The Social Selling Blog

Tactics and strategies to align with the modern buyer

Bias In Sales: Will It Help, Haunt or Harm You?

Posted by Amar Sheth on Feb 15, 2017 12:46:08 PM

bias-sales-help-haunt-harm.jpgAlthough the term bias is generally viewed as negative, in the world of sales you want bias. Here's why.

Each touch, each share, each mention that your prospect has about you, can ultimately help you.

Each time your name, your company's name, your product's name, your service's name is uttered on the lips of your prospect, you can win.

It's almost as if you are drip marketing your prospect without even doing any work. But make no mistake—there is a ton of work required to achieve this.

When we look at bias in sales, it can help you, haunt you, or harm you. I would prefer that bias ultimately helps you. Let me show you how.

1) You need to plant yourself in a position of authority

The best way to achieve authority is by making sure that you are consistently serving your buyer.

As buyers are becoming more digital in nature, as they're becoming more adept at using social technologies in the workforce, you need to be where your buyers are. And every interaction you have with them, every time they see you share something, every time they see you interact with them, it could be as simple as a like, your name starts resonating at a very deep and self-conscious level.

Why wouldn’t you want this to work in your favor?

When I hear salespeople say sharing content is not worth it, or that sharing three pieces of content a day, for example, is "too much," "pollutes my stream," "is a disservice to my buyers," or "is spam," quite frankly, these are unfounded excuses.

The real reason is because you just haven't tried.

And the other real reason is, maybe you don’t want to.

power-habit.jpegIn the book called The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg describes how human beings think we make decisions, but ultimately all we're doing is setting into old habits.

In order to start on the path of social selling, what you're going to have to do is break your existing habits. You're going to have to realize that there are people who have tried these new things, that they are working, that there's data behind them working, and that you too, now need to try them.

Do you need to jump in, all in? Of course not, but you need to try.

2) The bias about your brand

Sales people love to call themselves trusted advisors, specialists, subject matter experts, and a bevy of fancy names that we've self-ascribed.

The reality is, and to borrow from Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O'Leary from Shark Tank fame), "We're nothing burgers.  We are no different than Joe Schmoe sales person down the street."
 

For all the amazing achievements that we have like making quota the last 30 quarters, or winning President's Club for the last five years, whatever those achievements are, be honest: Will your buyer choose you over someone else?

While some will, in the eyes of the majority, salespeople are commodities.

How do you get out of the commodity zone? You have to do things differently. This is why breaking habits is so critically important.

I'm not going to tell you how to break habits. That's another discussion for another blog. But suffice to say, that in order for you to succeed in the new connected age economy, you have to become more digital and social. And you most likely don’t have these skills right now.

Your brand becomes the biggest calling card you have. Your brand is your biggest gift.

When I see salespeople wantonly throw away the opportunity at building a brand, it makes me sad because I don’t think they truly understand what building a brand is about.

This is not some esoteric PR, advertising, marketing exercise. This is about living up to the promise that you as a sales person have made to your buyers.

This is about living up to your end of the bargain when you've told your buyers that you will be the best person that they'll do business with.

In order to do that and build that type of brand, you have to do what your buyers are now doing. So ask yourselves, what are your buyers doing that you are not?

Yes, I am biased and yes, I'm not afraid to admit it. But you need to be social. You need to be digital in nature, and you need to plant these seeds in your buyers' minds as well.

Remember:

74% of buyers choose the salesperson that was first to add value and insight. How are you going to do that if you’re not providing insights well before the commodity zone?

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Here’s The Good News

From all the data that we have gathered, on average, only 20% of all sales teams are sharing content semi-accurately.

To be quite frank, even the term semi-accurate is an overstatement. Sharing content four times a week is nothing. It makes no dent in your network.

It doesn’t allow for any meaningful interaction to take place. At least not the kind of interaction that you need to start making a huge impact on pipeline and revenue, but it's a start and that's why we've captured the baseline.

If you want to make impact, think about it. There is a four in five chance that if you share content more than four times a week, you will start to make that impact. Take, for example, that 95% of buyers chose a salesperson/vendor that “provided me with content to navigate each stage of the buying process.”

By sharing the right content, you will start to create bias in your prospect's minds.

The more your prospect hears about you, the more your prospect sees from you, the more they're able to say this person is sharing stuff that I like, that I care about, that I talk about every day in my business language, that I network about in my outside work hours, the more likely you are to succeed.

That's the bias I want you to have in your sales life.

The Bottom Line

Here's the bottom line. Don’t think that the word bias is negative. In fact, in the world of sales, we know how critically important bias actually is. Go out there and create bias for yourself, about yourself, and start winning deals.

How is your bias helping you to win deals? Tweet me @AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn to collaborate.

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Amar Sheth

About the Author

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.