May 5 by Patrick Wolf
Day 2 of Apttus Accelerate 2017 featured exclusive sales training by the one and only GuruGanesha Khalsa, CEO at Sandler Training. Thousands of successful high tech sales professionals worldwide consider their days spent in training with GuruGanesha as seminal. His extensive client list contains many of the top tech companies in the world including Salesforce.com, LinkedIn, Dell, Dropbox, and BrightEdge. He also specializes in training emerging/ pre-IPO firms. In fact, one major high tech venture capital firm insists that Ganesh be retained as a prerequisite for funding.
The #1 Most Important Aspect of Sales
According to the Guru, the single most important aspect of a sales process is TRUST. In the 21st century it is vital that sales representatives immediately establish trust between the seller and buyer. How do you foster trust with a complete stranger, however? There are many ways to build trust, however the sales person MUST establish this trust immediately. Listen, be transparent and act yourself. At the end of the day buyers are humans and want to purchase from people that they like and trust.
How Do You Establish Trust?
First and foremost, you have to ensure that it is in the interest of both parties to sit down and discuss the solution/product/tool. Next, does your sales organization have a set of principles that guide your sales process? If not, you need to establish them – principles that your sales people believe in. Once you have these established the rules of the game, you must be 100% honest, transparent and forthcoming with them to your prospect. Immediately explain these principle to your prospects. “This is what we believe in and how we are going to go about our engagement.” Then get an agreement that it is alright to ask questions – “I won’t be able to know if I can help you unless I ask questions.” Once these things have been confirmed, you will have set a firm base of trust to continue the sales process.
The 4 Most Powerful Words in Consultative Selling
According to the Guru, the four most powerful words in consultative selling are “I Don’t Know Yet.” In all sales processes, until you have facilitated a real conversation (after having first gotten the agreement to having a real conversation), you haven’t had enough of a discussion to genuinely know the answers to their problems. In that sense, the 4 most powerful words strongly relate to building trust – you can immediately begin to build your prospect’s trust by being honest. Once you have the needed conversations, then you can honestly speak to what your solutions can do for their business. “Closing business in the 21st century is about starting things off right.”
Make The Buyer Feel Like They are Making the Decision
Buyers want to come away from the table thinking it was their idea, their decision. As such, instead of the sales people out there convincing people to buy, wouldn’t it be better if your people learned how to facilitate heart-to-heart conversation in which they provided consultative assistance – but ultimately left the ball in the hands of the buyer. Once you can do this, instead of having it sound like the seller is ramming the product down the buyer’s throat, “it will sound like the prospective client (buyer) is trying to convince the seller to sell.”
Wimp Lane Vs. Winners Court
There is a moment of truth in every buy/sell relationship, after the initial chit chat, when the seller goes down wimp lane or winner’s court. What is wimp lane? Wimp lane is when the prospective client is in complete and total control of the meeting, and even the entire sales process. This is not where any self-respecting sales reps should be.
What is Winner’s Court? Winners court is all about “becoming a trusted adviser quickly” – while remaining in firm control of the sales process.