Thursday, July 19, 2012

Power Selling - Effort Is Just Not Good Enough!





Power Selling - Effort Is Just Not Good Enough!

Our definition of Power Selling follows: a rhythm that is settled into as a result of determined effort, high level skills development, effective planning and pinpoint execution, which affords the sales team a better than average opportunity to win the most sought after sales projects.
Wow! Let's break this definition down. Notice I referred to establishing a rhythm. The sales profession at the highest levels becomes a lifestyle. It is not something that you can not afford to ignore or pursue half-heartedly.
Opportunities exist everywhere. Each new person you meet has the potential to provide an opportunity or introduce you to someone who will. Friends are a wonderful source of opportunities in addition to possibly providing you with some of the most honest feedback or constructive criticism you will find. Books, magazines and newspapers will spark lead ideas. Social media is a growing source of opportunities as well.
But, you must put yourself into a position of having access to these channels, hence a determined effort and commitment is required. This is much more difficult that you might expect. The most successful salespeople are relentless and make it their mission to regularly participate in events that will maximize the exposure to new acquaintances. They are sincere about maintaining contact with friends. It is not uncommon to see very successful people volunteering their time in the community. Professional salespeople do the same.
Why? You must have heard the saying, "What goes around, comes around". Being available to friends or meeting others through mutual volunteerism creates common ground; ground that very often will spring fruit in the form of a recommendation, referral or access to decision-makers.
Access to opportunity is valueless if you have not honed the finer skills of sales. It is true that many sales are concluded by those who have introductory sales training combined with experience. In fact, these salespeople can provide themselves with an acceptable standard of living and are an important part of any community and certainly our economy. That said however, an important part of elevating yourself to the power selling stratus is taking your skill set to an entirely new level. You must be a continual student of the profession. Advanced courses in sales, sales strategy, tactics, buying psychology, effective communications, copywriting, presentation skills, etc combined with a consistent flow of books on the subject ensures the power seller is up to date with current trends and approaches, (eg: use of Social Media). Continued sales skill development is essential if you are to maintain a power selling capability.
Clearly understanding the strategic and tactical aspects of the selling cycle and being proficient in their execution generally separates the power seller from all others. It is far too common for most sales people to lack a pre-emptive nature. They tend to be reactive to an evolving sales cycle. They respond to their competitor's moves or wait for the prospective client to identify the next steps in the sales effort. You can not assume that you have done all you can do.
Just as a pilot requires a flight plan or a sailor his maps, to high level salespeople, a plan is second nature. A plan provides direction and confidence. It often is a bellwether to a change in direction should extenuating circumstances occur such as an unexpected competitive surge or an important client specification alteration. Planning gives you, in these situations, a logical starting point from which to not only respond but control the move to a new direction.
An important differentiator for this level of performer is the quality and preciseness of their execution. This is reflected in all aspects of the sale. Their proposals, presentations, formal and informal meetings, use of technology and development of relationships are well planned, strategically related and carried out with considerable attention to detail.
There is also a great respect for the clients of past sales. The power seller continues to meet their expectations, cater to their ongoing needs and leverage their influence regarding future opportunities.
Good salespeople are well aware of these issues and for the most part implement much of what has been highlighted above. They plan and execute their selling strategies and quite often are successful. What differentiates the very high level sales professional from these good salespeople is that each step of the process is finely considered based on the most current strategic and tactical methods, tuned for the specific project, flexible enough to respond to any situational change and demands a flawless execution.
In future articles, we are going to further explore what it takes to achieve and maintain the highest performance levels of Power Selling as a profession.