The three keys to successful selling today are: talk to the right people; practice The 90-10-90 Rule; and focus on the prospect.
Key One: Talk to people who are in a position to spend money, or to authorize spending money, for what you have to sell. Many sellers start conversations with more junior people—do all their best selling to them–and then find out that someone else will actually make the decision. Don’t get caught in that trap.
Scientific and technical professionals note: those who know your field best, the people who truly “speak your language,” may be too junior to authorize expenditures. By contrast, those who can order payment frequently are non-technical professionals, often financial people. They may not be as much fun to talk with, but they have the purse strings!
Key Two Practice The 90-10-90 Rule for selling success. This says that ideally when you’re selling your prospect should be doing ninety percent of the speaking. Of the ten percent of the time that you—the seller—are speaking, spend ninety percent of that ten percent asking questions.
The exception to The 90-10- 90 Rule? You can talk as long as you like, if you’re answering questions your prospect posed (more on that later). If your prospect asks, “Would you give me a presentation on this?” say yes, but make that presentation a dialogue, not a monologue. Your prospect should be speaking some, even when you are presenting, if at all possible.
How to accomplish that? Ask questions! Present an idea, and then ask: “Is that an approach that would make sense for you, Ms. Smith?” Or, “Would that work with the organizational structure you have now, Fred?”
Key Three: Selling should be YOU-YOU-YOU, not ME-ME-ME. Talk about your prospect, not about you, your company, or what you have to sell, unless you’re asked. React to everything your prospect brings up. Use the word “you” more, and the word “I” (or “we” or “me”) much less!
More details to come in the next post on the use of “I” and “YOU” in the sales conversation!