by Tracey Wik / January 15, 2019
The world of sales is constantly changing, and the pace of change today is extraordinary. We have access to more tools than we could ever possibly use. An innovator has a great new idea—there’s a tool for that! And, these tools are great. They make everything more efficient from work to life to ordering a sandwich hand-delivered by an Uber driver straight to your desk.
Who will you be as a salesperson in the face of these changes?
It’s becoming harder than ever to stay relevant. There’s an immediacy to sales today. When buyers reach out with an inquiry, you can bet they’ve already done their research, and they may have even made up their minds.
As a salesperson, you better be prepared because when a buyer is ready to buy, your prime position is to be right there, with the last few pieces of information the prospect needs to make the decision.
Instead of getting upset, and blaming tech, the inventors, or big business, you can take practical, decisive action. Here are some things you can do to stay connected to your market:
There’s no need to know how to use every tool out there. Your best bet is to stay aware of what tools are available and understand what they do. Even if you use the tools, there’s still a need for personal chemistry. People buy from people they like, so when you tap into the right tools, the human component will never go away.
When you meet prospects, they’re 57% already decided before they even reach out. Keep this in mind when you engage in your early conversations. This is a fantastic time to listen more than you speak and gauge how much they already know; don’t be surprised if it’s more than you.
This may be a shift in perspective. Since salespeople can safely assume the buyer knows just about as much (maybe even more) than the seller, the salesperson has a huge opportunity here to step in and create a unique feel-good buying experience. Even in a market where the buyer doesn’t need a seller—they do their own research and make a decision—a salesperson can step in and enhance the entire event. Think about what your customer will do with your product or service. How can having you there, as part of the purchase, use, or wind-down make the buyer love the purchase even more?
Even though buyers know more today, they don’t know everything. You’re the bridge to help connect them to the outcomes they care about most. If there’s any aspect of sales more relevant today, it’s to create that contextual relationship for your products or services strengthening the connection between you, your offer, and your buyer.
While the barista may be replaced by ordering ahead on your smartphone, sales is still a great job to get into. If you can find the balance of selling with your innate strengths with the knowledge your buyer carries, you can sell. And, if you can sell, you can make money: making money turns into freedom.
I have a great deal of compassion for how difficult it is to navigate the waters of relevancy. The onus is on you. It’s not up to your company, your buyer, or anyone else to ensure you’re staying current. Instead of waiting around or playing victim to the circumstances, stay mindful of everything happening in your industry. Keep building on your skill set and expand your awareness of the tools to help you do your job and do it well. Staying relevant is wildly rewarding.