Category Archives: selling skills
When you are thinking about developing your selling skills you might focus on your ability to demonstrate execution proficiency. This sales proficiency is a desired objective for anyone who wants to improve their ability to build client relationships. The ability to execute against client requests denotes competence, expertise, know-how, and mastery. Yet, providing an immediate “yes” to all client requests can sometimes lead sales professionals into a trap that winds up sabotaging relationships with clients. In this post I explore the sales trap that involves excellent execution. To learn more about other common sales traps, check out this article on The Technical Trap.
Your Selling Skills Should Be Built on more than Execution
Sales professionals who build client relationships based on responding to their requests with outstanding performance can find themselves in an execution trap.
Consider this scenario:
You have a legacy program or solution in place, and because you have such a solid relationship with the client, he/she asks you to do something else. You are such a known entity that he/she feels comfortable making this request, and you respond by doing what is asked. What could possibly be the problem here?
The trap is that your strong client relationship gets diluted every time you immediately say yes. When you simply do what the client asks, you become just another order-taker. Instead of seeing great value in your ability to execute with excellence, » Continue Reading.
In conversations I’ve been having lately with prospects and clients, I’ll ask how well their sales professionals are performing on the job. Their answers focus on the more tangible areas of sales performance. They might refer to lagging indicators, such as where the sales person is in relation to quota goal, revenue attainment, number of closed deals, and growth vs. the prior year. On the other hand, they might reference leading indicators, such as the number of opportunities created, value in the pipeline, or number of calls or meetings with prospects.
Even with all of these proof points, what they’re not able to evaluate very well is this simple question: How good are they? How well does each sales professional perform during those crucial moments when they’re interacting with the buyer? This kind of assessment is important because it’s really where the rubber meets the road — in those human moments of interaction.
Part of what differentiates a seller in the buyer’s mind is being able to trust the seller and knowing that the seller understands the buyer’s business and the issues that the buyer face. It is the quality of interaction, more than technical knowledge, marketing materials, or the value proposition, that creates a connection and convinces the buyer that the seller has his/her best interests in mind.
So, when I probe to find out how sellers’ sales professionals are really performing when interacting with prospects, they often don’t » Continue Reading.
Why Consultative Selling Fosters Trust
In my last blog post, I focused on why Consultative Selling is still relevant. Today, I am going to look at why using a consultative selling approach can foster trust.
A Consultative Selling approach comes to life in the dialogue between the seller and the client with use of the Six Critical Skills: Presence, Relating, Questioning, Listening, Positioning, and Checking.
These skills give sellers the ability to navigate the dialogue in the moment by connecting with clients and gaining and keeping their openness and willingness to engage in productive dialogue.
Being consultative helps sellers accomplish two important things:
They gain needed information to deeply understand client needs, identify the right solution, and tailor what they say about products to ensure relevance and impact, and By maintaining their focus on and connection with the client, they create a positive buying experience for the client that fosters an ongoing relationship and trust.
By using the Six Critical Skills in a consultative dialogue, sellers can make sure the client feels heard, respected, understood, helped, and genuinely cared for. Just as important is what the client does not experience: a true consultative approach means the client never feels manipulated. Thus, trust has a place to sow its seeds and grow. So, the outcome of a truly consultative approach is a closer relationship and trust.
Strategic Use of Assessments to Identify Sales Talent and Build Sales Dialogue Skills
Often in sales, it is the intangible qualities that separate a high-performing salesperson from an average one. These intangible qualities include some combination of a high-performer’s natural sales talent and the sales dialogue skills they actually demonstrate when interacting with clients and stakeholders. How do you accurately identify this mix of sales talent and selling skills to ensure that you know the “secret sauce” that makes someone a high-performing salesperson in your organization?
Six Emerging Competencies for Sales Success in the Age of the Empowered Buyer
It’s been well-documented that buyer behavior is changing, with power shifting from sellers to buyers. The primary reason for this shift is availability of and access to information.
The Sales Learning Curve: Getting Sales Process, Skills and Tools Right before a Full-scale Product Launch
Over the past 18 months we’ve launched three significant new offerings: Richardson’s Selling with Insights®, Richardson QuickCheck®, Richardson Sales Process Pro®. It is interesting looking back at how we prepared our sales team, especially in light of a very thoughtful and highly relevant article I picked-up from the Harvard Business Review. The article was written by Mark Leslie, the managing director of Leslie Ventures, and Charles A. Holloway, an emeritus professor of management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California.
Learning by Doing: the Magic Behind the Richardson Experience
Salespeople and managers who go through a Richardson program often comment that it is different from any other training that they have ever experienced. We pride ourselves in being experts in adult learning, in addition to being technical experts in sales process and dialogue. For participants, it is a transformational experience in their careers. Together we roll up our sleeves, work incredibly hard, get broken down (a bit) and put back together, and leave with a very different mindset and skill set than when they entered.
Dialogue: The Oldest New Killer Sales Skill
The World of Buying and Selling Has Changed
Few people disagree that professional selling has changed. The internet has disrupted standard selling approaches because it has changed buying behavior. Request for Proposals (RFPs) are more frequent, as buyers do their own research and engage suppliers much later in the buying process. Buyers attempt to drive us toward commoditization while sellers strive to differentiate. With closer budget scrutiny, senior executives and procurement professionals are more involved and the number of decision makers has increased.