For many professionals, selling is becoming an impossible mission. There are even books written on the subject letting you believe that "selling is dead…" Yes, selling is becoming seriously challenging. The first reason is: there are more and more competitors out there who swear they have a better product or service.
The second reason is: the customer is getting more confused than ever. The more choice there is, the less easy it is to decide. And, you have noticed, today the customer is more skeptical than ever about anybody who pretends to have the right solution…
There is a third reason: old-fashioned, classical selling does not work anymore. Whatever "great" argument you present, someone can present a "better one". Whatever "best" logical proof you provide for your product or service, it may convince the customer yet it still does not guarantee that he will buy…from you!
Thus selling has a bad image in America today and for this reason, businesses are focusing more on marketing. The apparent solution to the sales dilemma is to replace it with marketing. But is it working?
According to Patrick Valtin, President of M2-TEC USA, INC and author of the popular e-book Crisis Buster, selling in America has a bad image today because people get "crush sold" or "over sold", but nevertheless the pendulum swing from sales to marketing is wrong-headed.
"In today's electronic age, the customer needs more than ever a trustworthy communication line," claims Valtin. The shift of investing more in marketing and less in sales forces is due to the return on investment becoming less and less viable with sales forces compared to marketing. "There is a detachment," Valtin explains, "but people forget that marketing helps people to sell better - it is not a substitute." The solution is to train sales people to sell the human relationship.
As a 22-year veteran international business coach, Valtin has personally trained over 75,000 people in more than 27 countries on the subjects of sales, sales management, recruitment, marketing strategies and leadership. His sales techniques have been formulated in the "New Era Selling" system and involve what Valtin calls the only true workable technology of the mind. His approach shows people the true meaning of selling - understanding. And according to Valtin, he's not talking about psychobabble. It's a precise science taught at the Hubbard College of Administration International. When asked why he uses this method, Valtin states it is because it focuses entirely on analyzing and understanding that human relationship. From observing top sales people around the planet, Valtin has seen that what works is the know-how of how to handle that relationship.
Decoding or decrypting what is going on in the mind helps the sales person overcome the main barrier to any sale - trust. Breaking the barrier of trust has nothing to do with the product. It has everything to do with finding what the senior motivation is for that customer - in other words, what will make him buy.
There are three points that motivates one to buy, says Valtin, and it is different with every person. Out of the three motives - economic, social, and personal - at least one will prevail. However, it may be all three. But Valtin will tell you that economic reasons are far less the motivation than one would believe.
Through Patrick's 35 years experience in sales, the make-break point in closing is finding out what is beyond the economic survival that has as much or more weight in the buying process. He claims a true salesman is not one that listens, but one who can get the customer to talk. Only one out of every ten customers will openly communicate their needs and wants - the rest won't due to the lack of trust today; which is why Valtin emphasizes understanding human behavior.
If a business is going to succeed, the merging of marketing and sales must occur. Valtin teaches sales as an extension of marketing. "Marketing is finding out what people want OR creating that want. Salespeople must first find out what their customers want (or don't want), beyond what they just need."
Valtin says expanding a business in an economic crisis is no different than trying to sell in tough competitive markets - markets where Patrick got his teeth cut in sales. He wrote the e-book "Crisis Buster" as a response to his observation of numerous business owners’ reaction to economic crises and has been dubbed "Mr. Crisis Buster" by many of his customers all over the world. He delivers his Crisis Buster Seminars, sometimes to 1200-plus people at a time, teaching entrepreneurs and decision makers how to expand their businesses in economic crises.
So what IS the difference between marketing and sales?
Marketing gets one interested in product or service.
Sales gets the customer interested in YOU and then in YOUR product or service.
Today's purchasing is more of a relationship. It's the peace of mind, the customer service, the technical support - in essence the invisible. But that invisible is tangible in the one factor that every customer is seeking…trust.
Valtin's 3-step sales process is likened to that of a doctor:
As a career sales trainer, Valtin spends up to 65% teaching the first two steps. Then for the proverbial "close", Valtin defines five different factors customers need to be closed on (in sequence) before he will buy. Ironically, price is not number one. Yet 90% of all sales people spend too much attention on it.
So what is the solution to the dying off of sales as a profession? The solution is not to disguise it as marketing, but to learn that Sales is a human factor - and it's actually not attached to the product.
"Success should NOT depend on economic conditions," Valtin says.
Relationship is the key to sales and Valtin can teach you how to open that door.