The Process Is Broken

The core if the traditional sales process has always been relationships. Through the initial interruptions an introduction was made that allowed a conversation to begin.   Perhaps a cup of coffee was offered so that both parties could establish a controlled pace to the meeting. (Out of coffee, out of time.) Weather, occupation, family, vacations, cars, sports, and hobbies were common subjects used to break the ice.  After 15 minutes of pleasantries and small talk were exchanged, it was time to get down to business, and it was the sales professional who called the shots from that point on.  It was, after all, HIS office and the customer DID give permission just by showing up.

Is that how it is today?  There are certainly times that a customer MUST be present for a sales interaction.  Choosing carpet and art for your home isn’t something you’d likely do specifically on the Internet.  You can’t test drive a car online, either, although you can purchase one that way.  So how has the Internet changed the sales process and how do we fix the pieces of the system that are broken?

First we need to agree on what’s broken, and quite frankly, they’re the two parts that no one wants to admit are the problem.  If you don’t believe what I’m about to say, I have to wonder how closely you pay attention when your customers talk. Are you ready?

1.  Interruptive marketing strategies. People don’t have time or patience to do it your way any more.  What proof so you need?  Do you have a DVR?  How about a land line phone?  Are you on the do-not-call list?  If you are and it’s for the reason most other people are, what else needs to be said here?

2.  The closing process.  It used to be said in the car sales world that the dealer had to overcome 37 “No’s” to get a “yes”.  In whose world is that fun?

If you’re a sales professional who actively engages in these two steps IN THIS MANNER, I have two very simple questions:  1.  What is your true motivation? And 2.  Would your customers give EXACTLY the same response about you if given an opportunity to reflect on all of your interactions?