Sales’ FOL

by Chris Arlen on December 21, 2011

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Sales Facts of Life“Grant me the serenity to accept sales’ facts of life (sFOL)
– the courage to do the right selling work
– and the wisdom to know the difference.”
a Seller’s Prayer.

Here are 12 sFOL and what to do about them.

#1) Buyers buy on emotion & justify (to themselves & others) with facts

– do more than your competitors
– dig to uncover buyers’ emotional motivation
– attach it to publicly verifiable facts
– make the sales conversation about them both together

#2) Buyers buy what they want

– give buyers what they want so you’ll get the chance to give them what they need

#3) Buyers rarely know what they need

– help them learn what they need
– they don’t want to be educated

#4) Buyers don’t buy in a vacuum

– buyers have options; they can take no action, go in-house, select your competitors, or choose you
– learn buyers’ options
– develop compelling offerings that counteract each, except choosing you

#5) Buyers buy in their Market Range of Pricing

– they rarely buy at 2x the market price
– be aware of how they see market pricing
– price yourself where your service fits (premium, average in the middle, bare bones low end)

#6) Price is meaningless without value

– sell value, which is what buyers get for what they spend
– your pricing then makes sense (read “Price Without Value is Meaningless“)

#7) Buyers negotiate price at the time of the sale

don’t let buyers fixate on purchase price alone
– research Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which is what buyers will spend over the life of the contract
– move the sales conversation onto TCO

#8) Buyers need sellers

– respect the selling profession
– buyers have problems they solve with buying the best solutions they perceive
– buyers need those who can help them make better buys

#9) Buyers aren’t what they used to be

– buyers have changed, they now face job turnover, career insecurity, and lack deep on-the-job experience
– it’s a new school of  buyers
– don’t sell them as if they’re old school

#10) Procurement is the biggest baddest buyer out there

– learn to love Procurement, learn what it’s about (read “Seller’s look at Procurement Strategy“)
– become proficient selling to Procurement (read Sell Service as a Strategic Spend to Procurement“)

#11) Social media is more noise, except when it isn’t

– find where buyers seek knowledge, be there, give there, for the long term, but don’t sell there (read Seth Godin’s The trap of social media noise )

#12) Free valuable info is the new price for buyers’ attention

– give valuable info away for free, even if you can no longer bill for it, even if your competitors may see you doing it – you’ll come up with more good stuff
– buyers will see you as the expert (read The Secret Trigger to Inbound Marketing )

What do you accept & how does it change the way you sell?

  • What are your Facts of Life in selling?
  • What do you do because of your sFOLs?

 

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