What’s your Val-You?
The reason why most people fail in sales is because they don’t create value- not so much as in their product, but more so in themselves.
In his excellent book, (No More) Mediocre Me, Brigadier General John E. Michel writes, ”Feeling valued by others is fundamental to our happiness and well-being.”
In the rejection-infested business of sales, how do salespeople gain value from their customers? We gain value by not asking…
Salespeople don’t ask for the sale. We’re tireless in establishing trust and credibility; we’ll work feverishly to ask the right questions, select the vehicle, and present our product based on our customers’ needs, yet when it’s time to ask for their business we back down because we want our customers to accept us; we want to be liked; truthfully we want to feel valued and the only way we think we can feel valued is to not hear our customers say the word NO. Every time a customer says NO, we feel less valued; we’re less sure of our abilities, and less confident in the service that we provide. We’d rather tell ourselves NO than to risk hearing it from a customer. So we don’t ask.
Our perception of value is all wrong because we place too much of an emphasis on results and less of an importance on the effort.
While it’s true you are in results oriented business, you won’t yield the right results if you don’t invest the right amount of effort; and you won’t put forth the right amount of effort if you haven’t created the right value…in yourself.
You should be more internally driven and less externally motivated. Val-You is a state of mind.
The prefix VAL is Latin which means, “to be strong, to have worth.” Your worth comes in the fact that you are strong enough to bravely show up every day and fail. (Outside of the sales profession who goes to work to fail every single day?) You are willing to invest thousands of hours in studying your product, your competitors’, and your craft as well. You go to bed late at night weary from rejection yet rise early with optimism. Strength of that magnitude can only be paid for with adversity and perseverance.
You set the price for what you’re worth- nothing or no one else can- not your childhood nor your past; no abusive family member nor disrespectful customer. The value that you have placed on yourself is translated into how you think, speak, the manner in which you carry yourself, and the effort that you’re willing to exert. Albeit little or much, the world will pay the price for the value that you have placed on yourself. Orison Marden said, “Personal value is the minting of one’s own coin; one is taken at the worth he has put into himself.”
So the next time you boldly ask a customer to buy and they say No, remember it’s not that they don’t value you- it’s because they can’t afford you.
I’ll see you next time of the blacktop!
Am I making progress?
Some salespeople seem to have the natural ability to connect with their customers. (I envy these types) In just a few questions, they’re able to deconstruct customers’ lives and find common grounds of interests- like similar childhoods, military service, cities visited, or mutual acquaintances.
With that being said, these types of salespeople are great at connecting and poor at closing because they avoid the pain of rejection by never asking for the sale- they’ll stall by keeping the stories going, rolling from one story to another until the customer finally leaves. After they’ve held on to a customer as long as they can, hoping a deal somehow falls into their lap, they’ll end up accumulating many stories but very few sales.
There’s going to be times that you’ll be unable to advance a deal any further. If you’re unsure if your deal has stalled out or not ask yourself “Am I making progress?” If the answer is yes, then keep exploring (even if it’s slower than you’d like for it to, keep chipping away), but if the answer to your question is no, quickly move the conversation back toward making progress toward a decision. When you do reach an impasse, isolate and overcome objections, clarify any misconceptions-focusing on maximizing all of your available possibilities.
Sometimes moving forward is setting up an appointment, finding a co-signer, or selecting a more suitable vehicle. In either case move forward or move on (only after the maximization of possibilities).
Stalling is not a technique.
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.