Selling Lessons from the Trenches: Interview with ClearSales

Selling Lessons from the Trenches: Interview with ClearSales

Selling is a transfer of enthusiasm from one person to another.

This is one of the common definitions of selling — and it’s a good one. It’s the job of the salesperson to connect the inherent benefits of a product or services with the needs and desires of the potential customer. For the buyer, getting what they want is something they can get excited about. The person doing the selling oftentimes has to find the enthusiasm-inducing elements and bring them to the top. And the more impassioned he is about those benefits, the more persuasive his presentation will be.

We’re all selling something. We might as well get good at it.

Last month, Ash Patel over at ClearSales interviewed me about big lessons I’ve learned selling products and services face-to-face and through the written word. I answer sales-related questions for people who find themselves in selling situations but don’t always think of themselves as salespeople.

The interview lasts 40 minutes:

You can take a look at the raw transcripts in the ClearSales blog.

Ash delineated 11 separate takeaway lessons:

  1. Personalize sales message (generic is BAD; any sales conversation should feel one-to-one)
  2. Focus on the customer, not on yourself, your company, or even primarily on the product itself
  3. Keep following up
  4. Sell the outcome, not the tool itself. This sounds obvious, but I’m constantly surprised by how many entrepreneurs, marketers and salespeople revert to selling their “thing” rather than the transformational results it produces for the buyer
  5. Avoid jargon and corporate talk, unless that’s the language your customers speak. A conversational tone usually works best
  6. Educate your prospects. It’s a great way to share value and position yourself as an expert at the same time
  7. Be strategic
  8. Spend at least as much energy converting and retaining clients as you spend on chasing new ones. The best new customer is a satisfied old customer
  9. Sales don’t happen by themselves.
  10. Recognize your own value. Confidence is a huge factor in successfully transferring enthusiasm
  11. Communicate that value. It’s not bragging if it’s true, right? Plus, you’re not bragging — you’re helping potential customers see all the ways you can make their lives better. Don’t be shy about making the world a better place in your own unique way.

Enjoy the interview!


2 thoughts on “Selling Lessons from the Trenches: Interview with ClearSales

  1. Some excellent insights here. I especially agree with Donnie that creating long-term success absolutely requires mastering the the art of customer retention. If your existing customers aren’t happy, then you have a big problem – and it’s a problem that adding new clients won’t solve in a lasting way.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Steve.

      It’s surprising how often I’m asked the question about acquisition vs. retention. It’s not an either/or kind of question, is it? Clients well served are a great source of new clients through direct referrals and residual word-of-mouth, positive reputation, etc.

      As you point out, a high churn rate is often indicative of a problem in your what you’re providing. You’re not only missing opportunities for repeat sales, but you’re putting additional burden on your marketing and quite possibly creating some negative impressions which can inhibit client acquisition in the future.

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