Posts Tagged ‘Retail Sales Training’

Most salespeople today are infected with an ‘anti-sales virus’ and that this ‘virus’ acts as a sales repellant. The ‘virus’ has been infecting salespeople for years and it’s unknowingly

Anti Sales Virus

The Anti-Sale Virus Infects Unknowingly!

handed out by their companies, sales managers and sales trainers? Even more importantly, when a salesperson is left alone they’ll catch this ‘anti-sales virus’ all by themselves, and even help spread it to other salespeople. This ‘anti-sales virus’ is the reason people don’t like, trust or believe salespeople today.

The good news is it can be cured, and must be if you want to increase your sales, achieve and build a thriving career in sales. It must also be managed daily buy sales leaders, business owners and executive if they want their businesses to grow and prosper.

Before we get to the cure you need to know that when sales are weak, or economic conditions get tough, the strength of the ‘anti-sales virus’ increases, more is handed out and it spreads rapidly though most companies? I have found most salespeople think, “Not me, I couldn’t be infected with this virus”. This virus has been growing for decades and if it isn’t treated with the ‘antidote’ it eventually makes salespeople very average. In fact, it makes them all look, sound and act the same. What if I told you the ‘antidote’ has been around for years and really works?  Wouldn’t you be the first in line saying, “Sign me up” and “Where do I get more?”  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 immediately but help you grow a large healthy customer base.

produit_Antidote_0

The Antidote…You’ll Needed It Daily

Remember, the supply of  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 you’ll have to keep taking it every time you engage someone in a sales conversation. In short, the ‘antidote’ is simple to use but wears off easily because other people will be trying to give you the ‘anti-sales 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 ‘antidote’ to attract and the ‘virus’ to repel is a salespersons’ intention when engaging people in a sales conversation. Before a salesperson opens their mouth to speak, their intentions are felt (like the scent of a potion) by the people that are attempting to sell. People then decide unknowingly, preconscious, to connect or avoid the salesperson. The salesperson’s intentions create their demeanor, presence and attitudes and cannot be faked. What people feel, and salespeople communicate,  are the genuine intentions of 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 make a sale’ is the active ingredient in the ‘anti sales 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 ‘anti sales virus’, or intention to make a sale, 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 people are attracted by the ‘antidote’ the temp has taken or repelled by the ‘virus’ the salesperson is infected with. People will engage the person that is not infected with the ‘virus’ from 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 ‘anti sales 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 ‘antidote’ is found in the intentions to help, serve and do what’s best for the consumer. The intention to make customers, not sales, is the missing ingredient. In fact, the intention to sell is the spoiled version of the intention to make a customer. The ‘virus’ wasn’t and never has been anyone conscious intention. 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 ‘antidote’ 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 ‘antidote’.  When the connection is made, people are served, customers are made and sales increase while business grows. After taking the ‘antidote’, 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 ‘antidote’ and whether companies encourage their salespeople to take the ‘antidote’ will determine your sales success!  Keep handing out the ‘virus’ and you will keep struggling to make customers and grow your business. In fact your salespeople will look, sound and act so much like your competition all they can be is average at best.

The intention to help, serve and do what’s best for the customer is the active ingredient in the ‘antidote’ that attracts customers and increases sales. It is the ingredient that leads to your sales success and needs to be handed out daily!

By Mike Moore

When you are a buyer how do you want to be treated? What matters to you? What do you believe salespeople care about when they meet you or greet you? Can you tell when they are trying to sell you something? Does what they say, the way they say it or the words they use matter much if you know they are trying to sell you something?

For years, salespeople have been taught what to say and how to say it as sales skills and sales techniques to increase sales. In sales seminars salespeople most often want to know what to say to handle objections and how to ask for an order that will increase their sales. Salespeople want to learn the steps and how to deliver or control the conversation so they can make a sale, then they want to repeat it over and over and hope it works on everyone.

Look at the results teaching and selling this way have created. Buyers don’t trust salespeople and salespeople don’t believe buyers. Teaching sales this way also increased salespeople’s intentions to make a sale stronger and their ability to engage and therefore serve people weaker.  All this has been while knowing sales needs to be a dialogue and salespeople need to build relationships to help people buy. Just think about the way this has been done…now keep reading.

Now, think about how people really communicate.  Most studies have found that as much as 93% of communication is non-verbal. Communication happens through all our senses and not just our hearing. In fact, most people’s weakest communication skill is listening. We can listen and take in input so much faster than people talk that most people are thinking and their thoughts are wondering while they should be listening.  So the words we use are one of our weakest communication tools. Or is it?

People are poor listeners and aren’t interested because they don’t believe the person talking cares about what they care about or don’t like and trust the person talking. So it is our misaligned intentions, our desire to convince them with what we say that weakens listening skills and makes people more interested in talking than listening.

Non-verbal communication is more than body language. It is energy, conviction, confidence and many other emotions that deliver the real message behind the words. It is generated from your intentions, what you want to have happen or receive from the engagement or conversation. Making a real connection and creating a conversation where a relationship forms always starts from a connection made from non-verbal communication coming from our intentions.

When two people engage each other they make many decisions about each other before a word is spoken. In fact, the studies have also found people decide if they like and trust someone within the first 8 to 40 seconds of meeting. This decision is made mostly through visual and sensory input that speaks to the brain stem and sends a gut feeling or intuitive sense and creates pre-conscious thoughts that allow or stifle open communication. When a positive connection is made between two people an open conversation can happen based on the preconscious decision to like and trust. This communication can lead to a positive fruitful relationship. If the preconscious thoughts are to not like or trust then a negative connection is made and a conversation may take place but it will not be open, honest or end in a fruitful relationship.

These realities about how people communicate are the reason salespeople need to be less interested in the words they use or how to talk to someone in a sales conversation and more concerned about the pre-conscious communication coming from their intentions.

If you are a salesperson, what are your intentions when you meet or greet someone in a business situation? What non-verbal communication are you sending? Should someone like you and trust you? Even if you are intent on uncovering their true needs and satisfying them, what is your real intention for doing that? If your intention is to sell someone, do you really expect them to like and trust you? If they don’t make that connection, are they likely to open up, share freely and allow you to find out what they really need or want? People only share their ‘why’ they want to buy with someone they believe intends to help them.

Most of the sales skills taught and learned by salespeople over the years are valid and can help them serve people but they won’t be effective if the person they are selling doesn’t decide they like them and trust them enough to open up and communicate freely. If selling is a dialogue and not a monologue then salespeople’s intentions have to change so a positive pre-conscious  connection occurs and allows a dialogue or exchange of information to happen.

The intention change needed to be liked and trusted enough to connect and communicate are the foundation of Making Customers™.

The steps of a sale become destinations on the buyers journey and happen naturally when a salesperson’s intentions align with the buyers. Salespeople become servants on a mission to help people and customers are made, sales increase, business grows and selling becomes the noble profession of helping and serving people it was intended to be.

To learn more about the intentions that make this happen and how to implement them, email me at mmoore@makingcustomers.com or call me at 858-354-2802.

By 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.

Consumers are retracting from salespeople more today than ever. They don’t believe salespeople because they believe salespeople only want to sell them something.

Salespeople go to work everyday to make sales and sales managers and companies apply pressure on salespeople to make sales. So, most salespeople start with the same intention and this causes them to behave so similarly that it’s hard to tell them apart. This intention to make a sale is sabotaging sales and chasing consumers away. It’s this intention that makes salespeople needy, desperate and unattractive. New intentions that lead to new behavior are necessary to overcome consumers preconceived beliefs, change this relationship and increase sales.

To be different, think different. Start at the core to change your sales engagement with consumers. If you want to create bold new results from your sales efforts, shift your intentions.

Make this your mantra, focus, purpose, belief system…YOUR INTENTIONS… and watch your sales soar.

I will serve you, not please you. I will help you, not tell you.

I will care more about your reasons for buying, than my reasons for selling.

I will  focus on your ownership experience, not your buying experience.

I will always do what’s best for you.

I will work to make you a customer, not a sale!

