Hit or Miss Does Not Work in Selling
By Alen Majer
Many sales are lost because salespeople assume they know
what the customer wants. Sales people like to made assumptions of
knowledge about what the buyer wants and needs, or sometimes more
important why the buyer might be motivated to buy. Using one’s
instincts and sixth sense is fine in the equation of success, but it
should be only part of your expertise.
Consequently, through unorganized, hit-or-miss methods,
his cost of selling is high simply because his methods are not as
efficient as they should be. This does not mean you shouldn’t use
your instincts and training well. But it does mean that your sales
assumptions must be based in a finding of facts, not guesses.
Using the dart game in the sales profession can lead to
failure. You have limited time on your sales call to a prospective
buyer and your darts must hit their mark. It’s even more crucial
when you use the phone for your sales prospecting activities: many
telephone sales calls miss their mark as being off-the-shelf calls
that aren’t developed with a specific buyer in mind. Dartboard
selling is a quick way to go broke.
Top notch salespeople advise that 75% of a successful
sale is due to the pre-flight work. You must make sure you know what
direction you want to go in, and you have to ask precise questions
that will lead you to confirm needs you recognized through trigger
events. You must know what direction to fly before your takeoff.
Most sales people out there are making a huge mistake
meeting (or talking over the phone) with their clients unprepared.
They think it is enough to schedule the meeting and they will work
their magic and close the deal. They will try to break the ice with
the customer by talking about the stuff in his office. Then the next
misstep is to ask a few questions and not even wait for the answers,
but to start with the same old sales pitch.
This kind of salesperson knows all the answers and few
features and benefits later they will ask for the business. After
hearing few “No’s” from customer they may give up and leave the
office with the promise of a follow up a few days later.
Unfortunately, the down side is that the customer will probably
never return their calls.
Big number of sales people does not take the time to
have a conversation with their customers, because they assume that
every other customer is like all the others. You will discover that
your previous assumptions in sales were fatal many times. Keep those
times in the past. It was necessary for you to learn a lesson every
salesperson needs to learn, and now is the time to grow and develop
your skills and knowledge. You will do so in developing your
knowledge about trigger events. It is time to replace assumptions
When you start learning how to recognize trigger events,
rather than trying to assume or guess at them, will not only enhance
your professional sales career and knowledge, but will increase your
sales savvy to what the customer needs.
It is mind-boggling to receive a sales telephone call
and the caller spits out a menu of mechanical words. The customer
isn’t even, it seems, invited to be part of the conversation. It’s
all about the need of the seller. Now when you contact your
customers with information collected from recognized trigger events,
you will have right questions to ask them, and all you need to do is
listen to their answers and reshape your presentation accordingly.
Start with understanding customer’s actual situation and
have their needs on your mind, but also find the way to put them on
the market by making them realize their yet uncovered needs.
I hope you realize how often you barked up the wrong
tree in your prospecting activities, talking to companies without
the real need, following up and leaving numerous messages to someone
who doesn't see the value in your product. It is time to move on. Of
course, at one time when we were starting sales, we all may have
wasted our time that way, calling people from the long list of
unqualified prospects we got from our manager, simply because they
were in our territory or vertical market.
Now you will have a very powerful tool to change your
approach to selling. You have to understand the positioning of the
company, what are they needs, does not matter if they are hidden or
visible to public eye.
You need to do this ahead of the first contact as part
of your trigger events research. You have to know the customer’s
situation better than perhaps they know it, because at the time of
presentation of your product, you will have their needs on your mind
and prepare your sales presentation accordingly to information you
Think value. Give to the customer what they ask for;
give them what they need and more, drive the conversation to the
customer's wants and needs.
Impress them with the depth of your understanding of their position
on the market and recent events that can trigger buying process, and
they will sign on dotted line.
Very often you can hear how selling is a form of art,
how sales people need to be creative and use their imagination, but
I am not agreeing with that – sales is more science than anything.
Yes you can use imagination and creativity, but after using tools
available to you. With the proper tools and techniques you’ll
replace guesswork with success.
Even if your company does not have automated system to
generate new leads for you, when you learn more about trigger events
from this book, you will be able to find your next customer by your
own. This will send the message to your manager that you care about
your job and you really want to develop your career further, without
waiting for someone.
Becoming best in team is an achievable goal and your
self-confidence is growing as you establish a competitive advantage
towards your colleges and towards your competition.
You don’t need to use old sales excuses anymore, like
“territory is too small”, “need more training”, “inadequate sales
tools”, “marketing provides no leads”, “we are over priced” etc.
Numbers of sales people who lose their jobs or miss
their quota each year are not really important to you anymore,
because you are more confident that you know what you doing in your
sales role and all thanks to getting new customers from trigger
events. Now you are becoming a real Sales Professional. And it is a
good feeling having control over your sales career, isn’t it?
Read other articles and learn more
about Alen Majer.
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