Transformation: Becoming a Selling Organization – Part 2
Tonight, Don Buttrey brings us Part 2 of his two-part series on Transformation: Becoming a Selling Organization.
2) Sell ‘the house’
We don’t just sell product anymore. Product and brand will not sell itself. We have to ‘sell the house’. That is one thing the competition does not have-your differentiator!
Why should customers choose you and do business with you? Every person in your organization should know that answer. This awareness should season everything you do and be on the tip of every tongue. If you do not know that answer…who does?
When you consider the question “what do we sell?” you can help define that answer by documenting Company Factors and Value-Added Services of your company. Company Factors are advantages, minute distinctions and attractive characteristics that you offer. Don’t get hung up on the word, unique. Some competitors may claim the same or similar factors. Company factors are simply what you look like as a company. How many branches you have, expertise in certain markets, years in business, key people, inventory, size, location, stability, certified mechanics, customer base, and lines represented are all examples of company factors. Value-Added Services are what you do for your customers before, during and after the sale. These services support your offerings and enhance the perceived value. Examples might be inventory management, part usage reports, financing services, safety training seminars, etc. I suggest you workshop these two lists as a team and publish the results internally. Make sure everyone knows and believes in ‘who you are’ and ‘what you do’. You may even want to prioritize this list and document the top things that clearly set you apart from the rest of the pack of competitors.
3) Standardize your selling process
So how do we take this corporate, ‘selling mindset’ to the street? This has to be more than a “value” campaign or hype. We must make sure that all contacts and experiences that our customers have with us result in a perceived value for which they are willing to pay a premium price. This will not happen by accident. Banners, literature and websites will only create visual consistency in your marketing and image. Each and every person, in every customer interaction, must sell that value and communicate it effectively.
The best way to facilitate this is with a standardized selling process. This is a framework to help each person who interacts with the customer to prepare and execute effective selling of your value. We recommend a standard tool that we call the SELL process. The dynamic interaction with a customer is not step-by-step. However, having a structure for how to prepare and execute the interaction is powerful.
The SELL Process: Start Evaluate Leverage Lock
Outside sales professionals can use this outline to pre-call plan for each call – SELL offense! Sales support can use this same outline to react better in spontaneous selling situations and opportunities that occur everyday. The same SELL process can also be used a framework to prepare for objections and respond to them properly – SELL defense!
When we train sales professionals and sales support, we use this simple, yet profound process to prepare, practice and perfect selling skill. Each step is studied, understood and practiced. For example, every person who deals with complaints or objections from customers can benefit from intense learning on how to answer objections. The team can even document proven answers and practice delivery and methodology of responding. By standardizing the tool and terminology used for selling your value everyday, you can fulfill the first challenge we discussed—teach everyone to sell.
Becoming a selling organization is not really complicated. It is decisive, however. The pieces are all there; your people, your products, your operations. It is really a matter if reconnecting those pieces to transform into a selling machine. Teach everyone to sell. Sell the house. Standardize your selling process. Remember the line of children’s toys called Transformers? A robot, with its existing parts could, by a few decisive moves, become a racecar or some other machine. Make the three decisive moves we just discussed and turn from just a dealer into a SELLING MACHINE!