The Selling Moment – by Michael Goodman
Someone once asked me, “What is the selling moment?” I had probably used it in a discussion without much thought, but it triggered him wanting to know the exact moment a buyer makes a decision to go ahead with a transaction. The thinking I had to do around that question triggered much of the sales curriculum I have written and has really become a key in helping companies make a good sales force better. The curriculum is called the Solomon Sales System, named after the smartest of the “judges” in the Old Testament.
Solomon Says: “All of sales is a return on investment equation. The sale happens when the buyer’s perception of return exceeds the investment.” When you think about it, that is really all sales is: Helping a buyer discover enough value for her in what you are bringing to the table to outweigh what it will cost her. Simple, isn’t it? But simple does not always mean easy.
Early-career salespeople often make the mistake that if they simply lower the price, the teeter-totter will tip in favor of the sale and the buyer will buy from them. Many times, this is true, though always to the detriment of the selling company and even the market as a whole. Lowering the price to make this sale has damaged the company brand, it has reduced the profit margin of the company, and it has hurt the capacity to sell at a more effective price in the future. It has set in the buyer’s mind an expectation of cost that may be inconsistent with the marketplace, but in all events, devalues the product. If this continues to happen, the long-term effects are never good. The company’s investors want to know why their profits are down, and they put pressure on the CEO or president. The president puts pressure on the vice president of sales, who puts pressure on the sales managers, who put pressure on the salespeople. Guess who the salespeople put pressure on? Yep: the buyers.
A seasoned sales professional, however, will get to know the customer. He will develop a relationship of trust and credibility and will listen with both ears to the buyer. More importantly, he will strive to understand the ROI to the buyer. Then, when they have the conversation about a product, he will match the features and benefits the product has to the needs of the buyer as well as possible. He will help the buyer recognize how the buyer will look good to as many people as possible and how the savings over the long term will support the mission of the buyer. He will do all this because he understands the product and the needs of the buyer, and the buyer will be happy to make a decision to spend a few more dollars to get what matches her needs more effectively. In technology, the Total Cost of Ownership has been reduced to an acronym that most understand: TCO. In sales, when the buyer understands how a product reduces the TCO, she has a much easier time spending a few more bucks for it. The customer is happier, the selling company is happier, and the salesperson has done a better job.
See, isn’t that as simple as riding a teeter totter?
A little over 36 years ago, Michael D. Goodman was terminated from his first position as a salesperson. The person who fired him also happened to be his dad. Neither knew much about sales, sales processes or what it took to be successful as a salesperson or a sales manager. Michael used the frustration and upset over this moment and fueled an intense lifetime of learning what makes for the most dignified, integral and effective selling models. Using what he has learned, he has become a top-ranked sales professional and for the last eleven years, a consultant, coach, speaker and trainer in sales.
Michael is the author of the Solomon Sales System, the founder of the International Sales Pros Association, the President of Revenue Kinetics, LLC and the creator of the American Sales Academy. He has helped thousands of sales professionals, and hundreds of companies of all sizes improve their skills, processes, people and systems to improve revenue growth up to 80% in the first 24 months.
Michael believes that learning sales is really a study on creating effective change in anything and developing relationships intentionally for the greater good. Further, that salespeople are the unsung heroes in the battle on a bad economy. You can reach Michael through his website at www.RevenueKinetics.com.
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