Rural Sales: Sell The Way You Buy
Why do we continue to train rural sales teams using out-dated techniques that we would hate as buyers?
Hard core, ABC, puppy dog closing techniques no longer work. They just piss your farming customers right off.
Using them also insults your customer’s intelligence.
They are far wiser and clue’d up. Plus they often come armed to the teeth with information on you and your product and its price courtesy of the internet (the posh term is called information asymmetry).
No one comes home and says: “Hey I just got sold to!”. They come home and proudly announce in enthusiastic tone: “Look what I’ve just bought!”.
Sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer said this profound thing:
“People hate to be sold to but they love to buy”
Yet the majority of rural sellers continue to sell serving their interests rather than the ones of their customer.
No wonder they don’t make many sales. And no wonder why most people don’t like talking to sales people!
Forrester research tells us that 60% of buyers prefer not to engage with a sales rep as their primary source of information.
And 62% of buyers now say they can develop selection criteria or finalise a vendor list based solely on digital content alone.
Says a lot right?
Sleasey sales people and shite sales experiences should be a thing of the past.
Problem is most of them haven’t been taught how to sell, or more importantly how to help their customers buy.
When you walk into Harvey Norman or Noel Leeming the sales assistant (even though they don’t wear that badge) will come up and predictably say: “Can I help you with something?”
Your immediate and naturally human flight-fright-freeze instinct is to say “No thanks just looking” (or words to that effect).
You are automatically protecting yourself from perceived or potential loss.
Far better for them to say something safer and better like: “Welcome to the store. I’ll leave you alone to let you look around for yourself. If you have any questions or need me I’ll be over here.”
Signalling buyer safety is an often over-looked concept in sales.
Yet we know psychological safety is a massive thing.
Just ask Google who spent 5 years and millions of dollars working out how to get their team to perform to the highest level.
The answer? Psychological safety.
You don’t need Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs to tell you safety is a thing. It’s a fundamental human need.
So many rural sales reps have over-promised and under-delivered burning and bruising your prospects in the process.
You job – along with the internet – will continue to get harder as prospects get harder protecting themselves from self-serving, hand-rubbing reps.
You can choose to be different.
You can choose to serve instead of sell.
Do that and I promise you will make more sales.
Give before you get.
Serve their needs before your own.
That’s how you’ll be a success because of your customer’s success.
It’s basic alignment with your buyer.
Simple stuff really.