Most salespeople are selling as if they’re still working in the last century. Old school sales practices no longer work. Period!
The internet is constantly changing everything. For example, today the sales process starts long before a salesperson even speaks to a customer. The customer is now researching their options on Google long before they introduce themselves to a salesperson.
The key fundamental differences are:
- The salesperson is positioned as the company representative – ‘Here is our product or service.’
- A sales pipeline is created by working historical lists of existing accounts or being handed another salesperson’s cold leads.
- The sales process starts with the sales people sending out letters, brochures, making cold calls and trying to set up appointments.
- Social networking only happens face to face at industry gatherings, long costly lunches, golf and other sporting events.
- The salesperson’s job is to convince and persuade through pitches and pressure.
- Marketing buzz is created with costly branded advertising, fancy campaigns and special promotions.
New-age, 21st century selling
- The salesperson positions themself as a trusted advisor. ‘You have a problem, how may I help you?’
- A sales pipeline is created by mining and creating conversations between prospects and you and your company on Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, newsletters and Twitter etc.
- The sales process starts long before a customer ever talks to a salesperson by researching on Google. The impact of your website and online profile plays a very important role here.
- All sales is social networking – on and off the web. Prospects come from a friend of a friend. Referral, high-trust and relational marketing are the keys to success with this larger sphere of online reach.
- The salesperson is strategic, consultative and collaborative. A trusted advisor.
- Marketing buzz is created with education-based marketing, seminar marketing, article marketing, informative client-focused newsletters, You Tube, Facebook posts, blogs, tweets and key word management for search engine optimisation. These online marketing options are measurable, low-cost and timeless; they never stop reaching new prospects.
If your current sales performance is sluggish or declining, then I guarantee that your sales force is using an outdated and old-school sales approach. The internet has changed everything about professional selling.
Can you double your sales? Do you want to double your sales? The choice is yours – sales distinction or sales extinction? Choose wisely!
John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.
Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.
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