As seen in Inside Business, if you’re in sales and want to sell more, you need to break four rules, immediately.
That was what Chad Stenzel told a class Wednesday at the Sandler Training Center in downtown Norfolk.
Stenzel is chief executive officer of Full Throttle Training Inc. and has more than 20 years of experience in sales and training. His program was the last in a series of classes presented by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Southern Bank.
Living up to the class’s title, “Rule Breakers are Sales Makers,” he listed four traditional rules and then countered them with his unconventional, but more successful, methods.
Rule No. 1: “The customer is always right.” Stenzel said the customer is always the customer, but not always right. “Don’t let them lead the dance,” he said.
Rule No. 2: “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Because most salespeople focus on the sizzle, Stenzel suggested an approach that he said would put you in another league.
“Start selling like a doctor,” he said.
That means asking questions, examining the “patient,” and looking for underlying problems. “Know their pain,” and, in the process, you will get to know the story behind the buy, giving you more information to work with to make the sale.
Rule No. 3: “Get a decision at the end.” Instead, get an up-front contract. Stenzel described the old way of closing a deal as “put a pen in their hand.” His way is “to qualify hard and close easy.”
When first talking with a prospect, take three or four minutes to cover five things: Ask how much time he/she has; what the purpose for the meeting is; explain what you would like to cover; ask what the customer wants to accomplish; and discuss possible outcomes/results.
“Go for the no,” Stenzel said.
Tell the customer that “several things will happen,” at the end of the meeting. The buyer might feel that there’s not “a good fit” with the seller, and, if so, stress “it is OK to tell me no.” This takes the pressure off both parties and relaxes the conversation.
But, it could be a good fit, he said, and the process would proceed. Or, the prospect is not ready to make a decision and thinks another meeting is needed. Ask to put a date on the calendar, which the prospect will probably agree to because there’s no pressure to buy.
In the end, you have gotten “no” out of the way and a “yes” to another opportunity to close the deal. “This should be a conversation, not a filibuster,” Stenzel said.
Rule No. 4: “Be more excited than your customer.” Don’t be, Stenzel said, because it can cost you sales. If you are, the customer may think you are annoying, desperate, or excited about the commission you might get.
“If you start breaking these rules, I promise you will make more sales,” Stenzel said.
Attendee Kevin Clancy, who works for ESG Enterprises in premium sales, such as executive suites, for the proposed new arena in Virginia Beach, felt the session was “useful, because it taught me a different way to deal with a prospect, especially the up-front contract.”
Darian Fisher, a community banker for Southern, said the bank will also sponsor the 2017 series because “the Chamber has done a great job of choosing speakers,” and the sponsorship is “a good way to give back to the community.”