From buyer to seller, reflections of a Top Performer – WAU
Websites Are Us’s Top Performer salesman tells his experience inside and outside WAU and explains how to get that complex sale.
Today, October 2nd, I blow my first candle of life at Websites Are Us. It has not only been my first opportunity to work in a startup, but also my first direct contact with sales.
After 365 days at home, I listed some changes, both behavioral and mindset, and I would like to share in my (also) first article:
I only know that I know nothing
The age-old Socratic maieutic came to the 21st century to bring my first apprenticeship as a salesman: I only know that I know nothing. Right at the first interview with our CRO, Matt Doyon, I stressed the characteristics of the good buyer that I became, characteristics that I imagined I could take advantage of as a seller.
Bullshit! Negotiation techniques and persuasion in purchases are so peculiar to the position that they are practically not used in sales.
I arrived confident, but I soon realized that the path would be arduous (and indeed it was) until I became a prominent Sales Rep. It is worth mentioning, I am referring to the techniques and not the behavior or skill!
Communication, charisma, determination, are adjectives related to my profile, who Ciro is. These adjectives that I cultivated since I was a child and have been harvesting throughout my life. These qualities are just the product (not finished) of a life shaped by very personal experiences.
The science behind buying and selling
Something common to both functions is the science behind the process. In my years as a buyer I had my process very well defined, it was almost a script that sought above all to reduce acquisition costs, simple.
Objection X, answer X`, Objection Y, answer Y`. The great advantage of working as a buyer in large industries, such as Philips, Deloitte and Vale, is knowing that your supplier needs you much more than you do him. As a result, objections are more easily circumvented.
On the other hand, your supplier knows that your budget it is almost unlimited, placing the offer MUCH above the market value. It is then up to the analytical view of the buyer to perceive these disparities, and to generate a saving even more significant.
I recognize that I have already reduced sales to a simple equation: “LUCK + PERSISTENCE = SUCCESS“, Until I understood that the magic formula for success in sales, was“WILL + SKILL“, There is no other way. And yes, there is also a science: for Objection X, there is also an answer X, just as, for Objection Y, there is also the answer Y. Cyrus, where is the challenge then? Investigation!
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Perhaps one of the big differences between Purchases and Sales, is the investigative process. As a buyer, when a supplier indicated an objection that prevented you from reducing acquisition costs, NORMALLY, the objection it was real, making it a condition. “Ciro, we were taxed at X% by the Y tax, so it becomes impracticable to maintain the values of the previous sale, otherwise, our margin would no longer pay the values of production”. Apparently, this is a conditionnot a objection.
In sales, our prospectt do not usually know nor your real problem neither the best way to take and, therefore, it is common to encounter unreal objections that are nothing more than fear, insecurity or lack of confidence.
Thus, one of the great mistakes of a novice salesperson is to offer a solution without really knowing your customer’s problem. Without knowing the problem, you do not generate trust, which consequently generates fear, which in turn prevents the sale.
To understand the real problem of a potential customer, the only way is to investigation. The most common analogy we make in sales is the comparison between the salesperson and the doctor. Like the doctor, it is up to us to perform a diagnosis company, understanding its processes, monetization, product / services, plans and objectives, and then recipe.
Making a complete diagnosis, we passed the correct prescription, generating authority and confidence. With authority and confidence, there is no fear that it will prevent your prospect from hiring your strategy.
The human touch in the sales process
As a buyer, I have always believed in a relationship win-win with my suppliers. The logic is very simple: Maintain a healthy relationship with my supplier, guarantees on-time deliveries, quality parts at a competitive price, while it obtains consistent demand and predictable revenue. Everyone wins. When I say everyone, I mean the company.
The big key, which provided this 180 ° career change, was the opportunity to deal with people. And when I say people, I mean bringing solutions personal and professional. Want an example? Come on:
Gisele Ramalho, was one of those responsible for marketing a company, to which I was trying to sell a content marketing strategy. Gisele was not a CEO, and therefore had different goals and objectives from managers.
People in different positions have different personal and professional goals. THIS IS THE SECRET! Understand the personal goals and challenges of your prospects, is the key to a successful sale. The marketing analyst is not charged for billing, but for the generation of leads.
The commercial director is not charged for generating leads, but by the revenue generated. We only know the goals and challenges of each one, through (believe it or not) investigation! “But after all, did you manage to sell to Gisele?” NO. Say what? I didn’t sell it, because I couldn’t investigate the problems and objectives of the managers. Was the sale lost? Of course not!
Gisele ended up becoming a great content producer! He understood the strategy and results that an article can generate so well that he is dedicated to it today. I was part of her story, precisely because I wanted to meet her as a person and not a company.
I have traced almost my entire career as a buyer and I am VERY grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to me. I had the pleasure of being part of the Supply Chain from large industries and learned a lot from all of them. The career of a buyer is as challenging and stimulating as that of a seller. In shopping, I identified myself as professional, in sales I identified myself as person.
Yes, not only selling content marketing strategy for companies with 25 to 200 employees. I Ciro, seeing myself every day. Winning the admiration of a father or the recognition of a manager, is nothing more than a sales process, and believe me, I say this in the most genuine and pure way possible. With that, I challenge you to reflect:
How have you been selling yourself?