” Six Questions to An Expert ” by Marco Rasi.
1) In the huge offer of methods and techniques, there are thousands of bloggers, articles, books and consultant firms. Unavoidably there are though different and even opposite theories about sales. What’s your advise for a salesman who would like a support in order to improve? how to find his way in this wide offer?
A) Read as much as you can and create your own opinion. Don?t follow just one strategy or one way of doing things because we are all different and we handle things differently. Color it with your own personality and really own it. To own the technique you really need to try it at least 20 times and adjust it accordingly.
2) What is the best advice You can give to a young man who wants to start a career as a professional seller?
And for ” experts “, what is the skill/attitude that you have seen too much neglected by the salesmen you met in your career ?
A) Don’t be afraid to test new things. And please educate yourself – majority of sales people are not taking their time to educate themselves about sales and how to properly sell. For sales experts here is my advice – learn more about psychology and how to read people, how to relate to them, how to create rapport with introverted and extroverted people, how to build rapport with visual, auditory and kinesthetic people.
3) We are a community of sales professionals in Italy, every day in the field on all markets. We see that on sale in Italy there are many offer training, coaching, team building, but little if anything about culture (books, qualified training publications) on sales techniques, that of day by day. Why do You think in English-speaking countries there is a lot more to offer of sales culture rather than in Italy? How to recover the gap?
A) Italian sales people should not be afraid to voice their opinion. Also, stop just reading books from English-speaking trainers and build on the shoulders of giants of the industry. Create your own sales blog; introduce that blog to other trainers to hear their opinion, and please be ready to hear some critiques on your account, but remember that each negative comment will help you improve your knowledge and your skills.
4) We often speak about improvement and enrichment of the salespeople qualification, but there are some habits that should be got out. Which are habits of the past that, as time went by, you removed from your techniques or changed ideas on?
A) I personally removed hard sell approach and I started with pulling people into the conversation by asking many questions before I presetn anything. I also try to educate myself about every client by learning about their trigger events, by understanding the pains of their industry, and also I always try to confirm that at our initial meeting.
5) Social networks are opening new frontiers in business relationships, but both companies ‘s top managers that the best sellers seem to be wary of their use.
What will lead us to the sales 3.0? Market, technology, or other?
A) I believe only smart work will help us sell better. Social Media is here to stay, but it will not help you to sell if you don’t know how to sell. It will just open the door for you and you still need to have sales skills to take your prospects from cold to hot one.
6) In the last 80 years, billions of words have been written about how to sell. There are so an “old” and a “new-school”. Sometimes even contrasting in their ideas. In your opinion, is the evolution of selling tecniques influenced by new ideas and thoughts or is there just an adaptation to the new tools we have (such as communication, web, CRM), the new market and products/services? or, last, the buyer’s changing in behaviour (awareness, advanced purchasing process)?
A) Everything evolves throughout the years, but it looks like the sales training industry still survives based on the old stuff. It is time to retire dinosours of the industry and move into the 21st Century. How can we do that? By not talking about the tips and trick that worked while ago (Benjamin Franklin closing technique anyone?).
We are all more busies than ever and sales people need to acknowledge that and learn about new ways of approaching clients. Adopt new ways of doing things – or die. Simple as that.
Interview by : Marco Rasi