I was recently talking with a client in the professional services industry about the shift in the market and how her team was needing to pitch and sell for business. She had the shock realisation that her staff were really good technically in their roles, however they seriously lacked the ability to sell and influence.
I think many people do not like the word ‘selling.’ For many it brings up images of old school used car salesmen that gives everyone an icky feeling. In reality, I find the people that are the best at selling and influencing others are the ones that do not view it as just selling a product or service. Instead, they focus on how they can help others and work with them to understand and identify solutions that they can offer.
One thing great salespeople do is master the 3 R’s: Relatability, Reliability & Responsiveness:
- Relatability: If your people cannot relate to potential clients, it will be very difficult for them to sell or influence them. People appreciate those that they feel comfortable with because of the way they communicate and interact with them. Being relatable means having a familiarity and a stronger connection, which creates more influence. How relatable are your people?
- Reliability: When someone has a need or an issue, they want an expert that they can trust to help them. I remember going to purchase a dishwasher and when I asked questions about it the sales consultant just read what was on the sticker. This quickly let me know that he did not know what he was talking about and I could not rely on him. I did what most customers do, I walked away and when I spoke with someone that did have expertise I purchased the dishwasher from them. When we trust someone, it is easier for us to buy from them. How reliable are your people?
- Responsiveness: Time is something that we never have enough of. In a sales process many people lose potential clients because they do not respond in the right time frame. If a client has a need or issue right now, following up with them 2-3 weeks after the discussion is not responsive. By then most clients have purchased from someone else. How responsive are your people?
If you would like to have a conversation to learn more about some of the practical strategies that I use in my Sales Influence Development Program please click here.