"The top salesperson in the organization probably missed more sales than 90% of the sales people on the team, but they also made more calls than the others made."
--- Zig Ziglar
If you don't own it yet, pick up the book, "How To Become A Rainmaker" by Jeffrey J. Fox. It is a quick read with valuable nuggets of information that will help you present your product or service better and close the next sale. The book has 52 chapters, and none are more than three to four pages in length. It serves as a great reference guide and should be a must-have tool for members of any sales team. I will share four key points you can begin using today, but do yourself a favor and buy the book.
The attraction to the material in the book is Fox's simplistic approach to sales and his common sense, get-to-the-point techniques. For example, Chapter four, (which is two pages), is titled, "Customers Don't Care About You." Here, Fox stresses that the customers don't care why your shipments are late, what you like, where you went to school, or what sports you played. You are there to listen to your customer and clarify, summarize, and determine how you can help the customer and how your product solves the customer's concern. Fox says that Rainmakers say "you"; they don't say, "I."
"I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation."
--- Bo Bennett
Key number two from Fox is that we should always pre-call plan every sales call, (Chapter five). He says that it is typical for a Rainmaker to spend three hours planning for a fifteen-minute sales call. Planning and practicing for two days to two weeks for a single sales call is not uncommon.
Though you should preplan every call, the plan needs to be flexible. If the customer wants to do business with you, but in an entirely different manner than anticipated, adjust to the change. Don't be so intent on following your practiced plan that you miss a customer's cue.
"Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman - not the attitude of the prospect."
--- W. Clement Stone
The third key is to make it a point to turn a customer's objection into customer objectives, (Chapter 15). According to Fox, the Rainmaker knows that when the customer says, "Your price is too high," the customer's goal is to get the proper value for the money invested. The Rainmaker, in question form, restates the customer's objection as an objective.
For example, the customer says, "Your delivery time is too long." The Rainmaker responds, "So our objective is to get you the product when you want it, correct? When exactly do you want the product? If you will commit today to a six-month purchase agreement, we can forecast monthly shipments and ensure that you get it on the first of the month. Why don't we try it for six months?"
"Salesmanship, too, is an art; the perfection of its technique requires study and practice."
--- James Cash Penney
The final key is to treat everybody you meet as a potential client, (Chapter 17). In this chapter, Fox states that Rainmakers see the world, and everyone in it, as their market. They know that everyone knows someone. Rainmakers treat non clients as they do existing customers and know that business can come from unexpected places.
Rainmakers know that something they did ten years ago might result in business today. They treat everyone with respect and courtesy. The Rainmaker is as respectful and polite to the guy who mows the lawn as he is to the president of the company that makes the lawn mowers. The Rainmaker knows that pleasant people often appear self-controlled and confident and that customers like that.
Be a Rainmaker!
"Great salespeople are relationship builders who provide value and help their customers win."
--- Jeffrey Gitomer