What Do You Really Know About Your Company?

The recent debacle at United Airlines caused me to wonder if company leaders really know what is going on within their company, with their employees, and most of all with their customers.

I recently called one of the premier tourist parks in Orlando at 9:00 PM during a week night to get some information about rates for 5 adults and 2 children to visit and to stay in one of their hotels at the park for a week.

After waiting for on hold for 42 minutes, I was greeted by an agent who seemed to be in a trance about giving me information.  After explaining what kind of a package I needed, the agent quoted me a price of $17,460 that included a 2 bedroom suite and passes for everyone to the park and dinner every night.  Yes, $17,460.00.

I further investigated the park’s web site and found that the price the agent gave me was not correct.  So, it seems that this “premier” park has a multiplicity of prices and quotes depending on to whom you speak or what you can research on-line.

This type of situation happens frequently at most companies.  I think that a strong contributory reason is simply that top executives seldom actually check what their employees are doing.  They seem to rely on the mangers who are in charge ensure quality.

If  you are a senior manager or C-suite executive ask yourself:

  • When was the last time (if ever) that you called your main switchboard and asked to be connected to someone? You probably received a voice menu. Did you try it?
  • When was the last time (if ever) that you called the sales department to get information about your products/services?
  • If you are an airline executive or CEO when is the last time you went on-line, purchased a ticket on your airline, waited in line at the gate, and actually flew coach/economy?
  • If your company has an on-line order functionality, when is the last time you sat at home and ordered something from your web-site?

In short when is the last time you actually checked on what you think is being experienced by your staff, your employees, and especially, with your customers?

Give it a try.  You might discover why people do or don’t want to do business with your company.

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Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems. He helps sales organization prepare their sales representatives today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.  He can be reached at 508-400-6103 or at harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com.

A Million Sales Reps Will Lose Their Jobs To E-Commerce by 2020

Yes, you read this headline correctly.  A million sales representatives will be displaced.

That is what Paul Demery, Managing Editor, B2B E-Commerce reports in an article that appeared on the Internet Retailer website.  He writes that those most likely to lose their jobs take orders for commodity products.

Paul’s website is https://www.b2bcommerceworld.com

He also cites a report “Death of a (B2B) Salesman by Forrester e-business analyst Andy Hoar, that projects 1 million sales reps, or 22% of the 4.5 million B2B sales agents now in the United States, will lose their jobs to e-commerce by 2020.

If you are a B-B Sales Representative or Sales Manager, you must read the rest of this article.  Your career and your income are in jeopardy and you need to be pro-active now.

Here is a link to the complete article:  http://bit.ly/2iENN5i

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Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Sales System and specializes in help sales representative and their companies prepare today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.

He can be reached at 508-400-6193 or via email at:

harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com

Are You Like The Cobbler Whose Kids Have No Shoes?

cobbler

Buyers rule!  Remember that.  Today selling is different.  Sales people should understand that when a buyer seeks out that which you are selling he or she has probably done the research they need to decide if you are the vendor they want to consider.  If your company is not able to back up its claims on their website, the buyer will wonder why.

The last thing a buyer wants to hear is ‘we don’t have time to make sure that our website reflects the reality of what we are selling because we are too busy making quality products for our customers that we can’t keep our website current’.

If your company is unable to devote the time to keep its website current, why do they have it?  If the services, they offer are not accurately reflected in their public image (their website) how can they expect their prospects or customers to believe anything a sales representative tells them?

Recently I was told by the V.P. of Sales for a web development company that offers search engine optimization services (SEO) that the reason they don’t rank higher in their own web page listing is because they are like the cobbler whose kids have no shoes.  Well, if they can’t devote time to ensure they are ranking well themselves, why would I expect that they will know how to ensure that their customers rank well?

Is your company too busy to ensure that their public information and the tools you need to sell are current?  Can you engender the trust you must have to succeed when your company doesn’t provide accurate and timely information?

When was the last time you checked your company’s website?  Are you telling your customers the same thing they have read before they even contacted you?

Or do your kids have no shoes?


