sales and buying

Customizing the Buying Experience

The consumer’s engagement in the buying process is more intense than it has ever been. With all the information available to us, it’s no wonder selling has become more and more difficult. When buying a product online, 92 percent of consumers spend time reading online reviews ahead of time and 40 percent of those consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews. They insert their own confirmation biases and make quick decisions based on how well that product is customized for their own pre-determined needs.

This kind of access to information is changing how customers buy across the board. And when you think about it—this new reality has made many activities accessible without the engagement of face-to-face interaction. From banking and dating to physical fitness and travel. Consumers feel empowered and want solutions tailored to them, or customizable.

What This Means for You

With this increased involvement from consumers, the sales process has changed and needs to be tailored in similar fashion. The buyer is going to be concerned about how much things cost, whether their opinion will be taken into account, and if they even have the time to listen. And the buyer is going to be armed with more information than they would have been in the past, which is going to make them a lot more confident than they once were.

As a result, sales professionals need a strategy—a sales process—that takes into account all of those pieces of the buyer’s mindset. It has to be flexible enough that they can tailor it to individual clients, but sturdy enough that it can be scalable and repeatable. There needs to be an element of predictability in the process despite the unpredictable consumer and their concerns.

Be Strategically Prepared

Once you are thinking strategically about the sales process, you can incorporate the tactics and skills you will need to use throughout the process. How? You’ll think in terms of if this, then that. If I get someone’s voicemail, what do I say? How do I deal with an objection about price? How do I give my impact statement? How do I present things in a logical fashion?

You’re also going to be developing skills that apply in any process: things like verbal brevity, resolving objections, being able to facilitate, selling over the phone versus selling in person. Remember, the sales process is simply the buying process in reverse.

In today’s marketplace, being a forceful, charismatic salesperson will not do the job. Consumers are different. They’re savvier, armed with more opinions based on the good and bad information. You need to have a repeatable system to address these and other complexities in today’s market. Learn more about what this proven and repeatable sales process is by visiting, the Tyson Group website or by purchasing your copy of, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business And Compete In A Complex World.

digital information

Separating the Good Data from the Bad

In the next couple of posts, I’ll be addressing how today’s information age has dramatically impacted the sales process. We all have more data at the tips of our fingers than we know what to do with. This most certainly plays a major role in any decision we make, from medical self-diagnosis to major IT investments for our company. Buyers have more information than they used to, which dramatically changes the dynamic between the consumer and sales professional. The identity, purpose, and involvement of a salesperson in the buying process is different than it’s been traditionally; they are no longer the primary information provider.

The challenge for sales professionals is the information available isn’t always good or accurate. It is estimated that 62-percent of organizations rely on marketing/prospect data that’s 20-40 percent inaccurate and 94-percent of businesses suspect that their customer and prospect data is inaccurate.” Data is the new major challenge for any sales individual.

Case in Point

People tend to believe just about anything they read on the internet, especially when it’s shared on a reputable site. Let me give you an example. My Inside Sales Manager once showed me a former Tyson Group employee’s LinkedIn profile, in which he claimed he won Rookie of the Year at my company. Trouble is, we don’t have a Rookie of the Year award. I sent him a note apologizing for missing the ceremony with a P.S. explaining that he might want to represent himself accurately.

It’s easy to accept what’s said just because someone said it in an opinion blog, an online resume, or a biased product/service/experience review. Inaccuracies, including the faulty information salespeople glean when they rely on the same online sources, ramp up the pressure on salespeople. They mean a salesperson has to be asking the right questions at the right time in live conversation or through thorough research. It’s critical throughout the sales process to take the temperature of prospects.

Buyers Are Requiring More

Not only has the role of sales professionals changed after meeting with a prospect, but the time and effort it takes to get to that meeting has also increased. Identifying an opportunity, pre-approach, and initial communication, are the most time-consuming parts of the sale process these days.

