You've probably heard that sales is changing. But is it really? After all, reps still call and email prospects, provide them advice, and close deals.
If you think that’s all there is to modern sales, you might not be convinced a shift is happening. But it is.
It’s not something we can see -- there isn’t some new tool or process that’s going to completely overhaul how a sale is physically made. Rather, the change in sales is reflected through reps’ changing perspectives. While sales used to be be rep-centric because buyers relied on them for even basic information, reps today have to take the stance of the prospect so that they can be helpful.
To be as helpful and valuable to your buyers as possible, you must first understand their challenges, their needs, and their goals. And that’s easier said than done.
In this Behind the Brand interview with best-selling author Dan Pink, he lays out exactly where you might be falling short.
One of the skills Pink says modern reps need is attunement, or the ability to take their prospects’ perspectives. This is a skill separate from empathy that allows us to truly understand our prospects’ business priorities and goals.
Modern sales isn’t just about closing deals. You need a wide variety of hard and soft skills to truly become empathetic and helpful. Here are eight inspiration quotes from Pink that describe what success in modern sales looks like.
1) “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.”
2) “Questions are often more effective than statements in moving others. Or to put it more appropriately, since the research shows that when the facts are on your side, questions are more persuasive than statements, don’t you think you should be pitching more with questions?”
3) “One very small thing that people can do to get better at listening is every once in awhile, when someone says something to you, just wait a couple seconds before responding. Just wait.”
4) “Most of what we know about sales comes from a world of information asymmetry, where for a very long time sellers had more information than buyers. That meant sellers could hoodwink buyers, especially if buyers did not have a lot of choices or a way to talk back.”
5) “One of the best predictors of ultimate success in either sales or non-sales selling isn’t natural talent or even industry expertise, but how you explain your failures and rejections.”
6) The ability to take another perspective has become one of the keys to both sales and non-sales selling. And the social science research on perspective-taking yields some important lessons for all of us.”
7) “To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources -- not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”
8) “If you need me to motivate you, I probably don’t want to hire you.”