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems and specializes in helping sales organizations prepare today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.  He can be reached at 508-400-6193 or via email at Harrison@UniqueSellingSystems.com.

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Watch Your Language

pitch-me

Are you using sales terminology that was created in the last century?  Does your sales language reflect the professionalism that you must have today to resonate with prospects and customers?

What do you imagine your customers or prospects think when you tell them you want to ‘pitch’ them?  How do you think they feel when you refer to the proposal you are presenting as a ‘deal’?

What does a prospect think when you call them and refer to them as a lead when they were simply requesting information?

Does the language you use reinforce in the minds of buyers and prospects that you are only looking for a sale?  Or, do they appreciate someone who speaks to them as someone who is interested in their challenges, problem, or opportunities?

Today’s sales professionals use language that focuses on collaborating to find the right solution for their customers not on finding the best deal for themselves.  They view requests for information as just that and do not consider the request to be a lead.  They view it as an opportunity to answer questions and find appropriate solutions.  And when the present their solution they never refer to it as a ‘pitch’.

There is a distinct difference in the mindset of a sales person who ‘pitches’ and of the sales professional who provides service, recommends solutions, and collaborates with his or her customers.

This is the second decade of the twenty-first century.  Have you evolved?  Or are you still out their ‘pitching’?

Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems and helps prepare sales people today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.  He can be reached at 508-400-6193 or by email at harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com.

 

The New ABC’s of Selling

always-be-closing

At some point in the last century it became hip to teach sales representatives that they should…

Always Be Closing

Perhaps sales trainers who taught this mantra were under the impression that potential customers would love it if their sales representative greeted them with “It is nice to meet you. “Are you ready to buy today”, like the experience we encounter on the automotive dealership lot when we are greeted with a similar statement. And if the customer didn’t buy immediately, they were trained that they should be closing during every opportunity during the meeting. They were instructed to ask for the sale each time the prospect said something positive. Like, “gee that’s an interesting point”, followed by the sales representative saying “fine, let’s get started right now” or some other canned phrase.

Oh, how in control that was supposed to make the sales representative feel… just thinking that he or she was on the road to super success simply because they had the courage to ask if the customer was ready to buy right now! Did they believe that the customer appreciated being asked to decide before establishing that the customer had a need for the product or service being sold and a right to ask for the sale? Or did they think that just because the customer expressed an interest, they were just waiting to buy right now?  Did they think that the customer liked being treated that way?  Do they like being treated that way?

Well, apparently, some customers were so intimidated by the Always Be Closing approach that they bought immediately. But then… they frequently cancelled their contract or voided their purchase order as soon as they could. Sure, some sales stuck. But what about all those buyers who simply tuned them out and said ‘we’ll get back in touch with you” and never did? And then purchased from a sales representative who was more interested in determining their needs and if the product or service would benefit them? How quickly do you think customers who were pressured to buy would recommend that sales representative to anyone else?

Today, in the second decade of the twenty-first century professional sales representatives should…

Always Be Collaborating

The Internet has changed the way buyers want to do business. Today’s buyers, whether in a business or in a consumer environment, have done their research and know what they want and what they want to pay for it. They desperately need a sales representative to help them sort through their options, to help them develop ideas, and to collaborate with them from the moment they express an interest until they have decided how they should proceed. In short, today’s customers want their sales representative to collaborate with them through the entire buying process.

Collaboration is the sensible way of selling today. Collaboration means that both the buyer and the seller are vested in the buying process to determine the right solution for the buyer. The goal is not simply to get a sale, but to develop the right product or service for the buyer while respecting the buyers buying cycle. Done correctly, acting in the customer’s best interest can sometimes result in recommending another company’s product or service. When that happens, the sales representative establishes a level of Trust with that buyer that results in an opportunity to be called upon again when that buyer has another need. And, it results in referrals from a customer who believes in the sales representative’s integrity.

Does collaboration mean that the sales representative should never discuss helping the customer get started? What is does imply is that if the representative has collaborated and feels trusted, the next steps will easily occur and usually, the customer will ask what he or she needs to do to get started.

