Old School vs. New School ways of selling…
It’s time to talk about sales. When you just read the word sales did you immediately think “used car salesman” and get slightly disgusted? If you did you are not alone, the world sales carries with it a bad reputation these days and the reasons why are endless.
You think of the car salesman that sold you the car that was the worst car you have ever owned, you think of someone knocking on your door to sell you knives, a vacuum cleaner, or perhaps artwork out of the back of their car. Yes these are all actual “sales jobs” that weren’t just around decades ago, but are still around today. Also yes, these are the same ones that we think of when we hear the world sales.

Often you don’t think of the salesperson at the shoe store, or the watch shop, or even the waitress or waiter that waited on you last night. However, these are all salespeople too… so why do we go straight to the bad, and not the good.

It all comes down to one simple fact, we all want to buy things, but don’t want to feel like we are being sold. When you walk into a restaurant you are there because you want to order and eat a meal. It’s the waitress or waiter who is not just there to “wait” on you, but to try and upsell you. The bottle of wine instead of the glass, appetizers, desert, or maybe something they have on special. When you leave you aren’t upset because you were upsold, you are usually overjoyed because of how great the meal and hopefully the company was. You are still being sold the entire time, and the better the person waiting on you the less you even notice that you are. How do you shift from “selling” to someone verses then just “wanting to buy,” and is it really that simple? It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but it does involve breaking bad habits and breaking down the traditional way that people think they have to sell. Craig Carr is going to help us work through the sales stereotypes and overcome them. Carr is the Co-Founder of Freedom Sales Academy, and has years of experience in selling and working with others to improve their sales skills. We are going to breakdown the “old school” sales techniques and how they need to be adjusted for you to having people begging you to buy instead of being sold.

1. Pitch Your Product –
The old school way of thinking was that you have a great product, and if you share with everyone the great features and benefits of what you have to offer they will want it. You have to not make everything about you and your product, because your prospect might not even need or want your product. It doesn’t matter how amazing your cooling, hypoallergenic, dog bed is… if I don’t have a dog I am not going to buy the dog bed. It could be the best technology, for the most amazing price for all the benefits but if the person you are speaking with has zero need for it you can’t just pitch your product. Your prospects are instead more interested in how your product will help them, fix a problem, or enhance their life. If I don’t have a dog and you want to sell me the dog bed you aren’t adding any value to me. So you need to start with asking questions and listening to responses to see how your product solves a problem, or enhances the life of the person that you are talking to.

2. Sell Anything to Anyone –
It is quite popular to hear someone say “he/she could sell ice to an Eskimo.” Does that really make someone a great sales person, the fact that they can sell someone something they don’t need at all? If you really think about that statement it would be an exact reason that sales people have a bad reputation, because we think the sales person is going to sell us things that we don’t actually need. That they are more concerned with making money then actually helping us. Completely the opposite of the impact that you are trying to make as a sales person selling something. So a shift needs to be made here as well, it’s has to be focused on providing the right prospects with the right options for what they are looking for. Selling anything to anyone doesn’t make you a great sales person, it means you are able to take advantage of people fairly easily.

3. Persuade Your Prospects –
Persuasion is a thing of the past, it’s no longer about trying to persuade someone to make a purchase. Now we need to move towards qualifying and then value, value, value! What is the value that you can provide and deliver on for your potential client? When you make a pivotal shift to focus on value, you are moving in a direction of being able to actually deliver something your client wants. It’s not about persuading someone to do something they don’t want to do, or buy something they don’t need. It’s ensuring that the are actually a qualified prospect, and then delivering the value.

4. Smooth Talker –
Super smooth, polished, perfection isn’t what works anymore. Authenticity is what sells and what people what. Right now more then ever people want to work with someone that is real, genuine, and authentic not perfect. Culture as a whole is making a shift to place more and more value on the person that is going to be genuine with them and not on that smooth talker. Now you have to know your stuff, understand your product or service, and be able to demonstrate how it will add value. Not be smooth.

