Enthusiasm is the Gateway Drug to Information Selling Addiction
Most conventional sales people sell as if they were in the Postindustrial Revolution. In case they did not get the memo the Industrial Revolution ended a few years back. They have taken common sense and have flipped it upside down.
"The knowledge economy based on technology and globalization is here to stay no matter what the politicians, union leaders, and media can do to prevent the steady erosion of value caused by people all over the world who use knowledge, power, and strategy instead. People need to give up the labor doctrine of working harder and use common sense. They need to stop triggering indifference to their value which is forcing them to compete against themselves. They need to drop being business laborers and transition to knowledge workers," says David Mann.
Information sellers (product sellers) will go the way of business laborers; a steady decline and lack of relevancy and value. Information sellers represent the big losers in the information economy because they represent the masters of the obvious, masters of the lowest common denominator and the triumph of the bare minimum requirements.
Information selling is not only an ineffective selling strategy, but it is a precursor to marginalizing the entire sales process. Once information selling roars out of the starting gate it feeds on itself and becomes pervasive, resulting in the entire sales process being neutralized. Information selling so often negates goodwill, trust and important discovery.
You can only sell value to those who value it and can buy it. So your job is more about screening than it is about selling, it is more about less than more. Selling is less about adding new information and ideas and more about subtracting. You need to subtract all the hurdles and roadblocks that impede buying and changing. At best your value is random and arbitrary until you do your due diligence to find probable cause and intent.
Your job in the information economy is to give context, not content. Content is a dime a dozen. Context is how customers make sense of a world where they are swimming in content, but lack perspective. In a sales call the smart money is always on context providers, not content providers.
The compulsion to sell for the enthusiastic seller is overpowering. It is a pure guilty pleasure that traditional sales people cannot resist, especially when it is mixed with the elixir of enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is the gateway drug to information, selling addiction. One cannot exist without the other. Once enthusiasm and ego take over a sales call all hell breaks out, all bets are off. But woe to the critic who questions the validity of the twin elixirs – enthusiasm and information selling... that puts you in the same category of climate-change deniers.
Sales people are killing their deals with enthusiasm. Enthusiastic selling fails because it is not customer-centered, it is overly rational and worse yet it is very self-serving. To succeed in the information economy you need to kill your customer with empathy. Empathy is the new enthusiasm in the information economy.
Sales people are victims of their own success and excess. They are so trigger happy in sharing information to solve problems that they have no idea of what specifically they are solving. Often they are empty suits and product pimps who are irresponsible with their intellectual capital, and customers reciprocate by being irresponsible by using the sales person's information to forward their own agenda, which usually does not include them.
Roughly 95% of sales people do not have the public persona, charm, magnetism, power of persuasion, excitement, positive energy and unflagging optimism to use as an effective strategy to convey their selling points. But because it is so fun, easy and seductive to sell this way, it is simply too hard to resist. What appears to be a very attractive way to sell is the exact opposite, it is a huge distractor. Customers quickly reach an information exhaustion level. Their ability to actually take in information fast reaches a saturation point, where they see and take in very little.
Sales people want to overwhelm customers with their brilliant product expertise, technical knowledge and demonstrate that they are essentially best in show. However, they are missing the boat. The only category that is best in show that matters is problem identification expertise. This is the expertise that emotionally engages customers and triggers action and change.
Why do customers not want to see us? Why do they not want to return our voice mails? Why do they screen our calls? Why do they not want to hear our information pitch? Simply they are spoiled. Today they can get away very easily without having to meet a sales person, or to talk to one directly to get their information. It is influence free (sales person free) buying at its best. Whenever possible, customers ideally want to wash their hands of traditional sales people as quickly as possible, because they see them as not all that relevant, or essential in making informed buying decisions. "Already companies that speak the language of the pitch, and the dog and pony show are no longer speaking to anyone," says Blair Ennis.
Information selling fails because it is based on a rational and logical way of selling that is the furthest distance from the reality of how customers buy. Downloading information on clients is a waste of time. Conventional sellers have not had the courage to realize this because they are so attuned to self-preservation, and the only thing it preserves is the delusion of effective selling.