I’m a big advocate of “small”. I believe that small changes can lead to big results. That it’s better to ask for a small commitment than a large one. That it’s easier to take small steps than large strides to reach your goal. Usually small is better—but not always, as a recent study confirmed.
Opportunities can spring up in the most unexpected places. Any chance meeting can lead to some surprising outcomes. And sometimes you are not even present when those opportunities appear. Allow me to explain. Just recently I received an update from a sales trainer I’ve been working with. She was reading my book The Relationship Edge in Business on a plane trip. This prompted a conversation with the man sitting next to her who was a computer technology sales manager. After their discussion, he took a picture of the book saying he planned to read the book and have his sales people get copies too. That led her to wonder how many books have been sold on planes and not just by her.
Do you know what your customer treasures—what really matters to that individual? And perhaps more importantly, do you understand why you need to know this? Selling is a thinking person’s game. In essence you are trying to solve someone else’s problems. You can’t do this unless you understand exactly what those problems are, the ramifications of those problems, and the issues surrounding them. How can you learn this vital information? By asking your customers.
As customers, we respect people who truly want to discover what we want...not necessarily what we need...but what we want. From time to time, people want something different than what we are selling. There is no greater opportunity to earn respect than to help them understand that while they may think we have what they want, we really don't.
You sell more when you care less about the sale—and more about the customer. If you are a frequent reader of my blog or have attended any of our Delta Point training seminars, you’ve probably heard us express this in a variety of ways. We talk about being other focused, about approaching the sale from the customer’s point of view (Thinking Like a Customer) and planning your sales conversation with a mindset of pure intent. In his most recent book, To Sell Is Human, Daniel Pink confirms that these tenets are not only the right thing to do but are extraordinarily effective.
We are all familiar with the law of gravity: what goes up must come down. But there are other laws/rules that I’ve found to be true—they are not actual physical laws like the law of gravity, but these are ideas that you can live by. And if you indulge me for the next few weeks, I’ll share those universal truths that have never failed me (named Jerry's Laws of the Universe) thinking that you’ll find some value in these laws too.