The world of sales isn’t what it used to be anymore. While the customer and salesperson relationship still matters, the biggest change is that customers involve salespeople much later in the sales cycle. In this current internet age with digital ecommerce and access to tons of information, customers are more educated on what they’re doing and asking, and as a result they don’t need to involve salespeople to the same degree as they did before. But this should not discourage us. These changes give us the opportunity to become even better salespeople and consultative sellers.
But how do we become better salespeople when customers don’t want us there?
It’s not just about selling; it’s about creating strong relationships with our customers so that we become a trusted voice that they want to involve.
For great salespeople to succeed today, they have to do what great brands do in these 7 principles:
1. Start from within. Great brands start from within. Great salespeople need to know that the first step to their success is to help build their company from within through market insights, product development, marketing strategy, and customer service. Salespeople can serve as the “customer voice” within their companies by leveraging their insights of the customer. This will provide great value for the development and improvement of the company’s offerings.
2. Provide value, not products. Great brands don’t sell products or services; they sell ideas, stories, and values. When you think of Volvo, you’re not just buying a car; you’re buying peace of mind. Like them, salespeople shouldn’t try to sell material items or services, they should be providing value. Customers want more than just the features and benefits of stuff; they want values and experiences like peace of mind and confidence. Values are more attractive to customers than just features. Appeal to them with emotion and story-telling, and you’ll be able to better connect with them and sell to them.
3. Innovate, don’t imitate. Great brands don’t follow trends or even the directions that their customers are taking, great brands are leaders. And, like them, great salespeople are leaders who offer their customers new perspectives and push their thinking. They challenge the customer to think differently and teach them something new and valuable.
4. Find your tribe. Great brands don’t chase customers because they know that the right ones will find them. Brands will attract the customers that share the same values and interests, and those customers will become their loyal following. Great salespeople do the same by being selective of prospects. It’s better to engage with fewer customers and develop deeper relationships with them instead of contacting many customers who are less engaged. It’s more effective to cultivate sustainable customer relationships that are a good fit with your company than it is to close as many short-term deals as possible.
5. Sweat the small stuff. Great brands think of every little thing for their customers to make every experience with them worthwhile. Great salespeople should too. Examine all the different touchpoints and find opportunities to infuse them with your company’s key values, and you will have created unique brand experiences for your customers. These experiences will help strengthen your brand, differentiate it amongst the competition, and allow you to connect with your customers.
6. Make a positive impact. Great brands create positive impacts just by how they are designed and ran. Great salespeople should do the same by looking for ways to help their clients, not just to make a sale. Improve the customer’s situation, regardless of the potential of a sale, and you’re creating a genuine relationship with the customer that’s more valuable than one sale.
7. Convince with your commitment. Great brands are consistent and committed to their values. Great salespeople are committed to their company and its values. Many salespeople feel pressured to sell at any cost or discount. The great ones know the value of what they’re selling and skillfully convince their customers of it as well.
Great brands put their customers at the heart of everything they do. Just like great brands, great salespeople who follow these 7 principles will ultimately develop deep and mutually beneficial relationships with their customers. And you will see that deeper customer relationships will produce better long-term success than viewing customers as short-term sales opportunities.
Despite all the changes in the sales industry today, one thing remains the same: Put the customer at the center of everything you do and success will undoubtedly follow.
In this changing industry, help your sales team to succeed with Change Connect. With experienced and expert guidance, we can help you to implement change for your business and bring efficiency to your salesforce.