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Aug 23, 2011
Lesson 13 Relationship Based SellingIntroduction The world is changing. People say the world is getting flat. This speaks of the impact of globalization. Clients are getting smarter and have many more options today than ever before. They can buy products from almost anywhere in the world and have it delivered in days. Technology is developing faster than before; new models getting onto the market on a daily basis. With all these changes taking place we need to find a superior way of getting clients and keeping them. How do people choose who to buy from? Why should they buy from me or you? In this lesson we will attempt to answer some of these questions. For the biblical Christian the standard must be higher than “making a quick buck”. We must have a more noble purpose than mastering the art of persuading or manipulating a client to make a quick sale. Apart from the fact that these traditional approaches to selling do not result in long-term sales from clients, they are also not God-honouring approaches to business. Reflect for a moment. Are you willing to give away business because you know you can’t do a good job? Or do you do something substandard just for the money? Are you consumed with the desire to make your client succeed or are you blinded by an insatiable need to make money in the short-term. Many do not realize that “your client’s success is your success”. Essentially the sales approach we describe here is a win-win partnership between you the sales person and your client. A sale is not something you pursue, it is something that happens to you while you are immersed in serving your customer. Unknown “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough people get what they want!” -Become a River, Not a ReservoirI. Who is your client or customer? A. Your client is anyone you are trying to help succeed. B. Your client is often multiple people. C. Your client is anyone with a problem for which you have a solution. D. Your client is anyone with whom you can enter into a mutually beneficial relationship, helping them to achieve what they consider to be important to them. E. Your client is anyone who has, potentially, the means to acquire or benefit from the services you offer.II. Who is the sales person/consultant? In the new paradigm of sales we do not merely speak of a sales person but a business consultant. Sometimes the term and identity of business consultant encapsulates much more than the traditional mind-set of selling a product. This is why today we are hearing more and more of “account manager” and “business consultant” than “sales reps”. This is because companies are recognizing that sales is a process and not an event. Hence the so-called sales person we are talking about could be A. A technical advisor B. A new business developer C. A sales person D. A client-liaison manager Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church. (Student Notes with Answers) 67
E. A consultant F. A friend G. An interactive webpageIII. What does the sales process involve?The traditional sales paradigm looked something like this: 10% - relating (small talk). 20% - qualifying the customer (are they able to buy from us?) 30% - our presentation 40% - closing the sale (often through trickery, persuasion, coercion and manipulation).However, Peter Hart said “The close should be the natural progression of the sale, not the conflict atthe end.”The relationship based model popularized by Ben Feldman and others looks something like this: 40% - building trust 30% - identifying needs (emotional and rational) 20% - discussing possible solutions 10% - closing the saleThis model presents a more transparent, servant-hearted approach which we see throughout the bible.Having said this we are not negating the need for a clear process or sales cycle. The difference is themindset and attitude behind the process. Generally speaking the selling process will consist of thefollowing: A. Preparing for the sale. A lot needs to be considered in preparation for sales: 1. Managing your self perception and self-image. 2. Setting clear objectives. 3. Connecting with your corporate marketing strategy. 4. Defining your niche. 5. Knowing the support you will need. 6. Confirming your budget. 7. Outlining and ranking your prospects. B. Identifying client needs. C. Proposing and presenting a solution. D. Dealing with buyer resistance. E. Gaining commitment and closing the sale. F. Following-up and following through.IV. What are some common hindrances to effective selling? Whilst there are many external factors which affect our effectiveness in selling, I want to focus on the hindrances we bring upon ourselves. A lot of the problems experienced in sales today are due to poor attitudes and inferior skills. It’s important to note that • Right Attitude with Inferior Skills = Inferior Results • Poor Attitude with Superior Skills = Inferior Results Outlined below are various reasons why a lot of our sales strategies fail: A. We blame our clients and others for poor sales. Common excuses we make are: Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church. (Student Notes with Answers) 68
1. There is too much politics in this company. 2. These people are stingy. 3. They are confused about what they want. 4. I have been put in a difficult sales territory. 5. I can never get to meet the decision makers. 6. My product is inferior. Whilst these “excuses” can be valid reasons so often we dis-empower ourselves by dwelling too much on them. B. We are not action orientated. “Top students sit down and start studying Mediocre students spend a lot of time “preparing” to study. Top salespeople do their planning and preparing during non-selling hours. When selling time comes, they pick up the phone and start calling people.” Zig Ziglar C. We lack the winning edge. D. We don’t know what we are really selling. We don’t buy products but products of the product. We buy the products benefits and the solutions it brings. E. We are not profiled to correctly match our clients or product. G. We have not incorporated our sales strategy into the broader corporate strategic process. H. We do not manage our sales people well. I. We are not strong on the personal management aspects of sales. J. We take the rejection of our product as personal rejection. K. We have a lot of mis-expectations in terms of timing of closing a sale. L. We often don’t know how our product is positioned in the market. M. We have not connected with the right people in the client’s organization.V. What is the nature of relationship based selling? A. Relationship-based selling involves understanding yourself as a salesperson. Andy Lothian (Insights) describes the strengths and challenges for sales people according to their personality types. 1.1. Potential Strengths of a Cool Blue (analytic) sales person. • Asks excellent fact-finding questions which elicit a comprehensive response • Allows the customer time to reflect and consider options • Demonstrates care by giving attention to detail at all stages of the sales process • Provides accurate and timely data to support her sales proposals • Plays a questioning role within the sales team, ensuring decisions made will have a viable benefit to the business Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church. (Student Notes with Answers) 69
