Today a book arrived in the mail. It was written by a “world-renowned sales consultant, coach, speaker, influencer, and best-selling author,” according to the press release that came with the book.
Very quickly, it became obvious that this book illustrated three points worth sharing with MANA members — but not points the author intended.
1. One over-the-top, unsupported claim casts doubt on every other claim you make.
Tony Robbins could claim to be world-renowned without offering supporting evidence. But the author was not Tony Robbins. If you are not a household name and make an unsupported claim to be world-renowned, every other claim you make is tainted.
Reps know that their livelihoods depend on credibility with their customers and principals. We don’t make claims unless we can back them up.
2. Prospective customers don’t appreciate receiving a homework assignment.
A 240-page book and an 8-page press arriving in the mail looks to me like a homework assignment. If the book includes some genuinely unique insights, share a few bullet points in a short note, don’t expect me to search a 240-page book to find them.
Reps know that a brain-dump of all their product’s specifications does not win customers. A short individualized presentation that identifies the specific benefits that particular customer will value is the way reps close orders.
3. You have only seconds to differentiate yourself before losing a prospect’s interest.
I know you have been disappointed by other sales books, but mine is different, claims this author. As claimed by pretty much every other author of every other sales book ever written.
Reps know prospects hear “Our prices are low, our quality is great, and our service is excellent” from every salesperson. So reps do pre-call research to uncover one or two differentiating characteristics of their offering that will be important to this prospect, and leave generalities to the amateurs.
I have never met a rep who was world-renowned. But I have met countless reps who are recognized by customers and principals as the go-to experts in their sales territories. So they are renowned where it counts by the people who matter.