You’ve probably noticed that there are an increasing number of customers who won’t even give you the time of day anymore. Why is this and how can you stand out in a way that commands attention and projects value to be the exception?
We live in a time of unprecedented opportunity. The economy is as robust as ever and competition is fierce because there are so many different business opportunities!
Businesses are thriving and they need quality vendors they can count on.
Yet, it has become tougher than ever to access these buyers and key decision makers – because of the many vendors vying for their business. They simply don’t have time to meet with everyone. So, they close their doors to salespeople until they feel like need them.
We’ve all seen this cartoon:
Even though the salesperson has a solution that will truly transform the results for this prospect – it’s interesting to note that the salesman in the illustration is portrayed as a fool.
I believe this speaks volumes as to why so many prospects are becoming No-See customers – the type that won’t give you the opportunity, even if you can help improve their lives.
It’s really not the customer’s fault that they view sales professionals as “fools.”
The real fault lies with the many sales professionals who have fallen victim to complacency and a bad attitude. They don’t take the initiative to improve their knowledge and skills…and they show up looking like fools!
However, it is the unique ability of Superstar Sales Professionals to gain access to and sell these customers – the very same ones who don’t have time for you!
The reason Superstars are in the top 10% of the stack rankings each year is because they intuitively answer these questions modern customers have:
- Do you know what you’re doing? (Competence)
- Will you waste my time? (consideration)
- Can I trust you? (confidence)
Not being able to answer these three crucial questions is why No-See customers are multiplying like no time before in the sales profession.
In many cases, potential customers don’t see value in sales professionals because they’ve encountered so many who don’t bring value to the buying process.
Here are a few reasons customers don’t see reps and what you must do to become the exception:
Develop and Demonstrate Your Sales Competence
Unfortunately, customers have so many experiences with unprofessional, uninformed and unhelpful sales reps that they develop a negative attitude towards the entire sales profession!
They view most sales people as incompetent. In fact, according to a Brevet Group survey only 13% of customers say that sales reps truly understand their business needs. Here’s what turns your prospects off, and what you can do to quickly demonstrate your competency:
- You’re only focused on the sale. Understand that it’s never about you…. it’s always about your customer. Always! Many sales people don’t ask questions to better understand the customer’s wants and needs. Unfortunately, customers often experience sales reps who are only interested in making a buck – not solving the customer’s problems.
- They take notice that you don’t ask powerful questions to be perceptive and to properly evaluate a prospect’s business needs and suggest the right solutions.
- You talk too much. Some reps love to show how smart they are, but telling ain’t selling. They waste time shoveling minutia – which the customer could care less about – instead of finding out what the customer does really care about. A sales conversation is a negotiation. In any negotiation the person who talks the most usually loses. No customer cares to hear how smart you are, but showing you care more about their business problems and needs makes you appear smarter by saying less and listening more.
- POOR SERVICE is another issue that customers encounter frequently. The sales rep seemed to be all over the account when working to get the business. But, after securing the business, the customer rarely sees or hears from the rep – unless they need them, or the rep needs something from the customer. Ironically, customers learn to deal with poor service because they feel like the next vendor will be just as indifferent or incompetent as their current one. Barring disaster they’re willing to suffer through the relationship so that there is no disruption to the business.
Some sales pros are truly talented and can sell ice to an Eskimo – but it doesn’t serve the customer if the salesperson can’t shut up long enough to learn the Eskimo would be better served by a larger and more expensive refrigerator with an ice maker!
Delivering value through demonstrating your knowledge, service and concern for the customer will demonstrate your competence and give you the Superstar Sales advantage.
Be Considerate. Don’t Waste A Customers Time With A Poor Experience.
Like many of us, our customers don’t have time to waste.
That’s why today many potential customers start their buying journey online. It’s not unusual that when a customer finally meets with a vendor, they are already sold. Now it’s up to sales rep to win or lose the sale and this will be based on the customer’s buying experience with them.
In this type of scenario, the customer already has high expectations of the company and the product. So, it is a huge letdown if their experience is with an unprepared or incompetent rep. How does a sales rep botch such an easy sale? Unfortunately there are several ways:
- The rep doesn’t realize the customer is already sold on what they want or need. In this case, the sales rep attempts to upsell or undersell because:
- They didn’t perform due diligence to qualify the customer.
- They prejudged them because of their appearance, location or condition of their office, what they drive or some other foolish opinion.
- The rep doesn’t spend time building a personal relationship. Mid-level performers are often laser-focused on completing the sale and counting their commission. Prospects can feel this, and this tends to leave them with a sense of buyer’s remorse.
Customers want to them feel good about spending their money with you. This can be accomplished through the Art of Small Talk, a skill many reps either don’t have or they have it, but simply don’t do enough of.
The sales conversation should be 50/50 – business and personal. Superstar sales professionals transition in and out of these conversations seamlessly and leave the customer feeling like they just had a positive and uplifting experience with a person they enjoy.
- Amateur Night. It is extremely painful doing business with someone who appears not to know what they’re doing. Fumbling paperwork, missing marketing collateral, cumbersome ordering process…It can make the customer regret giving you time they will never get back!
Even worse is a sale rep who hasn’t mastered product knowledge – especially when they attempt to B.S. the customer instead of being direct and honest by saying “I don’t know”. Nothing turns an otherwise good prospect into a jerk to all salespeople faster than having a bad experience with an amateur.
Exude the Confidence and Trust That Makes Customers Want to Be Around You
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
People buy from whom they know, like and trust.
- Some reps spend so much time building relationships that they fail to work on the skills they need to be a top 10% sales performer. They are annoyingly chipper! They are extremely likable – but bring no value.
In the absence of value, customers focus on price to make a buying decision….and they don’t need you for that.
Customers are not looking for new friends.
They need business partners with a fiduciary responsibility to look out for their best interests.
Offer valuable product and industry knowledge. And never hesitate to sell competitively to snuff out the competition.
Superstar Sales Pros reps don’t shy away from tough conversations. They push back when their value is in question.
Some sales reps have all the knowledge and skill they need to serve their clients, but they have the personality of a sack of rocks. They are woefully uninspired.
- They don’t inject positive energy into the atmosphere. And they don’t seem motivated or excited about what they do.
Given the choice, every customer wants to feel good when they have to spend money. This is especially true when they’re making a large or emotional purchase. And they want to see their enthusiasm shared by the salesperson that they are buying from!
If a customer doesn’t feel that positive vibe, they may back out of the deal. They’d rather find someone to do business with who is more interesting – someone who is pumped about doing business – even if the product is more expensive or it’s not their first choice.
Simply because they like being around them.
Customers are not looking for the next great sales rep to walk into their door.
They are looking for knowledgeable, enthusiastic leaders to help them solve their problems and improve their bottom line.
The Superstar Sales Pro does exactly that. That “It Factor” earns them unfettered access to clients that are no-see for the mid-level performer. They leverage these relationships to build a chain of warm referrals that easily makes them the preferred vendor of no-see customers.
Superstars never show up to play the part of the fool. They leverage their client’s credibility to demonstrate value and answer those three burning questions in other customers’ minds:
- Do you know what you’re doing?
- Will you waste my time?
- Can I trust you?