Every Interaction is a Selling Situation
The best book on sales, hands down, has nothing to do with sales. It was written in the 1930s by Dale Carnagie, and every successful sales rep I know has not only read it once, they’ve read it multiple times. It is called, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
When I was 14, my mother handed me a copy in response to my complaints that I could not relate to my parents’ friends. Naturally, I used it to meet girls and was, um, the top salesman in my high school class. Moving on…
“You can get what you want when you figure out what the other guy wants and help him to get it.” That right there is the premise of the book. It’s not about you. No one cares about printing but you, Printing Impressions and Gutenberg (but not Project Gutenberg!).
Printing keeps you up at night, not your customers and prospects. If you can figure out what causes them to toss and turn and solve that problem, you will earn print business. Get it?
But wait, there’s more!
Mr. Caragie’s mantra works elsewhere, too. Where? Well, just about everywhere!
• Sales/management relationships.—An overbearing boss is not letting a sales rep sell. The sales rep needs to see this as a selling situation and figure out what the boss wants (in this case, the knowledge that the rep is doing the job) in order to get what he wants (for the boss to back off). Result: Rep starts sending unsolicited e-mail updates. Satisfied boss moves on to something else, and rep can now focus on sales.
• Dealing with a customer-service agent.—Let’s say you want to return something that is beyond the return date. Sure, you could argue about what a good and loyal customer you are. But seeing this as a selling opportunity, you see that what the agent wants is respect, honesty and a reasonable request. Taking that approach has a better outcome.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.