The New Numbers Game

The_new_numbers_game_in_sellingThe old game for selling throws lots against the wall and something sticks – numbers comparing thrown to stuck.

And it’s still true, something sticks, eventually. Even one becomes the justification to continue the old game.

It’s the cost/benefit ratio that’s changed. The benefit keeps getting smaller relative to the cost.

But the throwing continues, because as it’s gotten less effective, it’s gotten more efficient. Grind-em-out salespeople, mail order catalogs and spam only take the rare few sales to keep playing.

Their throwing no longer produces the expected results, even from just a few years ago. Unfortunately, it only takes one to feed the habit.

The new game

Selling is still a numbers game, but a new one.

The numbers are humans (salespeople) working with other humans (customers) who are a lot smarter in 2010 than customers sold to in the 1950s.

Because customers are in different stages of their buying cycle, most salespeople need to be busy with more than one.

The new numbers game is based on:

  • Salespeople not selling in ways that make themselves feel less than human
    -> customers buy from other humans
  • Customers are more valuable to salespeople over the long-term
    -> high customer turnover is death to easy sales
  • Salespeople build relationships with a customer through the accumulation of all that customer’s experiences with that salesperson & company
    -> salespeople are branded as much as their company
  • Salespeople engage customers to help solve customers’ problems & realize customers’ benefits
    -> what else are salespeople for?
  • Customers live in stages of their buying cycle
    -> not salespeople’s selling cycle

Playing the new numbers game

Sellers counsel customers through stages of the buying cycle.

To play the new game requires that salespeople:

  • Are known, respected & trusted by customers
  • Understand customers’ buying cycle
  • Identify where customers are in that cycle
  • Empathize with customers’ buying situation (risks, gains, fears, etc.)
  • Make continual effort towards all the above

What game are you playing?

~~~~~~~~~~~
Chris Arlen
President, Revenue-IQ

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