Rein in Your Emotions to Better Sell Solutions
Selling solutions effectively requires focus, careful thought and creativity. You need to be able to completely understand your customer, their marketplace, their challenges, and have a clear and compelling vision about what would help them be successful. You need to ponder what they need and how your offering would help them. And finally, you have to put together an innovative solution that will differentiate you from competitors and persuade your prospect that you are the one to trust and accept as a partner. Is there any emotion here?
Well, yes. Hopefully you have a passion for serving your customer and helping them succeed. The best salespeople are totally committed to finding a solution that works in their customer’s best interests. They are excited about sharing their expertise and fully enjoy being able to shed new light on a problem that has confounded their client. They get charged up when they can sign off on a new deal and win the sale. Anyone who has sold successfully understands the emotions that keep them doing what they do well.
However, there is a time and place for emotions. And they must never blind you from the important task at hand. Here are a couple of examples of when emotions can get in the way of a successful selling experience:
- You have been asked to meet with a high-ranking executive at a huge company. This is an opportunity you only dreamed of and the deal could make your whole year. The danger is that you could be so dazzled that you neglect the hard work needed to win. You still need to do the research. You still need to use all of your resources to uncover real needs and learn about the players involved. You still need to apply your best thinking to solving the client problem. And you must believe in yourself as an expert who can share new insights…even with the superstars. Review your solution selling training steps so you ground yourself and follow the process that works.
- You met with a new client prospect who explained what they need. Great…you have just the solution. Or do you? Don’t, in your excitement, race too quickly to the finish line. Does your client really know what they need? Shouldn’t you have asked more questions before leaping to conclusions? Do you understand the full scope of their issue and what other factors may have an influence? You need to slow down and apply the same painstaking discipline to this new opportunity as you would to any other.
- You walked into the meeting room fully prepared with your presentation but find there are some new faces that you did not expect to see. You could panic at the unexpected participants or you could calm down and take the time to find out who they are and why they are there. Before you can include them in the conversation, you need to know their role in the company, in the meeting, in the decision to buy and, also, what background they may need on you and your company to bring them up to speed. Sales presentations are an art and a skill.
In each of these scenarios, the lesson is not to let your emotions rob you of your experience and skill as a thoughtful, thorough, customer-focused salesperson.
Rein in Your Emotions to Better Sell Solutions
Do you know what rewards will get your sales team spurred on to even greater performance? Most sales managers rely upon cash incentives to boost their team’s motivation to meet or exceed goals. But money does not always produce the desired results.
If you really want to ignite your sales reps’ productivity, you need to evaluate your team members one-by-one to create the kind of meaningful reward that will really inspire each person. In other words, you need to choose the right carrot for the right sales rep.
You know the result you seek (driving individual and team sales performance to meet company goals). Use your tried and true solution selling training discovery techniques to select the sales incentives that fit your team.
Here are some reward categories to consider:
The promise of cold cash drives some sales reps…but not all. The problem with this kind of reward is that its value decreases as soon as the money disappears into the wallet. There’s not much emotion tied to money rewards. For many reps, you will need to look for something more meaningful, memorable and lasting.
Public recognition of your high performers can work. They like being saluted for their success and appreciate the accolades of their co-workers. The advantage of this kind of incentive is that it is inexpensive, though still effective, for small and growing companies with few discretionary funds. Another often coveted and inexpensive reward is the offer of time off…though some really competitive sales folks don’t like to miss even a day in the field.
If the gift has meaning, i.e., a spa day for a hard-worker who rarely gets the luxury of being pampered or a box seat at the stadium for an avid sports fan, then it can be a reward that makes a difference. More costly but having a more long-term effect are gifts of travel or adventure. Some large corporate sales teams know that if they reach their goals, they will be included in the exclusive year-end trip. If you do it right (no scrimping on flights, meals or hotels) and have the funds, this may be the best choice to get the entire sales force involved in a positive competition.
4. A Range of Choices
You could even appeal to the entire team at once by offering a variety of rewards…from outright cash to the latest electronic gadget. The key is to find what will motivate the greatest number of reps.
What make sense for your unique sales strategy, sales culture and talent plan?