Last month I was fortunate enough to be sent to Chicago for a sales academy for IBM Watson IoT sellers. The event was huge. There were IBM sellers and business partners from every place you can imagine, all focused on one thing — how to sell better.
My team and I ran a session on it too, called 60 minutes to make a difference. More on that later.
Let’s rewind a little bit.
When you think of a sales person, what comes to mind?
Introvert or an extrovert?
What is their tone?
Are they a listener or talker?
Are they talking to you or talking at you?
What is their intention?
That’s what I thought.
Sales has earned a bad reputation because for so long it has been about and in many cases, it still continues to be about…
While I have obtained this insight while interning in a sales role at a massive organisation like IBM, this phenomenon is common-practice across most large sales organisations.
It’s all about hitting quarterly targets and maximising revenue from a single transaction. But what about the customer? Isn’t this supposed to be about them?
In sales we often mistake our product to be the focus of the conversation. The true subject of every conversation should be — what does your client want to do and how will you get them there.
This is a picture I always have on my wall. It’s so simple but so rare to see in reality.
Sales — the art of selling? I think it’s time to change that.
Sales — the art of giving a crap.
Gone are those days when in order to be a top seller you had to be an extroverted and dominant personality. In order to be a successful sales person today, first and foremost, you need to be an excellent listener.
We need to start being patient. In a world of get rich quick schemes and the bitcoin boom, everyone is focused on making a quick buck. Where is the focus on playing the long game? Where is the focus on sustainability and building relationships?
Unfortunately these “get rich sustainably” techniques aren’t exactly big sellers.
Coming back to my trip to Chicago. My team and I ran a session there to speak exactly about this epidemic and how to shift our mindset.
The session was called 60 Minutes to Make a Difference. If you only had 60 minutes with a customer…what would you do?
Often, that is all that is needed, but we are so consumed with our slides and our personal agendas that we forget about the client’s needs.
Our mindset needs to change. We need to start caring again. When did that go out of trend?
We need to give a shit about every customer like your success is unachievable without their success. Treat them like your own, make their problems your problems and get the best minds together focused on helping your customer succeed.
Then, and only then, you have the right to call yourself a good salesperson.