What might have worked before, doesn’t any more. Do you need to change?

Change, change is everywhere (great song lyrics by the way). People change often, and so too must your business in order to keep serving them. Change is funny though. Whilst it’s constant, and happens slowly over months, even years, it can still catch businesses off guard.

Businesses can often whether and delay the need for certain changes for years, sticking to their old and preferred way of operating. But when it comes to selling, they can’t.

Sadly I see businesses all of the time (both online and in person) trying to sell to people (and me) in an old fashioned and more importantly, bad way. Once upon a time, businesses were able to sell anything using certain methods. But that time has past, and a new age of selling has arrived.

If you want your business to continue to grow and make money, and not stagnate and even decline, then here are 7 changes you need to make…

Change 1: Pitch

Before: Once upon a time selling used to start with a strong sales pitch — it was clear, direct and held nothing back.

Now: But now, people don’t want to be sold to. They want help, and they want a conversation. The best way to sell is by not!

Change 2: Goal

Before: The goal was once to sell as much as possible. This was the focus and everybody responsible for selling knew it.

Now: By switching the focus and goal to finding a great potential fit in a customer/client, a sales person is more likely to make the sell. Why sell to the wrong people if they only end up cancelling/refunding.

Change 3: Loss

Before: If a customer was to cancel/refund, that would be that. The business would not try to get them back, they would move onto the next potential sale.

Now: Businesses should learn from lost sales, allowing them to improve. Plus, there is still a great opportunity to sell something else to that person. Something that is much more fitting this time around?

Change 4: Rejection

Before: Not every sales attempt will be successful, many potential customers/clients will reject the pressure placed upon them. Let them, move on.

Now: Sure, you can’t sell to everybody and shouldn’t try. That said, think of ways of overcoming the rejection — don’t just accept it and move on. Keep learning, keep adapting, keep growing…

Oh, and stop the pressure!

Change 5: Answer

Before: Focus on getting an answer: yes or no. They either want it, or don’t. Find out and take the appropriate action. Rinse and repeat, collection your commission on the way out.

Now: Again the focus needs to switch — instead sales people need to determine with the prospect that they’re the right fit — the right customer/client. Both parties need to be happy. It’s not about a yes or no answer on whether they want to buy what is being sold!

Change 6: Validation

Before: Shoot down any challenges or objections a prospect makes. The product/service being sold is perfect for them and they should want it.

Now: Validate any challenges or objections. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think like them. Understand them, empathise with them and focus on helping them. If that means they buy from you, good. If not, never mind.

Change 7: Defence

Before: If a prospect doesn’t agree that the product/service is valuable to them, do everything to validate and make them see sense.

Now: Don’t try to make them think otherwise. They’re allowed an opinion, and they need to do what they deem best. You’re here to serve everyone, that doesn’t mean sell to everybody.

The trend here, and really the key part of all 7 changes, is that the change is not on the purpose. The purpose and ultimate goal is still to sell. What has changed is that people prefer being sold to in different ways. You’re more likely to sell more and have a higher conversion rate selling to people the way they want, than you ever will trying to sell to them wrongly.

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