March 4, 2016

The Death Of Salesmanship and the Birth Of Client Advocacy By Travis Sago

The Death Of Salesmanship and the Birth Of Client Advocacy By Travis Sago

Do you like salespeople?

Most folks don’t.

I don’t.

I don’t like most salespeople anyway.

Ever wonder why?

Isn’t it because we feel they have their best interests at heart, rather than ours?

That’s it…  isn’t it?

Ugly problem is…

I AM a salesperson.

Bet, you are too?

So should we loathe ourselves?

Well not so fast.

There are really TWO problems.

One: The salesperson cares more about his position than his/her clients.

Two: If the salesperson does care more about his client, he/she doesn’t use or doesn’t know how to use the RIGHT LANGUAGE to convey it.

I think you are probably like me…

You DO care about your clients.

If you don’t…I’m not going to be much help to you. I’d only recommend that you try and go out and serve a group of people you DO care about.

But…

What about problem #2?

You care about your client’s success, but you’re not conveying it well.

Ironically, when your clients feel like you’re on the same side of the table as them, your sales normally improve drastically.

May I show you an example?

Let’s say we’re car shopping, we’re looking for a new Camaro and we’re pretty
much sold and we can almost see the $$$ signs in the salesperson’s eyes.

We’d somewhat prefer to get our Camaro in a nice Maroon color. We don’t see any on the lot.

So we ask?

“Can we get it in Maroon?”

And the salesperson says…(best case scenario)

“No, it’s only available in the colors you see on the lot.” (worst case…and what happens to often, something like…)

“Maroon? No. You don’t really want it in that color…let’s go to the office and work on the numbers.”

Now…

How do you feel about that salesperson?

Do you feel like he/she is on YOUR side? Would you recommend this salesperson

EVEN IF…you bought the Camaro in a less preferred color? But let’s listen in on a Client Advocate’s conversation…

“Maroon? Boy…I can picture that…maroon would be stunning. You’ve got good taste. I’m sad to say that Camaros only come in 5 Stock Colors and that’s it.

It sucks!

I’ve even talked to our Chevy rep and told her we need to be able to get custom colors for our clients.

I know how important color can be when you choose a new Camaro or any car.

If this changes your mind about owning a Camaro, I certainly couldn’t blame you. I respect your taste.

What do you think we should do now?”

And then…what happens a lot of times…

We say (the customer)… ”You know what? No big deal!”

And a client advocate…would toss back…

“Are you sure?”

And we might say… ”Yeah, I love the new Camaro, color isn’t the most important thing to me…how about that gorgeous candy apple red one over there?”

IMPORTANT note!!

What you don’t see…is how the CUSTOMER feels totally heard, validated AND knows the salesperson is willing to NOT go forward if at any point his/her needs are not met.

How do you think the rest of the process will go?

Pretty smooth?

And do you think you’d recommend that salesperson to someone? Even IF you didn’t buy the Camaro?

Let me use a metaphor to help burn this into your memory…if I may.

Slow down for Yellow Lights

What do many people do when they come to a yellow light?

Grit their teeth and mash down the gas pedal…right?

This is what most salespeople do when they come to a yellow light in the ‘sales’ process. (Like the example above.)

What does a client advocate do?

A client advocate…SLOWS DOWN…or even stops at a yellow light.

And a yellow light can be ANYTHING from an objection, to an intuition, to a small observation that the salesperson has.

For example:

I use to sell very expensive computer systems to restaurants.

When I talked with a prospective clients that had been using a competitors system for a number of years…I’d usually inquire about it.

“Mr. Restaurant Owner…I’m curious about something?

You’ve been using brand x for several years now and they are a fine company and have a fine product. It seems logical to me that they’d be your first choice? I’m curious about why you called me?”

Now…being a client advocate doesn’t always lead to a sale.

We got a call from the Little Rock Zoo because they wanted to put a system in their cafeteria. My boss was very excited to get this account because it was the LITTLE ROCK ZOO and was high profile.

As soon as I got there…I could tell from their set up which only had one
cashier…that what I sold was likely WAY more than our little zoo needed.

So when the zoo’s representative came out to meet me…after greeting her and a little chit chat…I asked?

“Susan, I have a concern…Your menu is fairly simple and you only have one cashier…my concern is that what I have to offer may be way too sophisticated for your needs?

We’re you just looking for a simple cash register or were you considering something more?”

To which she looked a little surprised…and said… ”We just want a simple cash register.”

And I said…

“I see. That’s no problem…

While my company doesn’t sell cash registers…I know of a company right here in Little Rock with a very good reputation that might work out for you.

Would you care to have their number?”

And I saw her jaw LITERALLY drop open.

“Yes. Oh my…thank you for being so honest…I’d love to have their number.”

Now, my boss was NOT happy that I lost the Little Rock Zoo deal, but you know what?

Hardly a month went by that I didn’t get a call from some restaurant owner that Susan had recommended ME to.

That moment of CLIENT ADVOCACY…earned me many $$$ in future commissions.

CLIENT ADVOCACY FORMULA

*First always SLOW DOWN for yellow lights…handle them…and then ask the CLIENT how they’d like to proceed.

*Always make the client feel heard and validated, whether or not you can
ultimately give them what they are asking for.

You can’t fulfill everyone’s criteria and needs, but you CAN be real…and let people know that what they want is IMPORTANT and important to you.

It looks kinda like this if you put it in a formula.

1. Say that you have a concern, observation, curious, have a gut feeling etc

2. State the concern

3. Ask how THEY want to proceed

So…

Let’s say we’ve got a sales call and we notice the client look at his watch a couple times.

“Mr. Client I notice that you’ve glanced at your watch a couple times, I’m
concerned that this may not be the best time for you?

I’m happy to reschedule…what would you like to do?”

Now…my experience is the client will be STUNNED…because most salespeople IGNORE the fact that he/she may be short on time…and even if he mentioned it was a bad time…MOST salespeople try to cram in a presentation (or whatever) in the limited time.

Client Advocacy On The Web

It’s often been said that copywriting is salesmanship in print.

Problem is…

Salesmanship as we’ve already discussed…is DYING.

People want ADVOCATES.

Not to be sold.

Effective copywriting in 2010 and beyond…I submit…would benefit from a new definition.

Copywriting is Client Advocacy in print or…in even simpler terms?

Copywriting is showing you give a darn in print.

What does Client Advocacy call for on the web?

*More research! How well is someone going to do as an advocate if they don’t know what their client wants? What are they advocating?

*A language that says…”here’s who this is for and maybe more importantly…here’s who it’s NOT for.”

*And one of the most POWERFUL ways to show you care I’ve found is educating first…sites where I give FIRST are the sites that do best for me in sales because I am being a good advocate first.

I try not to put up any site, blog or send out many messages without making it EDUTAINING (educational + entertaining)…REGARDLESS, if the person decides to become a customer or not.

If you don’t mind, I’d like to share something with you?

Please notice the Unique Clicks…then notice the sales counts…

5 Pending Sales + 73 Unpaid Sales = 78 sales

On 224 CLICKS.

Without pulling out my calculator…that’s roughly a 33% conversion ratio.

And…

This is NOT a CPA offer.

This was one days worth of traffic and sales for a recent Wealthy Affiliate promotion.

The ‘pending’ sales are sales where the customer paid ONE YEAR upfront.

The ‘unpaid’ sales are RECURRING sales and the customer had to pay $39 to get started (no trial).

Okay.

So let’s talk about this for a minute.

There are a number of reasons the conversion was so high.

One: And I think the most important is that there is a CUMULATIVE trust that builds over time when you are being a good client advocate.

Two: I was SPECIFIC on who I’ve seen Wealthy Affiliate help…and who I think would be better off PASSING on the offer.

Three: Because I want to see my clients succeed, I offered a bonus that will
require me to give of myself and get on the same side of the table as my clients are on. (As you know actions are WAY more powerful than words.)

Four: A factor, but least important…There was a compelling reason…a looming price increase at WA.

Okay.

So this is a short report and it’s a wee bit difficult to pack the whole Client Advocacy theory in a short report.

So let me leave you with a couple tools that if you apply them will answer many of your ‘unanswered’ questions.

*Does my writing (headline, bullets, call to action), speech, actions show
that I give a darn? Am I being an advocate?

Take the headline I just pulled up:

The Online Business You’ve Been Looking For!!

Really?

You don’t know me and you’re already telling me this is what I’m looking for…YOU DON’T GIVE A DARN!

But how about?

If You Enjoy Writing & Get a Thrill from Researching New Topics You May Find This Little Known Online Business Exciting and Lucrative Too…

First, doesn’t that just FEEL better? Feel more authentic?

I haven’t tested it…but put in front of the right people…

I bet it would get them to read the NEXT LINE…more often than not…and MORE IMPORTANTLY…

I haven’t turned them off to me.

*Have I searched for the „yellow lights. my niche may have and addressed
them?

This requires research.

Let’s use one example.

If you have a site where you sell an info product, do many of your clients wonder if they could search Google and get the information for free?

That’s a yellow light right?

So depending on your niche…if this is a prevalent thought…just say it…and deal with it.

“Listen, you’re probably a very independent person and you may have considered researching and compiling this information on your own. I understand.

I believe in thriftiness and if you’re a strapped for cash and spending 5 to 10 hours to save $19 makes sense for you, I’ve been there too.

On the other hand, if you’re more strapped for time I think you’ll be delighted with…”

*Have I communicated WHO would benefit…and who may NOT benefit.

Take a look at the headline above for good example on how this works.
And I do NOT mean to do this as a ploy.

Like…

If you can follow instructions this is for you.

Does that make sense?

If you’re selling a course on Adwords or PPC…then realistically, won’t someone that purchases need to have additional capital to invest?

Sure, don’t gloss over this. Be an advocate.

Rooting For Ya,

Travis

To know more about Travis Sago, visit his website www.bummarketingmethod.com.

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