The conference in Galway this week went tremendously well and I had the honour of sharing the platform with some other 'rebels in business suits' David McWilliams the author and broadcaster with his own unique and very funny style of presenting, the branding specialist Brendan Buckley of Impact Media - who left a very comfortable job in Dublin to go West and establish his own unique business and Nicky Deasy an ex-associate director of KPMG Corporate Finance who walked away and now devotes her life to working in the charity she founded supporting children in Nepal.
Onto our second step for Selling Smarter which is about Understanding the 'New' Model of Selling. This new model of selling promotes the very real concept that all selling must be collaborative. It must be a partnership between the sales professional and the client.
There are 4 steps to this. Firstly, create rapport or a powerful state of trust and acceptance between you and the client - when rapport is present the 'threat-level' decreases for the client and they are more comfortable in your space.
Secondly, remove ambiguity as to the client's real needs through effective questioning. Not identifying the clear needs of the client leaves both them and us at a distinct disadvantage. The client by virtue of the fact that we may end up wasting their time by not having an effective solution for them - in which case we should have walked away in the first place - and ourselves by wasting time and effort on pitching to the wrong prospect. Effective uncovering of real needs then allows us to complete the remaining two stages - presentation and closing more elegantly.
Thirdly - we make an effective 'pitch' or presentation by relating what our services/products can do to meet their real needs and if we have done the 'matching' process successfully then the fourth part - closing the deal - becomes simply a matter of assumption. After all, if we have met all their needs we don't need any 'closing techniques' we simply suggest that we move forward to provide their solution.