“If you just buy this one thing, everything will be wonderful!”
Do you believe it?
Advertisers have been using this core message for as long as I have been fascinated by television commercials.
Whatever it is that is being advertised, the format is often the same.
- Show an unhappy situation (stained clothes; headache; whatever)
- Then go to a product in action sequence with a list of great sounding benefits
- Then show the situation resolved
But wait – there’s more! The “before” picture has very sad people, dimly lit – and with sad music.
In the “after” shots – the smiles are huge, the music is uplifting, and the lighting….
Well, in short, the world is perfect once again – because you bought and used (insert name of bright shiny object here)
Does this kind of persuasive messaging work?
It seems to – at least if you believe that it must because it is used so ubiquitously.
And if you look at the way sales improvement products and services are sold, you might believe that it works there to.
“Use my CRM, or my LinkedIn prospecting methods, or my sales training tips and tricks, or my lead generation tools, or my survey methodology….” (etc., etc., etc….)
….and your results will simple explode!!! (in a good way, of course;)
Do you believe it?
It’s tempting to – isn’t it.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was just one thing you needed to buy or change to make the bottom line results of your sales team soar to new heights?
Yes – it would be great – but don’t buy into the hype!
My friend George Brontén, the CEO of Membrain recently wrote a great post about the need for coordinated systems (as opposed to random collections of bright shiny objects) to make your sales team run smoothly and effectively. You should read his post – it’s good – and I would like to expand on the concept.
You don’t just need a system, you need to have a good system that is executed consistently.
That way, you can measure how it works, and see what happens when you make singular changes to an otherwise well-structured system.
Really boring stuff, right?
Absolutely – unless you actually care about getting better results.
If your goal is to buy something that looks like a solution so that it can make you feel good (owners) or look good (managers), then buy whatever you want.
But if you are ultimately responsible for the bottom line of your team or organization, you should try to do better than a random collection of bright shiny objects.
That’s the point. But let me close with an analogy to really bring it home.
I’m fighting a middle aged gut.
I was always lean, but as I age, metabolism slows, endurance wanes, and old injuries limit the kinds of exercise I can do to offset my continued love affair with beer, pizza…. Well, you get the picture. Maybe you can even relate.
Are there “magic pills” on the market for this, um – opportunity? Oh heck yes! The super food, or exercise machine or routine or tracking app or shoes….
Do they work? Do they help? Maybe – but here is what I have found.
After tracking my trips to the gym, my eating habits and my weight for over a year now – it comes down to this:
When I go to the gym and do a consistent, moderately hard workout four times a week, I can keep things under control even when I eat a little more like a pig than I probably should. If I can eat like less of a pig, I actually lose weight.
Do I miss weeks and workouts here and there? Sure. But you know what – having a systematic approach, executing it consistently, measuring it and adjusting over time based on what I learn within the realities of a fast moving and ever changing world seems to be working.
If you want to improve the bottom line results of your sales organization, take a similar approach. Skip the magic pills and the bright shiny objects, and start the long, slow and boring discipline of creating and refining selling systems in your organization – and measure the results, adjusting as you go.
You won’t look very trendy or sexy doing things this way, but if your goal is improved results across the organization and for the long term – this might actually get you there.
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!