The single sale principle states that:
“People buy when a solid solution that provides perceived value fills a pressing need”.
simple. Too easy? Well, as Jim Collins says in his book Good to Great, “Freud, Darwin, and Einstein all had one thing in common. They simplified a complex world.” Single Principle salespeople do just that. They understand that selling doesn’t have to be complicated. They just make it easier for customers to buy.
This is one of the two things they have in common. They are customer-centric, not sales-centric.
Another thing single-principle salespeople have in common is that they never follow the 8 sales myths. there has never been.
8 Sales Myths for Sales Managers are taught by well-meaning sales managers, eager to pass on to them the wisdom and knowledge that their sales managers imparted to them. Yet, like a cult, no one questions whether they are true. These 8 myths may have worked then, but they simply don’t work today.
Do you remember how you felt when you found out there was no real Santa Claus? I remember it very well. It was December 12, 1971, and my (so-called) best friend Johnny Harrison broke the fatal news to me through Curly Wurly. I feel like I’m owned. You don’t question what you were told as a child; you just believe it to be true.
Well, that’s how I felt that day too, and I discovered that everything I’d been taught in sales by then was a complete lie; all myths. They are theories that have no substance in the modern world.
Walk into most sales floors and you’ll see 8 sales myths proudly displayed on the wall (probably next to goals and “inspiration” posters):
attitude is altitude
“People buy people”
customers love to talk about themselves
“It’s a numbers game”
“Sell sizzle instead of sausage”
“Talk about money”
“Failed to plan, failed to plan”
Honestly, you yourself believe at least half of the 8 myths, don’t you? You are not alone.
Most salespeople will cite them as the “sales gospel”. Suggest that they are myths and they will think you are crazy.
On the surface, these 8 myths seem very plausible. In fact, inside the frame, every look is filled with positive inspiration. I believe they made sense at the time. But things have changed. The same goes for sales.
Myth 1: Close forever
If you need to use closing techniques to get sales, you clearly haven’t proven that your product meets their needs. Rather than forcing customers to make a decision they’ll regret, go back to where you lost them in the buying process and start over from there. If you apply the Single Sales Principle®, there is no need to close… customers should ask you to buy.
Myth 2: Attitude determines altitude
Abraham Lincoln asked this question: “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” How can you look in the mirror if you don’t believe in your product Telling yourself “you’re a tiger” doesn’t help either.
The better the value proposition, the better the salesperson’s attitude. Single-principle salespeople ensure they have a deep, genuine belief in their value proposition.
Misunderstanding 3: People buy people
People buy when a product/service meets customer needs cost-effectively. No amount of small talk with customers can make up for a poor product fit.
Being personable is of course important in sales. But isn’t it important in all professions? Friendly plumbers are easier to work with than unfriendly plumbers. Friendly bus drivers are easier to get along with than unfriendly bus drivers. Friendly lawyers are much more pleasant than unfriendly lawyers (unless, of course, they are on your team!) American author Ken Hubbard said: “Beauty is only skin deep, but if you are poor or have no money, then it is A valuable asset” t. “No common sense!”
In the good/bad old days, salespeople would use their charm (“good looks”) to cover up this lack of a credible solution (“common sense”). Today’s professional buyer can see through this. This is the most important.
Myth 4: Customers love to talk about themselves
We’ve had thousands of sales calls. Some are good. Some are not good. Some are downright ugly. The bad thing is that the salespeople don’t ask any questions at all. They push their features and benefits without considering what buyers actually want.
Then there are the ugly calls. Salespeople know they have to do fact-finding and get as much information about the customer as possible. So they launched a “Spanish survey”, asking a series of pointless questions that did nothing but bore customers.
Yes, there is a certain amount of information that needs to be identified in a sales intervention, because without it it is difficult to make a proposal and know if the opportunity is worth pursuing. But it’s all for your benefit, not theirs. Needs determine sales, not customer biographies.
Myth 5: It’s a numbers game
The average salesperson makes great strides by working long hours and running around contacting a lot of people. Then they submit “phantom forecasts”; overly optimistic sales forecasts based on a series of proposals that never translate into actual business. This is because the need identified in the sales call is not an urgent need.
Just because there is a need doesn’t mean customers will act on it. Many deals in the sales force pipeline remain unclosed because customers have been putting off making decisions. Playing the numbers game isn’t helping them increase sales. It just creates more jobs for yourself and everyone around you.
A single-principle salesperson ensures that the need is compelling before proposing a solution. Why? Because only then can they be sure that customers will be motivated to take action.
Myth 6: Selling Siss, Not Sausage
We love the concept of making presentations fire up. Our question about the “sell” myth is how salespeople think they can confuse customers with flashy displays that are high profile but lack substance.
At first glance, “Big Sale” seems to make a lot of sense. Sausage sizzling on a pan is a better sell than raw sausage sitting in the fridge. But that’s because the sizzle activates your senses and makes people notice that you’re hungry. Hiss fulfills your desperate needs.
Have you ever smelled a sizzling sausage when you got food poisoning? This may make you feel worse. This is because your need this time is not hunger. In fact, food is the last thing you need.
Myth 7: Money is everything
Listen to buyers and you’d think they truly believe that money talks. Buyers are a ruthless species, purely happy to let the salesperson worry about the price. They trick them into thinking it’s all about cost, and that if the salespeople don’t lower their prices, they’ll find suppliers who will. In fact, some buyers themselves believe the hype.
But customers actually want value, not the cheapest price. If people want a bargain, we all drive around in 10-year-old cars and shop at charity shops. A product is considered expensive only if customers do not appreciate its value. You never lose a deal on price, only on value.
Myth 8: Failure to plan, failure to plan
Salespeople tend to fall into two camps: those who plan too much and those who barely plan.
People who plan too much tend to be “busy fools,” that is, running around with little to do. When we go out with these salespeople, they show us all the planning they’ve made: visits to the client’s website; previous history; a list of questions they’ll ask; competitor information, etc. The problem is they don’t even mention it .
The second category is those salespeople who rarely plan. In fact, most salespeople fall into this category. You might be surprised to learn that the same is true for single-principle salespeople.
“Hooray!” I heard the cries of the entire sales community. “What? No need to plan?” Not quite!
Management guru Peter Drucker defined the difference between “effectiveness” and “efficiency” as:
“Efficiency is doing the right thing; effectiveness is doing the right thing.”
Single-principle salespeople are effective because they are sure to do the right thing. That’s why they usually work fewer hours than the average person.
Cartoonist Doug Larson said of time management, “It’s hard to be better for the act of disappearing than what should happen for the remaining eight hours after eight hours of sleep and eight hours of work.” I Think we can all understand the sentiment. Life is too short to plan for it.
8 Myths of the Sales Summary
Winston Churchill said, “Out of intense complexity comes simplicity.” Selling has become a complex business. But it doesn’t have to be. Keep it simple.
That’s why great salespeople follow the Single Selling Principle®. By focusing on matching a compelling need with a solid solution that delivers perceived value, you’ll sell successfully. We promise. Follow these 8 myths and you will be frustrated and disappointed in our wonderful profession.
Original article written by Mark Blackmore, MD, Lammore
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