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Last night I was at the clothing store, shopping for clothes for my upcoming vacation. There was a wide selection of garments and I took a number of them into the changing room. One by one I tried each one of them on, deciding whether or not they would meet my needs. Some of the garments I kept for purchase, while the rest were placed back on the racks.

This is the same thing our prospects do when buying. They survey the products, both yours and the competition, to see if it meets their requirements. And oftentimes that means not just them, but the needs of a large number of people, with multiple roles across a large organization. Disorganized and grasping on their true needs, these prospects demand a large amount of patience and coaching. The Master Seller walk them through the process step by step. They are wise to the process, yet collaborative with a deft touch.

Sometimes you can help these folks, sometimes you can’t. They may not be ready, or they’re just tire kickers. The Master Seller is awake to reality and knows that this is the way the world works. They don’t burn bridges, they know it takes a compelling event to drive a purchase, and this moment, right now, may not be that time.

3 business suits

The market doesn’t take sides
It prefers neither you nor your competition.
The buyer doesn’t takes sides
They regard all vendors as suits.

The space between the market and sellers
Is an open door
Empty, and yet Sellers can enter
Opening and closing it produces opportunities.

Over thinking hastens failure
Check your ego and sell.

Tractor tire stuck in mud

No urgency,
today looks like yesterday.
No change in priorities,
Tomorrow looks like today.

Defending same as, same as,
The status quo
instills fear and doubt.

Douse fear
as water douses fire,
mitigate risk,
and grease the rails of change.
Knowing deals don’t unstick themselves.

Enter each sale as a blank canvas
Paint what the prospect sees.

Some clients see their desires clearly
While others have blurred vision.
Remain patient with all.

Paint brush with blank canvass

Some buyers are honest
while others are working some angle.
The Master Seller continues with good humor,
Treating their clients as a parent would a child,
They guide according to their needs.

Over time the prospects become customers.

Bicycle chain and sprockets
Like the seasons
Each sale has a cycle.

Some a few days
Some a few years
Prospects buying when they need to
Not when the sellers needs a sale.

Awake to the buying cycle
The Master Seller generates urgency.

By understanding fears,
frustrations
and desires,
They connect the dots
showing how they can help.

Identifying needs
They create desire.
Closing the deal
It’s done sooner rather than later.

Rainy day cloudsSome say you need to take
the good with the bad.
But the Master Seller sees no difference.

Some days it rains
Some days the sun shines.
Both necessary for
For a rich harvest.

Knowing that the easy day
is balanced with the hard,
Make hay when the sun shines
For tomorrow it may rain.

yin-yang-300x336A few weeks back a  blogger named  Brett Jarman reached out  regarding the Tao Te Ching of Sales. He and his wife Jan Terkelsen have a forum focused on helping the  self-employed identify and overcome hidden barriers that limit or prevent business success. They kindly asked me to guest post about  sales and today it was published here: True Sales, a Taoist Perspective .

Sales is a profession that’s greatly misunderstood and derided, yet all business pivots on its existence. And it’s commonly an activity that self-employed business owners  find uncomfortable. Sales has evolved into a helping profession, where one person truly listens to the fears, frustrations and desires of another. When business owners can draw upon that passion and use it to motivate selling their products and services, their business will become all the more stronger. I wrote about true sales and shared a personal story about my first experiences bicycling. You may find it of value. Again click here to read the post.

If you’re considering starting your own  business, please take a moment to visit  Self Employment Mastery or you can follow Brett and Jan  @Self_Employ101 on Twitter.  Best wishes!

I was reading a LinkedIn forum hosted by the Sales Association and it was discussing what differentiates successful sellers from the rest. Reflecting on some difficult wins I can’t help but think its a case of tenacity and discipline. The sales cycle of some deals can become quite lengthy. And often sales professionals lose interest and the deal withers away.

There is practical day to day explanation about this is in my very first blog post:

“The Master Seller listens before talking
Sells without effort
Sharing without preaching
Explaining without judging
Demonstrating without closing.

Never assuming the sale, the seller never loses one.”

The trick here is they never assume the sale is won. They keep at it; doing all the things we expect of great sales people: following up, keeping in touch, overcoming objections, and genuinely trying to serve. This kind of patience is unusual.

“If you want to speed up the sale
you must give the deal time to breath
If you want to dispel objections
you must allow them to flourish
If you want to take new business
you must give time and patience.

This is the path to success.”

Winning sales folks “stick with it”. They don’t give up. They keep at and again never assume the sales is lost.

If you’d like read more about this you can find the blog posts at https://taotechingofsales.com/2012/11/03/listening/
https://taotechingofsales.com/2012/12/30/path-to-success/

Weeding TomatoesLike the farmer cultivating their crop
the Master Seller weeds out poor leads
Knowing qualified prospects bear fruit
They refuse to play the numbers game
of more leads means more sales.

They delight with qualified leads
providing each with patience and respect.

Honing their knowledge
they waste little time on poor prospects,
knowing it’s not how many people they meet,
but the quality of the opportunities.

The Master Seller takes a balanced approach
They are never stubborn with fixed opinions.

Because they are tolerant of difficult prospects
They are supple like a field of wheat 
Bending to the buyers  whims  
Giving answers to even the silliest of questions. 

No deal is impossible for them
Because they  let go fear.
They care for the needs of the customer
Like a Mom. 

This is called deep roots.
They have longevity with this foundation.
They have  lasting success. 

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International Business Consultant

What is the Tao Te Ching of Sales?

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