NEW WAYS TO SELL|
The traditional mindset for sales has been centered on relationship building. And while relationships are critical to sustainable business, it doesn't necessarily mean you must fall all over yourself trying to impress everybody. Much like an insecure young man smothering the object of his affection, marketers can come on a bit strong – and maybe even a bit desperate.
While courting your market is paramount to being successful, serving your clients' every need can be a slippery slope. According to Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, authors of "The Challenger Sale," it's more important to challenge your clients than to react to every perceived problem. Obviously, people want to do business with people they trust, but they also want to do business with people who make them think.
If it becomes too easy for someone to make you jump at their command, they ultimately could lose respect for you. More important, because they go unchallenged, they are unable to find a better sense of themselves. Great marketers understand that you can have it both ways. You can show people you care, but you also can keep your dignity by being true to the process and challenging your clients to be better.
A problem of modern marketing is that clients are becoming more cautious in their purchasing processes. They want salespeople to not only show they understand, but also support their businesses. It is no longer enough to be nice. Only when customers realize that the salesperson can provide real and intelligent value will they listen more.
In their book, Dixon and Adamson identified five different types of sellers and found that traditional relationship builders performed the worst, while those who challenged their clients lead the way. Maybe it's true what they say – nice guys really do finish last. But a closer look at the different sellers reminds us that it simply takes a different type of sales process to attract clients and elevate their businesses.
Clearly, how we sell has become more important than what we sell. So, if you're going to win, you have to equip your organization in a way that generates new demand in a world of reluctant, risk-averse customers. In turn, the most successful organizations and sellers will push the customers out of their comfort zones, while the rest of the world is trying to be accepted into it.
Challenge yourself and challenge your clients.