Friday, 22 October 2010

Successful Selling 2010 - Aristotle and Socrates - the later morning sessions

After the coffee break the ISMM audience at the Ricoh Arena , Coventry were treated to two presentations. The first was on the changing face of Sales and the other on Closing more sales in the new economy.

Marc Jantzen from Blu Sky centred his presentation on how the importance of Honesty, Integrity and Authenticity has become even more important post the banking crisis and the pre election Parliament expenses scandal.
From a research study 85% of which were salespeople Marc revealed results of questions put to them both responding in their selling mode and buying mode.

77% of the survey placed honesty as No.1 with their buying hat on
Yet as salespeople
40% admitted to exaggerating their product/service offering.
72% said they had compromised on honesty.

Click for link for Blue Sky

In terms of selling attributes Marc highlighted that pushiness was deemed bad practice. In terms of helping the audience to identify this in the field he put forward the concept of
sensory acuity
This considered both one should manifest the right approach and timing to ask for decisions.

61% considered Price as the reason for losing business and unfulfilled differentiation of the offer.

Marc snappily condensed this into a buyer’s mind saying
“you are not worth it and make it easier for me.”
This was not surprising but no less important to emphasise.

As a way to counteract the pushy culture some sales "old school" methods methods advance, Marc then turned our attention to building more customer advocates. He defined product advocates as those customers who score 9-10 on a net promoter score NPS to where would you score the supplier if asked to recommend their product to a friend.

NPS has been used in the consumer field for some years and is increasingly being applied to the B2B world.

Balancing the content of his presentation with his research findings Marc left us with two models to ponder upon regarding persuasive communication.
One based on the Ancient Greek Philosopher Aristotle of some 2,300 years ago. He illustrated this model with a slide showing three overlapping circles.

He then related this in a Sales context. Ethos: represented the client’s interest at heart, Pathos : the communication skill of empathy and finally Logos; the logical rational conventional cost/benefit approach.

Finally he ended with a motivational model of people needs.
Love & Correction
Variety & Uncertainty
Security and Certainty

One of the most memorable parts of his presentation was the consequences of adverse advocacy. It concerned a singer, David Caroll, who posted a song ridiculing the poor service an airline had given him when they allegedly damaged his guitar and refused to deal with his complaint.

The video clip on You tube received 6 hits on day one but grew virally to be viewed by some 40 million people. The power of word of bad mouth!

The headline act up to lunch was Robin Fielder.

I remember attending one of Robin’s “Close that sale” seminars some twenty five years ago.
Fielder can still cut the mustard.
Robin started with the point that in tough times where clients are more cautious, increasingly risk averse and the challenge of multiple buyers and influencers in the decision process we need to keep our Selling axe regularly sharpened.

He pin pointed that one of the differences in today’s selling is that clients want trusted advisers. Selling now as opposed say twenty years ago has to be a much more collaborative process. Consultant works with Partner rather than conventional adversarial models of the past.

He summed up this particular point:

“ Nowadays Clients make their decisions when we are not there” – after we’ve gone.
Using the visualizer, he drew three box to depict the three scales of buyer and the ways the selling approach needs to be adapted
1. The Lowest box represents Buyers, User and Purchasers who are influenced by basic cost benefit proposition.
2. The Middle Box represents those buyers with identified or underlying problems where a solution sale is a more appropriate approach
3. The Top box represented the board. Its directors or as the Americans describe the ‘C’ suite. Their motivations are quite different. They are accountable to stakeholders and measured by them. Selling to this level requires Return on Investment ROI propositions.
ROI selling requires answers to questions to how large scale of ROI, how fast speed of ROI and how sure the risk of ROI.

Robin reminded his audience of some sales fundamentals relevant to today. The power of “1”,the importance of keying into the client’s mind set and some tried and tested closing techniques.

His model for the day was
a) Be a trusted adviser
b) Listen beyond your product
c) Customers want to deal with the specialist –the best Knowledge
d) Quantify as much as you can “ Numbers spoken Here”
e) Make multiple contacts (more)
f) Ask great questions.
g) Broaden the gap of the differentiation you offer
h) Put in the crackle - Enthusiasm

To round up the morning of the conference he told the story of the Ancient Greek ( Classical education is back it seems!) Socrates half drowning a student to teach him what a search for knowledge requires - total commitment.
Robin Fielder has Emeritus status in the Sales training world and he sent us “crackling” to smaller scale workshops before a good lunch in a dining room with a great view of the beautiful Coventry Football Club pitch.

Just in case you think Robin Fielder is one of the seniors of sales training world I passed a stand going to lunch promoting a motivation event at the LG Arena at Birmingham’s NEC complex on January 15th 2011 when the Sales Guru Zig Ziggler aged 84 will be addressing the audience from Dallas, Texas

Click for link for The Ticket Success Bureau

10% member discount for ISMM members Code GMGB77
The next post in this series will cover the afternoon sessions of the ISMM Successful Selling 2010

1 comment:

  1. Part of this article and others on the ISMM conference have been published on the ISMM web site.

    There will also be an extract in the next issue of Winning Edge magazine