Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Old School Selling




I believe it was Socrates or Tupac who said “Don’t come up in my kitchen with that weak ass shit” Pretty prophetic and pretty symbolic of lots of sales people out there. At least from the customer’s perspective it is.

Somewhere along the line, some sales reps became clueless and thought that a cheesy, old school line would work. You know the ones, like:

If I could show you a way to improve A, while reducing B. would you seriously consider Superior Widgets? Um, no because your monkey style Kung Fu is ineffective!

I understand how you Feel. Others have Felt the same way but they Found that Superior Widgets was their best choice at the end of the day. Wow that’s the old Feel, Felt, Find rebuttal, hold on a minute. I need to take this call. Oh hi 1970’s, what, you’d like your line of shit back, ok I’ll tell him, please hold.

Here are a few suggestions to go from Old School to Consultant or at least “Old Schoolproof” your career:

Take a good look at the rebuttals you use and do a gut check. Do they pass the “cheese test”? Ask some trusted people in your network what they think. Follow the advice from Play #14 What Tommy Boy Taught Me About Sales and if it doesn’t fit who you are, don’t say it!

Try losing your agenda and showing a real genuine interest in them. Ask kick ass questions that get them thinking. Tony Robbins says that questions, force us inward. Think about that. What questions do you have that will force the other person inward. If what we know about buying is true with regard to people buying emotionally and justifying logically, where do you think the emotion is, on the inside or the outside, grasshopper?

I once heard that we have two ears and one mouth, perhaps God had a plan. I think this one has us all written all over it. We can’t help it; we get excited and next thing you know we are doing what Zig Ziglar refers to as Talking at 70 mph with gusts of up to 120! I think one of the biggest opportunities we miss as human beings is the opportunity to hear someone. Every one has a story and wants to be heard. You’d be surprised what you hear when you listen. And before I forget; you build rapport a hell of lot better this way than being the kazillionth person to say “Oh I see you have golf pictures. Do you like golf? Gag me with a freakin spoon dude!

Master the power of the pause: Pausing keeps you from interrupting but it also works Jedi magic if you allow it. People have a tendency to fill silence with talk. It’s sort of a nervous habit. When you are the initiator of the pause, your prospect might just give you some info you can leverage. It’s also a display of confidence if you can remain silent at times. One caveat: Don’t pause too long or people will pat you on the head and think you are special.

Samson killed a thousand men with the jaw bone of an ass. That many sales are killed every day with the same weapon!

Peace

The Artist Formerly Known As Uncle Paul

14 comments:

  1. LMAO at the closing paragraphs, "Don’t pause too long or people will pat you on the head and think you are special." I knew someone who did that quite a bit.

    Again, I am filled with inspiration. Today, I sat in a brainstorming meeting to discuss creative ways the business can generate demand for our services in this competitive market place. Many great ideas were thrown out there that could help generate business. Though it may be more slow-going, I still maintain my approach: to stop expecting something in return and genuinely be a resource to people. I have learned this and found it has worked for me tremendously because I truly do care about people's well-being and the passion shows through.

    So I will leave this bit of wisdom today with my fellow young Jedi's. "Be genuine and demonstrate how you can help others. Though it may not show you immediate results, you will leave a lasting impression, which is priceless."

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  2. Hi Paul,

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. We have become accustomed to the sound of our own voices and believe that it is the most beautiful sound in the world! We feel that when we speak, the heavens open up and the heavenly choir begins to sing.

    Wow, are we ever wrong. Imagine how much more we can learn about an individual or an opportunity, if we only took the time to listen.

    When my mother spoke, we listened and we learned. Imagine that! She would simply say, in a strong, powerful voice, "Honey, it is not always about you! If you take the time to not only use common sense, but all of the senses that God gave you, you could learn and be so much more!"


    May the force be with us all!

    D'Shene Cotton
    Orange County Printing- A Consolidated Graphics Company

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have hit the nail on the head. We have become accustomed to the sound of our own voice, that when we speak, we believe the heavens open up and the heavenly choir sings.

    Wow, are we ever wrong. If we are continuously listening to the sounds of our own voice, then we are failing to establish and build everlasting relationships, thus missing out on opportunities.

    When my mother spoke, we listened and we learned. Imagine that. She would simply say in a strong, powerful voice, "Honey, it is not always about you! If you would not only use common sense, but all the senses that God has given you, you would see that there is so much more."

    May the force be with us all!

    D'Shene Cotton
    Orange County Printing - A Consolidated Graphics Company

    ReplyDelete
  4. Paul,
    I see by your picture that you like sunglasses. How are you enjoying the witness relocation program?
    I am glad that you wrote this blog. I used to think that bartenders where hired to serve drinks and salespeople were hired to talk, but really both are hired to keep people talking long enough that they will buy their products. How many times have you been telling your life story to a bartender and thought this is a great place I am going to have to come back here again. I love this place. Was it because they had a cool Miller Lite sign?, or was it because the beer was 3 degrees colder than the bar down the street? Possibly the newest version of Golden Tee. I was watching American Idol last night (boy what a sad life drinking and singing competitions) and one of the judges said you finally got your shot on national tv and you sang THAT song? You blew it. We all work so hard to get these meeting and then we go in and say "Wow what crazy weather we are having" and you just blew it.
    Some salespeople are able to wow people with their product knowledge and fancy book learnin, but for the rest of us we have to be good bartenders and keep them talking till they trust us and buy another drink. The second part to that is you cant fake it. If you genuinely dont like people and their stories maybe it's time for getting that degree in accounting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Paul:

    This is excellent...and timely also! I had an interview today and two things come to mind, the power of the pause #1 and questions to move your client forward #2! Towards the end of a very good interview the VP turned the interview over to me for questions and it was do or die time! I leaned back and simply asked "So tell me what your market differentiator is that sets you apart from your competition"? I then paused and waited for the answer! The first words out of the VP was "That's a GREAT question and I am glad you asked"...Home Run! Whether or not I get the position is yet to be seen but I was told I am in the running and will now probably be asked back to meet with the President. So your blog is right on time and holds so true!! And we used that saying growing in playing basketball "Don't come up in here with that weak a$$ sh*t"!!! As an "athlete" growing up it's all about coming strong or don't come at all...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Paul:

    This is excellent...and timely also! I had an interview today and two things come to mind, the power of the pause #1 and questions to move your client forward #2! Towards the end of a very good interview the VP turned the interview over to me for questions and it was do or die time! I leaned back and simply asked "So tell me what your market differentiator is that sets you apart from your competition"? I then paused and waited for the answer! The first words out of the VP was "That's a GREAT question and I am glad you asked"...Home Run! Whether or not I get the position is yet to be seen but I was told I am in the running and will now probably be asked back to meet with the President. So your blog is right on time and holds so true!! And we used that saying growing in playing basketball "Don't come up in here with that weak a$$ sh*t"!!! As an "athlete" growing up it's all about coming strong or don't come at all...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you all for the comments.

    Chad: I'm happy to hear about the interview. Please keep me posted.

    And one other thing Chad, if you ever censor yourself like you did when you wrote A$$ etc I will ban you from posting comments. You can curse on my block. Just don't say the F word. I save that for my classroom,

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  8. I practice stickiness with all my clients – one thing I do is send them RFPs that might help their business (but urge them that if is not of use to them, please pay it forward and send it on to someone who can benefit). Even if they can’t use my RFP, at least they realize my heart is in the right place, I care about them and their companies success.
    Adrienne Parks,www.mclabs.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yo,
    Is there anything, other than money, holding you back from joining today? So, if we can work out the money, you'll join today?

    That's out of the 1980's timeshare playbook.



    PS - Tupac was in Underoos then, living on Planet Rock.

    Look it up.

    Dr. D

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh yeah...

    AGRISAC

    Look that up too.

    Gotta go - got a call on my flip phone.

    DR D

    ReplyDelete
  11. Young Jedis,

    We passed over the greatest Joe Shmo sales line of all, from our brothers in the auto sales industry from years gone by:
    "What's it gonna take to get you into that (pick your make & model) today, my friend?" Well to begin, jerk off, I'm not your friend and if you'd shown only a modicum of observational power, you'd have noticed a female standing next to me. And believe it or not, ASSHOLE, she's looking for a car. True story and not that long ago...

    It seems common sensical, however, perhaps it's assuming too much that most salespeople would possess a sufficient quantity to understand such a basic premise - It ain't about YOU! In other words, not only are you more successful when you do your homework on a prospect(research on recent dynamics impacting them)and prepare some thoughtful questions; it's also more interesting and you learn a lot more in the process as to how you and your solution can be a resource. Or not. In which case you stay tethered to them relationally and, if it makes sense to, tee them up with a resource that will help them solve a problem. More often than not, that paradigm and sales comportment will come back to bless you far more often than not. Cliche as it sounds, sales is a marathon not a sprint...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just found your site five minutes ago via your post on the Sales Growth group on LinkedIn. Love your style and looking forward to reading more.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Thanks Sean! Nice to have you aboard!

    FYI we just started a sales playbook group on linkedin. Would love to have you join us there too!

    All the best to you my friend!

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  14. I too agree with your style. I recently was on a sales call with a colleague who expressed surprise that I was not taking "samples" with me. You see, that's what print sales reps think it's all about. Not me....this was a first meeting. It was an opportunity for discovery. An opportunity to LISTEN to the client, learn about their organization. There was no "selling" going on. After the meeting I set a follow up appointment with a quick agenda and told the client I'd be bring samples which I thought they would find interesting. We never made it that far — my first RFE came in before I even showed samples. Listen! It pays.

    ReplyDelete

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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul ctstrainer@yahoo.com. This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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