“I didn’t know that!”
If you hear those words from an existing customer who likes and trusts you but who just bought something from one of your competitors, you have no one but yourself to blame. It was you who blew the opportunity and left the door wide open to the competition.
Was your response something like, “Gee, we started offering that service six months ago?" Then why didn't you tell that to this customer? Here's why: You made the common mistake of assuming that once you have sold a client on your company, the client will stay sold unless something goes seriously wrong.
“Are we a good match?” is every customer’s most important question about your company. You cannot answer it before you have uncovered, understood, and agreed upon the customer’s needs. “Sell yourself” first by demonstrating that you care about those needs. You’ll be amazed at how much more effectively you can then sell your company.
Your competitors are continuously un-selling your company. So you must continuously sell it.
The fact is that your competitors are busy trying to un-sell your company every day. They do it by advertising, by direct mail, by Internet marketing, and in their own calls on your clients. That's why you must make it a rule to keep selling your company in every sales call.
Remember: Every year, in every call you make on clients or prospects, they become either more or less sold on your company.
Naturally, you won't tell your entire “company story" each time you call on a customer who already knows you well. But here is what you should do in every call:
If you don't sell your company on every call, the competition will un-sell you. You will miss opportunities. And you may hear those awful words, “I didn't know you did that!"
In The Field:
After attending an Action Selling sales training workshop, Karen Caligiuri of the United States Postal Service returned to work and explained one important insight to her district managers: “At USPS, we're striving to overcome bad press and past perceptions, " she said. “So every time you visit with a customer, you should take the time to relay a positive note about USPS. "
It isn't only your competitors who can un-sell you to customers. If your organization suffers from a negative image in the marketplace, whatever the reason, it is especially important to “sell your company" on every single sales call. Otherwise, the customer's bad impressions can only continue to fester.
Duane Sparks is chairman and founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based sales training company that has trained and certified more than 200,000 salespeople in the system and skills of Action Selling. He has personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions.
In a 30-year career as a salesperson and sales manager, Duane has sold products ranging from office equipment to insurance. He was the top salesperson at every company he ever worked for. He developed Action Selling Sales Training while owner of one of the largest computer marketers in the United States. Even in the roaring computer business of the 1980's, his company grew six times faster than the industry norm, differentiating itself not by the products offered but by the way it sold them. Duane founded The Sales Board in 1990 to teach the skills of Action Selling to others.
Contact The Sales Board for more sales information or sales training that's been documented and research-proven to help you sell more! 1-800-232-3485