1.2. Potential Challenges for a Cool Blue (analytic) sales person. • May appear cold, dispassionate and severe • May present so much information that the customer loses interest • May ask too many questions and take too long to suggest a solution • May show discomfort with an unstructured meeting and become irritated with customers who appear disorganised and unplanned2.1. Potential Strengths of an Earth Green (amiable) sales person. • Excels at maintaining long-term relationships with customers • Listens well and takes time to establish needs • Gives the customer time and space to come to a decision • Takes a collaborative, partnership approach through the stages of the sale • Brings a voice of reason to the sales team, ensuring new ideas are really in the best interest of the customer2.2. Potential Challenges for an Earth Green (amiable) sales person. • May be seen to be hesitant and lack a sense of certainty in proposing a solution for the customer • May avoid confrontation or delivering a difficult message by sometimes taking the path of least resistance • May appear to lack passion and/or excitement about his products and services • May seem to lack pace3.1. Potential Strengths a Sunshine Yellow (expressive) sales person. • Brings great energy and enthusiasm to his role • Is able to socialise well with customers and make the sales meeting fun and upbeat • Takes a creative approach to solving the customer’s problems • Believes that anything is possible and talks in a compelling way about future possibilities • Brings optimism to the sales team, inspiring others to embrace new ideas and concepts3.2. Potential Challenges for a Sunshine Yellow (expressive) sales person. • May make promises to customers he cannot keep • May lose track of time and turn up late and/or run over • May forget the finer details by focusing too much on the ‘big picture’ • May lose interest in the project and fail to follow through completely4.1. Potential Strengths of a Fiery Red (Driver) sales person. • Sets clear and stretching targets for herself • Is honest and direct with the customer • Presents her products and/or services with absolute certainty that these are the best in the marketplace • Provides a fast response to the customer’s needs • Brings energy and momentum to the sales team4.2. Potential Challenges for a Fiery Red (Driver) sales person. • May be in a hurry to present a solution without always listening thoroughly to the customer’s needs • May appear intimidating • May sometimes move on to the next big opportunity before finalising the details of the last one • May be so single-minded that she fails to anticipate problems or explore alternative approachesBusiness God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church. (Student Notes with Answers) 70
B. Relationship based selling involves understanding and adapting to your client. 1. A Cool Blue client may want a lot of details; strong supporting evidence and detailed research. 2. An Earth Green client may want something safe, reliable, not too flashy, used by many other people. 3. A Sunshine Yellow client may want something fun and showy that will make them stand out. They are likely to get bored and frustrated if you try to give them too much detail about the product. 4. A Fiery Red client if often looking for the biggest, the latest, the fastest, the best….. They are attracted to excellence and love good deals. They hate being taken advantage of or “ripped off”.VI. What are the marks of an effective sales person? Andrew Patricio outlines various components of effective selling at different levels of the sales cycle. We have adapted these to show simply what an effective sales person does. These activities can be used in rating yourself as a sales person: A. In the preparation phase the effective sales person gets the basics right by… Being committed to excellence. Loving customers. Being fanatical about service and quality. Developing relationships. Knowing why people should buy from them. Finding a market niche. Developing their credibility. Finding prospects. Not neglecting existing customers. Applying Paretos law - 80% of your sales usually comes from 20% of your customers so ensure that you know who the 20% are in your business. Asking for referrals - always remember to ask for referrals. Re-activating old customers. Check your database and contact customers that havent bought from you in a while. Developing a network of businesses. Associate with people that are potential customers. Customers like buying from people they know and like Using a database. Making use of telesales and mail-shots. Use telesales and mail-shots to open the door to an appointment with your potential client Using the Internet. Very important today! The Internet can be used as a means of sending valuable information or a newsletter to your customers via email, or for developing a website where customers can view your products or place orders. B. Before visiting their clients, effective salespeople…… Have information about all products, services they offer and their prices. Know exactly what their competitors offer. Have a well-rehearsed basic sales pitch. Ensure that they do as much research as possible about the customers business before calling on the customer. Ensure that their products are neat and tidy and well presented. Ensure that they are appropriately dressed. Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church. (Student Notes with Answers) 71
Ensure that they are on time for appointments.Ensure that their written sales presentation, proposal or quotation looks professional.Set specific targets for themselves that they would like to achieve.Motivate themselves to achieve them.Believe in their product.C. Effective sales people are determined to understand the customers needs.They ask questions in order to find out what the customers needs are.They listen to the customer - follow the 70/30 rule: listen 70% of the time and talk 30% of the time.They know that if they talk too much, they will not be able to satisfy their customers needs becausethey will not hear them.D. Effective sales people take sales presentations seriously and this is seen in how...They ensure that they have a well-structured presentation.They make them memorable by how they creatively communicate the essentials.They sell well the benefits and features of their Products or Services.E. Effective salespeople are skilled in handling objections.F. Effective salespeople know how to close the sale.G. Effective sales people know the importance of follow-up.H. Effective sales people know the art of getting referrals. 1. Gather as much information as possible about the referral. 2. Ask your customers permission to use their name. 3. Ask your customer to help you get an appointment with the referral. 4. Contact the referral as soon as possible. 5. Inform the customer about the outcome of the referral. 6. Keep in regular contact with your customers.I. Effective sales people tend to exhibit the following traits. 1. They have a burning desire to achieve. 2. They look and act professional. 3. They radiate confidence. 4. They have a genuine concern for customers. 5. They are enthusiastic and passionate about their product.. 6. They believe in what they are doing. 7. They are excellent listeners. 8. They dont take rejection personally. 9. They search for sales opportunities everywhere. 10.They are eternal optimists. 11.They know how to interpret body language. 12.They network all the time. 13.They work on developing a positive self-image or attitude. 14.They have a sense of humour. 15.They persevere until they succeed.Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church. (Student Notes with Answers) 72