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April 12, 2005

Sales & Sales Management Newsletter
For Better Results, Goals & Success


Sales Tools

Perhaps you can not attend a workshop and you still want to get a taste of this consultative selling model. Spend some time here and choose from our interactive CD roms and Audios on Common Sense Selling that can help to make that transition from transactional to consultative selling model:

Working Smart With Microsoft Outlook

You still have time to also attend our class on April 19 , 2005

How Many Hammers Do You Need In A Tool Box?

The answer to that depends on what you do; are you a roofer, framer, or finisher. Each skill requires the right tool, right process, to complete the right task. That was the issue for Billy Bob. Billy Bob was trained by a Sales Manager who grew up in the old school mode of sales training. The Old School Sales Manager only had one tool in his tool box. This presented a significant challenge for Billy Bob in his new role as a high tech sales person getting his clients involved in complex hardware and software solutions.

Bubba was Billy Bob's past Sales Manager. Bubba was an avid follower of Old School traditionalists like J. Douglas Edwards who along with Dale Carnegie is considered the father of sales training( noticed I did not say sales development) Why even the famous Tom Hopkins in his best seller " How to Master The Art of Selling Anything" continually references J Douglas Edwards as his guiding light. Sure a lot of these old school decedents claim to have had a road to Damascus experience and are now attempting to modify their foundations. The issue is once you study these so called new methods from theses old school gurus you continue to see the old school blueprint bubble to the surface. Bubba's blueprint was the same he would regale his troops about his closing prowess, telling them that the best sales people were the ones who could sell something to someone who didn't need it. He would ask his troops to memorize Tom Hopkins and Zig Ziglars numerous closes. Just tell the people our story extol the virtues of our products features and benefits. Plus your job is to call on as many people as humanly possible in one day irregardless of if they are qualified because selling is a numbers game.

Bubba like many before him failed to understand the fundamental difference between a transactional sale and a complex sale which contain many steps, twists and turns. A transactional sale has an extremely short selling cycle where quick decisions are made primarily on price. In consultative selling it is all about selling value first then price. Something to consider, "selling value is not about presenting information." In the transactional sale the consumer knows the product well and is mostly concerned with the price and availability. The salesperson brings little to the relationship, except the ability to agree to a lower price in order to get the order. The complex sale is characterized by longer selling cycle, multiple decision makers and influencers, a relatively large financial investment and a high degree of risk for the buyer if a wrong decision is made. In a complex sale the relationship between buyer and seller is key because it's typically not a one shot deal; the seller will be involved well past the contract signing. For that reason those old school manipulative high pressure aggressive techniques simply turn off the future client and dissolve trust (open communicative relationships). One new variable has come up recently to complicate this transaction to the complex sales model. Most organizations and buyers today are not certain of the actual source of the problem. They find themselves questioning outcomes and rationalize that mediocrity is ok thus trying to draw up a solution to a questionable or poorly defined and articulated problem becomes very complicated. The natural default in most cases is this flight or fight choice results in "paralysis of progress". This manifests itself in a making no decisions, despite the fact that tremendous energy has been spent looking at possible solutions.

Understand that the complex sale must be consultative. Like a football game the goal is to score and do that you must move the chains. For Billy Bob to become a consultative sales person he must understand how to move the ball down the field. He must also understand just as in football it's a game and he must keep score of that progress. Billy Bob must get away from "premature presentations ". Before he prescribes a solution in the consultative sales model confirmation that a problem exits, has a cost plus those problems have impacts that need addressing now, must be articulated by the decision makers. 5. Our next Consultative Selling Workshop Called DNA Selling taught by the Gulas Group provides such advice. Our next workshop is May 25 and May 26, 2005 in Huntsville Alabama.


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