Sales has evolved since the days of go go go, develop opportunities and pour more projects into the funnel.
While being a tenacious “go-getter” is still definitely needed, the focus has changed. Of course you need to know about the products / solutions you’re selling, but knowing what the customer’s values, wants and needs are more important. Become their “empathetic expert” … with everything that’s available on the internet today, business buyers often know more about the products available than the Sales reps, and they can easily make product and price comparisons themselves. What they’re really after is someone that knows where their business is headed, what potential pitfalls are round the corner and someone that knows how shit can hit the fan.
You’d think that because prospects are able to find everything they need on the internet, that there would be no need for salespeople … but companies are hiring more of them !? This is because there is a lot of information available on the internet. Forging relationships is more important than ever, as the old saying goes “people like to buy from people, not companies!” You need to be able to act as a mentor to their business strategies, help them protect their interests and achieve their ultimate (personal) goals and they will want to work with you even more.
Thanks to the internet, everyone is an expert … we all know where to source information … The all knowing google!
Be the expert they can pick up the phone to and say “what do you think … “. The other day I had a customer ask me what I think he should do with an issue he had with his girlfriend … needless to say, he’s a very good customer! The traditional “you’ve either got it, or you don’t” attitude with regards to the successful sales people no longer applies. The demands of most sales roles are starting to call on the analytical / empathetic skills. People can ask for more these days so they need someone that can understand the complex business issues that companies face.
As a result of the plethora of information available to prospects today, selling is inevitably going to become more of a science (instead of being completely an art).