Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The evolution of sales

Extract from Matt's soon to be released new book; Sell Your Thoughts - How to become a million dollar expert... co-authored with Scott Stein and Peter Cook.

Sales 101 was basically about selling techniques. It becomes a numbers game. See enough people and get good enough at the techniques and people will buy what you have to sell. The principle behind 101 is some will, some won’t, so what, get on with it!

Selling 201 was basically about relationship selling. Get to know me enough and build enough shared experience with me and it's likely I will do business with you. The principle behind 201 is that people do business with people they like.

Selling 301 was basically about diagnostic selling. Ask enough questions and understand enough about peoples buying criteria and you can create a proposition that gets you the business. The principle behind diagnostic selling is understand me, show me you get it and we will do business.

For Thought Leaders selling their thoughts, each type of sales approach works and will help you do more business. HOWEVER...

In each of these first three sales approaches you are in effect convincing the client to do business with you. We reckon that when you are the thing being sold this gets weird. It kind of gets personal. It’s also not the way a brain surgeon sells. What you need to do is switch from convincing others and rather stand in your conviction around what you know and why others should care.

As such, we think you need to move onto the next evolution of sales…

Sales 401 is all about authority selling. You know something and others might just have a need that you have already nailed a solution for. It’s about you disclosing your expertise first and asserting a level of knowledge on how to fix key issues people may be experiencing rather than assessing their level of need and creating a proposal (diagnostic selling). The principle behind authority selling is “I know what's going on and can help you with that.”

In the book Thought Leaders we dedicated a chapter to this idea of building conviction around what you know as opposed to needing to convince others that they should buy what you have. We called it “Clicking” and in essence it's about linking known problems that your target market express often and the intellectual property you know can help them.

Problem bridging is the big idea and I’ll go into that one in more detail next week.

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