Ask. Find. Validate. Probe. Know. Discover. Experiment. Co-Create. These are some verbs which goes very well with the spirit of Sales.
Assumption is a sure shot act of Suicide in Sales!
Out of the 4 levels of cognition, the function of Sales primarily delves into the block A, as shown below.
To know what you don’t know is what Sales is all about. In this discovery process, how can one assume?
An outsider to the function of Sales would surmise that everything that one does in Sales is apparently a blind shot. Let us break some of the myths associated with Sales which goads an outsider to feel that Sales is a bundle of assumptions.
- Sales Targets are fixed on assumption
- Salespersons are asked to meet unknown people on an assumption that some of them will buy
- Salespersons handle unknown objections from customers on an assumption that they would be able to handle the same.
- Salespersons sit in a negotiation on the assumption that they will be able to create a profitable deal.
- Salespersons give good service to customers with an assumption that they will give them more business in future.
Let us break these myths one by one.
Myth No. 1: Sales Targets are fixed on assumption
I pity all those who fix sales targets on assumption. This is a great disservice to the whole function of Sales.
This video very clearly says that Sales Targets should be fixed mathematically on the basis of how many new contacts can you make everyday in the market. This outreach index will determine your mathematical probability of making new customers.
Myth No. 2: Salespersons are asked to meet unknown people on an assumption that some of them will buy
Salespersons should never meet any Tom, Dick or Harry in the market and waste their time. They should first of all understand the Target Group that their product or service caters to. This definition of TG (Target Group) depends on factors like Demographics, Psychographics (Lifestyle, Belief & Attitude), Income graphics and Firmo graphics. Once the TG is defined, the salesperson is then expected to study the buyers persona based on the buying behaviour models for their product or service. The persona chosen translates into a Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Salespersons are expected to locate ICP for sourcing their business. This is solid science and no assumption. Check out this video on ICP below
Myth No. 3: Salespersons handle unknown objections from customers
There are only 5 generic objections that any customer in the world has i.e. No money, No need, No hurry, No trust, No Desire. One can list specific objections pertaining to a particular product or service under each of these genres. Once the objections are listed , the salesperson can be trained on handling each of these objections and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) booklet can also be provided in the sales kit.
If we take one step further, once the salesperson is trained in handling the probable objections, the technique of Probing which involves “Asking rather than Telling” is to be used. The salesperson need not know the right answer. Instead his job is to find the right answer from the customer by using the technique of asking relevant questions and arriving at the truth or co-creating the truth with the customer.
Myth No. 4: Salespersons sit in a negotiation on the assumption that they will be able to create a profitable deal.
One never sits on a sales negotiation table like a blind owl. The process of Negotiation is preceded by understanding the Buyers BATNA , the Sellers BATNA and ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement). The solid understanding of the 5 Cake theory and the creation of 5 Cake model before sitting in for the sales negotiation is also expected of the seller.
The preparation does not stop here. The salesperson is also expected to follow the 7 laws of sales negotiation while on the sales negotiation table. Now you must agree that all this is solid science and cannot be just passed away as an assumption. Check out this video below on the 7 laws of sales negotition.
Myth No. 5 : Salespersons give good service to customers with an assumption that they will give them more business in future.
Customer Life Time Value (CLTV) is a mathematically calculated figure and has no relation to assumption. The inputs required in customer service to give a particular output of CLTV is a pure calculation and implementation.
In a nut shell
Once you have broken the commonly believed Sales myths which leads an outsider to believe that Sales is a world of assumptions, it is now time to conclude that ASSUMPTIONS will never make a salesperson successful. The very institution of sales is based on the idea of “Go and Find”, “Ask and discover” and “Question and Validate”. Those who assume and work can be anything else but not a Salesperson!