Your Own Sales Methodology

Many people ask me what sales methodology I use.  I’m very familiar with 4: Mike Bosworth’s Solution Selling and Customer Centric Selling, Infomentis’ Value Selling Process, and Challenger Selling.  I’m a big believer in deploying a sales methodology primarily because, a) most of them accurately reflect the stages of the buying process, b) they provide a common communication framework for the selling organization, and c) when set against running a sales organization by word of mouth, they work.  I use a process which is a combination of the methodologies I’ve learned, the unique gifts that I bring, and the sales experiences that I’ve had.

If you are traveling blindly down a path that someone else has created, it is by definition not your own.  Hence, using sales methodology too rigorously, without your unique gifts, creativity, and experience, will ultimately fall short.  Each of us brings a unique set of talents and experiences to our selling environments.  We should augment sales methodology with these gifts in order to differentiate ourselves in what is increasingly becoming an ocean of selling sameness.

In short, sales methodology is crucial; but it should be your servant, not your master.

The Sales Lexicon

 

Have you ever heard how most salespeople talk?

Let’s take for example the sales “pitch”.  Salespeople make
“pitches” to their prospects.  Salespeople are the pitchers, and
prospects are the batters.  If we take the analogy further, the pitcher
tries to strike the batter out and send him back to the dugout with
nothing for his effort.  Wait, there’s more… Companies want their sales
people to be able to make this pitch, if, by chance, they are in an
elevator with one of their prospects.  Is it any wonder that
salespeople get a bad wrap?

Salespeople struggle to “close” deals.  The prospect  wants or needs
the product or service but it seems that they are trying to keep the
deal “open”.  The problem is that while it may be the end of a process
for the salesperson, it is just the beginning for the prospect.  The
process of achieving value from the product or service has not even
started for the prospect.  No wonder there is resistance.

My point is that the sales lexicon is wrought with contentiousness
between sellers and the prospects that we are supposed to be trying to
help.  By talking this way we prepare ourselves for conflict with the
prospect. The way we talk and think about our prospects &
customers when they are not around, will affect the way that we treat
them when we interact with them directly.

One way to practice this is to go through an entire day pretending
that your prospects can see and hear everything you say and do.  Try
this and you will be surprised at what you discover.  My experience was
that I first noticed myself thinking carefully before I spoke with my
colleagues about different sales cycles.  After I got used to it, I
began to notice a heightened energy level within myself and my own
sales culture.  A much more constructive dialogue began to occur around
my sales cycles.  After all, if my prospects/customers were watching
me, I would want them to see a positive, constructive person who
is calmly and firmly looking out for their best interest.

The same rule applies here.  The way we talk and think about our
prospects & customers when they are not around, will affect the way
that we treat them when we interact with them directly.  Try this, and
you will be surprised at the change that takes place in your sales
culture and in your sales cycles.