Back To Face-to-Face Selling... or NOT

Written by Posted On Friday, 25 June 2021 00:00
As the pandemic winds down it has certainly changed the way we live life and do business. A majority have spent an entire year from home, buying, working, and surfing the web. Certain trends have emerged during this time that show no signs of slowing down. Concerning us in the sales and marketing space, we’ve seen that more prospects than not, currently prefer digital self-serve & remote human engagement over face-to-face selling.
Although it began as a way to ensure safety from COVID-19, this affinity for online selling and purchasing is based primarily on buyer convenience, ease of exploration, and speed of ordering. In fact, I’ve identified three major shifts in our field that are now on the rise.

1. Carvana experience: In 2017, Carvana went public with its car vending machine idea. This marked the beginning of a new wave of self-service selling. Most seller interactions have moved to remote or digital platforms utilizing what companies now refer to as “The Carvana Experience”.

2. Customer Journey: Businesses in every field have had a common thread. As the customer progresses from prospect to customer to client, the use of digital communication increases respectively. Additionally, video calls are preferred to phone calls in everything from internal team meetings to customer or vendor connections. This will change the selling dynamic in most sales organizations either to total adoption or to a blended strategy going forward.

2. High-End ECommerce: The final major trend in the selling and marketing space is the propensity for prospects to make digital purchases at ever-rising price points. I’m talking ($50k+)! As referenced by Carvana, even the large purchases made by the middle-class across the globe, like cars, houses, etc., are being made online, without meeting in person.
The facts speak for themselves… the companies that adapt their processes to meet these new trends will, without a doubt, thrive. Those that don’t will likely be phased out of the mainstream. It’s that simple.
But not everything is subject to change. At U. S. Learning we are striving for excellence in every arena, with a large focus on finding the newest ways to stay ahead of the pack. However, the bar is being continually raised on us in sales as we see the standards of operation in customer contact are constantly changing. 
We must study newly created principles, not just methods and old habits to provide a solid foundation for our team to build on. Despite what's been shouting at you in Facebook and YouTube ads, there are things you can learn to build your business without re-defining your entire infrastructure every week. This means you can devote your time, resources, and money to strategic fine-tuning, evolving processes that improve on your status quo of recent years and improve your bottom line in the process.
We will need to adopt a constantly sharpened eye for new opportunities to make thoughtful changes or solidify some time-honored principles that are still working.
Since we are all in the business of solving people’s problems, those who can do this most efficiently will beat out their competitors time and time again. This will require some creativity in the way you get your message out there but, in order to do that, we must be better than ever at understanding our customer and their needs.
One such area is in defining VALUE. As you’ve read in this newsletter before, the best definition of value is not from the dictionary, or from your CEO or your marketing department. It is from your customer. And if you have six hot prospects you may have six different definitions of value in play. We can successfully strategize for positive results only when we know what they value and how we can go about solving their problem. 

We can best utilize this information during our needs analysis. This needs the human touch, when possible, but can be facilitated with technology. The growing popularity of digital selling makes the need for sound and personalized needs analysis more vital than ever. Think about it for a second. If you aren’t there to ask them, then how do you find out? This has a myriad of potential solutions, but one of the simplest is by implementing surveys. This can work in synch with your personal needs analysis. Only when we have gathered sufficient information and crafted a solid solution will we be in a position to win their business.
Our survival needs have not changed, although our interests and expectations have. The amazing thing about selling today is that YOUR innovations can impact THEIR expectations. We know that people change when the pain not to change exceeds the pain to change. People also buy when you remove all doubt that they will be better off with your product/service and worse off without it. A company that is more well-known, more efficient, and more creative will win out over those who are simply trying to keep up.
What are you doing to ensure your sales success in our ever-changing marketplace? There will always be new ways to do business, and, like it or not, that determination IS a popularity contest. Be known for the innovations you have embraced and the problems you solve and you will stand out from the crowd!

Sales is not only about our deliverables. It's about the service model in which you deliver them. Make it personal. Don’t overlook the “human element” to selling, even in a digital world. And lastly, make it purposeful. Get out there on the bleeding edge and leave the following edge for those who hope to emulate you!

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Don Hutson

After graduation from the University of Memphis, with a major in Sales and a minor in Real Estate, he was #1 salesman in a national organization. He then established his own training firm and shortly thereafter was in demand as a professional speaker.

Since then Don has addressed over half of the Fortune 500 Companies and is featured in over 100 training films. He is Chairman & CEO of U. S. Learning and makes some 50 speaking appearances per year. Perhaps you have seen him on national television where he has been featured on ABC, PBS, TPN and Fox News.

Don is the author of SELLING VALUE, and co-author of the #1 Best Sellers, THE ONE MINUTE ENTREPRENEUR (with Dr. Ken Blanchard) and THE ONE MINUTE NEGOTIATOR (with Dr. George Lucas). He has also authored or co-authored eleven other books.

Don was elected by his peers to the presidency of the National Speakers Association, and has received its prestigious Cavett Award, as member of the year. He has also been honored with NSA's Speakers Hall of Fame Award, and is a recipient their Master of Influence Award along with such notables as Depok Chopra, Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan. He is also a member of Speakers Roundtable.

He has addressed over 750 Realtor audiences including the National Association of Realtors on multiple occasions, as well as many prominent real estate companies.

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