Posted by: drewdice | December 31, 2009

Give More

In leading sales teams, I’ve often been asked by sales professionals what I recommend to help them sell more (more volume, more frequently, with more ease, you get the picture).

Call it the Law of Attraction, the Law of Reciprocity, or whatever you want to call it; what I know best is to be more generous, and give more. More what?

-More time to others
-More interest in what others find important
-More energy into serving the needs of prospects and customers, regardless of the direct and immediate payoff to you, personally
-More thought into how you can truly understand your customer, so you can always, that’s right, ALWAYS be looking for ways to introduce them to other value driven individuals and organizations

What I’m not talking about is have an attitude of give to get. That has always seemed too transactional to me. I’m talking about giving of oneself because it is the right thing to do. Because people need more of you…your juice, your energy, your passion, your knowledge, your humor, your connections. (You will know the difference when you meet someone who is purely sponging from you, and, well, still give some to them, but don’t spend long term energy and focus there)

Not convinced? Do it. For real. With conviction. Then tell me you don’t feel the spark. Quick story:

We have a prospective client with whom we have been trying to do business well before I ever arrived at my current firm. My sales director told me that the customer contact couldn’t get us in the door. They like us, but really can’t do business with us (no budget, too expensive, not the right time, cutbacks, you get the point…). After researching the contact (in our CRM system, on linkedin and through google), I learned a bit about him, and was sincerely interested in his path to his current role, and his background and experience. I called him, introduced myself and told him I was interested in learning more about what I read, his experience, and what he is doing in his current role.

Did we schedule an appointment?
You bet.
Did we have an engaging conversation?
You know it.
Did we talk much about my firm?
Nope.
Did I care?
Nope.
During our meeting, did my customer come up with his own way to schedule a meeting for us with him and his boss to discuss how we can help him?
Why yes, he did. While I am very pleased about that, and look forward to the potential of helping his firm, my intention was to give, not to get.

Want to sell more? Be sincere. Be authentic. Give more.

Happy New Year!

Andrew

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Hi Andrew…When prospecting I found you have about 10-15 seconds to deliver a proposition that sounds intriguing enough to get them to want to hear more. You have to do enough research
    (Google, LinkedIn, or their web site) to get a basic understanding of their needs but you better sound like you care about them if you expect results.

    I’m interested in an inside sales position and would like to see if we have a fit. My web site link will give you a quick overview but please give me a call if you have about 10-15 seconds. Thanks, John 720-205-7300

    • John,

      Thanks for the reply. I’d agree that you have a short period of time to make an impact with your prospect, and this is a much larger conversation than on this post. Here are a few thoughts:

      – a sales person can gain credibility and more time by leveraging introductions. While I really do enjoy the challenge of cold calling, time can be better used by warming up the conversations. When your prospect expects your call, and agrees to take the call because someone they already trust recommended they speak with you, you are already a step ahead

      -I’m not sure a salesperson can gain an understanding of a prospect’s needs through most research, but I do believe we can make decent assumptions about common ground and potential areas of fit for more exploration.

      I do love the front end of the sales process, and welcome additional thoughts and comments on this topic.

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  2. I like the process you’ve outlined here: set a specific goal first, do your online research second, call third. I can be tempting in sales to shortcut the process and call with out setting prospect-specific goals or doing any prospect-specific research first. Very helpful post!

  3. Andrew:

    Thanks for your thoughtful and well-written blog. I have always enjoyed your insights and continue to eagerly look forward to reading them. I know what hard work it is keeping a blog fresh, and truly appreciate all the effort you make in yours.

    Keep the good ideas coming!

    Paula

    • Keep reading and commenting, Paula!

      I’d love for you to share your insights on some of these (and other) topics. You have valuable experience and I’m sure other readers would benefit from what you communicate.

      Hope to see you soon.

  4. Andrew,

    Unfortunately I’ve had to learn this the hard way. I have been in sales for about 3 years but up until my current position I ever never experienced this level of intense sales in my life. When I started I talked to people while dollar signs flashed in my head. I didn’t take the time to get to know them or show interest, I just wanted to tell them what we had to offer they sign the contract and I get paid. I know you are shaking your head at me. But seriously it took me a long time and I am still learning that it isn’t all about me in fact it’s not about me at all. Anyone who’s anyone loves to talk about themselves, it’s human nature. As you mentioned sitting down and showing a genuine interest with the people that you are talking with goes along way! If something comes of it, great if nothing comes of it, great. Sales needs to be a selfless job or you will not be successful, in my opinion

    • Taylor,

      Thanks for your candid response, and opening up about the path you’ve traveled to get where you are today (and the journey has just begun!). Many sales people experience the same thing you did (just get the contract signed), and this happens for many reasons: previous sales experiences, improper incentives, poor goal setting with management, mis-management, lack of alignment among business objectives, sales structure, compensation, and the list goes on. Often times, potential good sales professionals get disillusioned about their ability to sell when they don’t get the contract signed, and a downward spiral begins. It goes something like this:

      -I know I need to sell more
      -I’m not selling more
      -Am I cut out for this?
      -I’ll try harder to “close” (which often results in trying new tactics, including “outsmarting” the customer, which never works and is a poor approach)
      -This job (or career) isn’t for me

      I’m glad you were able to shift your mindset, and also find a culture that is allowing you to grow, learn and achieve more of the success you should have.

      Cheers,

      Andrew


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: