Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Telling, Gelling, and Selling: Three Tips To More Business

Sales has changed.  It used to be that if a salesperson got a meeting with a prospect they were in control of the flow of information.  Their encounter was often the first experience the buyer had with their product or service.  Now the internet has allowed the person they are meeting with to explore information about the company and the person before they walk in the door.  

Today prospective clients have less time than ever. They delete voice-mails before even listening to the first sentence.  If they have no reason to be expecting the interruption they ignore the caller.  Rude?  Okay.  Maybe.  But it is just the way of the world.

When they do grant an audience their attention is being bifurcated by a plethora of distractions.  Time is scarce, and they want to skip the small talk and get down to business.

This is why sales people must pay attention to how they communicate their story, establish rapport quickly, and show the value they will provide.  The "Telling, Gelling and Selling" need to be weaved together or the buyer will dismiss the sales person quickly.

Here are three tips to help you find more business:

1.  Telling.  Being able to communicate your story and that of your company is more important than ever before.  There is so much information and "noise" in the marketplace that if you are not doing a good job of storytelling you will be ignored.  How you explain yourself depends on the venue, your product or service, and your own style... but you must invest time into intentionally developing your "story" and realizing how it differentiates you from the competition.

The story will be told verbally and written both live and on the web.  If left to chance you will end up confusing buyers and appear to have no purpose.  Great writers, film makers, musicians, and others know the value of how you set the characters, scene, and the plot.  It is no different in business.  Everyone must create protagonists and antagonists or allow your competition to define the roles (note, when your competition tells the story you are never going to look good!).  

2.  Gelling.  People prefer to do business with those they know, like and trust.  However as we have gotten seduced by social media the definition of the word "know" has changed.  Everyone now assumes they know everyone.  We link to them in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and treat them as real connections (which can be the case, but often not).  It used to be that getting to know someone was a process, and through that process we came to like and trust each other (or not).  Thus nowadays it is more important than ever that we "gel" with people.  Without a feeling of connection and understanding there is no relationship.

Too often we assume there are established relationships when really we just have acquaintances.  We jump the gun and assume that those we have met briefly are our "friends".  There is a big difference between someone you have met and someone with whom you have established a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship.

3.  Selling. Communication and human to human relationships are nice, but in business we need them to drive dollars to the bottom line.  We all need sales to stay in business.  This fact is what drives many sales managers to discredit the power in storytelling and networking.  I often hear managers say "I don't care about anything but getting the contract".  However, when done correctly selling is easier and more profitable when we embrace telling and gelling as part of the process.  

The days of "sales techniques" and "tricks" are long gone.  Seasoned professionals know and respect the purpose of sales, but they do not want to be "sold". Instead they want to buy.  When you seamlessly incorporate human understanding you will win more business.

Telling, Gelling and Selling - How Compelling!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

No comments: