Posts Tagged ‘Mike Moore Sales Training’

ABC of Selling

Old Methods Don’t Work!

The traditional selling process, led by the intention to make a sale, damages the connection and communication between buyers and sellers. In fact, it creates what phycologists call retractance.  It makes people shut down, pull back and avoid those trying to persuade them to buy their product or service. Selling happens when buyers connect with a salesperson and invite them to be their guide on their buying journey.

The steps of a sale that have been traditionally taught, happen during a buying process, not a selling process. The steps are taken by the buyer when they’re served by a salesperson with the intention to help, serve and do what’s best for them. The salesperson’s intention is what was missed when salespeople learn to sell as a process. It’s what opens or closes the door to their communication with buyers.

Selling, as most salespeople have learned it, is based on following a process which isn’t the most effective way to sell. It leaves the buyer’s participation out of the equation. Selling isn’t a process to be done to buyers, it’s much more effective to join the buyer in their buying process buy aligning your intentions with their. They want to be served, they want help and they want to do business with someone who wants to do what’s best for them, instead of just wanting to make a sale.

Most sales processes are models of what top salespeople do, but what they do happens because they have the right intention. The right intention opens the connection and communication. This intention that holds so much power, is to help, serve and do what’s best for the buyer.

Intention DefinitionThe missing link in the traditional sales process and training is the salesperson’s intention when they engage buyers. Intention is the greatest tool a salesperson has and it communicates so loudly that people don’t hear or believe most of what salespeople say. At least not until they feel their intention is to truly help them, even above making a sale.

When salespeople understand selling is about the buyer not the seller, product or service, then they get invited to be the buyer’s guide and the steps of a sale happen naturally. The steps of a sale are more of a map or indicator, than a process. Traditional selling mapped those steps but left out what made them happen…the salesperson’s intention. The intention communicates with buyers and moves them to trust, open up and share with the salesperson. This results in more sales being made.

People shopping want help. They just don’t believe they get it from salespeople today because their dominant intention is to make a sale. Companies and sales managers sabotage their salespeople by instilling in them the intention to make a sale when they engage a buyer. Ultimately, everyone loses!

People aren’t wrong about salespeople. Salespeople will tell anyone who asks, that their main intention when talking to a buyer, is to make a sale. After they make a sale, their intention is to make another sale. People feel this and know that’s what salespeople are about today.

Top salespeople figure out that selling is a service and customers are more valuable than sales. The right intention makes connecting with buyers happen and becomes the salesperson’s greatest selling tool!

By Mike Moore

Selling isn’t something you do to people, it’s not something you do for them either. Most salespeople are busy talking at people, making presentations or asking questions to try and figure out how to sell them their product or service. I’ve been asked often, “What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that the purpose of selling?” My answer is an empathic, “No!”

Selling is something you need to do with people. Sales are a result, not the purpose of selling. Selling is a noble profession, a vocation really, when it is done with people, to help, serve and do what’s best for them. Selling is only perverted when the sale becomes the purpose or focal point and money becomes the aim.

If you truly want to increase your sales, grow you business and make more money, you’ll begin to be a ‘servant on a mission’ to help people. Then, and only then, will you begin to connect and communicate with people. Because then, people will connect and communicate with you. The intention to make a sale and the pressure applied by businesses, sales managers and sales trainers to make sales the focal point, or intention of a sales engagement, has damaged the profession of selling by creating mistrust of, and contempt for, salespeople. The intention to make a sale, makes people retract from salespeople. In the end it sabotages the very result everyone wants…More sales, more customers and more money.

When you become a ‘servant on a mission’ you also become an advocate for consumers and buyers. You become the trusted advisor who’ll be invited to lead and guide people on their buying journey. You’ll begin to make customers, not sales! Your business will grow and your results will amaze you when you let the sale be an outcome, a result of a higher purpose to help, serve and do what’s best for the buyer.  When you engage people in a sales conversation with their interests as the focal point, not yours, they can feel it and you become different. Make no mistake, until you do this, you will look, sound and act like every other salesperson and your results will not change and your passion for the profession of sales will not grow or be fulfilled.

Become the ‘servant on a mission’ and separate yourself from the pack so you’ll be invited to lead and guide the buyer on their buying journey. Great salespeople have always been servants who let the sales be a result of their service not the focus of their efforts.

By Mike Moore ‘First Posted, April 2012’

What time does your model home, sales office or store close? What’s your first thought when someone walks in 10 minutes before closing? Be honest…Most salespeople think, “Clock In The Trash

It’s easy to let your mind begin to wonder as the clock ticks down to closing time. In fact, too many salespeople take the last 20 minutes of each day off. Oh, the doors are open but no one is home. When someone does come in, they aren’t given your full attention or best effort. Like athletes who take plays off by coasting during a game, this costs salespeople and their companies money and reputation which effects future sales.

Sales is a numbers game all right, but not the numbers you’re thinking of. It’s a matter of time. It’s the numbers on the clock that count the most. When you take 20 minutes off mentally each day by not paying attention or giving your best effort, it adds up quickly. Twenty minutes per day equals 1 hour and 40 minutes each week. This adds up to over 2 weeks off per year. In reality, salespeople take entire days off if they aren’t coached up and mentally ready to perform. Lots of things can cause this.  Personal distraction, personal problems and difficult customers who cause problems can all be excuses to take time off. These are all distractions that can cause salespeople to take time off even when the doors are open. Little bits of time add up over the months and years to sabotage your results.

The reality is, it’s worse than just lost time. In a performance business like sales, it’s usually the last 5% of your effort that separates average performance from peak performance. It’s the consistent last little effort that produces the biggest results. So, 20 minutes per day or the 2 extra weeks off during the year costs you sales, customers, money, and the costs are multiplied because you are actually taking the last 5% of time off.

If you don’t believe me, try working 5 minutes beyond closing each day. Don’t schedule personal appointments until at least 1 hour after your closing time and don’t take the 2 or 3 days off mentally before your vacation starts, just because you don’t want to start something you can’t finish. These are all excuses that make the numbers and time work against you as a salesperson.

Successful salespeople have the self-discipline to not take the wrong time off. Top sales leaders understand that this makes salespeople produce average or below average results. They watch for this and teach salespeople the importance of leveraging their time and the power of the last 5% of their effort.

By Mike Moore

LIVE VIDEO TRAINING AND COACHING

Salespeople

As performing artists, it’s time to grow up by taking responsibility for the interaction with consumers.  We need to take advantage of all the tools available to Video

We can continue to only read, talk and listen about how to sell, or we can begin to view our live performances and make the changes necessary to become sales professionals.  When we are viewing and listening to our live engagements, the reading, talking and listening we do becomes more valuable and magnifies our results.

This is greatly different than using mystery shoppers or roll playing.  Mystery shoppers and roll playing find out if you know the information about your products, services and company. This can be accomplished by written or verbal quizzes and tests.  Mystery shopping and roll playing changes the key ingredient to sales communication and interaction, which are the intentions of the consumer and salesperson.

Only when we view interaction between people with the intentions we experience in live selling situations, can we see, hear and know what we need to do to improve.  Without the intentions of both people being real in a conversation, negotiation or a selling situation, the practice is nearly useless. Mystery shoppers and roll players have no intentions of buying and salespeople aren’t selling.  Selling situations happen between consumers who are shopping with the intention to buy and own your products, while salespeople are under pressure to sell everyone they engage. These are the situations we need to see and hear with live video and audio recordings.

For years now, I have been teaching that salespeople practice their profession on consumers.  Unfortunately, this is an obstacle to self-improvement.  If we don’t start wanting to improve enough to grow up, take responsibility and use tools like live video and audio, we are doomed to continue being average at best.  We haven’t seen the best of the profession of selling or proper business intentions but we can if we are willing to use these tools.

Sales Managers

The time has come to stop worrying about how good your salespeople are and start finding out.  Live video coaching will expose what you may be afraid of but you can’t change and begin to improve until you find out. It is time to acknowledge that we need to grow up and begin being the professionals we profess to be.

Live VideoThe idea that we have tools to improve at our disposal and haven’t utilized them, is a shame. That said, let’s not look back but begin now to use live video and audio to coach and improve the relationship between consumers and salespeople.  I know many sales managers who have resisted using these tools and can only wonder what they are afraid of.  Nothing we do out of fear will ever be a best practice.  In the coming years, sales managers will use live video and audio to stay informed and coach their sales professionals.

Live video and audio is not intended to be a punitive tool.  It is a coaching and self-improvement tool.  Coaches have to be informed and pay attention to be effective. Live video with audio is the best way to pay attention.  You can’t coach what you’re unaware of.   It is also an accountability tool, as salespeople in all selling environments will be less likely to give less than their best effort to consumers when they know they are performing live all the time. Giving consumers your best effort is part of what is needed to grow sales into the performance art it needs to be to make customers.

Executives

When executives accept that decades of doing business with the intention to make sales has broken the relationship between consumers and salespeople, then they need to take responsibility for this broken relationship and lead their business with a new intention.

It is time to start making customers, not sales, and live video and audio is the best tool to make sure this new intention is implemented.  Too many years of talk and not enough action, has left the consumer believing businesses don’t care about them.

Executives have made too many decisions about how to operate their business and make profits without considering how it would affect their sales strategy and ultimately their customers.

The rewards of implementing the intention to make customers will be increased sales, lower costs, increased profits and growth.  Most executives believe that people are the driving force to improve their business and this new intention will also energize your people. Since these are the reasons executives run businesses, it is painfully clear that it’s time to change your sales intention , grow up your salespeople and begin caring about the customer, as the center of your business.   Live video and audio coaching is the best tool to make this happen.

You wouldn’t run a business that depended on athletes to perform without video for coaching and improvement. Don’t invest and risk your company’s money without using the best tools to insure peak performance to make customers.

Self Coaching

I wrote this to salespeople, sales managers, and executives because live audio and video coaching should start with salespeople, then be available to the sales manager, and finally to executive management in a company.

This is to keep the focus on self-improvement that serves and makes customers.  Live audio and video coaching should never be punitive or feel as though big brother is watching.  When we start with salespeople they quickly learn how valuable seeing and hearing themselves in real situations can be.  They even begin to use the information learned to build relationships through follow-up to make customers.  After the salespeople become comfortable with the self coaching, then sales management can begin using the audio and video as a coaching tool.  Executives are the last to view and listen as this is a confidence builder of how their salespeople are and why sales are increasing.

Without live audio and video we continue to manage sales in the dark. It is time to grow up and be our best!

By Mike Moore

What if I told you most salespeople are infected with a ‘sales repellent virus’ and this ‘virus’ has been Imagehanded out, usually unknowingly, for free, for years, by their companies, sales managers and sales trainers? Even more importantly, when a salesperson is left alone they catch this ‘sales repellent virus’ and even help spread it themselves.  What if I told you when economic conditions get tougher the strength of the ‘sales repellent virus’ increases and more is handed out? Most people in the profession of sales think…’Not me, I’m couldn’t be infected with this virus’…but this virus has been growing for several decades and if it isn’t treated with the ‘sales attraction potion’ it will eventually make salespeople extinct.

The result of the majority of salespeople having the ‘sales repellent virus’ for many years now is that selling has become more difficult and the relationship between salespeople and consumers has become damaged. In fact this relationship is so dysfunctional people don’t want to talk to salespeople and salespeople think ‘buyers are liars’. With most salespeople infected with the ‘sales repellent virus’ consumers have become conditioned to avoid salespeople whenever possible and only engage when they have to.  The most common responses to becoming aware of this ‘virus’ is, “What are you talking about?”, and “How can I make sure I don’t have it or spread it?”

What if you became aware that there was an antidote, a ‘sales attraction potion’ you could take to prepare yourself to meet people when you’re selling. This ‘potion’, when taken, allows a person to relax, open up and engage a salesperson. In short, it attracts people to salespeople and allows them to connect. When this connection happens, the opportunity for real dialogue and conversation is possible. This connection allows the engagement and dialogue that sales managers, salespeople and sales trainers have been trying to make happen for years. This ‘potion’ and the connection it allows to happen, is necessary if consumers are to get what they want and enable a business is to grow.

ImageWhat if I told you this ‘potion’ has been around for years and really works?  You’d be first in line. “Sign me up”, and “Where do I get more?” are the most common responses. The cynical salesperson wants to know how much it costs. What if I told you it’s free and the supply is unlimited? Well, guess what, it’s real, you can take it all the time and it will not only increase your sales, it will change your life.

Remember, the supply of ‘sales attraction potion’ is unlimited and free! However, even when you know what it is and how to use it, you’ll have to take it every day and you’ll have to keep taking it every time you engage someone in a sales conversation. In short, the ‘sales attraction potion’ is simple to use but wear off easily because other people will be trying to give you the ‘sales repellent virus’. This usually happens unknowingly and if you aren’t careful it’s easy to catch this virus!

By now, I know you’re ready for the active ingredient…The ingredient that causes the ‘potion’ to attract and the ‘virus’ to repel, is a salespersons’ intention when engaging consumers. Before a salesperson opens their mouth to speak, their intentions are felt (like the scent of a potion) by the consumer. The consumer then decides unknowingly, preconscious, to connect or avoid the salesperson. The salesperson’s intentions create their demeanor, presence and attitudes and cannot be faked. What the consumer feels or reads is the genuine intention from the salesperson.

The effects of the active ingredient in the ‘virus’ the salesperson has is evident when consumers avoid talking to or opening up even when salespeople ask good questions and genuinely cares about the people they are trying to sell but is infected with the ‘virus’.

‘Trying to sell’ is the active ingredient in the ‘sales repellent virus’. The ‘virus’ even sabotages skilled salespeople who believe in their product and company, care about the consumer, but unknowingly are infected! Even they will repel people more often than they attract them. You can’t hide the virus from people…it is always showing!

The best example of the effects of the ‘sales repellent virus’ or intention to sell, can be witnessed in a new home sales office when watching the interaction between consumers and salespeople. If there is a salesperson and a temp in the sales office and a consumer comes in, they will most often engage the temp and avoid speaking to the salesperson. I’ve personally witnessed this and over the years had many new home salespeople confirm this behavior by consumers.  It’s amazingly interesting that the consumer is attracted by the ‘sales attraction potion’ the temp has taken or repelled by the ‘virus’ salesperson is infected with. The consumer will engage the person that is not infected with the ‘virus’ that contains the intention ‘to sell them something’.

Most companies, sales managers and sales trainers want salespeople to say the right things to create a better conversation with consumers.  They want and teach salespeople to ask better questions and be better listeners. The problem is, when salespeople try to do this, while infected with the ‘sales repellent virus’, consumers won’t engage them and the engagement or conversation stalls.  As long as a salesperson is infected with the ‘virus’, sales will continue to be difficult and the relationship between consumers and salespeople will grow more dysfunctional. In short, people will keep avoiding salespeople until they become extinct.

The active ingredient in the ‘sales attraction potion’ is the intention to help, serve and do what’s best for the consumer. The intention to make customers, not sales, is the missing ingredient and cannot co-exist with the intention to sell. In fact, I’m convinced the intention to sell is the spoiled version of the intention to make a customer. The ‘virus’ wasn’t and never has been anyone intention to spread. It just mutated over the years from paying to much attention to the desired results companies, sales managers, salespeople and sales trainers wanted to create, instead of paying attention to what would create the results. Too much concern over what we want and not enough concern over what customers want. It’s also obvious that in a difficult economy we spend more time worrying and obsessing over the numbers and less time concerned about the customers concerns so the effects of the ‘virus’ worsen and spread.

When the ‘sales attraction potion’ is taken, the missing link in the sales conversation happens…a connection between the salesperson and the consumer. This connection causes or allows a conversation or real dialogue to take place so a healthy relationship can begin. This is the power of the ‘sales attraction potion’; it makes the consumer/salesperson connection happen and allows the other ingredients in the ‘sales potion’ to be used to best serve the consumer.

The steps of a sale, which have been taught for many years in various forms, only happen when this connection is made. Consumers only engage salespeople who have taken the ‘sales attraction potion’.  When the connection is made, people are served, customers are made and sales increase while business grows. After taking the ‘sales attraction potion’, salespeople are free to enjoy the profession of selling as the noble profession of service it was intended to be.

Whether you have taken the ‘potion’ and whether companies encourage their salespeople to take the ‘potion’ will determine your sales success!  Keep handing out the ‘virus’ and you will keep struggling to make customers.

Intention is the active ingredient in the ‘potion’ that attracts consumers. It is the ingredient that leads to your sales success! For more information on how to make and take the ‘sales attraction potion’ and recover from the ‘virus’, follow me at…

By Mike Moore http://dld.bz/XePf

DAILY INSPIRATION, IDEAS & TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR BUSINESS FROM MIKE MOORE

Selling has been taught and practiced as a process in business for many years. Today it’s becoming more evident that selling isn’t a process to be done to people or even for people. Selling is an engagement between people and has to be done with them. This new age of business requires people to people selling to be successful. For this to happen, people have to connect, communicate and relate. What we now know is, people don’t want to be sold and they don’t want a relationship with a salesperson either. They also aren’t as interested in being wowed as they are about getting what they really want after they buy. Think enriching lives more than enchanting them. Think serving people, rather than pleasing people because what they continue to say they want is, ‘Help’.

As it turns out, sales as a process didn’t work very well because the steps of a sale are more a map of the buyers journey than the steps of a process after all. This makes sense when you realize that critical path sales training originated from modeling top salespeople and attempting to replicate what they did to be successful. It also follows that relationship selling and all its variations still focus on executing a process.  The missing ingredient when modeling top salespeople was the intentions of the top salesperson when they engaged people in a sales conversation. This missing ingredient is what causes people to connect, open up and communicate. It’s this connection and communication that allows the steps that have been taught to happen as a normal part of the buyers journey to finding and owning what they want.

When selling is seen as a process, it’s focus is the steps and the seller’s execution of the process. This places the focus on the wrong side of the engagement. It makes the seller the focal point and leads a salesperson down a road the buyer doesn’t want to take. It will ultimately make the buyer retract from a salesperson and resist taking their buying journey.

The right side of a sales engagement will always be the buyers side, not the sellers side. When the seller focuses on their process they lose focus on the buyer. When this happens they lose the buyers interest or connection, and communication becomes poor at best. When the original steps of a sale are viewed as a map of the buyers journey, they make the seller aware of where the buyer is in their journey. This enables the salesperson to know how to stay connected with the buyer to help them reach their destination…Owning what is best for them. When this approach is taken, sales increase as a result of the connection and communication, rather than the execution of a process.

The best way for a salesperson to keep the right focus and maintain connection with the buyer is to focus on the buyers ownership experience, not their buying experience. When a salesperson stays focused on the buyers ownership experience they communicate with the buyer about the buyers reason to buy and not a process, presentation or the sellers reason to buy their product. This will result in increased sales, loyal customers and a healthy growing business.

Change your focus to the buyers reasons to buy, their ownership experience, align your intentions with theirs and stay aware of the steps of a sale as a map, not a process, and you’ll begin to connect, communicate and relate to today’s buyers, make customers, not just sales, and your sales will increase immediately.

Top athletes and performing artists prepare to be their best when their best is needed. When things get difficult and become the most challenging they are at their best. Their can be no difference with top salespeople.  The ability to perform well when their best is needed makes them clutch performers, great competitors and top salespeople. This ability goes beyond skills, it starts in the spirit, attitude and mind of top performers. It’s their motivation and mental toughness that separates them from the pack.

Average salespeople become frantic, crumble, are paralyzed to act and make excuses when things get difficult.  Top salespeople don’t make excuses, they find solutions. Their ability to perform at their peak, to be at their best when their best is needed, requires practice and preparation. These top performers are supported, motivated and inspired by leaders who are coaches and mentors. These leaders understand their job is to help salespeople prepare to perform. This is the job of the sales manager, a sales leader.

Sales leaders know their job is to reduced the perceived pressure that produces anxiety and fear and damages salespeople’s perfomance. Top sales managers instill the attitudes, thoughts and intentions that help salespeople overcome obstacles, eliminate pressure and produce peak performance. This is sales coaching, motivation an inspiration at its best. For those who think motivation and inspiration fades or goes away, Zig Ziglar has the best response, “So does bathing, but you wouldn’t stop bathing because the effects of the last one wore off.” Sales motivation and leadership is needed daily.

Study, learning and preparation would be other examples of things you must keep doing or the effects wear off.  Coach John Wooden taught that, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”. Stop learning and your sales will suffer.  So if you want to be vibrant and productive as the years go by, keep learning and growing. If you are to be a top sales manager, then a big part of your job is to keep your salespeople studying, learning and prepared, because this keeps them energized and motivate.

Vince Lombardi...Yes the one the Super Bowl trophy is named after.

Vince Lombardi, the great NFL coach of the Champion Green Bay Packers said, “The toughest thing I do is getting them ready to play each week”. He wasn’t talking about the game plan, strategy or x’s and o’s. He was talking about teaching and motivating professionals to perform to their peak. This is no different with salespeople. Sales managers must prepare salespeople to perform each day. In fact, sales is the toughest, most personal performing art in the world. Each day salespeople face people and situations that can deflate, demoralize and discourage them. One of the missing links in most companies is a sales leader who can pick their salespeople up and prepare them to perform.

Coaching, motivation and inspiration is more important to peak performance than the repetition of practice and sales skills which are needed but of less value without quality sales leadership.  Motivation comes from within but can be stirred, taught and  by a brought out by a sales manager who is a leader, coach and mentor.

The greatest coaches can’t put a program or game plan in place and then leave the person or team they are coaching and expect them to perform to their peak.  Their influence is felt in their presence, their daily leadership plays a key role in the results the person or team produces. This is true with sales managers as well. They have to be the positive force that keeps their salespeople focused and prepared to be their best each day.

Don’t think because you are talking, you are selling. Selling isn’t about how well you can present your products or services. It’s not about how much you know. In fact, it’s not as much about you as you think. You were given two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should be watching and listening 8o% of the time and talking 20% of the time, and the 80% of the time you are talking, you should be asking questions. You have to be present and pay attention with the right intentions to truly be selling. The following poem helps establish the 80/20 rule for professional sales intentions. You’ll notice that the focus is 80% about the consumer or buyer and 20% about the seller. This is the 80/20 rule of professional sales intentions.

The Sales Professionals Promise

To assist you, not tell you.

To help you, not sell you.

To care more about you,

Than what’s in it for me.

To always do what’s best for you!

By Mike Moore

Anti-Sales Virus

Most salespeople are infected with an ‘anti-sales virus’ and this ‘virus’ has been handed out, usually unknowingly, for free, for years, by their companies, sales managers and sales trainers. When a salesperson is left alone they often catch this ‘virus’ and even help spread it themselves.

The focus to increase sales has been spreading and growing the virus for several decades. It has caused the consumer and salesperson relationship to become toxic. When it isn’t treated with the ‘antidote’ it continues to damage the relationship between consumers and salespeople and decreases sales by making salespeople sound, act and look the same. Since most communication is non-verbal, it makes what salespeople say unbelievable or less credible.

Some of the effects of the ‘virus’ is that selling has become more difficult and the relationship between salespeople and consumers is more strained than ever. In fact, this relationship is now so dysfunctional that the vast majority of people don’t want to talk to salespeople and salespeople say, ‘Buyers are liars’.

With most salespeople infected with the ‘virus’, consumers or buyers have become conditioned to avoid salespeople whenever possible and only engage them when they have to.  They also share that they don’t believe salespeople because, ‘They only want to sell me something’.

The ‘virus’ is the intention to make a sale. When salespeople engage a consumer or buyer, this intention spreads throughout the salesperson’s communication, reduces their ability to listen and causes people to retract.

When economic conditions get tougher the strength of the ‘virus’ increases and more is handed out. Most people in the profession of sales think, ‘Not me. I couldn’t be infected with this virus’, or, ‘It’s my job to make sales’. At the same time, sales managers say, ‘We have to make sales’. Sales are a result of aligned intentions and healthy interaction between salespeople and consumers or buyers. Focusing on the intentions and healthy interaction, produces sales, not the increased desire to make sales.

There is an ‘antidote’ that will cure the ‘virus’, stop it from spreading and allow salespeople to begin healing the relationship. When taken, it allows consumers or buyers to relax, open up and engage salespeople. When taken, it attracts people to salespeople and allows them to connect. When this connection happens, the opportunity for real dialogue and conversation is possible. This is necessary if consumers are to get what they want, sales are to increase and business is to grow. It’s what everyone involved wanted to happen and what they thought they were doing when they handed out the ‘virus’. The ‘virus’ was and is an unintended consequence of the selfish intentions to make sales. It infects unknowingly so you have to stay aware to diagnose it but once aware of it, you’ll feel and see it’s effects everywhere.

The ‘antidote’ is unlimited and free! However, even when you know what it is and how to use it, you’ll have to take it every day and keep taking it every time you engage someone in a conversation.  The ‘virus’ infects you and grows unnoticed and it’s consequences are unintended.  The ‘antidote’ is simple to use but wears off easily because other people will be trying to give you the ‘virus’ and it’s now so widespread, it’s everywhere. If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to relapse and catch the ‘virus’ again and again!

Let’s investigate the ingredients in the ‘antidote’ and the ‘virus’ that are similar. They are the skills and actions that are necessary in the profession of sales. They are however, insufficient to increase sales dramatically without taking the ‘antidote’. These ingredients are the ones companies, sales managers and sales trainers have been teaching and salespeople have been using for years while infected with the ‘virus’.

The ‘virus’ makes people avoid and even lie to salespeople, while the ‘antidote’ connects and starts healing the consumer and salesperson relationship. Next, is the active ingredient in the ‘antidote’ that heals the ‘virus’ and attracts people.

The healing ingredient that causes the ‘antidote’ to attract people is the salespersons’ intentions. Before a salesperson opens their mouth to speak, their intentions communicate with the consumer or buyer. The consumer then decides unknowingly and pre-consciously, to connect or avoid the salesperson. The salesperson’s intentions create their demeanor, presence and attitudes and cannot be faked or hidden. What the consumer feels or reads is the genuine intentions from the salesperson and this is where the ‘virus’ must be healed.

The effects of the ‘virus’ is evident when consumers avoid talking to or opening up, even when salespeople ask good questions and genuinely care about the people they are trying to sell.

The intention to make a sale is the active ingredient in the ‘virus’. It even sabotages skilled salespeople who believe in their product, company and care about the consumer or buyer! Salespeople can’t hide their intentions from people…they will always expose themselves in their communication.

The best example of the effects of the ‘virus’ or intention to make a sale, can be witnessed in a new home sales office. If there is a salesperson, non-salesperson or temp in the sales office and a consumer comes in, they will most often engage the temp and avoid speaking to the salesperson. I’ve personally witnessed this and over the years had many new home salespeople confirm this consumer behavior.  It’s interesting that the consumer is attracted to the temp without the intentions to make a sale and repelled by the salesperson who is infected. It’s even more interesting that they can tell the difference between them.

Most companies, sales managers and sales trainers are teaching salespeople to say the right things to create a better conversation with consumers.  They want and teach salespeople to ask better questions and be better listeners. However, when salespeople try to do this, while infected with the ‘virus’, consumers won’t engage them and the conversation stalls.  As long as a salesperson is infected with the ‘virus’, sales will continue to be difficult and the relationship between consumers and salespeople will grow even more dysfunctional.

The active ingredients in the ‘antidote’ are the intentions to help, serve and do what’s best for the consumer or buyer and make them a customer, not just a sale. The ‘virus’ or intention to make a sale, is the spoiled version of the intention to make a customer. The ‘virus’ wasn’t and never has been anyone’s intention and spreading it was never what they wanted. It just mutated over the years because most companies measure sales, instead of customers, as the key result they want from their salespeople. Since customers increase sales and grow a business, measuring customers made, not sales made, is the right metric if you want to spread the ‘antidote’.

It’s also obvious that in a difficult economy we spend more time worrying and obsessing over the numbers and less time concerned about the customers concerns, so the effects of the ‘virus’ worsens and spreads.

The steps of a sale, which have been taught for many years in various forms, only happen when this connection is made. More consumers engage and connect with salespeople who have taken the ‘antidote’.  When the connection is made, people are served, customers are made and sales increase that grows business.

The ‘antidote’ also allows salespeople to enjoy the profession of selling as the noble profession of service it was intended to be. This increases their enthusiasm and energy which also increases sales.

When the ‘antidote’ is taken and spread, a new connection between salespeople and consumers takes place, healing begins and sales increase. This is the power of intentions.

Keep handing out the ‘virus’ and you will keep struggling to make sales and rarely make a customer. Whether you have taken the ‘antidote’ and whether companies encourage their salespeople to take the ‘antidote’, will determine their sales success!

For more information about the ‘antidote’ and how to recover from the ‘virus’, contact me at mmoore@makingcustomers.com.

By Mike Moore