My passion for Sales spills over into all aspects of my life. I learnt how to drive recently, very late in life. But better late than never is what I thought and went ahead.
There were sales lessons I learnt from driving and I will share those learnings with you.
1. The steering wheel is most important
When I initially started to drive, I thought driving meant moving the steering wheel continuously as I was very influenced by the yesteryear Bollywood heroes who drove like this in all their movies. I had to reluctantly put an end to this on being instructed very strictly to stop confusing others on the road!
Coming back to the lesson, remaining in control of the steering wheel is the first thing you learn when you start to drive.
In Sales, remaining in control of the sales conversation and steering it in the right direction is the first tenet of Sales.
2. Accelerate to move faster
The accelerator helps the car to gain speed and provides fuel to the engine. It helps the car to enable you to reach your destination faster.
In Sales, the accelerators are the enablers which help the salesperson to reach his/her destination (closing the deal) faster. ROI calculators, competition battle cards, customer testimonials, POC’s and demos serve as accelerators which bring the buyer closer to the purchase decision.
3. Brakes are an opportunity to regain control
When you feel the car is speeding too much or there is an obstacle on the road, you apply the brakes immediately to regain control before driving further.
For a salesperson, the brakes are customer objections which he/she must handle deftly and promptly to proceed further. Customer objections are opportunities in disguise. They indicate that the prospect is interested in your product and requires a convincing response to take action. Objections represent another chance for the salesperson to stop, respond to the prospect’s concern and regain control of the sales process.
4. Clutch and gears – work in tandem to facilitate smooth movement
I am, of course, talking about manual transmission cars here. Both the clutch and gears work in tandem to facilitate speed and smooth movement. The first gear is used to facilitate movement while the remaining are used when the car is in motion. The important lesson is to know which gear to use and when as the lower gears decrease the speed and pulls back the car.
What are the clutch and gears in Sales? The sales and marketing assets - collateral, FAQ’s, ready reckoners, white papers, one pagers, case studies, sales scripts and website content/videos/blogs/social media pages, work in tandem to facilitate smooth movement and traction along the sales cycle.
A salesperson who drives (the sale) only in first gear does not use all the sales assets at their disposal and hence restricts their ability to move swiftly towards close.
5. Parking is the final test of your skills
The final test for a driver is being able to park the car confidently while using his/her judgement about the distance, manoeuvrability, and ease.
In sales, the final test is closing the sale within minimum time while using your judgement to manoeuvre the sales conversation to showcase your product benefits.
A salesperson can cover the distance between prospecting and close confidently by engaging in interactive, value led conversations with the prospect.
Success only needs drive…everything else is built on the way there.
It is time… take charge, take control and drive towards your success.