Every seller wants to have meaningful sales connections with their buyers, but it’s clear from the way sales is traditionally done that very few sellers really know how to pull it off. Deb Calvert has written a new book, “Stop Selling and Start Leading” that reveals many points of powerfully insightful data, taken from a study focused on the 30 primary characteristics of leadership. Her application of those characteristics to the sales process is not only ingenious, it also reveals what sellers are doing wrong, what buyers really want from those who are on the other side of the sales relationship, and how powerful selling can happen once sellers stop selling in begin leading. You don’t want to miss this conversation.
Buyers don’t believe the message until they first believe the messenger
Sales connections are about more than simply setting appointments and running through a sales presentation. It’s about building trust, a phrase we are hearing more and more these days. But do you really know what it means to build trust? More importantly, do you know how to build it? Deb Calvert says that buyers don’t believe anything you have to say to them about your product or service until they first believe in you. They have to see, demonstrated in your behavior, that you are person who can be trusted. What kinds of behavior is Deb talking about? Listen to this episode of In The Arena to find out – and learn how to change the way you sell in order to build greater trust with your buyers.
33% of buyers say the salespeople they deal with don’t come across as credible
Much of the research that Deb and her team did in preparation for her book focused on the experiences buyers had with those who sold to them. In many cases, these were relationships that were already established between buyer and seller – yet 33% of buyers said that the sales people they deal with regularly don’t come across as credible or trustworthy. What does that say about the way sales professionals are going about their work? More importantly, what does it say about the ways we can improve what we do to cause trust to be built from the outset? Deb’s insights into this issue of credibility and trust are incredibly helpful for salespeople who are willing to do the work it takes to apply what she has learned. The good news is this, none of it is hard. It just has to be done.
Sales connections happen through two-way dialogue, not an old-fashioned sales presentation
One of the things that buyers dread the most is the sales presentation. That’s because it often goes into data points and information that isn’t relevant to their situation. It’s kind of like sitting through a timeshare presentation in order to get the free gift, only the buyer doesn’t always walk away with the free gift. Deb’s research revealed that sales connections that matter happen through two-way dialogue, not a sales presentation. Buyers want to know that they are understood and that those selling to them truly have their best interests in mind. If you will apply the simple things Deb shares in her book, “Stop Selling and Start Leading,” your sales will dramatically improve.
Meaningful connections between buyers and sellers still matter
With all the advancements in A.I. and machine learning, there is a lot of hype about whether or not salespeople will really be needed in the future. Both Deb and Anthony believe that the human component of sales will always be in high demand because meaningful sales connections are what build the kind of trust that buyers need to feel. It still matters that there is a person on the other end of a transaction. It still matters that someone with empathy and understanding can approach a buyer’s needs with insight and right applications. As you listen to this conversation you’ll come to realize the truth: meaningful connections in sales still matter and always will.
Outline of this great episode
- Who is Deb Calvert?
- The kind of research Deb did in her decision to write her book
- The gap between what buyers want to see in their sellers and what exists
- What does it mean for sellers to model the way?
- Buyers need sellers to demonstrate that they have THEIR best interest in mind
- Why salespeople are hesitant about inspiring a shared vision
- What does it mean to challenge the process?
- The thing that matters most to buyers is relevant answers in a timely way
- Meaningful connections between buyers and sellers still matter
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
- Stop Selling Start Leading
- Deb’s website
- Deb on Social – LinkedIn – Twitter – YouTube – Facebook
- The Outbound Conference
- BOOK: Stop Selling, Start Leading
- BOOK: The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need
- Jim Kouzes
- Barry Posner
- The Leadership Challenge
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud