Thursday, April 25, 2013

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others - Book Review

Happy Cyclists Riding in Los Angeles CA
Once upon a time Jim decide he wanted to get out of doors more and become more fit.  He considered many different types of sports or activities.  Eventually he decided that the aerobic, scenic, social, and enjoyment benefits of a bicycle made cycling his first choice.  So he headed over to his local bicycle dealer. 

Once there, he met a nice young man who proceeded to help him choose his ride.  He finally decided on a $1200 road bike and the nice young man rang him up.  On his way to the car, he wondered how he was going to transport the bike from the shop to home, which caused him to wonder about transporting it other places.  He walked back in to the shop, and the nice young man sold him a car carrier that was just right for his car and the bike. 

That evening Jim decided to go out for a ride on his new bike.  He headed over to a nearby bike lane and joined others pedaling along.  He soon noticed that most of them were wearing helmets, and thought he should probably have bought one.  In chatting with one of the folks on the path, Eddie, he learned that a friend of Eddies had been badly hurt in a solo accident when he hit his head.  Jim wondered why the nice young man at the shop hadn't sold him a helmet if there was such a danger in going without one. 

Eddie also mentioned that the local discount store had helmets cheap.  He also said that Jim might want to get a light for riding at night, a lock, a pump, and some other items.  Jim took the advice and headed over to the big box store and got a few things. 

Over the next month Jim really enjoyed his bicycle and met lots of friends.  He only had one real beef with cycling.  Flat tires.  Living in thorn country, he had several flats in that first month.  He always took the bike back to the shop where he bought it, even though the nice young man hadn't been very helpful in telling him about things he would need to make his riding experience more enjoyable and less dangerous.  The shop fixed his flats, but each time it was costing $15. 

So Jim started looking into walking, running, basketball and a few other ways to exercise, meet people and have fun.  He had almost given up on cycling when one day he complained to a cycling friend, Candy, about the flat issue.  Candy said that her bike shop sold her some tire liners called RhinoDillos and that she hadn't had a flat in months.  Jim was still on the fence about staying with cycling, but he wasn't on the fence about where to shop for bicycle items any longer. 

Then end

You will note that I slanted this story to end with a pitch for RhinoDillos, which is one of my clients.  However, the point of the story is far more pointed.  For my entire history in business, I have believed, preached and lived a philosophy that was summed up in a slogan we had at the factory I owned, AC International - Enhancing the Bicycling Experience.  Every product, every package, every marketing approach was designed around the idea of making cycling better, more enjoyable, and less problematic. 

Even the way that we sold distributors was with the proposition in mind that we needed to make them a pile of money, and make their dealers happy with them.  We provided spiffs to the distributor sales people, and created consumer advertising to help sell the product through. 

What are you doing in your business to serve your clients?  Are your sales people and customer service employees focused on making sure the customer has a great experience, or is the goal merely to move product out the door?  Is there a culture throughout your business of making a difference in the lives of the consumers or businesses you serve. 

I just finished reading "To Sell Is Human:  The Surprising Truth About Moving Others," by Daniel H. Pink.  I can recommend it without question, but with a caveat.  Read it with the following 6-point sales approach that I have been writing about for 35 years in mind.  I think you will see that the book reflects these approaches, while do a fantastic job of supporting them and adding to them

- energy, love the product, the business, and believe in your ability to move people to action.  Engage each customer or client in a personal way.  Even exchange names.
Find the Need - Ask questions in order to determine the actual need
Fill the Need - Present the appropriate product or service, concentrating on benefits and the experience, not the features
Handle Objections with Questions - Further hone the need and establish a caring relationship
Trial Close - Test the waters with the client.
Close - Ask for the order using a choice close or other method (the book is not big on this).
Sell Add-Ons - CRITICAL - These are the key to the above.  The add-ons are necessary to make the experience work right.  They are also needed to make you money.

I certainly recommend that you read this book, and use it as a tool to motivate your sales
workers.  You might even make it required reading. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: