I am excited to be hosting my first guest blogger to Sales, Life & Leadership!
I encountered Gerry Layo when he spoke at a Motorola Solutions Channel Partner Expo, early in 2012. I read a lot of sales blogs and books, and I have witness many keynote speakers, but Gerry’s presentation stood out above the rest. His content was fresh and extremely insightful, but it was delivered in a way that was unforgettable. In Gerry’s words, he is unlike any motivational speaker; he is more of an “Irritatational Speaker”. Gerry tells it like it is and challenges salespeople to be better, NOW!
Gerry made such an impression on the various managers from my company, we brought him to Edmonton to provide some sales training to our organization. In addition, our managers were able to attend one of Gerry’s Sales Manager’s Boot Camps the next day. Both days we intense, but infinitely valuable.
One of my favourite posts from Gerry’s blog “Smart Selling” is The TWO Irrefutable Laws of Selling and it is my pleasure to share it with you:
There are two laws about the profession of sales that all salespeople (and marketing people) need to remember. These two laws may have very few exceptions to them but for most, these rules need to guide you in your approach. Here is the first law:
Law #1—NOBODY wants to BUY or OWN what you are selling!
Most salespeople are taught (too often) to go out into the marketplace and extol the many various features and benefits of their products and services and tell wonderful tales about the companies that provide them. They work for hours on the fine points of the presentation, the cool graphics on the PowerPoint slides, and the delivery of all of those to the prospective buyer. On top of that, the way that they describe their company, products and services are peppered with terms and phrases that make a prospective buyer go “brain-dead” such as:
Vertically Integrated—Cutting Edge—Innovative—Industry Leader—Cost Effective—Premier—Unique–Scalable–Turn-Key—Value Added–Synergy—Next Level–Customer-Centric–Strategic
What does this drivel all mean to the customer? NOTHING!! In fact, these words more often today begin to shut down the customer’s interest. Why, because they are tired of YOU talking about YOU!
Here is the fact: NOBODY really wants to buy and own your stuff! Even those of you that sell cool consumer products such as electronics, cars, and clothing have to think beyond what it is that you sell and get the heart of “the WHY” it is that they want it. (Think image, differentiation, status, etc.) for the most of us out there (myself included) the customer is looking to achieve, accomplish, or attain something that our product/service helps them with. We need to focus on THAT, understand THAT, and get them to discover and admit THAT to us in the sales process. Is it easy? NOPE! Why? Because we are not programmed or trained to dig for their motivation and work to understand their needs. We are taught to go give information and repeat a pitch! Is it simple? You bet! How? You need to change your thinking in advance so that you can change your approach throughout! It’s all about THEM Stupid
Law #2—Customers don’t know how to BUY!
Sounds weird doesn’t it? Think about though! How soon and how often does price come up in the conversation today? If you are not selling in a typical retail environment where there is a price-tag or a menu with prices, the customer seems to be primarily interested in the price (the cost) of your offering. Customers may not know how to buy but they certainly know to ask “How much?” Why? Simple; because salespeople LEAD with their wallets way too often in their approach. They enter the conversation with things such as “We want to make sure we get you the lowest price” or “Our product/service will save you money on….” or “we are the price leader in the market…” blah, blah, blah. In other words, the customer has been trained to go to price soon and to go there often.
Salespeople need to stop SELLING and to start helping customers buy!
- They need HELP making a decision!
- They need HELP understanding their problems!
- They need HELP assessing their current situation and their future needs.
- They need HELP analyzing past decisions that got them there.
They don’t need a walking, talking brochure vomiting on them! But, too often, what they GET is just that! Thus….”How much?”
So…what to do? First off, stop being a self-centered, product pushing braggart with commission breath! Get into every opportunity focused on the intent of learning, engaging, and discovering your customer’s “needs to buy.” Get them OPEN and sharing information about their favorite subjects—themselves and their situation. The more they are talking to you, sharing with you, and open to you…..the more often that they differentiate you, value you, and will choose to do business with you!
Understand this: Most salespeople don’t get this! Most salespeople are not trained to diagnose before prescription. Most salespeople are NOT tough acts to follow! Learn these two LAWS of buyers and separate yourself from that crowd!
Gerry Layo is a dynamic speaker offering keynote addresses, seminars, and workshops throughout North America. Gerry offers his audiences more than 20 years of street-tested, no-nonsense business experience. He has co-founded and run three companies and built national sales organizations.
Today Gerry is the CEO (Chief Energizing Officer) for Sales Coach International, where he wears two hats. In one capacity, Gerry is booked throughout North America as a speaker/trainer to work with companies, organizations, and/or associations through high-energy keynote addresses, workshops, and seminars in sales, sales leadership, and customer service.
When he is not speaking, Gerry is the Head Coach, working with companies throughout the US and Canada in an ongoing coach/consultant capacity. By introducing and implementing a set of success philosophies and hands-on sales tools, Sales Coach International’s Coach Program is helping to increase the sales and profits of companies throughout North America.
Gerry has an ability to sense not only what the audience needs and wants. He is also extremely effective at delivering the message the way the audience needs to hear it! His true gift is in helping the audience turn inward to take full responsibility for their own success and then JUMP START into ACTION immediately after his sessions! Gerry uses a No Excuses-No Blame philosophy that he instills in all of his audiences so that they look to themselves for answers. He is a master storyteller and hilarious speaker who pulls his audiences into his enthusiasm and empowers them to take on new challenges.