By Mike Moore

The biggest challenge salespeople face today is that they are part of a dysfunctional relationship with consumers. Even the salespeople in my seminars, courses and coaching sessions, admit that when they are the consumer, they don’t believe salespeople care about them and because of this they don’t believe most of what the salesperson tells them.

These beliefs are reinforced today because companies continue to increase their innovative marketing, creative advertising campaigns and use of cutting edge technology without changing what consumers believe about salespeople. This has resulted in higher expectations by consumers that salespeople are unprepared to meet, resulting in more disbelief and dysfunction.

To most executives, marketing and advertising people, consumers aren’t individuals with their own needs, wants and desires; they are buying segments, target groups, prospects and revenue streams. In most cases, all they represent are the ‘orders’.

Revenue and profits are generated by the relationship between salespeople and consumers and this relationship is obviously, dramatically, affected by the intentions, attitudes, skills and actions of salespeople. When we started making the bottom line our singular focus and sacrificed the relationship with consumers, this intention spreads to the engagement with consumers and started to sabotage the revenue and profits we were focused on. It’s very much like focusing on winning and not on what produces winning in sports.

Executives, sales managers, sales trainers and salespeople have all been focused on making sales, not making customers. They focus on sales skills, the sales process or sales tactics to increase sales while also increasing the intention to make sales as the focus. As salespeople go to work with the dominant focus of making a sale, consumers rightly decide salespeople don’t care about them and only wanted to sell them their products. They based this on the attitudes and behavior of the salespeople they engaged.  This lack of trust has led consumers to now state in surveys that they just hope the salesperson will stay out of their way. Being knowledgeable, helpful, interested and engaging are not even on buyers’ radar screens of their expectations of salespeople, even as they state that what they want most when shopping, is help!

This intention to make a sale creeps in slowly. No one wanted to damage the consumers opinion of salespeople on purpose. A great example of this, is as Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of business is to make customers”.  In the recent publication, “Selling Is Dead”, the authors paraphrase Mr.Drucker by saying, “The purpose of business is to make  new customers”. This subtle change reinforces and shifts the intention back to making a sale, not a customer.

In every sales engagement, the most powerful communication is non-verbal.  When a salesperson engages a consumer with the intention to a make sale, it is felt by the consumer and they retract from the salesperson. It also creates the salesperson’s behavior and together they have broken the relationship that produces revenue and generates profits.

The consumer and salesperson relationship has deteriorated to the point that consumers no longer believe or trust salespeople. Since everyone is a consumer, this mistrust has spread to the non-sales employees in most companies. Since they believe they can’t trust salespeople, why would they trust the salespeople in their own company? Remember what I said earlier… for nearly two decades, salespeople have told me they don’t trust or believe other salespeople when they’re the consumer!

This culture has also invaded the executive branch in most companies. While most management teams today complain that their salespeople are just order takers, the entire company needs to assume responsibility for the culture that created this. Executives, sales managers and sales trainers must realize they participated in this dysfunction and new intentions will be needed to heal the relationship before the skills they’ve been teaching will produce the best results.

The good news is that it’s easier today than ever before to separate yourself from your competition, increase revenue and profits by shifting your intentions to making customers, not sales.

By Mike Moore

The greatest challenge facing salespeople today is how to overcome consumer’s preconceived belief that salespeople only want to sell them something, do not care about them and after they sell them, only care about their next sale. This belief is causing consumers to avoid engaging salespeople.

It’s also accurate…If you’re a salesperson, don’t get upset, I know you’re different or at least think you are. Ask yourself one question…What’s your intention when you go to work, greet a possible buyer and when you’re making a presentation?

If you want to overcome consumers existing beliefs and increase sales, you’ll need to engage people with new intentions. You’ll need to truly intend to help, serve and do what’s best for them and not attempt to sell or persuade them to buy.  Changing your intentions will begin to create trust, open communication and allow you to use your skills…But you can’t fake this, it has to be real!

Currently, this preconceived belief, stifles quality communication, productive relationships and damages the buying experience. Consumers (buyers) don’t feel comfortable opening up and sharing with salespeople so it becomes nearly impossible to help them.

