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Redefining Sales: Why Traditional Tactics No Longer Cut It

Are you still banking on old-school sales techniques in a world where clients crave authenticity and real connections? 


The landscape of sales has dramatically transformed, moving away from purely transactional methods to a more relationship-driven approach. The principles of Sales as a Service (SAAS) are an effective guide to navigate through these changing times. Leaning in to the Future of Sales and embracing this paradigm shift can lead to unprecedented success and client loyalty.


Introducing the CVE Formula

When I got into Sales, I was very sure of one thing - the traditional, transactional approach to Sales was not right for me. 


And after three decades in sales, I've witnessed a significant shift across the industry from transactional processes to a focus on genuine service.


Why the change? 


Sales isn't just about closing deals anymore; it's about being a true partner to your clients. 

I have a formula I use to help my mentees understand Sales as a Service. 


The CVE Formula:

🤝 Client First. Everything starts with understanding and prioritising what the client truly needs.

🤝 Value Over Volume: My focus is on delivering value, not just pushing sales volume.

🤝 Educate, Don’t Sell. I aim to educate my clients, positioning myself as a trusted advisor rather than just a salesperson. 

These are the principles I have followed throughout my career - and I have always exceeded my targets! 

It just goes to show you don’t have to be pushy or transactional to succeed at selling. 


The Power of Authenticity

In Sales, Authenticity is critical. Genuine interactions are immediately recognizable and greatly appreciated by clients.

When you're genuine, clients can sense it. 

They know you're not just there to make a sale but to help them succeed.


So how do you build trust? Here’s a deeper look using the trust model.


  • Competence: Show that you understand their needs deeply, beyond just your products.

  • Reliability: Deliver on your promises consistently.

  • Intimacy: Handle sensitive information with utmost care.

  • Self-Orientation: Focus on what’s best for the client, not just your sales quota.


Practical Tips to "Keep It Real" in Sales:

⭐️ Listen More Than You Talk. Make it your top priority to understand your clients needs and concerns.

⭐️ Be Transparent. Always be upfront about what you can and cannot do. NEVER try to play the client. 

⭐️ Be More Interested Than Interesting. Take a genuine interest in your clients and their needs rather than trying to impress them with your knowledge or achievements.


I've found that this approach not only wins more business but also builds lasting relationships. 

And trust me, clients remember the honesty.


My motto as a seller is: Who You Are Is How You Sell. Authenticity isn't just another sales tactic; it's a reflection of your integrity and character in every interaction. 


By being true to yourself and genuinely interested in your clients, you create a selling environment that is not only more enjoyable but also far more effective.


Emotional Intelligence – The Secret Sauce

Salespeople with high Emotional Intelligence (EI) outperform those with low or average EI by nearly 50% 🤯🤯🤯


According to a study by TalentSmart, the better you are able to understand and respond to customer emotion, the more successful you will be at selling. 


How does understanding emotions - both yours and your clients - make or break your sales interactions? 

Because it is the core of Empathy and Self Awareness. 

Empathy allows you to see the world through your customers eyes.

While Self-awareness keeps your emotions from running the show.


Ultimately, Sales is about inspiring your prospects emotions while managing yours.

Here’s a scenario to consider: Imagine your client is under significant pressure making a high-stakes purchase that could greatly impact their business. 


By simply acknowledging their stress instead of pushing them to close the deal, you set yourself apart. You’re not just another salesperson; you’re a trusted advisor and a considerate human being.

This approach doesn't just solve immediate sales challenges; it builds long-term relationships. 

Even if your client doesn’t make a purchase immediately, your understanding and empathy ensure you remain top of mind for future opportunities.


Mastering EI in sales doesn’t just improve your performance; it transforms the way clients perceive and trust you.


Harnessing Technology to Enhance Human Connections

Soon all Sales jobs will be replaced by AI! 


Most of us have heard some version of this statement in recent years. 

And with incredible AI tools so easily accessible in today’s digital age, it’s tempting to let technology take the lead. 


But here’s a different take: what if we use technology not to replace, but to amplify our human interactions in sales?


Too often, we see technology as a shortcut. In sales, however, it should be a bridge; a way to enhance the personal touch, not replace it.


Applications

  • Personalised Engagement: Tailor your communications to meet specific client needs using data analytics.

  • Virtual Connections: Utilize cutting-edge video and VR to make remote interactions feel more personal.

  • Automating Routine: Automate mundane tasks to focus on the crucial elements of personal connection and trust building.


Imagine working with a client who is hesitant about a new technology platform. 

Instead of a standard presentation, using a virtual demo would allow them to experience the benefits in real-time, leading to a deeper understanding and stronger buy-in.


In my opinion, technology is here to support us, not to overshadow the fundamental human elements that make sales so rewarding.


Future-Proofing Your Sales Strategy

I like to wrap up each of my LinkedIn series by looking towards the horizon, embracing change and preparing for the future in sales.


This is because Sales is a constantly shifting landscape. The only thing which remains constant is relationships and real connections.


From shifting market dynamics to evolving consumer behaviours, the ability to adapt swiftly and effectively is your ultimate tool for sustained success.


So what does the Sales person of the future have to do to be able to deliver Sales As A Service (SAAS)? 


1. Never Stop Learning

The best salespeople aren’t just knowledgeable; they are perpetual students. 

Whether it’s new technology, emerging market trends, or innovative sales techniques, staying informed and agile is key. 


As an example, I have been in Sales for 30 years. But I know that I don’t know it all. I continuously learn from my mentors at Stanford Seed, my peers and my community members. 


The best advice I can give an aspiring seller is to enrol in courses, attend webinars, or simply dedicate time each week to read about the latest in your field.


2. Keep Your Strategies Flexible 

Your sales strategy should be as dynamic as the market itself. This means regularly assessing and adjusting your approach based on real-time data and feedback. 

What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow, so be ready to pivot without hesitation.


3. Build a Resilient Mindset

More than skills and strategies, adaptability is about mindset. 

Cultivating resilience allows you to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of the sales world with grace and confidence.


There is no playbook for Sales agility. But my favourite approach from the famous Bruce Lee quote: “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it.” 


For example, how would an adaptable seller would respond to a market downturn?

By shifting their focus from direct sales to building stronger relationships with existing clients. 

This approach would not only sustain their business during tough times but also positioned them for greater growth when the market rebounds. 


Future-proofing isn’t just about keeping up; it’s about leading the way and setting new benchmarks in how sales is done.

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