Recently, I was approached to talk about The Secrets Of Sales. When asked, it caused me to pause. On reflection, I realized, there are no secrets of sales. We already know all of them, the problem is we don’t execute them. Somehow, I think people look for short cuts, or they want to find the “Easy” button. They think there is something or that some “guru” has a trick/technique that changes everything to selling.
But there are no secrets to sales. We know what it takes to succeed, we just have to do those things—and possibly that’s the problem. Selling is hard work and to be successful, we have to do the work. Perhaps the quest for a secret is because we aren’t committed to doing the work.
The secrets of selling aren’t secrets. They been known for decades, if not longer. We have tools and technologies that help improve our abilities to sell, but the foundations of selling are the same. They are:
- We have to find a prospect that has the problem we are the best in the world at solving.
- The customer must be compelled to do something about that problem. Sometimes this involves educating them, helping them learn, and inciting them to change. But until the customer is compelled to do something, they aren’t buying and we have nothing to sell.
- Selling is really about helping the customer navigate their buying/problem solving process. Until they successfully navigate this, they aren’t buying, so we cannot sell.
- Increasingly winning is not about the product/solution. Any the customer is considering will solve their problem. Yet, in our sales efforts we focus on product solution differentiation. What the customer cares most about is being confident in the decision they make. This is all about their confidence they are solving the right problem and will be successful in solving it.
- Customers want to work with sales people that understand them, the customer’s business, challenges, markets, competition.
- Customers want to work with sales people that understand their own products/solutions.
- Customers want to work with sales people who care about the customer and their success.
- Customers want to work with sales people who help them learn and who create value in every interchange.
- Customers want to work with sales people who meet their commitments, who trust and are trustworthy.
- The best sales people no there are no shortcuts. They know they have to do the work. They are disciplined in managing their time.
- The best sales people know they have to do the whole job, in balance, including prospecting, deal management, account/territory management, call planning/execution, pipeline management.
- The best sales people know they have to continually learn and improve.
- The best sales people know there are no tricks, techniques, or silver bullets. They know their success is based on doing the work and disciplined execution.
- The best sales people are curious. That curiosity will help them figure everything else out.
- The best sales people are team players. They know they will achieve success through the support of and supporting their team.
- The best sales people know they are responsible and accountable for meeting all their commitments–to customers, their team mates, managers, and their companies
- The best……..
None of this has to do with shortcuts, techniques, or secrets. It’s all known.
What confuses me is, if so many know these things, why do so few actually do them? Why do the others spend so much time looking for secrets that don’t exist?