I was leading a sales workshop some weeks ago and I asked the participants what skills a high performing sales person needed to have to interact with their clients. They listed three main ones:
|Focus on your Customer
- Know products and service offerings by heart
- Have the ability to present them with confidence and clarity
- Be able to quickly close a deal.
I was surprised to notice that none of these statement actually mentioned the client. As if a best practice sales process did not depend of them, but only of the sales professional's abilities. Where is the customer in all this?
Sales teams tend to focus on their products, their objectives, their abilities, their agenda.
For me the key to success goes in the opposite direction. Sales people do need to know their products and services, but beyond that, their key skills and abilities should allow them to :
- Connect with clients
- Break the ice, build trust
- Earn the right to ask questions
- Know and Understand them
- Do not listen to respond but to understand
- Listen, do not try to convince.
- Partner with them
- Build rapport and Develop the relationship
- Co-create and Position your offering
Sales teams need to focus on their clients and start adding value NOW.
This is not about pushing, this is about dancing with your clients. To achieve this you need to know them, be present and curious of them. You need to create proximity, intimacy.
Then you can start to design and co-create an offering that hopefully will respond to their expectations and needs. In win-win way.
What do you think?