Your sales process is about you, not about your buyer. How soon did you want to talk to a salesperson on your last major purchase? It was likely much later, not sooner. The reason is that we all know once we engage a salesperson, we are going to be harassed. This is by design. The salesperson is executing their sales process and their function is to close anyone that makes themselves known.
What if I am not ready to be closed? When we first start buying, we are not ready to be closed. We are looking for information and we are wanting to find that information to help us feel comfortable, educated and aware of our need. We may not be able to articulate our need just yet. Talking to a salesperson prematurely only highlights the awkwardness.
Make It About Buying
If it was the old days, I would tell you to get out there, woo prospects, educate them, follow up and close them. They gave you permission. You were the keeper of special knowledge after all.
Today, that is both disruptive and awkward. Information is free for people. They expect to find it with a few searches and clicks. The internet has allowed a complete self-service model which empowers buyers to learn before they decide. There is plenty for them to consume and they will take their time until they become close to as knowledgeable as you, Ms. Salesperson.
Here’s how you can help them do what they are going to do anyways – avoid salespeople, educate themselves and decide on their own – and pick you when they are ready:
- Create Smart Decision Trees – Build logic and autoresponders which are intelligent to serve up the right information based on your buyer decisions and indecisions.
- Package Content – Use multimedia and content strategically delivered and marketed for consumption and download. Make it count. Put it on the web on your domain.
- Measure Every Movement – You should be able to see everything the buyer does. There is a lot of action they are taking apart from calling you. It’s data that tells you whether they are ready or not. If you are flying blind, it’s because you have poor systems and are not understand what marketing automation is. Get smarter.
- Position Your Leadership – Always, always, always lead. Help. Think ahead for the customer. Be more valuable than anyone else.
The reality is that organizations are realizing that hiring a large sales force is vanity. There may be a lot of busy work, but the results damage your brand more than help your results.
The job of sales has been contracted because information via the internet has tilted the balance of power to the buyer. They can self-serve and they prefer this. If you cannot see this reality, then think about it long and hard. After doing so, take the advice in stride and rebuild how you sell. Skinny selling and beef up buying. It is the winning strategy of today.
What have you noticed about how your buyers engage you compared to the past? Feel free to comment below.