Years ago, Theresa and I wrote a book called Wake Up and Sell based on our work with salespeople and our work with the Enneagram. I really love sales and salespeople—what a noble profession that requires great self-awareness if you want to be the crème de la crème!
Early on in Transform’s world, we formed a relationship with the founder of OMG, Dave Kurlan. Dave’s a data guy. We love his data, and we remain huge fans of his sales assessment and evaluation tools. Over the years you’ve probably heard me say, “The way you buy is likely to be the way you sell.” It is the natural way to do it, the natural way to approach selling. How else would you approach sales if you didn’t know a different way? I observed this over and over again in what clients reported as their approach. Dave’s data opened my eyes, supporting my observations and giving credence to what I was seeing.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent article on Dave’s blog that goes into more detail. For those of you who think you’ve heard this before, there’s now a new 6th finding for you to check out. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this particular finding.
Allow me to introduce you to the competency called Supportive BuyCycleTM.
BuyCycleTM represents how salespeople go about the process of making a major purchase and there is a 100% correlation between how they buy and the behavior they accept from their prospects. For example:
Salespeople who conduct research before they buy are more likely to provide their prospects with all the information they want early in the sales process, without first making sure they are a good, qualified prospect. This results in A LOT of unqualified quotes that will never be won!
Salespeople who shop for the lowest prices are more likely to understand and help prospects who want the lowest price. This results in low margin business that can’t be retained because it will be lost to the next company to come in with the lowest price. It’s a race to the bottom!
Salespeople who comparison shop are more likely to understand and tolerate prospects who want to talk with them along with 3-5 competitors. This makes it difficult for salespeople to stand out and differentiate themselves from the others.
Salespeople who think a relatively small amount of money is a lot of money are more likely to understand and cave to prospects who claim that the amount they are asking for is a lot. As a result, they find it difficult to advocate for themselves, their offering and the value it represents.
Salespeople who need to think things over at closing time allow their prospects to do the same thing, opening the door for other, more aggressive competitors to take the business. This results in a much lower win-rate.
A new, sixth attribute is about to join the five original attributes of BuyCycleTM. Salespeople who dislike being sold or dislike salespeople in general tend to overcompensate and are terribly ineffective, resulting in prospects being thoroughly unimpressed. These salespeople don’t seem to want the business!
I mentioned that there is a lot of pushback to BuyCycleTM. Some salespeople, whose BuyCycleTM does not support ideal sales outcomes, become very upset and emphatically deny that the way they buy has any impact on the way they sell. It does. It always does. But it takes time before they allow themselves to see it.
If you’re interested in learning more about defining or refining your sales approach and becoming a self-aware, conscious, highly effective salesperson—joining the crème de la crème, give us a call. We can guide you.
Mary Anne Wampler
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.