Effective Sales Process: Be a Billboard in a Crowd, a Therapist 1 on 1

This post is part of a series of interviews with experts in business intelligence, sales management, marketing, customer retention, management and strategic planning.  Everyday, the CAN team interacts with clients, mentors, and friends who are leaders in their fields, and we started this series to share their expertise.

One of my mentors and friends in sales, Vanessa Shoemaker, recently reminded me that salespeople need to be a billboard in a crowd, and a therapist 1 on 1. She reminded me of how easy it is for salespeople to get focused on being either a billboard or a therapist, instead of both.  Billboards piqué people’s interest to learn more. Being a billboard is essential to stand out in a crowd and to get meetings with new prospects. Therapists learn about people and their needs and wants, then prescribe the right solution. Being a therapist is essential to understanding your prospects enough to build trust and recommend solutions that are going to provide them the most value. (Related Post on Qualifying) A billboard says the right things, a therapists asks the right questions.

Until Vanessa got me out of my rut, I was stuck in billboard mode. I have spent the last 16 months engrossed in the process of rebranding Contemporary Analysis and developing marketing materials to explain what CAN does.  I had become so focused on CAN, that I had lost focus of my client’s needs.  To rehabilitate my sales process, I have worked on shifting my focus in 1 on 1 meetings to helping my prospects answer the following question, “What business question, if answered today would fundamentally shift your business?”  This refocusing has helped both simplify and shorten my sales process.  It has also resulted in happier customers’ who are focused on answering their most important business questions, instead of learning more about CAN.  When our customers solve their most vital business questions, everyone wins.

  • Richard says:

    Different people might want different things, and context really matters in determining how effective something might be, but I like this motto, “A billboard says the right things, a therapists asks the right questions”. Standing out in a crowd can be tough if you don’t have a really magnetic personality. Many people are focusing on social media to stand out and there are all kinds of companies listed at http://www.buyfacebookfansreviews.com that can help promote you on Facebook and other social media sites. Once you get in a one-on-one situation with a customer, having some empathy is a really big deal and what can really help get you sales. Personality wise, I think most salesmen are more likely to be better billboards than therapists though.

  • GJS says:

    I have been blessed/cursed with a magnetic personality so I might be biased, but I think everyone can be interesting and standout. The key is knowing yourself and what you can be the best in the world at. This takes a lot of work.
    Thank you for the link to http://www.BuyFacebookFanReviews.com. This is a really interesting market place.
    I agree that most salespeople have a natural bent towards being a billboard, but empathy can be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful sales career.
    Thank you,

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