Are Your Skills Simple or Sophisticated?
In professional selling there are Simple Sales and there are Sophisticated Sales. Knowing which one you operate in is a critical step in determining which skills, knowledge, behaviors and attitudes are appropriate to use to help you succeed. Without that knowledge you can be sabotaging yourself unknowingly. So what is a simple and sophisticated sale anyway?
What is a Simple Sale?
A simple sale usually involves a fairly inexpensive product or service where the sales person (if there is one) acts more like a customer service representative than a sales person. In a simple sale, the selling process is usually short and not very complicated. When someone buys the product or service it typically does not have a big impact on them or their lifestyle. In essence, a simple sale is somewhat of a “self guided” tour. Some examples might be buying tickets to a movie, buying a book on Amazon, ordering a banner for an event, buying a new printer, etc.
What is a Sophisticated Sale?
In a sophisticated sale, the selling process is usually much longer and can involve multiple decision makers. Because the solution being sold can impact multiple people and departments the price is often much higher and has a higher impact on the organization. A sophisticated sale typically requires a sales person to help the buyer navigate through options and decisions. The sales person in a sophisticated sales collaborates with the prospect as an expert consultant. A sophisticated sale is somewhat of an excursion directed by an experienced “tour guide.” Some examples might be purchasing an enterprise software solution, building a new home, buying health insurance, hiring an SEO firm, etc.
It should be pretty self evident that the communication and selling skills needed to succeed in a Simple Selling Environment are very different from those used in a Sophisticated Selling Environment.
Right Sale, Wrong Skill
One of the biggest problems I see with sales teams today is sales people who use Simple Selling Environment techniques in a Sophisticated Selling Environment. It is a classic case of using the wrong set of skills, techniques and processes in the right selling environment.
When sales people try to use Simple Selling Environment techniques in a Sophisticated Sale they are viewed as an order taker or as a vendor, instead of as a trusted advisor or expert consultant. The sales person often battles heavy price competition, struggles with decreased access to key decision makers and is forced to defend their price with lots of explanation about their features and benefits. Their prospects don’t return phone calls or respond to email and they wish they could set up more sales appointments. The sales person typically works very hard and stays very busy. However they usually have mediocre results to show for their efforts. Both they and their sales manager are frustrated and not sure what else to do.
What Are The Next Steps?
These kinds of situations are very common. The good news is while it does take some time, these issues are very fixable. Long ago, I developed The MaxValue Selling System to help sales professionals operating in a Sophisticated Selling Environment develop the behaviors, attitudes, skills and knowledge they need to take their selling to the next level. If you feel like the time is right, I invite you to contact me and my staff. We can help you identify the skills, behaviors and habits that need to be upgraded. Even if we decide not to work together, you will walk away with some valuable insights. So give us a call at 844-205-5054. We look forward to partnering with you.
Terry Hansen is a popular speaker, consultant, trainer, and author on helping sales teams improve their ability to create value for their prospects and clients. He is regularly asked to train sales and management teams in strategies to find more prospects, close more sales, and increase customer loyalty through value creation strategies. You can connect with Terry on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/terrylhansen through his website at www.TerryHansen.net or by calling 844-205-5054.