Back in the day who got the Coffee? Closers!
Guess what? Coffee is not for closers. At least not anymore.
Anyone who has ever seen the movie or the broadway production of “Glengarry Glen Ross” will vividly remember the scene where a young Alec Baldwin goes ballistic as he tries to motivate his team of more or less “Timeshare” hucksters into selling more deals.
This way wasn’t uncommon for the time. This was the golden age of the hard sell. You know, the times where you would give your keys to the sales guy at the car dealership so they could inspect your car, and to get them back you would have to fist fight the sales manager? Yeah, those times.
Good news for the wide world of people who hated negotiating like that. Those days have come and those days have gone.
Coffee is now for value creators.
What is a Value Creator?
Have you ever had an experience where you were buying something expensive, say a car, house, piece of fine jewelry or maybe a state of the art flat panel (for the AV folks ), and the sales person never asked you to “Buy” anything?
Perhaps they were uber helpful, informative, supportive or flexible. Maybe they were even honest enough to tell you to look at something else because you were trying to cram a round peg into a square hole. What did you think of that sales person?
Compare that to a well recollected “Hard sale” and tell me how the two differed. My guess is that the helpful and less pushy sales experience was more enjoyable and chances are if you wanted and or needed what they were selling, you gave them the business.
And there you have it.
The helpful, informative and low pressure sales person is a value creator. They know that if they do their job correctly that they won’t need to “Sell” anything because the buyer will sell themselves. That is how it works now a days. People don’t seek to be pushed into deals. Not at the consumer level and especially not at the business level.
Applying this to Your Business (Any Business)
Some of this may seem like review, but I hear everyday from businesses about how they need to push harder to win the deals.
I always ask “What does that mean?”
The responses I receive are usually asking for the business and getting out in front of the customer more.
My immediate next question is do you think asking for the business will fix the problem? To which I almost always here you can’t get business you don’t ask for.
True, sort of. But let me ask the gallery a question. All the time meeting, sharing ideas, designing and proposing your services; does that not infer a desire to sell? Do we really need to say, “Can I have your business” to be asking for the business?
I’d give that a resounding no.
It all goes back to the change in how people are buying. We have more informed customers that are looking for more value from their sales and account teams.
They don’t need you to ask them for the business, they know you want the business. They need you to educate and inform them. Take the mass of information and differing opinions from their referent networks and decipher the data into something that solves the problems of their company.
The products and services that a business sells isn’t merely for the sake of solving some generic problem. They are used in solving business a well defined business problem. A business must make sure this value is clearly articulated early and often.
Value creators understand this. They won’t say “I want your business,” they will show it through how they approach the entire selling proposition.
So don’t push your sales to ask for more business. Entice them to be a better resource for the clients. To make the time to add value and not need to ask for the business because the client will want to give it to them.
Aspire to build a team of value creators. That is who gets the coffee today and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
How do you and/or your business create value for your clients?
This article was originally featured on Millennial CEO and can be found here.