I changed my mind about my selling process some time back.
Late in the 1980’s, I created a productivity tool for the restaurants that I owned at the time. I assumed that every other restaurant would realize that they needed it, just like me. It was a humongous ROI and a fantastic money saver. I could not live without it after implementing it. So, I decided to form a new business, and hit the road selling it to every other restaurant I could find.
After traveling the country for two years evangelizing my great discovery and trying to sell what I thought other restaurant owner’s needed, I discovered that very few people had the same vision as I did about the usefulness of my innovation.
It was tech oriented and people were skeptical of applying technology to a people oriented industry like hospitality in those days.
Then, I changed my approach and, started asking and listening more, to learn what people “wanted” so that I could provide it for them. The selling process that I was practicing was more oriented around trying to sell what I thought my prospective customer needed rather than learn what they wanted.
“Want” is more emotional and “Need” is more logical.
After all, most people make decisions emotionally rather than logically. Once I let THEM tell me what they wanted it changed the atmosphere of the engagement.
And, my product became both a need (my solution that was not previously recognized) and a want (their idea). It was only then, that my sales really took off. All this, because I changed MY mind, not theirs.
I later learned through formal sales training that I was satisfying 2 of the 5 reasons people buy anything.
I have also since learned through experience, that new media selling can employ the same selling process through effective understanding and use of key word search techniques. Now the customer is shouting out to the world what they “want” through searches on the web. The smart marketer of today will “listen” and full-fill those “wants” to succeed.
In conclusion, my new selling process became one of the best selling strategies I’ve ever learned. Today, I propose what is old is now new. It just takes a little different type of listening.
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