Unfortunately most companies send their salespeople out each day with the primary goal of making sales and armed with this intention salespeople reinforce the consumer’s belief because they can’t hide their intentions. Since most communication is non-verbal our intentions speak louder than our words.

How many sales leaders and sales trainers are really willing to do something different?  I am concerned that businesses and sales leaders will continue to try to do what they’ve always done and expect things to get better.  The evidence of this is seen in executives, sales management, salespeople and sales trainers willingness to go, “back to basics” when it comes to sales training, even though it is those “basics” practiced with the intention to make a sale that created the consumers preconceived beliefs and broke the relationship that exists today.

People feel what we feel and believe us, only if they believe we care about them and believe ourselves.  To be present in a conversation, become a better listener and add value to the buying process, first stop trying to sell or convince people of your reasons to buy and start paying attention to their reasons. Start your day and each sales engagement with the intention to help, serve and do what’s best for people. You can do this to everyone you talk with, feel successful and energized which we know increases sales. The decision to serve, to care about the consumer makes a salesperson someone consumers will want to talk with. These new intentions will activate your listening skills and the consumers comfort level in sharing with you.

People will open up to a salesperson or any person if they believe they care about them.  This isn’t a skill set to be practiced; it is an intentions change and shift in thinking that must take place as a core belief of  a salesperson to effectively change the conversation and relationship with consumers or buyers.

This shift in intentions will help you slow down and focus on making  customers, not just sales. It will help you focus on the buyers ownership experience, not buying experience and it will make the buying and ownership experience more satisfying.

By Mike Moore http://dld.bz/XePf

Traditional Sales Training...Tactics and Strategy

Every business wants to increase sales…If you’re serious and have been trying everything you can think of without much real success, then it’s time to do something different to increase sales. Now, and in the future, you’ll need a subtle but powerful shift in your sales philosophy and training. The key is found in your sales intentions, not in your sales skills.

People have taught ‘attitude is everything’ for many years without changing the core attitude or sales philosophy and because of this sales training has been losing it’s effectiveness. In fact, the core philosophy and attitude taught and spread in most sales training has caused the dysfunctional relationship between consumers and salespeople, or buyers and sellers. This current relationship sabotages the best efforts of companies and salespeople today.

The good news is this dysfunctional relationship can be healed and the traditional sales training you’ve done can still be beneficial. The tactics and strategies taught in most sales courses are fine, but when executed with the traditional intention to make a sale, aren’t effective. So, you haven’t been wasting your time or money on this type of sales training but you can’t just keep doing it without a shift in intentions and expect things to improve. The reality is, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing things will keep getting worse.

The solution is actually simple, although it’s not easy!  The solution must be taught, practiced and applied daily to activate the sales skills that have been taught for the past 30 years. The new intentions that can make this happen must also be reinforced by management. You can’t just try harder, you have to make a shift in intentions to make your past sales training work effectively to increase sales.

Traditional sales training, teaching a salesperson what to say and how to handle selling situations, with the core focus of making a sale, is the leading cause of the dysfunction that exists in this most important business relationship…the one between a salesperson and a consumer. The dysfunction has grown to the point that most consumers today do not believe, trust or even want to talk to a salesperson. The latest studies show most consumers believe salespeople’s main concern is the transaction, aka “closing sales” and this causes consumers to attempt to avoid salespeople. It’s also assisting online retailers in their efforts to replace the traditional retail experience. If no change to this face-to-face relationship happens, traditional selling will become extinct.

Traditional sales training has fallen short because it leaves out how a consumer or buyer connects and communicates with a salesperson. It ignores what motivates them to engage a salesperson. We have a standoff today because no matter what you try to say to a consumer, if they won’t open up and participate in the sales process, everyone loses, especially the consumer and fewer sales are “closed”. Sales training has to teach and change more than what a salesperson says to a consumer. It has to change the relationship. New intentions training is needed to successfully make this change.

Teaching business leaders, sales management and salespeople new sales intentions, changes the consumers perception, connection and communication at a non-verbal level. Only then, will consumers begin to trust salespeople, open up, share and allow salespeople to better serve them, resulting in increased sales.

Business is at a crossroads!  This relationship is the tipping point.  New intentions have the power to change the communication with consumers, heal this relationship and establish a successful ‘new economy’.

