Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sales and the $13.99 Deluxe Stud Finder

Mark Moyer is ready to present at Washington University, St. Louis. The Knight Center classroom setting is really ideal for a guy who has fine-tuned his skills as a coach and sales trainer at three top-flight St. Louis firms over the last three decades. He is a coach, trainer, speaker and champion of sales professionals everywhere. The ExecLink organization is pleased to present him as the latest in a series of presentations to senior executives. After routine announcements and an introduction, Mark moves to center stage and begins.

“So I’m on my knees in the guest bathroom.” Mark’s opening line is fantastic. It’s sort of like something you might expect in a screenplay of a Quentin Terantino movie because the audience is immediately engaged and curious. Mark goes on to fill the audience in on the home remodeling project that includes routine carpentry he learned from his father. He uses this story skillfully to explain that an investment of $13.99 for a deluxe stud finder at Home Depot will relieve him of the trial and error of hammer and nail to find that room’s structural studs - the studs of which he hopes to hang the bathroom cabinet.  
The $13.99 purchase spares him the time on his knees working around the commode and it illustrates a kind of salesmanship akin to the maxim “people don’t want to buy a 3/4” drill-bit. What they really are buying is a ¾” hole.” Mark has the room captivated as he goes on to expel some myths about sales and salesmanship.
Mark hates the unfortunate practice of training salespeople in such a way as to create the impression it is all about your stuff. “The person with the power to purchase is the one in charge and that means the sales process needs to be about them – NOT your stuff in a sales scenario. Of course, your stuff is part of what you are going to be armed with in the materials supplied by the marketing folks. To be effective, you need to make it about your prospect and his or her stuff," he says. Moyer suggests you can boil it down to three lists: BUSINESS, PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL attributes of your prospects. “Instead of worrying so much about what to say, a good sales person understands that the dialogue must be about how you can change that person’s life.”
Mark presents without the crutch of presentation deck favored by so many PowerPoint and/or Keynote speakers. He eschews the notion that sales is about trickery and manipulation. He dispels myths and offers insight into the art of sales. He reminds us too that a win to a salesperson is not always scientific or mathematic. (In those areas one can expect the results to be precise and expected whereas sales results will not always be as simple as a formula or like 1+1 = 2.)   

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