Water Well Journal

January 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/617280

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Page 47 of 67

S it in on most sales conversations today if you want to know what 1999 was like. You'll be instantly trans- ported back in time. Boring company overviews. One-way conversations. Generic messaging. The only difference between 1999 and 2016? Disengaged customers eyeing their smartphones. We don't live in the 90s anymore (nor the 20th century for that matter) and neither do our prospects. There are several key customer trends you can't afford to ignore in your sales calls today. Here are three. Trending #1: Falling attention spans The attention span of the average adult is half what it was just a decade ago. From texting to tweeting to watching videos, people like to consume their news and information in bite-size pieces today. You only have to look at your own habits to recognize this behavioral change. Your customer is no different than you are in this regard. Unfortunately, this new way of digesting information is at complete odds with the long, linear way most sales calls or presentations are delivered. Trending #2: Technology, technology, technology There's no putting the genie back in the bottle. Tablets, smartphones, and wearables are here to stay and they're a major cause of distraction during sales calls. But be aware it's not just technology that's distracting your customer. Your prospect arrives at your meeting with a number of things on their mind—the least of which may be the problem your product or service addresses! Winning the mindshare of your buyer is mission critical if you want to move prospects to take action. Trending #3: Risk-adverse buyers Your fiercest competitor today is often not another ven- dor—but rather the status quo. With the continued tightening of budgets and fluctuating energy costs, buyers are more risk- adverse and the status quo can seem much more appealing than ever before. Change can bring up fear and risk, no matter how desirable your solution sounds. Parading out all the bells and whistles on a new drilling rig won't matter one bit (no pun intended) unless you have that base level buy-in. In this the second decade of the 21st century, technology and customers continue to change. And yet too many sales- people are still using techniques to present their solutions that date back to the time of fax machines and dial-up modems. Yes, they're still around today, but nobody will take you seriously if you use them. In order to be competitive, it's critical that salespeople come armed with the skills and tools they need to discuss and present their solution effectively in today's changing selling environment. Here now are some tips then on how to keep these current customer trends from derailing your sales call. Tip #1: Declining attention spans Long one-way monologues are a thing of the past. It's criti- cal you break your message up into small segments. Invite interaction every few minutes—ask a question, tell a story, introduce a new topic. It's important to keep your client engaged by renewing their attention at strategic points within your call or presenta- tion. Too often key sales messages fall on deaf ears because the salesperson is not effectively managing their audience's attention during the call or conversation. Tip #2: Increased distractions Give your prospect an immediate and compelling reason to put lingering thoughts or tempting technology aside. A history of how your company started or an overview of your product line won't cut it—and certainly won't differenti- ate you from your competitors. To combat distractions, you need to start your conversation off with something of interest to your customer—a key issue, JULIE HANSEN ACT LIKE A SALES PRO THREE KEY TRENDS FOR YOUR SALES CONVERSATION Don't ignore these trends or you risk prospects ignoring you. Get More Tips For more tips and tactics on how to adjust your conversation or presentation to connect with today's customers, check out my new book, Sales Presentations for Dummies, now available on Amazon. 46 January 2016 WWJ waterwelljournal.com

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