5. Answering un-Asked Question –
Sales managers and leaders would have this mentality of don’t give up any information that someone didn’t ask for. This is a very fear based response that is very old school, and the new way of thinking is completely changed. If you actually bring up common questions or items people might want to know it shows you have the best interest of your client in mind and that you aren’t hiding anything. It links in with the idea of being authentic and genuine and that is what your clients are looking for. It also allows your clients to know that you aren’t trying to hide anything from them.

The Shift…
Craig Carr has been working in sales and sales training for over 3 decades and has literally seen it all. He has developed a new system to be able to shift towards this new way of selling to potential clients. Instead of utilizing the old school techniques he has developed a totally new approach. Carr would tell you to actually be a Doctor and not a sales person. What does that actually mean. It really sums up the way you need to look at and be evaluating your clients.

The Doctor approach is exactly what it sounds like. When you go to the doctor’s office and the doctor comes in he doesn’t start telling you about the latest drug that he wants to prescribe you, and then schedule for the most expensive surgery that there is. Instead the doctor will ask you questions about what has been going on, and then will give you a recommendation based on what issues you are having and what will help you.

If the doctor didn’t listen to you and give you advice, you wouldn’t value what the doctor was telling you and you would listen. So the doctor has to listen, diagnose, and prescribe and you place high value on what the doctor tells you. So sales people shouldn’t think of themselves as a salesperson, but rather a doctor that is looking for the clients with a certain ailment that they can fix. When you can deliver that value and solve a problem, or make someone’s life better they will value what you do that much more. The other thing that you have to remember that the best doctors do very well is to to make sure that you are heard and understood. When you are selling you need to stop thinking about your agenda, and listen and understand what the clients wants. It sounds like such an easy concept, but it’s would have never been done that way under the old school way of selling.

When someone is new to sales, it’s much easier to train them the new ways of selling and connecting with the customer. A lot of people that are newer into the profession are taught and trained by older salespeople with older schools of thought on how to sell. That was driving force behind Craig Carr founding the Freedom Sales Academy, it was time for change and time for a massive shift in the way people sell. It’s takes a long time to tear down stereotypes and Carr will be the force to change the stereotypes that often follow sales people.

Almost any traditional old school salesperson would say that changing the way they have sold for years would be absurd, but it’s what people want.
Why sales people need to change. Ask anyone about changing, and it’s usually the last thing that they want to do. Once someone is in a routine or pattern the last thing they want to do is change it up. Some people say they like change, but most people aren’t open to new things. So if you took two sellers, one armed with all the old school ways of selling, and one with new ideas on how to consult and sell what would happen…

Initially the old school seller might actually win the sale, depending on how strong of a sales person they are and if they can “sell ice to an Eskimo.” However, what is more concerning is what happens in the long run. If you worked with someone and they feel that they were pressured into buying something will they want to buy again? Will they even pay the invoice or bill when it arrives? The interesting dynamic that sales managers, consultants, and experts are starting to find when they really dig deep is that initially the numbers might look great but that doesn’t tell the story.

They start to find that there isn’t a reoccurring sale being made, and that sometimes the initial sale isn’t even really because it was someone just saying yes so the persuasive, smooth talking sales person will go away. Does that sound like how you want to build the sales in your business?Hopefully your answer is no!

More often then not the people who work with the Freedom Sales Academy are able to only only see an increase in sales, but an increase in what they are able to change. Just like the doctor example, when a prospect feels that they are being listened to and understood and value is being delivered they see a higher value in what they are purchasing. In the long run that means more money for you as a seller, or as a business owner. Small changes and shifts can make a big impact for the big picture. We are in a modern market where customers are also a lot savvier when it comes to making purchases.

Customers will use online resources to gather reviews and information on something before perusing. The larger the purchase or investment the more research that tends to go into a decision, so if you think you can leave out details or smooth talk through something you are mistaken. Customers are armed with knowledge and access to just about any information they could ever want, so you have to anticipate the level of intellect that the potential customer has before you even start to sell them.
The companies and industries that refuse to change and adapt don’t last, you don’t want to find yourself as the Toys R Us of the sales industry where you are suddenly out of business because you didn’t find a way to change or adapt to the new way people want to do buy. Remember everyone wants to buy, but they don’t want to be sold. So don’t sell them show
them the solution that they need to solve their problem or make their life better and they will
buy every time.