In B2B sales it takes six to eight touches to get someone interested enough to even talk with you and another six to eight touches get time on someone’s calendar. Those touches can come through LinkedIn, Twitter, even snail mail.

Making these critical milestones with potential buyers not only requires a steady, strategic sales process, but it also requires transparency. In a recent Inc. article, they cite a 2016 Label Insight Transparency ROI Study which confirms the need for more transparency from companies and their representatives because of the following reasons: consumers want to know everything about a product; consumers want to know about more than just your product; and if your company isn’t providing the transparent information, consumers will look elsewhere to get it.

Help your prospects make the best-informed decision they can make: be a source of accurate and transparent facts in an environment where they’re inundated with questionable information. Learn how to better integrate this into your sales process with the Tyson Group self-evaluation: https://tysongroup.com/evaluation/

sales

Run a Winning Offense Strategy

Every team needs a winning strategy. Some of the top franchises in sports turn to Tyson Group to help their sales teams move to the next level. Fenway Sports Management (large naming rights and sponsorship sales), the Dallas Cowboys (sponsorship, premium new stadium), the New York Yankees (premium space), the Boston Red Sox (tickets) and the University of Notre Dame (gifting and donor) are just some of the organizations we work with.

Despite the varied sports, our approach is one they all understand and easily adapt: when they adapted our process with an offensive strategy approach, they are successful. Whether it’s selling suites to Fortune 500s, closing multi-million-dollar naming rights deals, or selling tickets to the masses, it really doesn’t matter because it is the exact same process.

That’s the crossover power of our process that makes Tyson Group so successful. Throughout the years, I’ve worked with many of the same individuals who move from franchise to franchise and the feedback is this, “What you did at the Browns I want you to do at the Padres. What you did at the Cavs I want you to do at the Vegas Golden Knights. What you did here in San Diego I want you to do at Tampa Bay.” Regardless of the sports franchise, the process has been proven time and time again through a series of six steps that can be customized in a thousand different ways. Simple is genius.

Running an Offense Strategy Regardless of Your Industry

Last time I was in Salt Lake, I was with insurance brokers working with them on sales. We plug the same offense and process into tech, insurance, or financial as we do for major sports organizations. What these sales professionals—across all industries—learn is the same offensive strategy each of our major sports organizations leverage – a strategy and approach built on solid sales management, sales leadership and what I’ve referred to previously as, “grit.”

Like a top football, basketball, or baseball team, you can coach skills and knowledge all day long; however, the most successful sports stars have an “it” factor of persistence and grit. We not only help our clients the necessary sales skills, we help them access the grit within themselves—the element needed for true success in an offensive sales strategy.

There’s an exercise I like to do with management teams and salespeople in which they list attributes that would make their replacements successful. “If you had to hire somebody for your job and would get a bonus of 20 percent of your salary, what are things you would hire on?” I ask.

They will make a list of twenty or thirty things. But it comes down to three broad categories forming a triangle. At least 60 percent of success is based on attitude—things like grit, endurance, and perseverance. Another 20 percent to 30 percent revolves around skills like goal-setting and communication.

No matter your industry, when you approach your sales process with a proven offensive strategy—built on effective sales management, skill, and grit—your sales professionals will be unstoppable. Learn more about applying our proven offense strategy to your sales organization in my book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World.

buying and selling

Sell How People Buy

Think about the steps you take when you buy something—a pair of sneakers, for instance. Something in your world gets your attention and you come to the conclusion: I need a new pair of sneakers. You start to go out and look, try a couple pairs on, go to the store, go to Amazon, etc. In that process, you remove doubt, because you’re actively looking. Then you start to consider it, lay it out and say, “Jeez, do I really need these? What pair do I need?” Ultimately, you buy a pair.

That’s a simple buying process.

In most sales, especially B2B sales, it’s more complex. In a previous blog, I’ve likened the process to a trip to the doctor’s office. Regardless of the product or service though, there’s a way to be successful: sell how people buy. Do this and you’ll be successful. Sound simple? It is and isn’t at the same time.

