Sales fundamentals are often ignored. There is a lot of information being generated today for salespeople and sales professionals to utilize for self-improvement. People are blogging, podcasting, and posting expert sales interviews hosted by John Golden. But, if you’re a busy salesperson, you don’t have the time to listen to all of it, to read all of it, and to fully embrace the content and learn from it. Luckily, there is a way to approach your own self-development in a more discerning way, and cut out the noise to focus on the things that are important that can really help you move forward and make the most impact. John Golden interviews Andy Paul on this topic.
This expert sales interview explores sales fundamentals, including:
- How to resist the hype
- The importance of the basics
- Why thinking less can be more
- How to build trust
Resist the Hype:
The first step to cutting through sales self-development noise and focus on sales fundamentals is to ignore the overly hyped techniques. Anything that promises to increase your revenue 1,000 times over isn’t a good place to start for self-improvement, and it doesn’t provide real proof of results. Instead, be more selective and practical about what you utilize and take in. There are people who will give you good, solid advice, without the hype, that’s well thought out and based on experience. This is the kind of information that you can rely on, and what you should seek out first. Avoid the hype, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
Back to Basics:
We know that buyer behavior has changed, and that selling approaches are always evolving. And yet, too many people forget to go back to basics. Sales is still a lot about being able to engage with a human being, and building trust to go on this sales journey with you. Too often, the advice we see out there is geared towards later in the sales cycle, which are all very important, but if you don’t master the beginning stages first, you’ll never get to the later stages or close deals. “People need to understand that the first thing they should be working on is the first moment of interaction with the buyer. It creates an impression of you, an impression of your company, and first impressions are extremely hard to change once they are created,” said Paul. Many salespeople think the important part of the sale is at the end when really it’s at the beginning. “It’s doing the little things, like talking to people,” said Paul. “There is value in small talk. Just start a conversation.”
People’s minds are so full of must-dos, things that must happen in a specific situation that has been roleplayed and practiced and drilled into their brain. This brings up the explicit monitoring theory. This theory shows that you can be a seasoned professional, but if you have too many thoughts in your mind about what you should be doing, you mess up. The automatic reflexes that take over get pushed aside because people are too focused on what they should be doing. “The solution is trying to think fewer things. Think about the one thing you’re trying to accomplish at that moment,” said Paul. To combat the explicit monitoring tendency, Paul has two suggestions. The first is to use vulnerability. This shows a vulnerable side and gets people laughing and engaged. You could also turn the tables on people, and try to get to a spot where everyone is joking with each other and creating a tighter bond and actual relationship.
There are four cornerstones of building trust. These are sales fundamentals that are often overlooked. There are critical points to building and maintaining trust, and can be remembered with the acronym MICE: motives, integrity, competence, execution. With customers, the first thing they’re looking at is, are your motives transparent? Can they see what your motivations are? You might say that your motivation is to help the buyer, but it’s easy to send the message that you just want the order and don’t care about the customer. This damages the trust that we might have built up until the point. Integrity is not the same thing as honesty. What it means in sales is, do your actions reflect your words? If they’re not in alignment, then you’re eroding trust. Competency and education are equally important in building trust and are cornerstones to sales basics.
For more information on how to partake in these sales basics, watch the full expert sales interview!
About our Host:
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.
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