H Ross Perot is credited with saying, “business is a cobweb of human relationships.” Despite the prevalence of social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect us, people seem more confused than ever about how to form relationships. Regardless of how much we may want to be connected online, we still need that human interaction in person to fulfill our needs as individuals.
It is impossible to persuade or influence someone if they don’t listen to what you say. So before you can attempt to sell your product, you first have to get your customers to listen to you. This is not as easy as it sounds. It is hard to give someone your undivided attention yet very easy for customers/ prospects to become distracted and/or to multitask when they talk to sales people. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your potential customers will listen to what you have to say.
We have all encountered it—despite our best efforts, there is no sale. When this occurs, I’ve found it helpful to think about what happened in terms of why didn’t my customer buy my product instead of why didn’t I make the sale.
With so much at stake with each sales interaction, why do reps set themselves up for failure? I’m referring to their lack of planning and delivering a great opening. As I have often said, “A great opening does not make a great call but without a great opening you won't have a great call.”
Nobody is fonder of their college experience than I am. I went to the Virginia Military Institute and my education and experience there has in so many ways defined my life. I am now a Board Member of the Athletic Foundation which helps fund athletic scholarships and I love what the college experience means to people. But the sad truth is that there are 2 things that they don’t teach you in college that you just have to know to succeed in life in a big way: how to build valuable business relationships and how to set and achieve stretch goals.
"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure." [Earl Nightingale] What does it really take to be successful in selling today? Allow me to share those guidelines that I find worthwhile.
If you ask anyone who worked for me when I was a pharma sales manager (over 20 years ago) what PPSR refers to, odds are they’ll still remember and be able to rattle off: Profile, Plan, Sell, Remind. That was our mantra for selling in my district. And it worked—we led the company as the top selling district for most of the time that I was a manager. And I bet it will help you drive success in your territory.
No matter what your profession, there are certain moments that tend to stick in your mind. I was reminded of one such occurrence recently—how one sales conversation taught me four lessons that helped propel my success in selling. This particular sales conversation occurred when I was still relatively new to the profession of pharmaceutical sales. Let me begin by setting the stage for those of you unfamiliar with this rather unique type of selling.
“I probably shouldn’t say this but…” That statement got your attention didn’t it? This is the right way to begin your sales call—to say something that will make your prospect/customer stop and listen. The reality is that in today’s environment where people are being pulled in multiple directions and are accustomed to multi-tasking, your opening is more important than ever. When was the last time you spoke to a customer or ...
Relationships tend to be among those things we take for granted. We rarely consider them organizational or personal assets. But one could argue that they may be more worthwhile than those myriad of other things that we focus on. The reality is that relationships are crucial to our success and deserve some attention and planning too. I received a reminder of this when I got an email from a friend based on a blog about Reid Hoffman, “Do THIS In the Next Day, Week, and Month for a Stronger Network”. I agree with many of his suggestions so I’m including them here—but with a bit of Jerry Acuff added in.