Listen, add value

listen_lI caught an exchange on Twitter recently that summed up my sales philosophy, both what I have practiced and currently preach in my role as a corporate sales trainer.  Listen, add value. The context was referring to successful corporate twitter strategy.  You can see this reference mentioned several times in the Twittersphere. It’s such a simple philosophy, useful not only as a twitter corporate strategy, but as a sales strategy in general.

Taking it all in

I consider myself a sales professional, and a pretty good one.  Through formal study, self study and experience I’ve formed a belief system about how I approach the sales process.  I’ve taken in as much as possible when in comes to sales strategy from the Boiler Room philosophy of Always Be Closing (ABC), to Customer Centered Selling to Spin Selling to Solution Selling.  Some made complete sense and I picked up their key points easily, others I had to re-read to figure out what direction the process developer or author was going. Others I quickly found out were ineffective (ABC for example).

Maybe the challenge starts with the company and trickles down to the sales person.  David Meerman Scott recently posted a few “Gobbledygook” customer statements  and with product descriptions like these, it’s no wonder so many complicated selling strategies have been developed!

Putting it all together

I pulled from what I found useful to me and dropped the rest, trying to put into practice, taking what I believe will be the most effective approach.  My latest challenge is taking this belief system and trying to share it with those sales professionals that I train and coach every day.  Most of those I train have not been in the sales profession for very long, which is probably both a blessing and a curse, and are trying to form their own belief system that guides how they approach the sales process.

The mistakes I see them making are pretty consistent and ones most new sales people make.  Because most don’t have a sales process yet they spew product features and benefits without having an understanding of what the customer needs are.  Product features are what they know, so that’s what they talk about. 

The challenge I face is giving these relatively inexperienced sales people an easy set of beliefs to follow that can then guide their actions, questions and behavior on a daily basis.  That chance tweet I saw on will be my new strategy to give these salespeople what I hope is the guidance they need.

Listen, add value…can’t get much more simple and straight forward than that.


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