY. They buy ME first. Not the product or the service I’m peddling. THEY BUY ME. Then, they buy the product / service.
Why do they buy me? Because I’m genuine. I’ll tell you things most people keep as secrets. I’ll tell you things my managers tell me not to say. I’ll be as open and honest as I can, so you can make an intelligent buying decision. That’s my personality and that’s who I am.
Maybe you’ll buy me, maybe you won’t. Business is a series of rejections. If you stick with being yourself, you’ll find plenty of people who accept you. Those people are your fans. Continue pleasing your fans and you’ll be very successful and very fulfilled. Don’t lead with the product or service. Lead with what you know best…YOU.
PS. My wife and I ended up buying a different hybrid from a different sales rep. He didn’t use scripts, he told stories and gave us the information my wife and I requested to make an informed buying decision. I was a fan of his because he was real.