Tomorrow’s sales representatives who can adopt the mindset that their job is to help their prospects and customers find the right solution at the right time and at the right price will be Top Producers.

An excellent book that is helpful reading is: From Selling to Co-Creating by Regis Lemmens, Bill Donaldson, and Javier Marcos.

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Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems and specializes in The Future of Sales. You can read more about the Future of Sales at uniquesellingsystems.com.

Harrison Greene can be reached in Lake Nona, Florida at 508-400-6193 or by email at harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com and his Linked In profile can be accessed at linkedin.com/in/harrisongreene.

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A Career in Sales?

A career is sales is a career full of conflicting energy. It is a career that most people can’t endure because rejection and resistance coupled with a parent-inflicted warning that ‘strangers mean danger’ outweigh the positive attitude necessary to become a professional sales person.

Sales professionals focus on positive results and it is the success they receive that energizes their soul. The success they realize is not only financial. Pros view success as helping their clients solve their problems with solutions that are effective for their clients. They never succumb to the old adage that snake-oil selling sales managers often evoke: “Sell it to them whether they need it or not, just make the sale.”

The salesperson of the future must learn how to unlearn many of the maxims and old sales adages they might have been taught.  Slogans like “Always Be Closing” and asking ‘Why Am I Here” are remnants of days long gone.

Professional sales people are proud of the service they render to their customers. They feel that if they really understand the needs of their customers and find solution that help their customers, the financial reward with be realized over and over again because they know that satisfied customers will recommend their sales person to others.  They view collaboration as more important than closing because they know that if they truly collaborate, their clients will ask to get started when the client is ready.

So, if you are considering a sales career, determine if you can provide more positive energy that will endure during the inevitable rejection and resistance that you will receive. And, tell your parents that talking to strangers is fun.

Remember, selling has very little to do with winning. It has everything to do with helping.

______________________________________________________________________Harrison Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems and helps sales organizations prepare for The Future of Sales. He can be reached by email at harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com or by phone at 508-400-6193.

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Virtual Reality… In Sales

Quantum shifts are occurring in the selling profession today.  These shifts are not a harbinger of the future.  They are the future.  And it is happening — now.

One of the major shifts in the sales process is that 80% of the average sales representatives in a Business to Business sales environment will lose their jobs.

The average representatives who have a demonstrated skill in areas like customer service, appointment setting, validating warm inquires, entering information into the CRM, etc., will be retained to support Top Producing Sales People.  This will enable the Top Producers to spend more time actually working with prospects and clients, developing new business through relationship-based consultative skills, and establishing collaborative associations with their potential customers and clients.

As part of this collaboration, Top Producing Sales People will be able to immerse their prospects and clients in a complete understanding and feeling of the product or service they are recommending to them.

One of the tools that will significantly impact clients is Virtual Reality Presentations.

Imagine the impact on a client who is able to actually walk through the details of the product or service in which they are interested with the ability to immerse themselves into every aspect of the product or service.  Imagine how a client will feel when, instead of looking at yet another PowerPoint Presentation, they will be able to feel intimately familiar with the product or service they are considering.

Now, for the first time, sales training has taken on a new dimension.  Role playing (the most dreaded training activity) now becomes one that the trainee observes in detail, as if he or she was actually part of this sales interview and presentation.

Product knowledge training is now robust and fun to learn because VR enables representatives to immerse themselves into the product in an exciting and comprehensible way.

Virtual Reality is now enabling this to happen through VR devices like Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Google Cardboard and many others.  VR is changing the landscape of sales and, while in its infancy, is helping forward-thinking sales organizations make the buying experience more collaborative, immersive, and exciting, energizing, and effective.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Harrison Greene, is the founder of Unique Selling Systems and partners with companies offering cutting edge technology solutions that revolutionize the sales process. He has been intimately involved with all aspects of the selling process as a sales representative, sales manager, and as V.P of Sales.   For the last 20 years he has consulted with large and medium sized sales organizations throughout the United States.

He can be reached in Lake Nona, Florida at 508-400-6193

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