Here's the April 2011 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and it is the time to go out to the market and start selling!
Recently, I have been getting a lot of feedback from sales people saying that they had a lot of trouble handling customers who has all the buying power but none of the business and technical knowledge to make sensible buying decisions. We call this kind of buyers "Muggles", a word which we borrow from the Harry Potter series, which means people who lacks any sort of magical ability.
If Buyers who do not know what really matters most to them are called Muggles, then we can also term those who know a lot about their business, technical and user requirements can be termed as Wizards. Selling to both groups of Buyers will require the sales person to be highly skilled in guiding the customer to your way of thinking.
Hence, this month's topics:
This issue's main article is on "Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale when Buyers have No Idea What You're Talkin' About", and we will be exploring some of the strategies to either persuade, educate or out-flank the customer.
In the meantime, if you had missed our February 2011 Power Breakfast Hour, you can download our PPT on "Taking On the Giants: How to Sell to BIG Companies even when You have Small Budgets and little Brand Recognition" or click the links below for the video recordings:
Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale when Buyers have No Idea What You're Talkin' About
by c.j. Ng
Jack has been working closely with a new client for several months to try to get them to switch from their current supplier to Jack's company. Since the particular materials they use can vary a lot from system to system, Jack has lots of questions and wants to make sure it will meet the customer's needs. Based on Jack's understanding of what the customer's current vendor is providing, it's unlikely that this competitor could meet the customer's needs for energy and waste reduction, even though the competitor claims otherwise.
Armed with the latest research to show that if the customer would just switch, they could definitely achieve substantial cost savings in energy consumption and waste disposal, not to mention additional improvements in productivity due to reduction in maintenance-related downtime.
Jack then approached the customer's Purchasing Manager who has a reputation for always trying to cut costs to the bone, that Jack felt like it’s almost a personal thing for her. It didn't help things when Jack's product, while far more superior than the current one the customer is using, is priced 50% higher per unit. Furthermore, as Jack's product is a new innovation that had just been launched into the market. That means, the Purchasing Manager hasn't heard or known about the benefits of such technological improvements. Although the Purchasing Manager knows a fair bit about the business, she misses some of the business, technical and user advantages of Jack's product.
Undaunted, Jack set up the meeting with the Purchasing Manager, hoping that he can convince her with his research data. To Jack's dismay, the Purchasing Manager was ONLY interested in price. All the research data that showed the potential cost savings did not appeal to the Purchasing Manager at all. In fact, it is precisely that Jack's product is a new innovation that sparked the Purchasing Manager's concerns that the new product's delivery reliability and quality consistency might not match those provided by their current vendor.
Feeling frustrated, Jack now explores what other options he has in order to move forward with this client.
Muggles vs. Wizards
Let's face it. None of us can be a "Wizard" in all aspects of our work. So it is normal that some of the Purchasing Managers we face can be a Wizard in managing the purchase, but is a Muggle when it comes to understanding their company's business, technical and users needs. Based on our preliminary surveys, about 83% Purchasing Managers rank the following criteria as the most important when considering a purchase:
By and large, Purchasing Managers are not familiar with "the Total Cost of Ownership" concept, and are very skeptical about how your products can help them reduce costs, improve productivity or reduce hazardous risks. They are usually Muggles when it comes to helping their companies achieve better business results.
If you are skeptical with the above findings, look around you and ask:
Purchasing Managers also don't usually initiate the sourcing of new innovations in the supply of materials and equipment. It's usually the user's departments that raise the need to upgrade or source for new and better supplies for production. These needs to switch to or explore new suppliers can include:
Buyers are not necessarily confined to Purchasing Managers only, and even if the Buyer is the boss or managing director or CEO, that does not mean that he or she is automatically a Wizard or a Muggle. Sales people will have to exercise caution and sound judgment to decide if there are needs to further educate the customer.
Open vs. Closed Customer
Besides distinguishing between Muggle and Wizard customers, sales people also have to distinguish between customers who are more "Open" to discussions and the external world, as well as those who are "Closed" to discussions and exploration of future possibilities.
Hence, we can group buyers into the following 4 combination:
If your goal is to persuade and educate the Buyer, then you are referring to the "Open Muggle". These are the Buyers who understand there are limitations to their understanding of their buying needs, and are willing to take steps to understand more. In fact, they don't confine their understanding of their buying needs and requirements to just the sales person. Rather, they take steps (and sometimes great pains) to communicate with their business, technical and user stakeholders so as to understand their needs as well. These are the Buyers who will appreciate the sales person's help in educating them, and will resent those who want to take advantage of their lack of knowledge.
"Closed Muggles" are those who don't know what they are doing, but often assume or pretend they know. They tend to focus a lot on price, block any attempt for you to talk to any of their colleagues, and refuse to learn their company's business. Unfortunately, most Purchasing Managers belong to this category. With the "Closed Muggles" it's either you are referred by someone who knows them well, or you may have to out-flank them and talk to someone else instead.
