Get ready for this readers. You are about to dive deep into the mind of Louis Garcia. A place where many have gone before, some have managed to survive to tell the story, and a few are perplexed about all the shiny things within. Wherever you are, I promise this ride will be safe, because we will be going for a journey into the past, circa 2000 when I was a high school student and entering the workforce for the first time. Yikes, I said it would be safe right? Well, don't worry. I'm not going to divulge all my high school secrets... yet.
One of my first jobs at the tender age of 16 was at a call center for a local furnace and duct cleaning company. A typical day involved ripping pages out of the phone book, rifling down the numbers, selling to anyone you could get on the line, and smooth-talking dust allergens like Ricky Ricardo. Everything was extremely scripted and repetitive. The name of the game was numbers, and the focus wasn't on helping anyone understand air quality in their home rather than hoping to convince a few people to take the bite on an "incredible" and "limited-time" deal.
Fast forward a couple of years, around 2002, and I find myself doing door to door sales for a marketing company that produced coupons for local businesses. We spent 9am-12pm practicing our sales in-person role plays and performing development every single day. We discussed the FUGJIS factors, which stood for
Fear of Loss
I learned how to use these tactics masterfully to have people unload their wallets for oil changes, golf rounds, and pasta. The key to success again was to pull off a variety of tactics that were aimed to pull at the emotions that drive us: greed and fear.
I've held a couple of other sales roles that I'll save for other blog posts. What I want to share with you is the magical transformation that has taken place in selling. Consumers have become incredibly savvy in their buying decisions. Research Online, Buy Offline noted that many consumer categories have "over 50% of all offline purchases preceded by reading an online review." Reviews, comparisons, and content have led the way to the consumer being greatly aware. Great. As a salesperson, it requires you to be an expert in the field who's willing to help your prospect. No longer will the greed/fear tactics be the only mechanisms that compel people to move.
Also, consumers are raising the bar of the experience of being sold. Poor selling experiences are spread like untamed wildfires and drive people away in droves.
How is your selling experience?
Consumers are demanding to be delighted during their purchasing choice. These experience mold our perception of the brand more than the product itself. We all know when we have great experiences outweighed the product. Like when going to a sporting event, it's a great experience, but sometimes the product doesn't perform to expectations ("life of a Minnesota sports fan").
We are entering into an era where the selling experience must come from a foundation of wanting to help. Buyers see through those who are wanting to help versus convince. Don't be the latter.
Want to make sure your selling experience is smooth for your prospects?
Map out what the last ten lost and won prospects sales experience was like at your business. Was it smooth like butter or was it riddled with friction? Draw out the step-by-step processes that you would expect someone to have in their experience with you.
Okay, I made this article sound scary, to begin with, but this story ends well. Thanks to a cool HubSpot Bootcamp lead by Dan Tyre, an awesome LION and #6 employee at HubSpot. He works with agencies like mine to fill a pipeline of well-qualified deals. Thanks, Dan, for your commitment to people like me. It has indeed changed my business, life, and family.