“Salespeople are great people!"
Be honest, did you just read that and cringe?
If yes, you've probably had at least one encounter with a pushy sales rep that makes you immediately wish you had a fly swatter. Heck, I just had to buy furniture for my house, and I felt like I was the chum on an episode of Shark Week.
If not, that's a relief. It’s great to hear that you've had a chance to meet with somebody that came off as helpful and cared about your needs.
So why is there such a disconnect? And why can't all salespeople offer the same level of customer service?
To me, the answer is authenticity. Doesn't it feel nice when a sales rep seems "real" and they aren't trying to manipulate you? A sales rep that stays true to their personality and comes off more as a consultant than an evil villain - that's the dream. And it's possible for all of us.
Throughout my sales (or even golf) career, it's amazing to see how many different strategies are taught as "the best way."
"Define the gap," "focus on establishing the relationship," "tell them what they need to be buying," etc. The more strategies you read, the more they contradict each other, so it can be very easy for a sales rep to get confused and lost in their thoughts. Over time these contradictions pile up to create the sales robots you meet on the streets today.
Here's the truth, there is no perfect strategy. There is a perfect way for YOU to speak with prospects though...and that’s to just be authentic.
When we first started selling into the craft beverage industry I was intimidated. The people I met with were always incredible, but I felt like I was going to look like a phony if I wasn't going to properly use brewing words like "wort" on every sales call. This made me second guess if I was ready, and it showed in my confidence during some sales calls.
I re-watched my earliest call recordings and thought back to some advice an old sales manager once gave to me - K.I.S.S. "Keep it simple stupid."
I've never been somebody that wanted to learn about a new topic with big words. And I've found that the majority of prospects prefer to hear your elevator pitch as simplified as possible. Even Albert Einstein said, "If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.” So once I stopped focusing on the right words to use instead of the overall message to deliver, we found some incredible customers and are now busier than ever.
Don’t get me wrong, learning the terminology is important to become a true consultant in the business you are serving. But if it isn’t natural for you to deliver the value of your product by using that terminology in your pitch, it will not come off as authentic and then you'll be fighting an uphill battle after call #1.
In the end, we're all humans and can have more quality conversations with one another.
If you ever want to chat with me, I welcome the opportunity to skip the fancy talk to get to know the real you.
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