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OTHER ITA SITES:
Are You Risking The Relationship for the Sale -- And Then Losing the Sale Anyway?
Losing a sale can be disheartening, especially if you lose it for reasons you aren't even aware of.
Traditional selling approaches tell us that sales are usually lost because of some element -- price, features, benefits -- having to do with our product or service.
So, when we sell, we naturally focus on what we're selling because we feel we have to differentiate our product or service so prospects understand what we're offering that's unique.
But...what if focusing all your energy on WHAT you're selling is actually the main reason
WHY you're losing sales?
"Not possible!" you say. No?
Let's hear, in my client Ryan's own words, what happened to him.
His story will help you realize why you may be losing sales without really understanding why.
Hi, Ari, It's been a while since we've been in touch, and I'm sure you were frustrated working with me because I was so engrained in traditional sales thinking. I have to admit that it has taken me quite some time to shift my selling mindset.
I just wanted to let you know that I've finally unlocked my brain -- and consequently the game!
Here's what happened.
Recently, my VP of sales strongly "suggested" that I push for a close with the largest account that my company had seen. We were all anxious for them to make a decision, but I knew that they needed to reach a few more milestones in their own processes first.
I tried to convey this to my VP, but the suggestion became a demand, and we proceeded down "our" path of techniques and whatnot to convince them to go with us. Of course, I had the VP on every call after this.
At the end of the day, they decided to go with someone else.
When I asked them for feedback, I got a real wake-up call.
They said that at first they felt as if I really understood their processes and problems. Our prices were a little higher than our competition, but what stood out was my approach to understanding them and not pushing the sale.
They felt as if I really had their best interests in mind, so they heard me out. But when I started to push for the close, they saw that I was just like everyone else who sells, so they had to make their decision based on price, instead of on the value of our relationship.
The relationship, and consequently the sale -- which I invested many hours developing-- died the moment I put on the pressure. By using traditional sales techniques, I wound up sacrificing the relationship and the sale.
This experience was what I needed to unlock my brain and realize the impact of traditional selling techniques on prospects (or should I say, "people").
I finally feel as if I've found the missing ingredients that make selling a natural, productive experience that will actually bring me sales instead of losing them.
Ryan's story points to a very important lesson: if you don't have an approach that is a perfect balance of nonaggression and effective penetration of your prospect's core needs, you'll end up asking yourself time after time, "Why am I losing sales, and why has selling become so painful?"
You can risk the relationship and lose the sale, but with a different sales mindset, you don't risk anything at all -- because you can preserve the relationship, and make the sale.
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