The Day of the Shark is dead — Learn to Sell or Die! Douglas Vermeeren

The process of sales and the way we look at sales has changed dramatically in recent times. There has been a definite shift from what was expected as the keys to success for salespeople to what works in reality. I am a sales trainer and as part of my dity it is imperitive to watch closely how the industry has changed. Much of the obversation has focused not only on the sales person but what prospects and customers also expect and are responding to.

In short, the day of a slick sales person learning a tool box full of closes and quick techniques to wrangled the prospect into a sale has died. Approaching a consumer as predator on prey is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Consumers today are more wise and intelligent than ever before. not only do they know their products and options better, but they also understand that they don’t have to buy from someone that doesn’t approach them on their own terms and in a way that is comfortable to them. In other words, now more than ever the consumer controls the sales press rather than just being along for the ride.

Today the consumer knows where to find the information they need and also has all the tools to make comparisons and chocies without the aid of a sales person. If you are a shark, or exhibit shark-like behavior, you are easily replaceable and your business will suffer.

So what is it that does work in today’s marketplace?

The first fundamental is to understand that sales is influence. Successful sellers understand that influence begins long before you even meet a prospect in todays marketplace. Most often your interactions today will begin through social media. Typically those who thrive as sellers in this medium are givers before takers. Meaning that they understand the importance of nurturing clients before becoming transactional.

The second foundation that all successful seller build in todays market is a relationship. Relationship is a term that has been misunderstood in times past. Most people assume that it means you demonstrate interest in the client and as a “interested” person you will get the business. It is not enough to become interested. You must be more. You must be engaged. You must be relevant. You must be valuable. (Those three concepts are more than enough for an article on their own — which perhaps I will write in the future.)

But for today’s purposes spend sometimes thinking about those three words. You will gain alot for your business just looking at ways you can bring more of each into your relationships with clients.

The third consdieration I was to share in this short post is that most business owners also neglect to at the importance of building a trustworthy brand. Sure, you may be selling someone elses stuff. You may think that you are simply a front person for someone elses brand. But that is not true.

You are your own brand within that brand. You have the power to, and you must, create a personal brand that is YOU, even if you are selling someone elses stuff. Personal Brands today are a key component in todays economy.

With the way social media has developed in todays marketplace your personal brand has become your most valuable asset. Don’t think for a minute that when someone hears your name or receives your business card they are not including your name in their google searches. They do and if you are an unknown — it’s almost as bad as having negative press.

The day of the shark is dead. That’s why the majority of the sales training that is available in todays marketplace is not as effective as it could be. They are playing the game and teaching the rules to an old paradigm. If you would be successful you must be a pioneer and understand the direction is going, not a servant of a system that is now shutting down.

Douglas Vermeeren

Douglas Vermeeren, known as the Kick-Ass sales trainer is also the author of the book Learn to Sell or Die!