The Science and Art of Sales

As a sales professional, you take action to get somebody’s attention. You need to qualify them to see if they would fit business parameters. You have to engage the prospect in some kind of request for their time, ask them a series of questions that are really for their benefit, and get the buyer in a scenario where you can present them with an idea in order to start creating an opportunity where one did not exist before. Then you present something that removes their doubt and gets them saying, “This is a decent fit for me.” Finally, you get into dialogue with them to remove any objection and close.

There’s no shortcut to the process, no way to cheat the sales process—whether solicited or unsolicited. At the end of the day, sales is a science—a series of yeses. “Yes, I’ll talk to you. Yes, you can ask me questions. Yes, you can present to me an idea. Yes, you resolved my objection. Yes, I’ll buy.” It’s an algorithm of questions, each followed by five or six yeses.

But sales is also an art—one that requires a deep understanding of why someone is looking to buy and how to help them understand you’re the right solution. Practiced at a high level, the profession combines creativity with a process for predictable selling.

Success Ultimately Requires a Proven Process

I have been a sales professional, entrepreneur, and have trained other salespeople since the 1980s. Selling vacuums door-to-door in college; leading the largest franchise for Dale Carnegie Training outside Taiwan and Hong Kong; building Tyson Group as the go-to sales trainers of professional sports and entertainment as well as insurance organizations; training over one thousand sales executives and sales managers annually.

In all these years of selling and working with organizations of all sizes, the key to successful sales can be distilled down to a six-step process applicable to any product, service, industry, and solution. This process works. It’s a process that will benefit any high performer—from entrepreneur to sales professional to manager trying to boost team performance—and anyone for whom selling is a matter of life and death.

Learn more about what this proven and repeatable sales process is by visiting www.tysongroup.com, OR by purchasing your copy of, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business And Compete In A Complex World.

Strategy For Using Email In Opening A Sales Call

opening a sales call with email

In one of my training sessions, someone asked how to follow-up after sending an introductory email. If we group the email with the phone call, then we can create a solid strategy that works well in opening a sales call.  Incidentally, this strategy also works with direct mail campaigns or as a follow-up to a white paper download. Continue reading

Keep Your Sales Process Focused On Your Solution

keep your sales process focused on the solution

Here’s a sales process example I remember from when we were looking at CRM software solutions. This sales rep, Bob, found me on LinkedIn and initiated contact. He then emailed me, saying he had a lead generation solution connecting the social media platforms to Salesforce.

Well, since we were talking about lead generation, I was more than mildly curious and agreed to meeting him. Continue reading

Sales Presentation Tip – Rehearse The Opening And Close

rehearse sales presentation opening and close

Prepare And Rehearse Your Opening And Close.

Yes, we’ve said preparation and rehearsal are necessary in your sales presentation. But you want to pay particular attention to your opening and your close. Continue reading

5 Essential Elements to Boost Your Coaching Process

coaching process for your sales team

As a sales leader, you will often find your people looking to you for wisdom, direction, and reassurance. Therefore, you need a coaching process that takes time to build up the people who make up your talent pool. We need to look beyond what they can do today and help them realize what’s possible tomorrow. When you invest in building your team members, you are investing in your organization’s future. Continue reading

Sales Presentation Tip – Rehearse and Practice

practice and rehears your sales presentation as you would any life event

Sales Presentation Tip 2: Prepare and Rehearse Your Presentation

In a previous post, we reviewed the importance of knowing your audience before designing and delivering your sales presentation.

Here’s another quick tip on preparing and delivering your sales presentation. Continue reading

Support Your Delegation Process With Effective Follow Up

delegation process effective follow up and support

Follow Up In Your Delegation Process Establishes Accountability

As a sales leader, you’ll want to spend some time reviewing how you delegate tasks. If you want to make your team as effective as possible and free yourself up to address the problems only you can address, then you want your delegation process to empower your sales people. Continue reading