“Think about how are we doing stuff to identify issues, rather than trying to force a solution, rather than trying to push ourselves onto people.” – Fred Copestake in today’s Tip 1613
Are you being selfish with your customers?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Fred Copestake. Fred is a bestselling author, trainer, and coach. In the last 23 years, he has worked in 36 countries and trained over 10,000 salespeople. His motto is that sales should be about ‘Good people, doing good things, in a good way’. Here he is:
Fred Copestake: Let’s have a look at what’s stopping people get results. This is what I’ve seen working with a bunch of companies, and there’s quite a lot of commonality to it. Again, I’ll be direct on this. It’s to do with being ineffective, old-fashioned, and confused. If salespeople are that, it’s unlikely that they’ll be achieving results. Now, oldy-worldy, this is about being old-fashioned. Breaks down into being self-centered to technical and using poor practice.
Again, let’s have a look at these.
Self-centered is when the salesperson isn’t customer-focused. It’s all about them. That me, me, me, we, we, I, I, our product, our service. They talk about themselves way too much. I don’t know, maybe you’ve sat in presentations where you’re just looking at people going, Well, this is wonderful for you. I’m so happy for you. But you’re not saying anything about me. It doesn’t work. People get bored with it quicker than ever.
I see people get too technical sometimes, and particularly engineers. Doesn’t know the slide on engineers, but they can get right down in the weeds with a whole bunch of how stuff actually works and get very, very into the nitty gritty. And sometimes that’s not needed. Sometimes it is. Absolutely, it’s the right thing to do. But sometimes their fascination with the technicalities isn’t what’s required by the customer and they get bored. Both of those first things, I assume passion, do excitement. That’s good. We just need to channel in the right direction.
The one that I find really hard is people using poor practice. Bad techniques, bygone era of selling. Someone thought these ways of working were a good idea once, but they’re not. I’m talking about the manipulative, pushy stuff. It doesn’t work. Anything will push people away.
I heard someone the other day, and it already got let go. They said that bullshit battle’s brains. This was a clever thing to do, which is to try to confuse a customer. Customers are confused enough as it is. They don’t need any more confusion, and doing that deliberately to them ain’t clever. We need to quit that stuff.
Been the oldy-worldy by getting more modern. The trick to this is to flip, follow, and focus. By flip, what I mean is flipping your attention onto the world of the customer. Now, rather than talk about yourself, all these wonderful things that you can do, you talk about the customers first. In some ways, it’s such an easy thing to do, but some people find it so hard and so their presentations are upside down. People don’t care about where your office is, don’t care how many years you’ve been in business, don’t care about all those logos, all that stuff we see at the front end of a presentation don’t care. Their favorite subjects themselves. So if we can flip that, start talking about them, that will start to make a huge difference. Really big difference.
For me, it’s almost one of the easiest things to do, but it also seems we want the hardest things to do. People are fascinated in showing their logo slides. Oh, look at these. Look at these. Have we done well? Talk about me. Talk about me as the customer. And so following an approach that drives this behavior makes sense. Think about how are we doing stuff to identify issues, rather than trying to force a solution, rather than trying to push ourselves onto people.
How do we manage a conversation to make it about the customer? That process, that structure. That’s what I’ll do in all my conversations. I’ll make an offer later on, and I’ll show you exactly how that conversation is, bearing in mind we want to follow making it about you. Why would I? It’s all stuff I trained, so I’ll be transparent with it. Customers aren’t stupid. They can tell if you’re not listening, you’re just waiting to talk. Have a way of operating that can make a difference. And then focus in on the things that actually work that make a difference. Don’t bother with the old-school tricks, the closers, all that stuff. It’s nonsense. What works now is different. There have been shifts in the way we sell. Quite a lot of shifts, and they’re coming faster than things which we need to be doing to be successful today. But we can make those shifts. I know we can. I’ve worked with loads of people where we’ve just moved them into doing the stuff that’s relevant and right for them, their industry, their customers. That’s what we need to do.
Scott Ingram: For links to connect with Fred on LinkedIn and for the video version of this tip, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1613. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!