More training is definitely needed, but not more traditional sales training without new intentions. Traditional sales training won’t produce the results needed to improve a businesses ROI on it’s training investment or grow the business. New intentions training will, so it’s the best step to success.

To find out how to make the shift and start healing the relationship, contact me at mmoore@makingcustomers.com.

By Mike Moore

The most important thing you control in a sales engagement is your mindset, not the buyer or conversation. Successful salespeople understand selling is about the buyer and their journey. They realize the buyer must trust them before they will allow them to become their guide on their buying journey. Three things I remind my clients to help make the journey successful…’stop selling, start helping, ‘learn and understand their why’ and ‘align your intentions’!

1. STOP SELLING, START HELPING

Buyers don’t show up to be sold but they do want help buying. So don’t show up to sell. Help them buy. When a salesperson’s intention is to make a sale they appear needy and this turns buyers off. In fact it makes them retract from the salesperson. It’s a lot like someone grocery shopping when they’re hungry. They’ll buy junk food, they’ll buy too much, they’ll often forget the important items they went to the store to get. They’re just hungry and getting fed becomes all that matters. The same thing is true in sales. When you show up to sell you are needy, it clouds your judgment. Just like skipping the nutrition information on the package, you don’t ask all of the questions you should. You go for the quick fix, your belly takes over. You load up your “basket” with your motives, end up presenting the wrong ingredients and you forget to or don’t know what to talk about that matters. You are left hungry and shopping again soon, instead of being full with a steady diet of customers.

Needy people come across as needy and that scares buyers away. Sure, when you were young, the needy girlfriend gave you lots of attention and that might have felt great. Fast forward 10 years and you have enough experience to know that those actions are good signs that she is most likely a little crazy. When you are needy in your head, you generate all sorts of warning signs that turn off or chase away buyers. They have seen this type of sales person before and they know that needy people make exaggerated claims, promises they can’t keep and set bad expectations that won’t be met.

You have to lose your intention to make a sale to lose your needy emotions. You need to be in a more objective state-of-mind, to be trusted enough so buyers will invite you to be their travel agent on the buying journey.

Understanding that making more sales will happen when you’re invite on more buying journeys. This creates a travel agent mind-set that keeps you helping, serving and doing what’s best for the buyer.

Sales happen after a successful journey so make the journey your intention, not the sale.

2. LEARN AND KNOW THEIR WHY

Do you know the buyers “why”? You’ll have to learn what it is, just like learning what destinations a traveler wants to visit on their journey. Each buyer has destinations they need to visit on their buying journey. That’s their ‘why’ they should buy from you? Why would they want what you’re selling? What do they really need? Why can’t they get what they want from someone else? Why would doing nothing be disastrous for them? You know your ‘why’ to these questions but they usually just get in the way of the buyers ‘why’ and stall the journey. You know what you think the reasons are that people should buy from you and you get busy trying to convince them they should accept your ‘why’. Your value proposition may be a destination the buyer doesn’t care about.

By understanding their ‘why’, you’ll see the destinations they care about and be able to help them have a successful buying journey.

3. ALIGN YOUR INTENTIONS

Make sure you are on the same page with the buyer. Align your intentions so you’re selling to their next destination in their journey. What’s the next step the buyer needs to take. Do not sell past this step. Only sell to the next step or the buyer will retract. If the next step in the process is a meeting with a higher level of decision-makers and influencers, then sell to get that meeting. If it’s an appointment after gathering more information, clarify the information needed, who’ll gather it and schedule the appointment. Just get a commitment for the next step.

When you sell past the next step, to the contract, for example, you create resistance in the buyer. You are moving too fast, trying to sell them and it doesn’t align with their intentions. It doesn’t allow them to believe you truly understand them, their problems, and their circumstances. They won’t trust that you are truly helping them and they won’t take the journey with you.

I coach many salespeople and I find three big problems in this area.

First…They sell past the next step by asking for a committment the buyers not ready to make. Their intention is to make a sale while the buyers is their next step.

Second…They don’t know what the next step is because they don’t ask what it is, clarify it and schedule it.

To have the confidence to ask, help define what the next step is, who needs to be a part of it, how long it will take and what resources will be required. Decide together who will do what and then svelte to meet and take the next step.

Third…They think their job is to convince the buyer to align with them instead of finding out the buyers intentions are and aligning with them.

When you align your intentions with the buyers the next step is easy to determine, confirm, schedule and keep the buyer traveling to their final destination…buying from you.

FINAL REMINDER

I always remind the salespeople I coach that they are the buying journey agent. Their job is to help make the buyers journey simple and keep them traveling toward to the final destination that’s best for the buyer. Then they’ll make customers, not just sales, and sales will increase…Just stop selling and start helping!

By Mike Moore

Over the years, lots of debate has taken place over whether salespeople are born or are created. New studies and tests to help hire the right person who has the right personality, mind-set or traits to be a successful salesperson have evolved. The biggest hurdle for all these tests and programs today is that the profession of sales is changing during this transitional economy leading to a ‘new economy’. That said, it really hasn’t changed. What it’s doing is retuning to what the profession of sales was intended to be…service and help for buyers. When who you hire is based on the traits of salespeople from the sales model used for the past 30 to 40 years, it can lead to more of the same that we are now experiencing. The past 30 to 40 years have taken us down a road filled with unintended  consequences. Today, consumers or buyers don’t trust or believe salespeople and salespeople don’t trust consumers or buyers.

Becoming a successful salesperson requires three things, top quality attitudes, skills and actions. Then all three must be put to use in the right sales environment. What sales leaders, executives and sales managers ask their salespeople to do each day creates the companies sales environment or culture.

When you acknowledge  that attitudes are instilled and managed, skills are taught and coached, actions are planned, executed and measured, it becomes obvious that the profession of sales is learned. This means it has to be taught and top salespeople are created, not born. More to the point, top salespeople are raised so sales leadership and management is really sales parenting!

This makes it obvious, it’s more than just teaching and learning that make top salespeople. The profession of sales is a performance art.  In fact, I believe it’s the most personal one-on-one or small group performing art.  Top salespeople then, like top athletes, actors and musicians, require ongoing teaching, motivation, inspiration, coaching, leadership and direction to achieve and maintain sales success. A companies sales success is based on who’s doing all this work with their salespeople. Most sales executives and management positions are filled with more sales administration than all these tasks that generate the greatest return on invested time and energy. The missing link is sales management. The answer to the question, ‘Who’s teaching, motivating, coaching and inspiring a companies sales management?’, is the real solution to sales success.

Everything that makes top quality salespeople can be learned by salespeople without their company providing any help. That’s just not smart business to leave it up to salespeople to make themselves do the things they don’t want to do, to become the salesperson that will make a business successful.  All too often this is what happens. It results in many companies having salesforce’s where the majority of their sales are generated by a minority of their salespeople.

The missing link  in creating salespeople’s success and ultimately a companies growth and sustained excellence, is sales coaching, motivation, inspiration, management, leadership and the sales environment. Sales training alone usually only impacts the salespeople who would learn on their own and often creates very little results. If you are to raise top quality salespeople, then teaching, coaching, inspiration, motivation, leadership and environment have to all be managed.

Then after they are raised, they have to be led, coached and managed daily. The missing link is most often top quality sales leadership, management and coaching! 

Coming soonWhat it takes to create top quality sales managers, coaches, motivators and sales environments.

By Mike Moore

Most companies’ sales strategy defaults to, “Our salespeople’s job is to sell the next person they meet”.  When something happens by default it usually takes the path of least resistance and creates average results at best.  If you do what everyone else does the odds are you’ll get what everyone else gets and that is average at best.  Above average or exceptional results are created by attitudes and actions different from the norm and never happen by default.

The attitudes and actions that created the relationship that now exists between consumers and salespeople happened by default. No one would have started out wanting to create the mistrust and suspicion that now exists between consumers and salespeople. This relationship is an unintended consequence of using a sales strategy created by default to just sell something.

