So often in a sales leadership role I will be presented with an opportunity to “pitch” our solutions. I absolutely love the opportunity to consult face to face.
But sometimes, I will be presented with an opportunity to bid for business that I don’t believe will make a great fit for us or the potential client.
Because in order to win the business we would have to practically give it away. A great “deal” is about a great business decision, not just a desperate attempt to bring in any kind of business.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not ONLY about the profit or commission. I am about the best fiscal decision for all parties involved.
For if we say, sure we can do all this for less money, just to capture the biz, we are actually going to frustrate the client more than just walking away from profit.
When we have clients that are sold a deal at cost or less, we wind up with a compromised focus by our internal teammates. What do I mean by this?
What I mean is, we as sales professionals have a responsibility to consider the services and time for those services that we sell.
So for example, a support CRM that will be assigned to this new deal, one who is judged by revenue generated from an account. The CRM will only be able to devote minimal attention to an undersold deal. This in turn leads to an unhappy customer who feels slighted. In reality they are slighted, not by the CRM, but by the Sales Professional.
It’s sad perhaps, but so true that money talks and BS walks. If we as sales professionals don’t practice courage in our day-to-day walk with potential clients, we will inevitably leave a trail of bad business behind us. And the opportunity to sell forever is gone.
In this day and age where a bad reputation, or bad business deal, can be broadcast across the globe in literally seconds, that whole Web 2.0 thing I keep nagging on. We cannot and MUST not take a chance with a desperate decision to close business at all costs.
This brings me back to my preaching on the art of selling.
Had an opportunity today to speak with another sales professional that shares a similar passion for sales. We briefly commiserated on the importance of Silence and Ownership.
Silence comes from me the sales professional…be quiet and listen to the client as they divulge. Never assume that you know anything about what they need from you. They may not even know themselves. So we must be sure to ask questions, the right ones and then “shut-it”
We quietly let the client vent or dump all the junk of their workday on us. This is where we get that deep knowing of the pain experienced every day in their world.
Once we know how much the issues impact their day, we usually can communicate a solution with a real return on investment. So, if we were able to put even 2 more hours back into the day of the client, freeing them from the mundane tasks that eat into their productivity…betcha cost becomes much less of an issue than we first fear.
Like my favorite Sales Mentor, Jeffrey Gittomer always says, “No one wants to be sold, but they do NEED to buy.”
Talented sales professionals passionately care about the client they are speaking with. But at the same time, they are listening for the opportunity to lead them to OWNERSHIP of a solution. Perhaps your solution?
Hence the “art of selling.”
It’s a real skill to work that kind of magic.