Got A Severe Case Of Sales Disconnect?

April 26, 2012 by  Filed under: Sales 

What is sales disconnect?

The goal of all salespeople is to close more deals faster and easier. In an attempt to achieve these ends they often sabotage their overall results and efforts by failing to adhere to a few fundamental procedures or techniques.

The concept of selling hasn’t changed all that much in over 100 years as buyers generally want the same outcomes as they have for decades. They want creative, workable and practical solutions to their problems, to avoid pain and be treated with respect. Yes, there are other needs and desires but these three in general have defined the majority of consumers wants for years.

What has changed over the years is how the majority of salespeople attempt to answer these needs and desires and solve their prospects and customers challenges.

I could go on for pages about how technology has and is impacting the sales/customer relationship but I would rather address the outcome of these approaches and techniques as they contribute to sales disconnect.

Back to the question above – what is sales disconnect?

Disconnect – to end, forget, or lose an emotional or spiritual connection with something or somebody. I call it a breakdown between parties due to; communication style, personal agendas, contradictory goals or objectives and the inability to deal in truth, reality or just what really is.

Sales disconnect involves any or all of the following scenarios;

– The salesperson misrepresents their product or service in some way therefore contributing to a breakdown in the relationship with the customer or prospect.

– There is a lack of consistency between the customer’s or prospect’s expectations and the sales message delivered by the salesperson.

– There is a lack of consistency between an organization’s marketing messages and/or literature or marketing materials, website promises/statements and the actual sales message delivered by the sales staff.

– There is a lack of consistency between an organization’s mission and how the lack of integrity and congruence of that mission impacts customers through their sales strategies, techniques and approaches.

– The salesperson relies to heavily on the use of technology to sell, service or solve customer issues or problems.

Yes, there are millions of other examples that take place every day during the sales process with thousands of salespeople representing every conceivable product or service but most of them will tend to fall within the framework of the above examples.

So how does all of this relate to a salesperson’s approaches and their interactions with their prospects/customers?

The above can create or contribute to;

– Buyer confusion
– Buyer frustration
– Buyer remorse
– Reduced customer loyalty
– Bad PR and Press
– Poor sales margins
– Less repeat business
– Buyer anger
– Higher sales costs
– Longer sales cycles

To mention just a few of the common ones.

How can you avoid the negative outcomes due to any aspect of sales disconnect? Consider the following;

– Always tell the truth, the whole truth.

– Always put the customer first ahead of the organization.

– Never stretch the benefits of any topic, benefit, service or policy to make your product or service appear better in some way than it actually is.

– If there is an inconsistency between marketing materials and what a prospect or customer actually will receive – bring it up and don’t hope it won’t surface.

– Dispel customer or prospect rumors and hearsay early in the sales process.

– Encourage prospects/customers to contact other customers to verify their experience(s) with your products or services.

– Avoid stupid high pressure sales tactics just to close the sale.

– Never make the sales outcome about how much money you or your organization makes.

– Don’t wait to deal with potential conflict but hit it head on early in a professional and integrity based way.

– Use technology as a tool and not a crutch retaining the human connection in the relationship.

There are many more approaches you can use to reduce or even eliminate customer or prospect sales disconnect but the key attitude is – to take full responsibility for any negative outcome that occurs or might occur based on your interaction with the prospect/customer.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 4000 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 70 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, SOLD, 81 Challenges Managers Face and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at tim@timconnor.com, 704-895-1230 or visit his websites at http://www.timconnor.com.

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