I had a chance to have dinner with my dear friend Matthew Ferrara (CEO/Founder of the Matthew Ferrara Learning Network in Boston, MA) who was in town for 1 night ~ I always learn something from this brilliant man who is 1 part Philosopher, 1 part Historian and 1 part Oracle! He shared a sales theory I had never heard of before: Selling with Integrity.
As INTEGRITY is my word for the year, my ears immediately perked up! I’ve always been ANTI sales….more to the point…anti PUSHY sales. You know – the kind where you feel ‘dirty’ afterwards.
I never did buy into the Glengary Glenross ABC’s:
“Always Be Closing.”
The problem with that approach is you’re always focused on YOU. Getting your next deal. Making that almighty dollar. That may have worked in the past when the consumer was reliant on you for their information, but today’s “Connected Consumer” is empowered and has access to all the information and they simply won’t stand for the ‘hard sell’ anymore.
What Matthew shared with me is an approach that focuses on actually HELPING the client. Solving a problem. Coming from a place of wanting to do GOOD. Integrity.
There’s a basic formula AID INC employs:
Approach building rapport and gaining trust. (You’ll want to spend a little time here.)
Interviewing the client where the client does most of the talking and you draw out their key needs.
Demonstrating you’ve heard and understood the client’s needs and how your product or services can solve their problem.
ValIdate with proof that your product/service success.
Negotiate and work through any concerns the client may have. As Matthew explained it to me, if the customer/client isn’t sure this would be a prime opportunity to go back and interview again to get clear where you may have lost them and finally
Close the deal by getting agreement on the next steps. (visit: www.integrityservices.com)
As you can see, this approach is far less pushy and focused entirely on solving the client/customer problem. It could be that your service/product won’t solve a problem and that’s when you walk away feeling good about yourself as you act in INTEGRITY. Your reputation intact as well as your Karma.
There really is no need to feel ‘Dirty’ anymore when you sell. If you’re not having success with these principles, there’s a good chance that you need a new product.