Slow Down, Sell Faster!

Understand Your Customer's Buying Process and Maximize Your Sales

 Slow Down, Sell Faster!

Author: Kevin Davis
Pub Date: January 2011
Print Edition: $18.95
Print ISBN: 9780814416853
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814416860

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Excerpt

Introduction

Years ago I was selling an office equipment solution to the CEO

of a 100-person company. I was selling to him the way I had

been taught: I established comfortable conversation while

building trust, asked questions to diagnose his needs, then presented

my solution as an answer to his needs. Everything appeared

to be going along as planned. Suddenly he leaned forward and

asked, “Aren’t you going to close me now?”

Why is it that customers know more about selling techniques

than most salespeople know about buying behavior? That’s not

right. An understanding of buying is where selling should start.

We need to redefine “selling” to mean helping people buy.

What might “helping people buy” actually mean? The HR Chally

Group, founded in 1973 through a grant from the United States Justice

Department to create validated assessments that accurately predict

on-the-job effectiveness—including sales performance, has a lot

to say. For their most recent report Chally interviewed over 2,500 customers

who provided opinions about more than 4,000 salespeople.

The results appear in The Chally World Class Sales Excellence Research Report.

Among their findings was that “customers usually award the

prize to the salesperson who has been there through every step of

their buying process, meeting customer need after customer need by

presenting the right information at the right time. To win a sale, then,

a salesperson’s sales process must match perfectly with the customer’s

buying process. The two should be mirror images.”1

We can take a lesson as well from Dr. Steven Covey’s classic

book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (I’d bet many of you have a

copy on your bookshelf right now.) Dr. Covey says, “We have such a

tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often

fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the

problem first.”2

This rushing in and “fixing things up with good advice” occurs

a lot in our profession because we have been conditioned to see

things through a salesperson’s eyes, and our sales behaviors are

based on these perceptions. But your buyers have a different frame

of reference. They have their own point of view.

So let me ask you, when selling, do you think as much about the

customer’s buying process as you do about your sales process? Are

you with your customers “through every step of their buying

process”?

If not, it’s not your fault. Despite the evidence before us that a

new sales paradigm is needed, few sales books or training courses

teach salespeople how to deeply understand the purchasing decision

from their customers’ perspective, how to adapt their selling

behavior to customers’ buying behavior. If you don’t think about

the buying process on every call, you can get out of sync with your

customer, and that can lead to lost sales.

That’s why I wrote this book, to demonstrate the why and the

how of getting in sync with your customer’s buying process. When

you do that, you realize that you need to slow down each conversation

you have with a customer so you can ask more questions, and

help the customer do a better job of buying. When you slow down

your selling, you can help customers move more quickly through

each step of their buying process. Hence the paradoxical title of this

book: Slow Down, Sell Faster!

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