Selling Abilities - Part 1

Selling "-abilities": Reliability

(Part 1 of 4)

Most salespeople love to talk about their "-abilities": Reliability, Upgradeability, Compatibility and Expandability. Salespeople feel stronger and more confident when they can use their 'abilities' to convince the customer to make a buying decision. But what happens when the customer still doesn't buy? What happens when you keep repeating your abilities but get no response or pulse from the customer? Many salespeople overuse their company's abilities. Repetition or sounding like everyone else has the affect of dulling a customer's buying senses. So, how do you sell 'abilities' effectively? Lets start with reliability in this first of four articles.

Selling Reliability
In any selling situation whether product or service, mostly the former, the term reliability is bound to be raised as a point of contention or objection. Twenty years ago reliability was much more of an issue then it is today when it came to hardware sales. Today, with the improvement of semiconductor electronics, the consolidation of component on chips or boards and the reduced dependence on moveable parts (e.g., mechanical v. electronics), reliability is less of an issue when it comes to hardware.
Reliability as it applies to selling software on the other hand is another animal altogether. As programs have gotten more robust, requiring millions of lines of codes, they've become more susceptible to 'bugs' and operating system errors.

There are three basic strategies for overcoming reliability objections or issues with software and/or hardware products:

Strategy #1: References are only good when they are similar in company structure and needs. If you have customer with similar profiles to the company you're trying to sell to, use that customer as a reference. The reference company should have a similar profile in terms of requirements (e.g., many offices distributed, over 1,000 employees who'll access the system, etc.). Warning: Using a company's competitor as a reference can backfire.

Strategy #2: Agree to set up an onsite trial where the software (or hardware) can be used and exercised to it's fullest. This strategy is referred to as 'beta testing'. One approach is to use one of the company's smaller departments. The benefit to you the salesperson is that you'll be able provide and support a more controlled environment. If the software or hardware works within the department, you will be able to leverage that success company-wide. Warning: These tests should only be done when your product(s) has passed your own 'bug & crash' test.

Strategy #3: Many large corporations have some type of certification program. Some of these programs are either done in-house or outsourced to some third-party company who specializes in testing products. Take a look at one of your appliances at home and you'll note that it has been certified as reliable by some third-party laboratory (e.g., U.L.). If a company has an in-house certification program, the first step in the selling process is to get the product approved. Here is where a salesperson's technical support team can play a key role in 'helping and expediting' the certification along. If the certification is to be done by a third party, all you can do is hope your product passes. The key here is to get your product(s) approved and "spec'd in" (i.e., specifications approved) by the company. Once this happens, a path is cleared for the salesperson to begin the selling process.

In all three strategies, a lot of selling has to be done, not some much about the product, but about your company. Buyers need to know that your product is highly reliable and that you are equipped to support it over the long run. Keep in mind that a buyer has to invest time and effort just to help 'you' sell them. Great salespeople understand that they are inconveniencing the company. Which is why great salespeople will do anything and everything to make sure the testing phase goes smoothly without undue demands on the potential buyer. These types of sales have long cycles and require patience, understanding and flexibility on the part of the seller.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

© 2003. Victor Gonzalez. All Rights in All Media Reserved. Victor Gonzalez is a sales trainer and motivational coach.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

Victoria's Secret, Facing A Slide In Sales And Profit, Is In Need Of A New Brand Pitch Fast
Forbes
The once-hot Victoria's Secret is losing its cool, and not even its upcoming “Angels”-graced annual fashion show broadcast will make much difference. The No. 1 U.S. lingerie label, extending a string of comparable-sales declines since 2016, reported ...
Victoria's Secret Chief Is Out Amid Declining SalesWall Street Journal
LB - L Brands Inc Stock quote - CNNMoney.comBusiness
NKE - Nike Inc Stock quote - CNNMoney.comBusiness
CNNMoney -CNNMoney
all 175 news articles »

Harvard Business Review

Replacing the Sales Funnel with the Sales Flywheel
Harvard Business Review
I've been using the sales funnel for 28 years, my whole career. This year, I retired the funnel — threw it a party, gave it a gold watch, and congratulated it on its move to a condo in Florida. It was the right thing to do. For one thing, in an era ...


Reuters

Target third-quarter comparable sales, earnings miss estimates; shares drop
Reuters
(Reuters) - Target Corp (TGT.N) reported third-quarter earnings and comparable sales below estimates on Tuesday at a time when a strong economy has boosted consumer spending at rival retailers, sending its shares down 7 percent in premarket trade.

and more »

USA TODAY

Airlines roll out Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales
USA TODAY
First, airline sales have become ubiquitous. It's common to see them throughout the year, often at prices so low that they'd be hard to top. Don't necessarily assume the Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals are better than ones you might see at other ...
Walmart's Black Friday 2018 Sale Has A New Nasty SurpriseForbes
Best Black Friday Sales for 2018U.S. News & World Report (blog)
45+ of the best Black Friday sales on women's clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelryBusiness Insider
BGR -TCPalm -confirmsubscription.com favicon
all 1,373 news articles »