When a company needs more sales what do they do?  They escalate the existing strategy by increasing advertising, and the pressure on their salespeople to make more sales.  Add in that if this isn’t working well enough they add more salespeople, increase incentives for new sales or lower prices. The consequence is usually higher cost of sales and operations generating lower profits even if you make more sales.

It has been proven many times and even the CFO knows that referral and repeat business costs less and is more profitable than new business, yet most companies’ do little more than talk about customers, repeat business or referral business.  Sales people with new sales intentions may be told to ask for referrals or call back their customers, but in our existing default strategy this produces little to no results because no one want to talk to salespeople or give the names of friends to a salesperson.

Companies even started customer service departments and began calling them customer retention.  This creates higher costs and poor results in customer loyalty because the consumer’s relationship with a company starts with the salesperson and is difficult to change after the first impression given by our default strategy of, “We only want to sell you something”.

Since customers create repeat and referral business that makes a company grow and generates more profit, then why turn over the customer to someone whose job has become fixing problems not keeping customers and converting the service contact into repeat or referral business.  The answer is an unintended consequence of our default sales strategy to just make more sales.

We have become so distracted by new sales we forgot the best way to get more sales is to make customers.

You won’t convert a sale to a customer often enough to grow your business significantly.  The focus of the consumer and salesperson relationship has become, what’s in it for me on both sides because consumers believe you don’t care about them.

Business growth comes from adding customers, not just sales. Most companies are experiencing how difficult it is to keep generating new sales without a loyal customer following. Higher cost of sales is inevitable if you continue with the existing sales process that happens because of our default sales strategy.

Customers are best created by changing the intentions at the point of first contact with consumers, then continuing the relationship as the most important part of your business. If this relationship doesn’t change then nothing we do will create satisfactory return on investment.

It’s time for a new sales strategy and new business model driven by the intention to make customer, not just sales!

By Mike Moore

When two people communicate they usually start with different intentions for the conversation. People usually are more interested in trying to make their point or communicate their message than they are in the other person’s point or message. Most of the latest studies on how people communicate, how their mind works, have discovered that 93% of our communication is non-verbal. When people begin to communicate, their intention is focused on their point or message. People begin communicating with a wall built between their two points or messages. How we drop the wall and turn it into a bridge between two people is the key to all communication and the first step in increasing sales.

Now think about sales communication, sales training or the sales process. First think about the fact that all those descriptions are focused on the seller’s point or message not the buyer’s. We don’t call it buyer’s communication, buyer’s training or the buying process…We have taught selling from the seller’s perspective not the buyer’s. This has created sales intentions as the seller’s focus, point or message and these intentions have built walls of resentment, mistrust and a preconceived belief in buyers, that sellers care more about the sale than they do about the buyer. This is just an example of how our intentions communicate louder than our words.

Non-verbal communication isn’t something that confirms what we are saying, it precedes what we say and affects how others hear the words we use. We are all aware that two people can say the same thing and be conveying two completely different points or messages. Even one word answers like “fine” can be used to convey different messages. All that is needed is to change our tone and we convey different feelings with the same word.

This is why when we train salespeople to sell, by teaching them what to say, we find that different salespeople get different results using the same techniques. In fact, even the same salesperson gets different results when using the same techniques on different people. Trainers usually explain this as the result of the expertise with which the technique is delivered. When we understand that most of our communication is non-verbal and comes from our intentions, then we start to understand that this just isn’t true.

It isn’t the skill or expertise with which sales techniques are delivered that creates the communication that increases sales. It is our intentions that communicate first, connects people, opens doors, allows for real dialogue and creates relationships. Then and only then will we see sales techniques used effectively to help people buy and this will increase sales and begin making customers. The proper intentions can also be translated to a sales force and begin to make all salespeople more effective much more quickly than standardizing presentations, scripts or techniques.

Salespeople’s intentions must shift from selling, to helping people buy, serving people and doing what’s best for the buyer. The buyer has to be the focus of selling, instead of selling being the focus of selling.

If you want what almost all sales trainers, sales managers and salespeople have tried to create for years, dialogue with buyers, better exchange of information, real relationships, increased sales, repeat and referral business, then the selling conversation has to change. It can’t unless the salesperson’s intentions change.

The conversation between two people, a buyer and a seller, has to be focused on the buyer. Salespeople’s intentions must be aligned with the buyers to make this happen. A salespersons goal cannot be to sell the next person they talk to. It must be to find the next person who really wants what they are selling. These intentions changes will created the dialogue, relationships and increase sales.

Selling can no longer be a contest to see if a salesperson can convince the buyer to align with the sellers intentions.  “Selling ice to Eskimos isn’t a good thing unless they really need ice.” A salespersons intention has to be to help, serve and do what’s best for the buyer or the only change you will experience is more deterioration in the relationship between buyers and sellers. Salespeople must move their focus from getting an order and the buying experience to the buyer’s ownership experience. Move the focus further out in the relationship and the conversation between buyer and seller will change and the results will be dramatic.

For sales to increase, salespeople must stop trying to sell and start trying to help people buy. The core focus for business and salespeople must be to make customers, not sales! Then business will grow through increased capture rates of new customers, repeat and referral sales and lower customer service cost will be a byproduct.

With the right intentions salespeople can be freed to trust their instincts, better serve the buyer and be successful every day. They will begin to do business with people instead of selling people and they will relax and enjoy the profession of sales. Armed with these intentions salespeople will differentiate themselves, their products and their companies from their competition.  Isn’t that what you’ve been trying to do?

From one recovering traditional sales trainer (I have been clean and without sales intentions for over 16 years now and it’s a beautiful life.) to all of you who sell, train or manage salespeople, here’s wishing that the rest of your career is free of sales intentions.

By Mike Moore

Innovative marketing, creative advertising campaigns and cutting edge technology, while well thought out, won’t change what consumers think about salespeople. In fact, slick ads and savvy marketing often increase expectations about the buying experience that the sales staff is unprepared to meet. The result is further erosion of the relationship between consumers and salespeople. An unfortunate negative reinforcement of the preconceived notions consumers have that salespeople and the businesses who employ them don’t really care and only want to make a buck off them.

Customers are no longer individuals with their own needs, wants and desires; they are buying segments, target groups, prospects and revenue streams. In most cases, all they represent are the ‘orders’ we resent our salespeople for taking.

As salespeople went to work with a dominate focus of merely taking orders and making sales, consumers rightly decided salespeople didn’t care about them and only wanted to sell them their products. They based this on the attitudes and behavior of the salespeople they engaged.  This lack of trust has led consumers to now state in surveys that they just hope the salesperson will stay out of their way. Being knowledgeable, helpful, interested and engaging are not even on buyers’ radar screens of their expectations of salespeople.

The bottom lines of revenue and profit are, and always will be, dramatically affected by the attitudes, skills and actions of people. When we started making the bottom line our singular focus and sacrificed the relationship with our buyers, we started to sabotage the attitudes, skills and actions of everyone in our business, especially our sales management and salespeople.

Peter Drucker once said, “The purpose of business is to make customers”.  In the recent publication “Selling Is Dead”, the authors paraphrase Mr.Drucker by saying, “The purpose of business is to make new customers”. This subtle change reinforces the intention back to merely taking orders. There is no thought to establishing a culture that develops a relationship that will create a lifelong, satisfied customer. This bottom line intention has created the behavior that has broken the relationship between buyers and sellers. This intention needs to be changed for any business to heal the relationship, improve sales and reduce costs.

The consumer and salesperson relationship has deteriorated to the point that consumers no longer believe or trust salespeople. Since everyone is a consumer, this mistrust has spread to the non-sales employees in most companies. Since they believe they can’t trust salespeople as a consumer, why would they trust the salespeople in their own company? Believe it or not, for nearly two decades, salespeople have told us they don’t trust or believe other salespeople!

This culture has also invaded the executive branch in most companies. While most management teams today complain that their salespeople are just order takers, the entire company needs to assume responsibility for the culture that created this and start to lead your business with new intentions and new sales management strategies.

It is time to change your intentions, heal the relationship between buyers and sellers and reap the benefits. Making Customers, Inc. is leading the way in executive leadership, sales management, customer engagement and corporate intentions change.

By Mike Moore with Kirk Chittick