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FLEXO Magazine : February 2010
56 FLEXO FEBRUARY 2010 www.flexography.org Selling is not about you. Selling is about your prospect. When you leave a voicemail, does it sometimes sound like this: "Let me tell you a little about my company." or "Let me tell you a little about my product"? Your prospect cares about neither your company nor your product, but rather he/she cares about solving his/her business problems. For someone to be suc- cessful in sales he or she needs to be able to walk in the shoes of the customer. They need to be able to visualize the issues, prob- lems and challenges that this company might be experiencing. For example, if you are calling on a construction company and you have sold your solution to another construction com- pany, what problem did your solution solve or improve? How about the wholesale distributor that you sold your solution to, what benefits did it derive from your solution? How about the manufacturer? If you know why these customers bought, then you know some potential hot buttons to grab the attention of your new prospect. You also add credibility to your story that you can help them because you have already helped other companies in their industry. Expertise and experience goes a long way in opening doors and getting the business. By the way, you noticed that I referenced your "solution" not your "product or service." If you are selling a product or ser- vice, then you are selling a commodity that may be available by multiple product or service companies. However, if you are selling a solution, you are selling the capability to solve your customer's problems, issues or challenges. You are helping that customer improve quality, cut cost, improve customer ser- vice, etc. Sometimes this is simply a state of mind or attitude. What you have to sell may not change, but how you position it with your customer will change the perception and impor- tance of your product/service---your solution! Voicemail in sales, unfortunately, is very prevalent. So let me ask you, which voicemail is going to get your attention if you are the prospect? Which mail has a higher probability of a return call? 1. I called because I wanted to tell you about our company. 2. I called because I wanted to tell you about our products. 3. I called because I have been working with several con- tractors/distributors/manufacturers (pick an industry) in the area to solve their [problem]. We have been able to solve this challenge with our [solution]. Some of you are asking yourself, "What problem or issue did I solve when I sold that label press, service contract, etc. to the XYZ Company? First, if your answer is they needed a faster press, then I am not communicating effectively. If that is the case, the follow-up question is, "Why?" What business problem did they need to solve? Secondly, if you have to ask that ques- tion then you also need to re-evaluate your sales approach to determine if you are really taking an approach to solve your customer's challenges or if you are simply taking the order? I heard a neat saying a long time ago and I am going to modify it slightly for sales. "Your customer cares how much you know when they know how much you care." Don't just sell your product or service but rather care enough about your customer to help them solve their problems with your solution. Why not walk in their shoes for a while? ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roger Bostdorff is the president of B2B Sales Boost LLC. He spent more than 30 years with IBM in sales and sales management. B2B Sales Boost is a consulting com- pany helping organizations improve their sales and overall business processes. You can find more about B2B Sales Boost on the Web at www.b2bsalesboost.com or by calling 419-351- 4347. If you would like to receive the B2B Sales Boost Newslet- ter, please send an email to email@example.com. Whose Shoes Are You Walking In? Proper Perspective in Sales By Roger Bostdorff PLANTS & PROCESSES • Care enough about your customer to help them solve their problems with your solution. • What problem does your solution solve or improve? • What benefits does the customer derive from your solution?