CBS News

Massachusetts mayor first in line as recreational marijuana sales begin
CBS News
Massachusetts became the first state on the East Coast Tuesday to allow recreational marijuana sales, meaning tens of millions of adult consumers, including those in New York City, are now within a three-hour drive from a pot shop. CBS News ...
Recreational marijuana sales to begin in MassachusettsUSA TODAY
Connecticut marijuana advocates bolstered by Massachusetts' first salesHartford Courant
Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin In Massachusetts TuesdayWBUR
Gloucester Daily Times -MassLive.com -WWLP.com
all 497 news articles »

Forbes

iPhone 'Sales Panic' Is Good News For Apple
Forbes
More details from the supply chain have come to light this weekend and the consensus is growing that the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR sales figures are not meeting expectations. Why is this good news for Apple? Because this short-term reporting will play ...
Analysts: iPhone Sales Panic is 'Overblown'Tom's Guide
Apple Suppliers Suffer With Uncertainty Around iPhone DemandWall Street Journal
SEC FORM 4 - SEC.govSEC.gov
SEC.gov
all 778 news articles »

Forbes

What We Can Learn From Rocket Science About Closing The Sales-Marketing Loop
Forbes
Knowing what works in marketing has long been a popular goal, but the growth of people-based marketing and availability of transaction data have finally made it more achievable. The ability to tie groups of people to their sales enables businesses to ...


Minneapolis Star Tribune

Target sales up 5 percent in 3rd quarter, but earnings miss forecast
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Target Corp. offered reported strong sales growth in the third quarter both in stores and online, and said it saw gains in all of its major sales categories. But earnings per share were lower than forecast, as the Minneapolis-based company has invested ...
Target's stock tumbles after profit, same-store sales miss expectationsMarketWatch
Target Shares Slide Ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday After Slight Sales MissFortune

all 345 news articles »

Forbes

The Dark Side Of Holiday Shopping: As Sales Surge, Retailers Brace For Record Amount Of Theft
Forbes
With 164 million American consumers expected to flex their shopping muscle between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in what's expected to be record holiday sales season this year, retailers are also bracing for a record of a different kind. Organized ...

and more »

The Seattle Times

Oregon marijuana prices dive — and sales soar
The Seattle Times
While Oregon has no general sales tax, it does levy a 17 percent sales tax on marijuana. Marijuana taxes generated nearly $70 million in revenue last year and are forecast to generate nearly $90 million in 2018. State forecasters believe marijuana may ...
Oregon marijuana prices drop 50 percent - and sales soarKVAL
Oregon marijuana prices dive, driving up sales and tax revenueKTVB.com
Oregon marijuana prices plunge – and sales soarOregonLive.com

all 58 news articles »
Google News

The Trusted Advisor Relationship: What Is It, and What Should It Be?

For the past months, maybe a year, I've been hearing... Read More

8 Part Strategy For Constructing Your Advertising Message

Strategies to help produce your brochure, advertisment or direct mail.... Read More

Money Does Talk!

When buying something, you can buy in one of two... Read More

Sell YOU With Your Small Talk (Yes You Can)

Want to build a relationship -- sell yourself for a... Read More

Who Takes Your Money

Your business is making profits, but where is the cash?... Read More

Five Deadly Sales Letter Mistakes

To be effective your sales letter must be opened, read,... Read More

3-Levels Of Successful Selling

Any selling approach that lacks a proven strategy, a practiced... Read More

Write Fundraising Letter Overlines That Donors Cant Resist (Includes Samples & Examples)

The headline that appears over the salutation in a fundraising... Read More

Save Your Breath: How To Sell In Trade Shows Without Pitching

You stand there, in front of your great presentation material,... Read More

How To Get Your Mail Past The Gatekeeper And Into The Hands Of The Decision Maker GUARANTEED

There are several ways to get your information into the... Read More

Selling More CDs at Gigs, Case Study: The Rogues

A few weekends back, the Brobdingnagian Bards performed at the... Read More

Book Yourself Solid

THE 7 KEYS TO GETTING MORE CLIENTS THAN YOU CAN... Read More

Stop Telemarketers, Do Not Call List or Not

American consumers have spoken and have done so loudly registering... Read More

Your Clients Buying What Youre Selling

Linda felt like she had reached a plateau in her... Read More

How Many Ways Do You Have To Justify Your Price?

If you were selling a mansion, and you were selling... Read More

Do You Want to Know the 8 Tips to Selling More Products?

So often sales men and woman are the very people... Read More

I Am A Habit

JOHN DI LEMME on "I Am A Habit"H-A-B-I-T...When 95% of... Read More

Building Relationships

A conversation: The Salesperson: "I don't cold call-I want to... Read More

Health Insurance Lead and Health Insurance Leads

Health insurance lead generation systems provide a stead stream of... Read More

Using Emotion for Persuasion

The other day, I received the last issue of a... Read More

How to Really Benefit from Associations (Part 1 of 3-Part Series)

Looking for new leads, new contacts, new business opportunities? Do... Read More

Planning to Realize Your Goals

Recently, I wrote about about creating specific, compelling goals that... Read More

The Email Blow-Off

This week's article is my response to a question by... Read More

The Benefits of Buying Used Store Fixtures

The difference between antique or vintage store fixtures and used... Read More

How to Lose the Sale Quickly & Easily

Here are five sure-fire ways to guarantee you will not... Read More