“But we’ve always done it this way,” can be absolutely dangerous in selling. Of course, so can, “changing things for change sake.” This becomes very apparent when you attempt to bring relevance into your selling.
• Has the down economy affected your prospects and clients?
• Have you started selling any new products and/or services?
• Do you have a new type of prospect to sell to?
I am a major proponent of finding a viable selling model and then repeating it over and over as often as you can, but your model has to remain viable in light of the above factors, and usually more specific to your industry.
Relevance in selling not only calls for selling uniquely to individuals, sometimes it calls for finding new prospects for your products and/or services.
One client of my marketing consulting practice has sold repair, maintenance, and cleaning services to grocery stores since 1995. They call on the store owner/managers in individually owned supermarkets, and the Head of Maintenance for the grocery chains.
Recently, they started selling products that improve store facility operations – items that decrease energy consumption and improve freshness of perishables.
For example, they have a specially designed filter that absorbs ethylene gases in the floral area of a store. When installed properly, the filters can add 2-3 days to the life of fresh flowers, dramatically reducing their spoilage costs.
Here’s the Rub
They’ve been calling of their buddy the maintenance supervisor for the larger chains, and Maintenance doesn’t want to hear about these new filters. The filters are several times more expensive than comparably sized filters the Supervisors buy for other areas of the stores.
These absorbing filters do not go where other filters exist. So comparisons don’t really apply. Heads of Maintenance usually buy regular air filters in bulk and consider them a cost of doing business. Their charter in the store chain doesn’t call for discovering solutions for the Floral departments.
However, someone is each chain is chartered to find ways to reduce the cost of spoilage.
That’s the person my client is now starting to call on.
It’s in their DNA as a provider of maintenance, repair and cleaning services to call on the Head of Maintenance, but they need to deny their home training and find new people to call on as they look to sell new types of products.
Compounding the initial confusion is that the Head of Maintenance is one of the people to discuss energy saving products with, but not the filters.
Sometimes you have to go against everything you learned as a young pup to find the right client and bring them a relevant message.