Profession “Sales” is as tough as any other profession. You have as many challenges as you will find in being a cab driver or CEO of an organization. Not enough sales, not enough customers, Price too high, customer has standardized, customers buy from reputed vendors, competition, customer retention are some of the challenges we come upon.
To succeed faster professionals invest USD in mentors and coaches. The limitation; is mentors and coaches are limited by their time and accurately comprehend the human emotions. On the flip side BOOKS are a perfect Coach, Friend and a mentor. They are besides you, when you want them and even when you don’t.
Two months ago I bought the book “Switch” authored by Dan and Chip heath. SWITCH makes a fascinating study in CHANGE. Fascinating because it is written in Simple, Unpredictable, Credible, Concrete, Emotions and Story format; ensuring that the book sticks and it’s lessons stick too. The author says, supported by scientific research that for a successful CHANGE to happen three things should happen; 1st change should happen in head @ practical level, 2nd change should happen at emotional level @ heart and 3rd target should clearly see the road map with measurable results. In other words SWITCH takes an analogy of a rider riding an elephant and the path. For example HEAD/RIDER knows he has to get up early in the morning and exercise to stay healthy, but on the flip side ELEPHANT/EMOTIONS that is huge wants to sleep a little bit more in the morning and probably exercise next morning. Now in this case the two have to be motivated and also shown the end point to make an effective change. This is the philosophy of Book SWITCH narrated in 9 principals.
The principals outlined in the books are common across Sales, Personnel development and everything which entails bringing in CHANGE for better. Read my translation of applying “SWITCH” philosophy for Sales…. The 9 principals of CHANGE like the 9 lives of a cat……. Read on……..
- Philosophy # 1 (Head) : “Find out what’s working and how you can do more of it.”
- Sales perspective: Find a bright spot and replicate it. Find what is working in selling “that’s your bright spot”, duplicate it. When you successfully sell a solution to a company, productise it and resell the package to other business in the similar business stream.
- Philosophy # 2 (Head): Script the critical moves. “Don’t think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviour.”
- Sales Perspective: Decision paralysis – Never give multiple options to your prospects. Give them one option and explain why this option is better than others.
- Script the proven and successful sales process and repeat it with your prospects to create new sales.
- Breakdown the customers buying process into baby steps and address one step at time making it easier for your prospect to move forward – small change at a time.
- Philosophy # 3 (Head) : Point to the destination. ““Change is easier when you know where you are going and why its worth it.”
- Sales Perspective: Give them business ROI, when and how the solution will pay for itself?
- Show them how it will benefit them in 6 months – in 12 months down the time line?
- How it will enhance their business revenue, customer relations, reputation and others?
- Philosophy # 4 (Heart): Find the feeling. “Knowing something is not enough to cause change. Make people feel something.”
- Sales Perspective: Touch their hearts: Appeal to their emotions.
- Show them how your product will help them increase the market share and what will it mean to them and to their business reputation.
- How your product or services will attract new customers and what will new customers mean to them i.e more revenue – more payout to employees and promotions.
- Philosophy # 5 (Heart) : Shrink the change: Break down the change until it no longer spooks the elephant.
- Sales Perspective: breakdown your sales process into small steps. Provide OPEX model, provide easy payment terms. Extend a planned purchase plan thus reducing the financial and sudden change pressure.
- Philosophy # 6 (Heart) : Grow your people. “Cultivate a sense of identity and instil the growth mindset.”
- Sales Perspective : Educate your customers and become a consultant.
- Educate your sales team make them consultant to your customers, instill a feeling of identity in your team and in your customer being associated with your business.
- Philosophy # 7 (Shape the path): Tweak the environment. “Tweaking the environment is about making the right behaviours a little bit easier and the wrong behaviours a little bit harder.”
- Sales Perspective :Operate and sell when it’s convenient to your customers.
- Make it convenient for the customers to make financial decision – easier payment terms, Opex, Bank facilities, onsite engineer, faster delivery, convenient packaging and integration with their exiting processes.
- Philosophy # 8(Shape the path) : Build habits. “when the behaviour is habitual its free—it does not tax the rider. Look for ways to encourage habits.”
- Sales Perspective : Simplify your purchase process. Make it convenient and addiction for your customer to purchase from you.
- Retain your customers and encourage them to come back again and again until you become the defacto partner.
- Automate the purchase process extending better options, convenience and commercials.
- Philosophy # 9 (Shape the path) : Rally the herd. “Behaviours is contagious. Help it spread.”
- Sales Perspective: Request your existing customer to talk to your prospect.
- Arrange a customer forum and invite prospects to meet with your existing customers and sell you and your services.
- Referral selling, build customer case studies and customer testimonials and let these tools do the selling.