Artificial intelligence should be very much like the sous chef for a chef, with the chef being a salesperson: artificial intelligence does all the prep work, and the salesperson conducts the primary tasks involved in selling. There are two things humans can do that artificial intelligence will never be able to do.
Lately there’s a lot of talk about empathy in business. But empathy alone isn’t enough to build trust, the critical step to grow an organization, land a big deal or cement a relationship. Empathy defined is the ability to put yourself in other person’s shoes. It is understanding and experiencing what another person is feeling.
People have resisted salespeople since the beginning of time. Just as salespeople have a default mode, prospects do, too. Their automatic response is to say, “No way, José.” Face it. People don’t want to be sold. This sentiment is increasing as we live more of our lives online. According to Terry Jones, founder of kayak.com, 98% of all college students would rather purchase online. They avoid salespeople at all costs.
Have you ever landed a sale with no objections? I mean, not one “no”—or even an “I’m uncomfortable with this or that?” That’s not selling; that’s just taking an order. You might as well ask, “Do you want fries with that?” Objections are a critical part of your sales process. Objections mean your customer is interested.
Listen to my Podcast on Salesforce Quotable where I answer some very interesting questions and have a little fun with my host, Kevin Micalizzi. I even share a VERY personal story that I’ve never before revealed in a public forum!
One of the number one reasons your customers don’t buy from you has nothing to do with a competitor down the street and very little to do with big brands with cool new products. They aren’t buying from you because they prefer the status quo.
I’ve been talking a lot lately about ways we sabotage our goals. It hit a chord with thousands of professionals. Why? Because we spend an awful lot of time strategizing our goals and dreams, but very little energy contemplating the forces that sabotage those dreams.
It happens all the time. You’re lucky enough to land a qualified prospect, you create strong rapport, your customer loves your product, the price is right. There’s just one problem. They need to speak with their brother (or mother, or doctor, or lawyer, or board members) about it. This brother, of course, is vacationing in Italy and can’t be reached. I call this third party “The Ghost in the Room.”
To move past your current limits, you must know how what you’re doing wrong, and especially what you’re doing right. But unfortunately, many salespeople let their ego get in the way of their growth, and many sales mentors, well, have never learned the art and science of giving effective feedback.