What's your mindset when you approach the sales process? For many reps, both old school and entry-level, the mindset is either one of fear or it is a thrill of the hunt sensation. Both mindsets are focused on the end result of "the sale" and fail entirely to be focused on the prospect's needs-even when the sales rep genuinely wants and needs to focus on the prospect's needs.
The best mind for sales is the mind that teaches the sales rep to let go of all of these things. You can't be thinking about your paycheck when you're in front of a prospect. You can't be thinking, "Wow, my wife is really going to get in my face if I don't make a sale today," or, "What am I going to tell my boss when I don't have any new sales today?" That's the attitude of fear. Neither can you be stuck in a sort of "lean and hungry," attitude that looks on people and gets a "I got another one," feeling about it.
How can you shift your mind so that you are 100% focused on your prospect in a way that is going to resonate for them? It's this simple: you should dedicate yourself to understanding that prospect's world. Every statement they make, every question they ask, and every objection or stall they raise is an opportunity for you, the rep, to find out what their real needs are. It's only then that you can match your product or service to the need and be of genuine help to your customers.
Sales is a little like being a doctor. Your job is to diagnose the prospect's "point of pain" and then to prescribe medicine for it. You can't prescribe medicine if you're not interested in listening to the symptoms. Don't be in such a hurry to rush to the "presentation" or the "pitch" that you miss this vital symptom-listing process. Even if your product or service sounds very straightforward you'll still hear the prospect say some key things that tell you exactly what is important to them about that product or service.
Those are the points you're going to want to stress. You might not want to spend a whole lot of time on other points.
If you've ever had a conversation with someone about something you're passionate about, you've done sales. If you've ever done it appealing to what you know about them-their hopes, fears, and values, then you've done sales even better. You've done it all in the context of a conversation, not a "pitch." That's how you build trust and relationships in today's tough economy.