“Use a collaborative selling approach.” – Fred Copestake in today’s Tip 832
How can you work with customers to create value?
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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. Over the last 22 years, Fred has traveled around the world 14 times visited 36 countries, and worked with over 10,000 salespeople. He has taken the things that really make a difference in modern selling and put them in his book ‘Selling Through Partnering Skills’. Here he is:
Fred Copestake: So my sales tip for a modern sales professional in B2B sales is to be more collaborative. Use a collaborative selling approach. Why do I say this? If you look at the evolution of sales, we can see that for success today, we do need to be more collaborative than ever. It involves being consultative, involves value-based selling. It involves having a personal brand, but we really need to be focusing on the customer that buying process, and how we can work with them to create value. How can we do this? So this is where I use a concept called PQ or partnering skills. That’s not something I made up. It’s something that was researched back in the late ’80s, early ’90s, by a guy called Steve Dent, who looked at organizations that were good at partnering and looked at why they did this. So big airlines, people like these who are coming together informal business alliances and cut long story short, what his research showed was that it was the people who were involved in the skills that they were using.
So, he used the expression with which I regurgitate a lot, which is organizations, don’t partner, people do, and identified these six elements of PQ, which were then validated and verified as the skills that these people use. So if we look at them, they make so much sense from bond sales professional. And I’m talking about sales professionals in direct sales, as much as an indirect sales. The six elements start off with trust. So we’ve got to inspire trust in customers. We got to be trustworthy. We agree. We’ve got to be able to trust them. So we’ve got to know our stuff. We’ve got to do what we say we’re going to do. We’ve got to be careful. We’ve got to be secure with knowledge information that they share, but we’ve got to do all this stuff with that best intent in mind, as we’ve gotta be thinking about them. Our orientation has got to be towards the customer, not ourselves. That’s why this stuff would start to work. We’ve got to have a win-win orientation. You know, we gotta be focused on mutual benefit. We’ve gotta be making sure that all parties are content and they’re getting a decent part of the agreement. We’ve got to be comfortable with interdependence.
Our success is going to be dictated upon the customer success. Our success is also going to be based on our own team, our internal people’s success. So we’ve got to be comfortable that other people are going to play a part in what we do. Another enemy talks about partnering skills are, is self-disclosure and feedback. So this is about giving information about yourself. It’s about sharing. It’s about being transparent, being open, being authentic. This is letting people know what we need from the deli or what our expectations are. Yeah. How we need to operate. And we’ve got to give feedback to customers.
If somebody’s not working with us in a way that’s helping us to help them. We’ve got to call them out. We also beat them up about it, but we’ve got to be able to say, “look, we’re trying to help you here. This is how the relationship should be working and it’s not going according to plan. So we can reap the benefits that we both want. Another element of PQ is to be comfortable with change. As salespeople are change agents, and we’ve got to drive that. Status quo is our biggest competitor. So we’ve got to be able to take that on and to help customers understand why they need to do something different. If we’re going to do that, we need to be comfortable with it too. Otherwise, we’ve got no right in talking to them about it.
Finally, future orientation, we’ve gotta be looking towards what it is we’re trying to achieve with customer. What’s the vision that we have together. How are we going to achieve that? And we make decisions based upon that. Not looking backwards, not saying, “Oh, this didn’t work in the past.” This isn’t something that was so useful for us. We look forward, make decisions based on it. We drive towards achieving those goals. Those six elements of PQ come together and they give us the mindset that gives the ethos to operate a far more collaborative way.
Hope you find that useful. Hopefully, you can take on the concept of PQ. If you want to find more, look me up on LinkedIn. There’ll be plenty of connections to various tools I use to help people with that, which are free, free to use. And to help you get better at something
Scott Ingram: For a link to Fred’s LinkedIn profile and to take his free 60-second Modern Selling Assessment, just click over to DailySales.Tips/832
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!