Conversation is King

Just a few weeks in and 2012 is off and running.

The MPS cavalcade continues everybody marching in lock step. The infrastructure is in place. Weeks of training completed last year, sales campaigns initiated, “managed print services” mentioned more often than copier models on your website – well done.  Your staff can complete an assessment in an hour and price up a proposal in minutes. All your contracts are set, technicians hired, marketing slicks in place.

Now what?

Worse yet, your position in the market is exactly the same as your competitors’.  They’ve committed and recovered from the same challenges you have, and they have all the same marketing, value proposition and literature you have.

Again, now what?

Sell.

We’ve finally gotten back to selling, the only thing is selling has changed. “Trial closes,” “fear, uncertainty and doubt,” “find the pain” and “feature/benefit” are archaic relics of a bygone age. Just like the Fuller Brush sales person has changed, so must you.  Today, prospects understand their pain before you do. They are more likely to resent somebody from the outside trying to fabricate more.

It’s the Internet. It’s making everybody clairvoyant, reducing the mystery and margin.

Remember how unique is was to go out and find a prospect’s website?  Remember when that practice was part of the overall sales motion?  Now, all your prospects’ websites look the same. Just like all of ours do.

It is time to change, again, the way we approach and sell.

I think we’ve got to remember and honor the old ways while pushing through into bold, new, honest approaches. This demands more from all of us, full integration into the selling process from ownership to technician; sales to marketing to accounting to operations.  Embrace the change, learn more and more and more – not ‘sales,’ ‘closing,’ or ‘bond and rapport’ techniques. Learn how to talk, listen and be.

Conversations–selling is coming back to two people talking.

Who knew?