Home » OPINION » Columns » GITOMER: Tough sales issues, and not so tough (but not so easy) answers

GITOMER: Tough sales issues, and not so tough (but not so easy) answers

The 3.5 biggest issues facing salespeople today are:
1. Price integrity.
2. Customer loyalty.
3. Fighting hungry competition.
3.5 Quality, attitude, and belief of the salesperson.

These issues manifest themselves in BOTH lost sales that you could have won and lost profits that you could have earned.
Tough questions:
• What are you doing to fight price pressures?
• What is your sales team doing this year to dominate the market and the competition?
• What is the perceived difference between you and the competition?
• What are you doing to create real value for customers and prospects in your sales presentation?
• What are you doing to build more value-driven, loyal relationships?

And the age-old question:
• Where’s the beef? (AKA: Where’s the proof YOU are the best buy?)

The key success answers lie in:
1. Value offered by the salesperson vs. value perceived by the customer. Ask yourself: What am I doing to TRANSFER my value message so the customer receives it AND believes it to be valuable?
2. Reputation of the product, the company, AND the salesperson. Ask yourself: What is my TOTAL reputation and how do I continue to build it?
3. Proof of product, service, value, quality, and outcome – social and video testimonials. Ask yourself: How am I using “voice of customer” as both social proof and video proof to win customer confidence and sales?
4. Depth of customer relationships, both with the salesperson and the company. Do they just “like me” and still ask me to bid or quote, or do they just call and order? Ask yourself: Am I still bidding on business, and waiting to be told I won?
5. On-going, on-demand weekly training and reinforcement to both help and support salespeople in the field or on the phone. Real-world, web-based training available on all mobile platforms. Go to www.gitomerVT for an amazing example. Ask yourself: What type of training am I offering that actually HELPS my team improve and make more sales?
6. Sales tool support. Easy answer: www.aceofsales.com – this program is a differentiator and a difference maker. Besides amazing emails and email magazines, Ace of Sales offers hundreds of graphics and optional scripted emails and subject lines for every salesperson. Ask yourself: Do my emails look exactly the same as my competition? Why have I not tried Ace of Sales?
7. Leadership support. Encourage and GO WITH your salespeople on sales calls. Coach them; don’t manage them. Don’t just lead by example; set the standard. Ask yourself: What would it take to become known as the BEST place to work in the city – and become known as the BEST boss to work for? Create real attraction!
7.5 Google in and Google out. You (and everyone on your team) should Google the customer and their company to do research before the meeting. HINT: The customer is Googling you as well. Ask yourself: How is my online presence and reputation affecting sales?

MAJOR CLUE: It’s not just one or a few of these answers, it’s ALL of them.

MAJOR CLUE: These answers don’t just happen. You make a plan to make them happen, and then execute the plan.

MAJOR CLUE: The quality of salespeople and willingness of management to help and support are more than half of the answers.

To gain a better understanding of what CAN be done, here are the sales psychologies behind the strategies and answers:
• The first sale that’s made is the salesperson. If you don’t sell yourself, your product or service has NO chance.
• The attitude and belief of the salesperson directly affect the customer’s decision to buy.
• People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. Stop selling. Start finding motives to buy.
• All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things being not quite so equal, people still want to do business with their friends.
• People buy for their reasons, not yours. Find out their reasons first, and get them to buy based on that.
• The old way of selling doesn’t work any more.

Got issues? Or got answers?

The difference is your sales success and your profit.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible,” “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless,” “Customer Loyalty is Priceless,.” “The Little Red Book of Selling,” “The Little Red Book of Sales Answers,” “The Little Black Book of Connections,” “The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude,” “The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way,” “The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching,” “The Little Teal Book of Trust,” “The Little Book of Leadership,” and “Social BOOM!” His website, gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at salesman@gitomer.com.


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