As of late, I’ve been really fascinated with the new connection economy, a subject that makes complete sense to me because it’s all around us.
If you take a closer look, you’ll see it too. People are starting to revolt against the norm – they want to learn their own way on their own schedule. And this includes our buyers, not just us.
Social selling makes intuitive sense because the buyer has fundamentally changed. Access to information is the core reason. What can you do to start tapping into this new reality? Before we look at what you can do, we should first look at what should you be.
In my humble opinion, these are the characteristics of today’s sales professional:
Be a Guide
Sales professional/person sounds too crass in the 'connection economy'. You’re not here to sell. It’s more about guiding buyers to their desired destination.
If they’re not sure where they’re going, then you’ll have to guide them to a few places before they figure out their destination.
All of us have problems and issues we’re going through. This may sound like a “new age” concept, but it’s really not. This is Humanity 101. If you’re not human then you’re a fake. Putting yourself in the "buyer’s" shoes is one thing, but putting yourself in the shoes of the human that buys from you is another.
We’re all going through something or other. Take stock of this and develop a relationship. I believe this will really set you apart from the rest of the pack, and most importantly, how neat would it be going to bed every night thinking that you helped someone today? That’s what it’s about.
I know you care about your quota but the buyer certainly doesn’t. That means you’ve got to take off the edge and stop selling. I know this sounds antithetical to what a sales person should be doing, but I want you to really try this.
Helping your buyer in the connection economy means you help at any cost: even your own sale. The corporate karma will come and help you in the long-run. In the new connection economy, buyers remember this. A social referral can go a long way for business.
Create Value First
Before you take the sale, shouldn’t you give something first? If sales is about a give and take relationship, ask yourself if you’re really giving something of value to the buyer. In the connection economy, you’ve got to be willing to give this first.
A case in example would be a story from James Altucher (if you don’t know him, I highly recommend his blog).
In the 90’s when the internet was brand spanking new, he built a website for a major music record label for free. He created that value up front before asking for anything in return. But guess what? He got major bona fide accolades and he went on to sell that website solution to many more record companies for millions.
Maybe it’s an extreme example to you, but for every opportunity in your pipeline ask yourself what value you’ve created for that potential buyer.
The Bottom Line
You’ll be a horrible social seller if you don’t already have these basic fundamentals covered. Especially in the new connection economy in which trust reigns supreme and salespeople rank near the very bottom of the trust scale.
Want to know how you can create value, help and demonstrate compassion in the new connection economy? Let’s set up a time to chat and I can point you in the right direction.