Hands down, if I could start all over again with sales, I would avoid offering too many options to clients.
I remember when I first started out as a pharmaceutical sales rep, with absolutely now idea how to sell to doctors, I was given a “Detail Aid” that contained every important point of information about the products that the company sold. I then found out that doctors either wouldn’t talk to me at all, or that I would probably only have 30 seconds to speak to them. We had to memorize presentations on the product, sales lines, and pitches, and then were told to go call on the doctors and make sure they knew every bit of information on our products.
I thought this sounded SUPER exciting, and I remember my first encounter with a doctor, after waiting in the waiting room for an hour. I stood in the hall and held up my detail aid and started spewing information, only to see his eyes glaze over and walk away.
I began to very quickly realize that doctors did not want to hear about every option that I could give them. But then I started to ask “But HOW am I going to let them know about ALL of this great information?”
Then it dawned on me…if I was in their shoes, I wouldn’t want to be told everything that someone offers, but rather I’d want to hear only about what matters to me.
So I began developing a list of questions that I’d ask the doctors, in order to find out what was important to them. Suddenly, things began to change because I was different that the other reps…I was asking, not telling.
If you’ve heard my story about how over the next several years after that I developed a system for living life, eliminating stress, and closing more sales (which is now The Living Sales Manual, which you can get for FREE here), you’ve heard me talk about how my ah-ha moment was realizing that everyone around me has always told me I do things differently than everyone else, then you wouldn’t be surprised to know that this is exactly what happened in these early sales stages of my life too.
I got addicted to doing things differently.
I continued to struggle with understanding whether or not I was doing the right thing, since I wasn’t delivering all of the messages I was “required” to deliver. However, I continued focusing on this consultative sales approach and began seeing a difference in my sales numbers!
It was surprising to me, though, how many people told me I wasn’t doing things right. I would go to sales meetings and go through role plays, and it felt so unnatural to go back to spewing memorized information.
It took me a while to get in to the groove of understanding and demonstrating that giving more options was not the right way to sell.
When I look at myself now, almost 17 years later, I am so happy that I made that change, and wish that I would’ve done it sooner.
My advice to every sales person out there, whether you are experienced or not, is to answer the following questions:</p>
- In a Sales Presentation or Sales Call, is the First Thing That Comes Out of Your Mouth a Statement?
- Do You Struggle Getting All of the Information You Want to Say in to Your Sales Message?
- Do You Constantly Feel Hurried When Trying to Say Everything You “Need” to Say in a Sales Presentation?
- Do You Leave Sales Meetings Feeling Like You Forgot to Say Something?
If the answer to ANY of those questions was YES, then you most likely are focused on giving way too many options to your customers, instead of just focusing on what they need.
Over the next few days, I’m going to write more on this topic to help you fine tune your sales approach, and make YOUR life and your CUSTOMERS’ lives less overwhelming, and ultimately to help you close more sales!