Struggling sales people put a lot of time and effort into their territory yet seem to have real problems meeting their sales goals. Read on to learn about the three common barriers they face that sales pros do to avoid them.
They Don’t Know Their Products
Unbelievably, there are sales people who don’t know their products inside and out, forwards and backwards. I’m always shocked when I ask a sales person about product a detail that I think would be important and they don’t know the answer. It’s even more unbelievable when they don’t know how to get me the answer. I’ll just buy somewhere else, thank you.
You may have had the same experience at a restaurant when you asked the server about a dish and they’ve never tasted it and can’t tell you about it.
Sales superstars know their product. It’s easy to do! Get every bit of sales literature about your products and read them over and over again. It takes an average of four passes through the literature for you to remember what you need to know. So stick with it.
Learn who in your company is the expert on your products. Ask them lots and lots of questions. Learn why the product developers designed the features the way that they did.
The more you know about your products, the more of them you can sell.
They Don’t Know Their Competitor’s Products
Have you ever asked a sales person, “So how does this stack up against your competition?” and they reply with, “You’ll have to ask them.” That’s not a sales person, that’s an anti-sales person. They are pushing deals to the competition.
Sales superstars learn about competitors’ products. In fact, they know as much about competing products as they do their own product. It’s easy. Go to their website. Ask them to send you sales information. Play with the products every time you can.
The real professional’s secret is to initially look at competitive product like you were genuinely interested in buying them. You’ll learn why customers choose competitive products. Later look for flaws to better find ways to present your products in a more favorable way.
They Don’t Know How to Match Their Customer’s Motivation
Each customer is motivated by slightly different things. Sales people who struggle believe that the same thing motivates all customers so they use the same approach to each customer. They begin by discussing their product. Do that and you’ll always struggle.
It’s probably because they’ve been taught that all customers want to know WIIFM-what’s in it for me. While that is partially true, there is way more to connecting with customer motivation than that.
Sales professionals lead with the need and motivators. They first find out why each customer makes the decisions that they do. For some people, they are driven by politics, so they will pick what their boss recommends. Others will choose to minimize risk. Leaders will choose to create new business outcomes and advance their competitive advantage. Financial analysts will select based on return on investment or cash flow improvements.
You can figure out what motivates your customer by asking them questions such as, “How will you know which is the best choice?” Or “What is the most important thing that you’re going to consider as you make your choice?” Or “What are your success criteria for this project?” Or “What do you need to accomplish your mission?”
With this information, sales professionals can adjust how they present product capabilities to align with customer motivations and win almost every time.
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