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Ditch the Sales Pitch and Focus on Relevance

ditch-the-pitchYears ago, a sales manager gave me a great sales tip, and it’s something that continues to resonate when I work with many of my clients:  “Stop telling people why you think they should buy.”  This makes a lot of sense, however, it’s easy to make assumptions about what motivates people to buy – too easy. This can actually lead to lost sales. Yet many sales people still do not focus on what is relevant to a client and go right into their sales pitch. Imagine walking into a car dealership and the sales person is trying to sell you the red sports car when all you want is an SUV. Or, your mother is shopping for a new mobile phone and the sales person is trying to sell her a smartphone, when all she wants is a basic phone. Everyone uses cars, phones, software – whatever product or service – for different reasons. And no one likes to be told what to buy. Before you start selling the product and listing features that you assume the buyer wants, find out what they really want. Only with a full understanding of the client’s key priorities, needs and challenges can you show them the features that are indeed relevant to them. Here’s an interesting exercise: Ask your colleague to sell you his cell phone. See what happens. Does he start with questions about your wants and needs first? Or does he start telling you about the product’s features that he assumes you care about?

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

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