What does it take to succeed in today’s complex sales environment? What do you need to break into the top 10% or even 20% when selling premium suites for national sports franchises, or big-ticket luxury items, or top end experiences and events?
In this episode, Fred Diamond, host of the Sales Game Changers podcast, runs through a variety of questions like these with Lance Tyson, CEO of Tyson Group, and author of Selling is an Away Game. If you want tips that will put you on the field of play and supercharge your sales game, then put in your earbuds, buckle up your seat belt, and get ready for a rapid-fire one-on-one that will change how you approach developing your sales team as well as your career.
This post on the sales process was originally published on Aug 28, 2017 and updated on Aug 7, 2019.
Here’s a question you need to ask yourself about your sales process: If I could get in front of more qualified prospects, how much more could I sell?
In all of my training sessions and sales activity over the years, here’s something I’ve noticed:
Most companies are product and service heavy, but sales process poor. If you look at the typical training programs a company puts its people through, you’ll see a lot of attention given to product and service education, product positioning, etc. A lot less attention will be given to the actual sales process, which involves organization skills, communication skills, and prospecting techniques, to name a few.
Previously, we reviewed a few of the classic sales closes and how they don’t work in our current sales environment. There are two other classic closes that we should review to understand how they fit into our new global sales environment.
Here’s a tip I’ve learned in my travels through the sales landscape – words matter! The words you use help frame the situation. And how you frame the situation will either expand or limit your options in resolving objections and mastering negotiations.
Consider the negotiation process. There’s plenty of phraseology out there that highlights “battling” an objection. Now, if I’m trying to do business with you, I don’t know if we are necessarily going to do battle. I think the wiser choice is to first find out where we both agree. Continue reading →
Here’s an sample sales call dealing with sales objections pulled from our field experience.
My team and I were working with an NHL team that was selling a complex sponsorship package to a small to mid-sized furniture chain around Columbus, Ohio. In this particular situation, the sales rep was selling this package to a furniture store with four locations.
The sponsorship package consisted of a digital footprint, in-game signage, which would drive some traffic to the organization’s website, as well as other media including a mix of radio and TV ads. And they were also trying to sell a little hospitality which included a visit from one of the players to come to store openings, and the grand re-opening Continue reading →
As salespeople, one of the challenges we have when encountering a sales objection is we tend to react in the moment. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m all for flexibility and spontaneity. In fact, I think salespeople need to be more spontaneous and flexible.
However, when someone puts forth an objection, you have to first get them define, defend, and explain what they are objecting. Otherwise, you’re simply reacting to your interpretation of the prospect’s statement. Which means you’ll miss the opportunity to address their real issue. Continue reading →
I emphasize the fact that he removed all documentation off the table because it highlights one important fact: More information is not better. We want to get the need or the issue right and give them enough relevant information. Too much irrelevant information causes confusion. And confusion leads to doubt. Continue reading →
As salespeople, we have to use forms of evidence to help convince, persuade, and influence the buyer. Remember, everything from here on out relies on the three elements of our Specific Interest Statement: presenting our solution, referencing the primary interests, and appealing to their buying motive. Now that we have that foundation, we need to climb our way to the top of the mountain over obstacles using evidence, practical applications, and showing the benefits of our prescription. Continue reading →
Once the salesperson has diagnosed the problem correctly, they need to present the right prescription in such a way that it persuades the buyer to see value in the solution or opportunity. As salespeople, we need to gain the high ground in order to overcome doubt quickly and effectively.
And what inherently overcomes doubt? Evidence!
Check this out this sales example and discover what’s revealed in the process. Continue reading →
One thing you have to remember when you’re standing in front of your prospect is that they perceive everything you say as suspect. After all, you are the salesperson. You’re supposed to say good things about your product or service. That’s why we coach our clients to answer one of the critical questions in their prospects’ minds – who says so besides you. Sales testimonials will do that for you.
Here’s a tip: If you make a claim about your product or service, your prospect will have doubts. If someone else make a claim about your product or service, your prospect sees the claim as more credible.
When we performed sales in our call center days, I encouraged my sales team to gather testimonials from their customers at every opportunity and to get those clients to print out the testimonial on their letterhead. My team then assembled those sales testimonials into a 3-ring binder. This became a tool for every salesperson when they went to a prospect and performed their solution presentation. The client then had physical evidence that someone else, a peer in their industry, was backing the sales team in their efforts.
This concept isn’t new. In car sales, sales managers have been posting pictures of happy, satisfied customers standing next to their new vehicle for years. Letters of recommendation are a variation of this principle. And if you attend any webinar that is selling a service online, you’ll notice the speaker trots out several sales testimonials from happy, satisfied clients before they make their closing statement. The latest hype with online reviewers like Yelp is simply the digital incarnation of this principle.
Sales Training Exercise – Sales Testimonials Exercise
Here’s your assignment this week. Contact 10 of your best customers and simply talk to them.
Why they bought your product or service
Why they decided to do business with you
How your product is currently performing
If they’re satisfied with their purchase
How the product or service has impacted their lives professionally and personally
You want to know everything about how your product or service has changed their situation.
There are three reasons for this:
First, you need a reason to reconnect with your customers. Many salespeople don’t call their old customers back until they’re ready to sell them something new. While that may be a reason to call, it certainly won’t make your customer feel good about the interaction.
Second, your customers need to remember why they did business with you. They need to reconnect with how you were a problem solver and how your product changed their lives.
Lastly, ask them to write a testimonial for you. This testimonial will highlight everything you just asked them: the challenge they faced before your offering, how their situation changed after your offering, and the impact it’s had on them personally.
These sales testimonials are a powerful form of evidence that you can use to support your sales process. Now you have a response to the question that’s in your prospect’s head, “who says so besides you.” And it gives you more credibility when advancing your sales process.
Are you currently using evidence in your sales process? Want to know if your knowledge of the sales process puts you in the game? Take our online sales evaluation here and determine if your sales process gives you an unfair advantage over your competition!
Lance Tyson is an industry leader in sales training, development, and management. Selling is an Away Game is a must read for any sales professional, sales leader, or aspiring candidate in the industry.
Chief Revenue Officer, Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment