Many leaders are finding their sales people do not have what it takes to sell in this economy. What they are finding is they have order takers, not sales people. Timidity has always been a factor that has cost companies a lot of sales. This has become an even more obvious in this economy as owners and salespeople want to do everything they can to make their current clients happy and to put smiles on the faces of prospects. However, a secret weapon to getting more sales is to “pushing back.”
Let me explain what I mean by pushing back. When you get into that sales call where the owner says how bad things are, and that they have no money to spend on your products and services because of the economy, that is a time to push back. You need to be prepared to discuss how your products and services are even more vital than ever before. You need to help them see things from a different point of view by pushing. For example, if you are a consultant you can help them see that by hiring you you will help them become more profitable and by not hiring you it will cost them money. While this may not be true for every product and service you provide, my example is only to make the point that if you do not push back, your conversation is over.
Pushing back with your customers and prospects has several benefits. First it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, it lends you credibility, and it shows you have confidence in your knowledge, products and company. All of this adds value to your conversation with your prospects and clients and provides more of a reason for them to talk with you. Too often owners and leaders are surrounded by “yes” people, and it is refreshing for them to have someone that can offer them some valuable alternatives. They like having good people around them who can act as sounding boards.
Now the question becomes, “when should one push back”? The rules are:
When assessing sales people we find this is one of the areas we need to develop. Many have “need for approval.” This gets in their way of asking the tough questions that are necessary to get more business.
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