Success Mindset


Amp-Up-3D-coverRecently, while speaking at the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, I had a chance to chat with Andy Paul, author of the new book, Amp Up Your Sales.

We spent a lot of time talking about what salespeople need to do to succeed with today's busy, savvy buyers. Keep on reading to find out what we talked about. Also, click here to download a preview chapter.

Enjoy the conversation ....

JILL: In Amp Up Your Sales, you offer tons of great sales advice. But you begin by spelling out new definitions for selling and for buying. Why start there?

ANDY PAUL: It's essential for sellers to have an unambiguous understanding of what their mission is each and every time they interact with a prospect. And, what prospects want and need from sellers is evolving.

Research finds that customers want to make decisions faster. In fact, the capability to make good decisions quickly is increasingly considered a competitive advantage for companies.

Therefore, sellers need to be absolutely certain that their sales culture and sales processes are designed to help their customers make good decisions fast.

JILL: I totally agree with that. Let's talk about "value" – another hot button of mine. You say that it's one of the most overused, misunderstood word in sales. How do you define it? And, how should sellers present it?  

ANDY PAUL: Value is determined by the customer. And the definition of value in selling is really quite simple.

Value is information (data, knowledge, context and insights in any form) that helps the customer move at least one step closer to making a decision.

A salesperson should never interact with a prospect unless they have a plan to deliver something of value to them. After all, the customer doesn’t have time to waste on a salesperson that can’t provide a positive return on the time they have invested in them.

JILL: You talk about the need to simplify your sales strategy. Why is that so important these days?

ANDY PAUL: As I explain in Amp Up Your Sales, today a salesperson's success is based more on how they sell than what they sell.

And the foundation for every salesperson’s “how” is built on the simple things like follow-up, responsiveness, trust, and value. All of these are aspects of your selling that you control. Master these simple things first.

JILL: That's uncommon good sense. How else? Give us some more ideas.

ANDY PAUL: I recommend using these 3 simple strategies to simplify your selling:

  1. Make every sales touch count. Make absolutely certain that each interaction you have with a prospect provides value that will help them move one step closer to making a decision.
  2. Be absolutely responsive. Every customer inquiry or request requires a complete response in the shortest time possible.
  3. Clarify your offer. The customer has to be able to quickly understand what they can buy from you that will satisfy their requirements.

JILL: When people forget these steps, they lose. I see it all the time. What about differentiation? It's really tough to do today with buyers.

ANDY PAUL: To me, differentiation is the disciplined application of simple sales processes that make you memorable. I'm talking about things like:

  • How quickly and completely do you respond to prospect inquiries or customer questions?
  • Do you have a plan to deliver value to your prospects in each and every sales touch?
  • Have you acquired the knowledge and expertise to ask the insightful questions that shape the buyer’s vision of the best answer to their needs?

Being memorable to your prospects is not about gimmicks. It’s all about providing great value for the time they have invested in you.

JILL:  One last thing. In your book, you talk lots about sales stories. Why should sellers invest their time to learn how to tell them?

ANDY PAUL: Salespeople are usually more comfortable talking about facts and features than communicating value to a prospect. However, telling a simple sales story is a fast and easy way to establish a deeper connection with a prospect.

Stories enable your prospect to experience your product through the eyes of one of your current customers. They provide crucial insights into the value prospects receive from their investment in your product or service. Stories are the best way to let prospects take a mental test drive of your product, which is an essential step in their decision-making process.

JILL: Great insights from your book, Andy. Thanks. I know it's just a quick overview, so where can people learn more?

ANDY PAUL: They can find out lots more about Amp Up Your Sales on my website. Here's the link: http://andypaul.com/amp-up-your-sales

JILL: I'll make sure to tell everyone!

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