A wise sales guru once told me, “Sales is the process of asking the right questions and sharing the appropriate stories until you and the client naturally come to agreement on a mutually beneficial solution.”
Simple and elegant advice from a Fortune 500 executive who has worked with some of the world’s largest companies, delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.
We’ve all been to training where we’ve learned how to “open the sales”, “smoke out” or “overcome” objections, use “assumptive, either/or or value added close” techniques.
Sometimes these techniques work, but do they feel natural? Honest? Genuine?
Over the course of my sales career, working with hundreds of sales professionals and sales managers, I’ve witnessed thousands of sales calls.
Looking back, the best sales calls and the strongest business relationships were built by sales people who focused on understanding clients real needs and shared stories to illustrate the value of their product, company and service.
Just like any relationship, having a genuine interest in a prospective business partner is the first step to success. The second step is to share examples of your success that are relevant to what you just heard.
No one wants to listen to your well scripted list of features and benefits, especially if they don’t relate to the clients real challenges.
The real opportunity to is to focus on how you can help serve the customer. The best way you can demonstrate this ability is by actively listening and sharing stories of how you and your company have helped others achieve their business goals.