In a word, no. It’s time we said it out loud, the ‘gift of the gab’ is an outdated, clumsy and selfish trait that you SHOULDN’T want your sales team to possess.
What does it even mean? In my experience it tends to describe a person’s natural ability to talk mostly nonsense to get what they want or get out of what they don’t want. Usually these are the people scudding through life on solely bravado and a prayer. Who wants that person on their team?
Times have changed. Customers don’t have to take a salesperson’s word for it. They can check facts, research and unravel any exaggerations that are made about a product or service, irreparably damaging their trust in your brand. In fact, consumers have never been as well educated about markets and rival products than they are today. Chances are that they know your product and its features, what they want to know is what value your brand can give them.
What is added value?
The perceived added value may be tangible elements such as product style, design or costs. Increasingly the hard to grasp intangible elements are coming into play with ethos of your brand, customer service reviews and how owning or using your product will make that customer feel.
Yup, the ‘gift of the gab’ is just too crass to sum up the requirements of today’s sophisticated consumer. It would be like having Jeremy Clarkson voice your relaxation mantra. Over-hyped, smarmy and patronizing.
So, what should you do?
So how should your sales team be selling your product? Maybe we should take a step back and ask a different question… how should your sales team be selling the experience of being your customer?
Consumers have endless choice and they have all the specifications they need at their fingertips. What CAN set your service or product apart is how you and your staff (and of course your product) makes them feel.
Time for a quick change
Changing old habits of a sales lifetime isn’t easy, but to succeed in the information era sales teams will need to adapt or face failure.
As always, I wouldn’t highlight a threat without throwing a lifeline. So, here are a few quick ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to try and shift your sales pitch from product to experience.
In this new information-driven world, the positive side to your prospects being all clued up is that they are already warm contacts. I mean, they wouldn’t talk to you if they didn’t like something about the product/s you sell. Plus, armed with these new tactics to sell the experience of being your customer, you should be over half way to securing a demo or trial.
In conclusion, being able to sell anything to anyone isn’t good enough anymore. The future of any sustainable business will be on-boarding customers who are a great fit for your products and services. Dare I go further and really put the cat among the pigeons by saying that we should ditch financial sales targets and replace them with customer satisfaction targets?