Death of a Salesman

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Sales is dead.

Oh, not selling, mind you. No matter how advanced we become technologically, as long as their remains grey matter between our ears and it is not replaced with a computer chip, we will continue to be emotional beings who buy based on our own thoughts.

Selling is alive and well. Traditional sales, as many of us were taught, however is as dead and extinct as the dodo.

Most sales organizations, trainers and many managers still believe that features, benefits and closing, (IADA as clearly explained in the movie, Glen Gary Glen Ross) is the basic method of sales. For those of you who missed Alec Baldwin’s electrifying performance (along with the all star cast of Ed Harris, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Jack Lemon and Kevin Spacey) IADA stands for:

  • Interest
  • Attention
  • Decision
  • Action

Methods like IADA, SPIN selling and any number of acronyms are about as useful as a heat lamp in the desert. The desert doesn’t need any extra heat and consumers don’t need to be herded into compartments and “influenced” with your brilliant enthusiasm. It’s embarrassing to watch and consumers have already seen this movie.

Professional sales people must be educators. Sales people must ask relevant questions. They need to develop relationship, serve and not give a darn if the prospect buys or not. Only with a sincere interest in the deep needs of your client, can you hope to be positioned as a true consultant, advocate and yes…a sales professional.

Education-based marketing is here to stay. Opt-in for a free report? Good. Attend a free workshop? You better deliver, buster. If you think masquerading a sales pitch inside a presentation will hypnotize your audience you are in for a rude awakening. Only late night informercial pitchmen can hope to pull that off.

You, as a professional, have an opportunity to build lasting value and an endless steam of referrals by being more than a walking brochure. To engage authentically with your client and get them to buy from you, you must advocate for their needs and regardless of the outcome of the sale, position yourself as a trusted resource. That is where the referrals will come from and that is where your reputation will be exemplified. If you do a great job, your client will not only respect you, he’ll sell you to his friends.

And the advocacy comes full circle.

-Doug Crowe
www.DougCrowe.com

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