Believe in Your Sales

We spoke on this topic in one of our recent podcasts on Sniffing Markers – “Take Me To Your Leader” but I thought worth re-iterating here as it struck a chord with me that I’ve kept repeating to myself as I work with customers in more sales oriented scenarios.

“If you can believe in what you are selling, why should you feel guilt in talking to someone about it.”

Think about it, whatever you are really selling today, if you are really passion about it, you love it, it drives you and you believe there is a world out there that can benefit from the value and change that you can bring them – why should you feel guilty about reaching out to people to meet them and discuss what you are selling.

Sales are never easy, but wherever you are, think about this when you feel nervous the next time you are talking to someone – believe in who you are, what you are selling and the change that it can bring.

The New Sales Funnel

The old sales funnel was designed to get as many qualified customers to the bottom of the stack as possible to reap the most sales.

They were all one sale, independent of one another.

The New Sales Funnel is still about getting leads and creating a business but now instead of a funnel, it’s a web of relationships, graphs, connectedness and trust where one interaction can yield a lead that might not work out but bring in more leads into the business as a result.

Instead of a funnel, I prefer to think of it as everyone having a handful of balloons not trying to squish through the funnel, but trying to pull them through the door, all fueled by your sincerity, honesty and trust in making a connection.

The Authentic Sales Funnel

Sales Funnels – at any stage – are an idea of how much work you have in the pipe to keep you going.  You want to keep the initial entry into your funnel large as potential sales (leads) fall off.

Eventually – you hit a percentage of conversions from leads to customers.

But is your sales funnel authentic?

Is every lead focused around your niche?

Is every lead a customer you want to work with, you want to go after, you want to have repeat business with?

Is every lead the actual value of the engagement or some engrossed version of what you wish it would be?

Does every lead have the potential to raise your game and make you better or does it keep the status quo tagging along.

Defining an Authentic Sales Funnel isn’t hard, we separate what is of value to us from what isn’t, from there we have an Authentic Sales Funnel – focused around niche development, customer engagement and organizational growth.

Finding your Inner Sales

The days of having someone “do the sales” for you are over, we are all sales people now.

Selling our products.

Selling our services.

Selling our ideas.

Selling our innovation.

Selling our brand.

Selling our skills.

In this new market economy, we are all salespeople, selling our ideas to our manager, selling your skills to a future employer, selling your products to a neighbour down the street and the list will go on.

The difference today vs yesterday is the word “selling” – it’s not all for money and margins, it’s for recognition, self-confidence, quality of delivery, bonus features, brand stabilization and value added services.

Once you accept this is now your role in everything you do in how you interact with customers and clients, the conversation now becomes whether you believe in yourself enough to sell yourself.

And the answer is Yes.

Give them the Demo they Need, not the One that they Want

Ask anyone what their problem is and they will tell you exactly how they want to solve it and make it go away.

I could easily come up with a few of my own problems and solutions to them, but their wrong. It’s not that I don’t trust myself,

It’s not that I don’t trust myself, it’s that they are framed by own view as to how I perceive the problem. In that frame, whether I want to accept it or not, I have already inferred a number of assumptions important to me, but perhaps not relevant to the problem at hand – either based on my own perceptions, personal

In that frame, whether I want to accept it or not, I have already inferred a number of assumptions important to me, but perhaps not relevant to the problem at hand – either based on my own perceptions, personal decision-making framework, and/or environment.

That’s why when working with a customer, it’s important to dig deep to understand the problem they are trying to solve before suggesting solutions and platforms that could fix their problem.

Customers don’t always want to hear this because they “know best” for the very same reason that I know the answers to all of my own problems – by the framework and worldview that surrounds me. Sure there will always be some aspects of alignment but it’s important to not take this at face value.

So how do you get a customer to buy into seeing the demo they need?

  1. Show them what they believe their problem to be, get them to agree to what has been discussed with their team during a requirements session.
  2. Show them what their problem really is and watch.

Did you get it right? Did you get it wrong?

Perhaps – but did you start the conversation to go deeper?

That’s the goal.

In the end, it’s about starting that conversation of what they need vs what they think they want and moving forward to solve the real problem.

And it’s not solely for customers either – take the word customer and replace it with “team”, “colleague”, “project”, etc.