I remember being 17 years old, I worked in a small health club in Arvada Colorado as the assistant manger. It was at that job where I learned how to "close a sale." I have memories of sitting in a small office room after showing a new prospective member around the club, of course, creating solutions to all their problems on the tour making sure all possible objections had been covered by the time we got to the office. Because, as you know, the sale happens on the tour... or as it was said back then. In that office I would shut the door, present the membership terms by writing it out on a piece of paper and then turn the piece of paper around and say, "let's get you started today," and hand the prospect a pen to sign on the dotted line. I am smiling ear to ear as I type this because looking back, the scenario I just described is beyond hilarious! I can't believe it worked to tell you the truth, the number of memberships I sold was astonishing!
The point in telling the story is to contrast the reality of today's tactics and consumer in comparison to the past ways of selling. The "art of the close" over coming objections and any form of manipulation leading to the sale are all wildly outdated tactics and they no longer work! The consumer is much too smart for that. Everyone is walking around with a computer in their pocket, the buyers are more sophisticated and the old school tactics are a thing of the past.
The refreshing and vital truth is this; In a world where anyone can do their own research and find what they need to educate their buying decisions, the result is, the sales person no longer holds the power or relevance that they once did. The opportunity is that the position of the sales person gets to evolve to a far more enlightened role of truly helping people and reducing the noise level of "pitches and ploys" to instead being honest and helpful. Lots of people might not like this because it requires a level of honesty and truth telling that is foreign to some, but the long term side affect is this; you feel more fulfilled helping people than convincing them for your own gain.
Today's sales person is not a sales person at all, they are a Business Development Professional that is consulting buyers around solving problems and offering help.
This topic means a great deal to me and you will see my writing start to pivot. To really encompass what it means to not only be a business development professional, but how you can expand your role to mutually benefit both your career and company's reputation. The opportunities are endless and I am thrilled to share my perspective with you.
Are you a business development professional craving relevant conversation about your role? Let me know, this is one of my favorite topics and I would love to talk to you.
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O