2012 ominously presents itself as a stage for global doomsday predictions and has been characteristically capitalized upon by Hollywood, quite immensely to our entertaining benefit. On the other hand, the following Dooms Ways Selling Malpractices, if not rectified, may not constitute a cataclysmic global killer but may indeed effectively deprive companies of sales, revenues, profits and customer loyalty.
Malpractice # 1: Using the Obsolete “Present, Handling Objections and Closing” Selling Sequence
This erroneous sequence puts the seller by default in a defensive position hence the tendency to ‘hard sell’. This sequence proves to be inferior and time-consuming in thousands of real-world applications. Mansmith thereby developed and recommends a buyer-psychology process-based approach that re-sequences this seller-based process ironically by starting with discovery-based closing before presenting. This shall minimize, if not eliminate, subsequent objections. Hence, deal closure is attained three times more effectively with the least amount of transaction remorse and at an even significantly shorter time to complete.
Malpractice # 2: Using One Style of Presentation
Different people respond differently to presentations. Assuming that a presentation given to one will suffice when presenting to another person is being naïve. Presentation should consider interaction styles of people as well as the context by which they will perceive the presentation content. Therefore content, structure, and execution will have to be crafted depending on who one needs to present to.
Malpractice # 3: Probing with only Open and Closed-ended Questions
This approach is very elementary and leaves many salespeople fumbling with their probing, oftentimes asking too many questions but getting little significant information. Worse, the customer can be bugged to the point of irritation. Effective probing should use surgically-precise questions, structured yet built with contextual flexibility, to extract the most significant information both at the least amount of time and questions thrown. To illustrate: instead of asking a bunch of questions “whether this or that makes them happy with their current supplier”, ask “what makes them unhappy with the current situation” to get them to acknowledge their problems faster.
Malpractice # 4: Using (Artificial) Closing Techniques
Most, if not all closing techniques, are situated on hard-sell territory. My bold suggestion is to completely abandon the use of closing techniques as they present more hazards than gain. Mansmith prescribes the use of the more natural buying-process-aligned selling sequence, a significant part of which was tackled in Malpractice #1. With such, no closing techniques are necessary at all. The closing is purely organic and therefore no transaction remorse comes about.
Malpractice # 5: Treating all Obstacles as Objections
By assuming all obstacles are objections, those which are not objections do not get resolved at all. This means lost sales opportunities. A careful look must be taken to determine the nature of an obstacle such as indifference. Thereafter, proper methods that also consider interaction style of the customer will have the better chance of handling the obstacle.
Malpractice #6: Hearing the words but missing the non-verbal communication
According to a 1960’s UCLA study, it was discovered that words only comprise 7% of communication, while non-verbals 93%. Salespeople must pay attention and contextually read the non-verbals for them to be able to detect critical emotions and customer position. This is critical in negotiations, face-to-face selling with business counterparts, direct selling or even retail selling. For example, Mansmith trains sales clerks to detect customer buying phase, buying motivation and disposition within the first few seconds of shop entry, by simply reading body language. Thereby sales clerks’ actions mirror what they non-verbally read, and consequently does not scare off nor turn-off customers. In negotiations, this means being able to detect bluffing against downright deal-breakers!
Malpractice # 7: Bargaining first instead of negotiating
Most sellers and buyers confuse negotiation to be synonymous with bargaining. Bargaining is a very limited used tool that bears enormous risks of deadlocks owing to its one-dimensional perspective such as a hard linesquabble over price alone. In fact, bargaining reduces value while negotiation optimizes revenue or purchase savings, profits and partnerships using a multi-perspective win framework, processes and tools. Therefore, bargaining has to be relegated to a last resort method cognizant of the risks of deadlock it ominously tags along with it.
There you have it: 7 Dooms Ways selling malpractices to eliminate this 2012. Replace them with Good Ways or better yet, incorporate good ways as best practices in your selling methodology.
Rowen is a Partner and Chief Sales Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc., the country’s leading marketing and sales, strategy and innovation training company. Please send your questions, comments or feedback to mentors@mansmith.net.You can also visit www.mansmith.net.