The profession of selling goods to consumers is considered one of the hardest easy jobs that one can call a career. Goods and services need to be moved in order for a company to profit, and you’re responsible for it.
So over time, if you’ve been in the occupation long enough, what you’ve refined is a specific sales method, a system which funnels the process of selling something to someone, to the end buyer successfully. What’s overlooked however is how the landscape of the selling process has completely changed, it’s redefined itself.
It’s now radically different from the traditional ABC (Always Be Closing) process which involved moving out goods because of the sheer persistence and persuasion of the salesperson. What you now need to do is alter yourself to meet the new marketplace.
There’s been a visible shift, a sea of change in the way that people, your customers now shop for things and how they buy things. So what’s needed is a complete transformation on your behalf on how you sell to them. This is the new and improved modern sales model.
A Shift In Power To The Consumer
A sales rep just a few decades ago, when it came to the sales process, the salesperson generally held the upper hand, they owned and controlled the entire sales cycle from start to close.
If the prospect happened to need a reference of some sort, the salesperson provided one. If the prospect needed to work out a pricing model, then the salesperson offered that. If the prospect ever wanted to talk to the owner of the company, they needed you, the salesperson.
So what happened was information when qualifying the prospect was extracted in exchange for these requests made by them, which took complete advantage of the information asymmetry.
But now, that leverage has completely shifted from the sales rep to the prospect. If a prospect now ever needs a reference, pricing, or needs more information about the company, all that’s required is a few clicks of the mouse on your website or on social media.
So you need to adopt a new mindset. The problem is however that the majority of companies still operates like it’s 1992, and attempts to hide this type of information from their prospective customers, this in the hopes that they will contact the sales department.
This might still work for some, but all they’re doing is just irritating these rational buyers who would just rather do their own diligence and research themselves online, this rather than listening to your boring 30 minute sales spiel.
So what’s recommended is that you adopt this new power shift as soon as possible, which will make it a lot more easier for yourself, your company, and the prospect to find exactly what they need.
It’s No Longer Buyer Beware It’s Sellers Beware
During the sales process years ago, the consumer was constantly warned, “Buyer Beware.” The onus was solely on the buyer to be careful, not to get bullied, and to make the right decision.
If they made the wrong one or if they weren’t served well, then their only recourse was to complain or tell all their friends. But fast forward to today as we’re now living in a seller beware world.
If the buyer is now somewhat dissatisfied with the product or how they were treated, they’ll just write a scathing report about you, your product, or your company. Then they’ll gladly publish it on Facebook, or tweet about it. All damaging information which your potential next prospect could easily find with a quick Google search.
Why Cold Calling Is Now Extinct
Cold calling was a staple of getting more business in the past. The Amway, insurance, or vacuum cleaner salesman pounding on your door for a demo. Getting new business back then began with the dreaded but necessary cold call.
Every sales rep also needed to pound the phones, and then set up appointments for the remainder of the week. Hello Glengarry Glen Ross. So one of the aptitudes of the salesperson back in the day was they needed to be extremely aggressive and persistent. A thick skin was required.
Today, these cold calls have become significantly more difficult to make, almost extinct. Everyone now has caller ID, call block, and very few people now even rely on a land line any longer. We now live in a world where talking on the phone is becoming rare, even with people that we know.
So what you as a company needs to do is invest more into marketing instead of sales. It’s now known that up to 70% percent of all purchasing decisions are made based on what a prospect finds on the Internet, social media and on your website.
What you need to do is begin shifting the lead generation process more from sales to marketing. What marketing in the past involved was branding, product or service placement, events, and PR. Marketing now also involves lead generation methods, this since the traditional methods no longer work.
The Reps Actual Involvement In The Sales Process
The sales rep in the past was involved from the initial first contact with the prospect, and then held their hand right through the entire sales process to the close.
But today, the sales rep generally gets involved a lot later in the sales cycle. Various studies support that the prospect will now do the majority of the work themselves, which includes their own research online before they ever contact the sales department.
So what you need to do is embrace the fact that your prospect is getting involved in the process themselves, and then deciding and selling themselves first, so embrace this fact.
Arm yourself with the tools which are needed so that once the conversation with the prospect does begin, that you’ll have all of the appropriate information, and you can intercept anywhere in the process which will get the sale quickly.