Everyone Sells: It’s Just About How We Sell.

26 Aug

The sales process has changed since my first sales job in the 1980s. My customers were busy, but they would make time to sit down and listen to my sales pitch and give me feedback how my product and service may or may not meet their needs. They didn’t have a Blackberry beeping and ringing, emails popping up, or virtual meetings with colleagues around the world. I had their attention the entire time they committed to when I set my appointment with them. Bottom line, my customer’s time and attention was not pulled in a million directions and technology had not made them accessible 24/7. No cell phone. No iPhone. No Internet. No email.

In 2012, customers no longer have time for me to come to their office. We are more likely to talk by phone or video conferencing. And, I know that even when they’re talking to me, their Blackberry is beeping, vibrating, and indicating that their next meeting is in 15-minutes. Their “family/personal time” takes a greater priority. They are less likely to accept an invitation to go to ballgame after or play golf on a Sunday. Most importantly, they won’t take time to read a brochure, magazine article, or email that is longer than 4 lines on their smartphone.

Now, I have to do my homework long before I meet with my prospective client. They don’t have time to explain their business to me; instead, I need to utilize the Internet, industry journals, discussion forums, and my association memberships to learn as much as possible about my client. I know that I can’t afford to waste my time or theirs if my product is of no use to them. And, I know that if they are doing business with my competitor, I better be able to offer a reason for them to consider change.

Finally, time and shortened attention spans require me to deliver a “60-second elevator pitch.” My message must include the features and benefits of my product, and should be clear, concise, and prompt further interest. My demos/presentation must be entertaining as well as informative. Moreover, I must engage with them through social media platforms and remain visible at every opportunity. And, I know that “selling” is not going to happen in a tradeshow booth…it’s a strategic process. Making a successful sale is invigorating. Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with clients is rewarding.

Every day we all sell something. Whether we’re selling a product, service, idea, or new business paradigm, everyone sells. Make your sales effort work!


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