Each of our customers’ strategies, goals, priorities, culture, and values are different. The specific challenges and problems they face are different. That’s at an enterprise level.
Then when we look within those organizations, the goals, priorities, challenges, problems of each individual differ.
Yet we inflict the same standard “stuff” on all of them. We treat each as though they are identical–same strategies, goals, priorities, culture, values, problems, challenges.
We take them through the same standard “handling” as we engage them and move them through our selling process (forget they have their own buying processes and they struggle with it.).
We use the same email campaigns, “Dear occupant or current resident,” they each say the same thing. Our SDRs take them through the standard scripts, making sure they only ask 4 questions and swear (that’s what conversational intelligence data indicates). Our goal is less to learn, but rather schedule the next meeting.
We have the follow on meeting. We take them through the same stuff, then start pitching our products. We move them to the same standard demo. Then we move them to the next step in our process, always with the suggestion, “If you order by the end of the month, I might be able to do something on the price…..”
Each customer is moved along a sales assembly line that is designed to maximize our efficiency—not the customer experience.
Then we wonder. Why do customers not respond to our outreach? Why do they seem to seek other channels of information? Why does research show that customers don’t like their buying experiences?
Yet we keep going, we know that if we aren’t hitting our numbers, we just do more of the same thing–at higher volumes, velocity, intensity. We never pause to consider:
What if we change how we engage our customers? What if we tried something new? Would we have a better impact?
But that’s not the only problem.
As managers, we treat our people as replaceable cogs. Our coaching, if we coach, is driven by the numbers. “You didn’t hit your dials…… You didn’t hit your meeting goals…..You are behind on your quota….”
We focus on the numbers and not the underlying things that drive performance. We treat every individual the same, not taking the time to connect with them as individuals, other than social chit-chat, “How did you like Tom Brady doing it again last week…..?”
If one size DOES fit all, then we don’t need sales people. We can totally automate the process, creating a far more efficient and effective buying experience for our customers.
If one size DOES fit all, then we don’t need managers–or as many managers. We can fire up the same standard reports and send them to the people, saying they should improve.
Selling is a human process. Leadership is a very human process. Customers are different, our people our different. We engage them more effectively when we connect with them as human beings.
One size DOESN’T FIT All. And that’s the reward of what we as sales people and leaders do. It’s sitting down with each individual, understanding their goals, problems, hopes, and dreams. It’s helping them figure out how to achieve them, and where we might help.