First, let me be clear that I am NOT suggesting selling and teaching are the same thing. They’re different. I am suggesting, however, that a substantial component of selling consists of teaching customers. Teaching them about the nature of their problems, because they don’t always truly understand their nature or root causes. They’re often unaware they even have a problem.
Even more frequently, they’re oblivious to huge opportunities. They need to be taught about how you can help them exploit those. They don’t care about your products and services, so they’re ignorant about them, and therefore need to be taught – this time pretty much against their will.
So what I need to do is create a whole bunch of handout-backed PowerPoint lecture/presentations and repetitively deliver them to (usually disinterested) customers, right? Not really… You’ll never get em’ to sit still long enough to listen, much less get them scheduled to attend your “class” in the first place.
But as a sales pro, you still need to teach them.
So why not approach the teaching part of the sales job the way a modern, world-class, professional educator would? They would not do so with the centuries-old, traditional model:
- Design course
- Deliver lectures
- Assign homework
- Administer tests
- Hand out grades
Here’s what they’ do:
- Understand an issue or opportunity overwhelmingly well
- Develop digital content (a mix of text, image, audio and video) to:
- Frame the issues
- Describe a sample “Before” scenario including it’s cost
- Describe a sample “After” scenario including it’s cost
- Describe a process for getting from before to after including it’s cost
- Make the content available to the universe – For Free
- Be readily available –For Fee this time – to answer questions, provide advice and customize the knowledge to fit the student/customer’s particular circumstances
See the implications? The lecture part – what for centuries was the centerpiece of education – is now homework. Completed before student/customer ever even meets with teacher/sales pro. The actual face-to-face part is all detailed discussion to customize.
Wow!!! Not your father’s classroom. And certainly not your father’s sales process. Not even close. Noodle on it for a while though. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Which model would you prefer? That’s not even close either.