"Closed Wizards" tend to be
authoritative figures who know what they are doing
and are directive in their communication. They
tend to give clear instructions to sales people, and
will not accept any "if, and or but". While
"Closed Wizards" may know a great deal about their
business and how to get the best deal from sales
people, they are unlikely to be "Wizards" all the
time, and might make judgmental errors too.
When dealing with the "Closed Wizard", sales people
will have to do lots of preparation, and be prepared
to answer lots of difficult questions.
Finally, there are the "Open Wizards", and are
so-called because they know their stuff and are
still open to new ideas and discussions.
These Buyers are the rarest in the market, and are
almost undetectable. They tend to judge sales
people by the questions the sales people ask to see
if the sales people know their own stuff.
"Open Wizards" are in no hurry to demonstrate their
in-depth knowledge, and prefer to share those
knowledge to sincere sales people who would like to
explore better solutions that deliver better
Even when you can distinguish whether a Buyer is
a Muggle or a Wizard, or is she Open or Closed, you will not
know what the Buyer really is until you have met her.
By then, the Buyer would have then made her opinions and
judgments about you, regardless of what she is.
Hence, here are some tips on how you can create good first impressions even with the toughest of the Buyers:
Need help in selling to Muggles (and Wizards too)? Simply e-mail email@example.com or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
Power Breakfast Hour: 18 May 2011
Join International leadership, innovation and sales force effectiveness consultant c.j. Ng in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where you will find out:
VENUE: Crowne Plaza Shanghai • 400 Panyu Road (near Fahuazhen Road) • 上海银星皇冠酒店 • 番禺路 400 号 （靠法华镇路）
To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only. The room can only take in 18, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also download our Power Breakfast Hour video on How to Motivate Gen Y (80's/ 90's)Employees.
Need a Keynote Speaker for your Annual Conference?
Whether you are holding a conference for your regional staff, resellers or even customers, we have the right speaker who can help you deliver the spirit of your conference, and effect positive changes to meet your goals.
The topics our speakers can speak on include:
Simply e-mail your requests to email@example.com call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries. Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.
Practical Tips for Customer Service Managers:
Nobody Asked for Butterflies: Use Singapore's Changi Airport as an example, and your employees and customers will fall in love with your enterprise
By Ron Kaufman
Excerpt from BusinessWeek
There you are, wandering through life, when suddenly someone does something unexpected for you. Instantly your heart thumps. Your face becomes flush. And your reality changes forever. I'm talking about the moment you experience butterflies.
Changi Airport in Singapore knows. It's actually the most applauded and awarded airport in the world. And it gives millions of travellers butterflies every year, literally.
"Our vision is to connect lives," says Foo Sek Min, executive vice-president of airport management. "Airports are typically stressful places. Our goal is to remove stress. And it doesn't just happen with people. It must envelop the entire culture. It must uplift the entire organization—the people, the equipment, and the process."
Obviously this methodology worked for Changi Airport. Since the airport's humble beginnings in 1981, Changi has turned into the global standard for functionality, aesthetics, and service. It ranks as the world's sixth busiest airport, surprising and delighting more than 42 million travelers a year. That's seven times more people than Singapore's entire population.
Travellers fall in love with Changi because the airport
has built an uplifting service culture. What is that?
Here's my definition: An uplifting service culture is a
shared purpose within every aspect of your business—from
the boardroom to the front line—where everyone focuses
on creating value for other people both internally and
Ron Kaufman is a global consultant who specializes in building service cultures. He is the author of Up! Your Service and 14 other books. His firm, Up! Your Service, has offices in Singapore and Newark, Del.
If you would like to get more and better ideas how to create "wow" customer experiences, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
Sales... ....the lifeblood of a company, a matter of "life and death", survival or extinction. Indeed, something that needs to be studied, applied and re-modified consistently.
Psyche-Selling TM is set up so that companies and sales people can make healthy profits and STILL provide genuine solutions to customers.
Psyche-Selling TM would like to create an environment where customers can trust sales people to give them what they want, and NOT be pushed with all kinds of products and services. In return, customers will become loyal fans of these ethical and professional sales people, and repay them many fold for the long-term.
Psyche-Selling TM will not rest, until the above is achieved. Not just in China. Not just in Asia. But everywhere where buying and selling takes place.
Psyche-Selling TM is a wholly-owned brand of Directions Management Consulting Pte Ltd that specialises in the field of improving sales performance by enhancing the performance of the entire sales team. Apart from the regular "selling skills training", Psyche-Selling ng TM conducts pre- and post-training analysis, interviews, monitoring and reviews, working closely with managers and even senior management, to deliver real improvements in sales leadership and performance.
Hence, Psyche-Selling TM would like to be known as the preferred choice of outstanding and remarkable clients, and pride ourselves as such. We will also be continuing to assist our clients achieve greater heights in 2009 and beyond.
|Mailing Address: Shui Cheng Nan Road 51 Lane No. 9 Suite 202 Shanghai 201103 China|