How to Master the Sales Process
The mastery of emotions and physical self. This type of discipline lays the foundation for living your best life. Developing a keen awareness of your own emotions and those of others makes you a better communicator. The following are pathways to improve your communications, both personally and professionally to master your sales process.
Have you ever been at a party and there is that one guy? The guy who will not stop talking! He is interrupting people in mid-sentence, talking over others and yearns to be the center of the universe.
Chances are this person lacks self-awareness. Let's call him Oblivious Bob. Bob is so excited he shares every thought that pops into his head. Oblivious Bob has no idea he's not the life of the party. He senses something is wrong as partygoers start to make a wide berth around him.
The urge to share your thoughts before they escape your mind is tempting. Especially if your ideas are fleeting; which happens as we age. When this happens to me, I do my best to overcome this verbal impulse. I realize whatever I think is essential has little impact compared to listening instead. Don't be a Bob. Exercise self-awareness and self-control. They go hand in hand in achieving mastery of self.
Now that I have beat up on Bob let's extend a little grace. Bob likely doesn't have a clue. Bob is probably trying to make friends and maybe working too hard at it. If we look at the world through the eyes of others, we begin to understand the reason behind the "why" of peoples actions. In the middle of a sale, the buyer stops communicating. Why? In a recent sale, the V.P. of sales went dark- crickets- nothing. I tried email, voicemail, snail mail- everything! We had already agreed to move forward and had a set date. Several weeks later he was gracious enough to send an email explaining the situation. He was let go from the company. I would have no idea why this going "dark" happened otherwise. I wished him well and thanked him for his honesty.
According to an article published January 2018 by Sales Benchmark Index, the average tenure of a V.P. of sales is 19 months! No pressure here folks!
What else might be happening in the sale? Recruitment and retention are the hottest topics in any business today. There is a good chance the industries you work in have this problem. This shortage of qualified help can wreak havoc in any business climate. A small business owner may be working in the business due to a staffing shortage. What you offer may sound great, but issues like not having employees take priority. If you find your sales are stalling, look for what else might be happening in the business. Learn from your past customers to uncover what might be on the minds of your future ones.
You are one small part of their day, even though they are all of yours.
Have you ever entered into an uncomfortable situation in sales? Maybe the buyer got off the phone and was visibly shaken or irritated? In a recent sales call, I was waiting in the prospect's office. I always confirm my appointments a day ahead to ensure the best use of time for both parties. The client was late, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes. I sat there wondering if he had forgotten. Finally, after 45 minutes, he arrived. He came sailing through the door like a Tasmanian Devil slamming it closed behind him. I was paying full attention after that!
The energy in the room was dark, and the air was charged with hostility. I sat there wondering what to do next. After what seemed like an eternity I spoke; "you seem pretty upset; would you like to reschedule?" He looked at me and said; "no, I just had an employee removed from the building which took a swing at me. The police hauled him away." I sat there and let the silence cover the room like a blanket of calmness. Finally, he said, thanks for your patience and for listening to me. Why don't you tell me more about your service? We worked together that day and enjoyed a great working relationship moving forward.
I guess the point is you never know the reason behind the "why" of peoples actions.
In sales, we do our best to learn about our clients need. We build personal and professional trust through social proof, sharing business intelligence and rapport building. We uncover wants and needs in the discovery phase. We identify decision makers, timing and establish qualifications by understanding the buying process. We design solutions that improve lives. We deliver R.O.I. by clearly defining unique buyer value. These are the steps in the sales process. What is not so easy is planning for unexpected things that derail the sale. The competing priorities, career changes, office politics, labor shortages and more. Develop the skills of listening, empathy, perspective taking, emotion management and situational awareness to give you superhuman powers in the most basic human interactions.