Career in Sales

Why ‘Always Be Selling’ Is the Golden Mantra for Sales People

Always Be Closing (ABC) is a motivating slogan that describes a sales technique. It means that a salesperson who follows the regimen should be on the lookout for new prospects, pitch products or services to them, and close the deal.

The phrase was popularised in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross starring Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon, and Al Pacino. Written by David Mamet it focused on the dark, cutthroat side of the sales industry.

The word has become a catchall for the pithy statements sales managers typically use to motivate their teams and emphasise the importance of prospect tenacity. 

Nevertheless, it's a good reminder that every activity a salesperson takes with a future customer or prospect should be done to close the deal.

The sales representative should be "closing" the entire time. This starts from:

(i) Early rapport-building 

(ii) Identifying customer wants 

(iii) Product positioning, 

(iv) Placing the customer to a point where pulling out the chequebook is the only rational thing to do (that is closing a deal).

While ABC is fascinating on the big screen, it is rarely successful in real life for several reasons. First, ABC as a concept may be a relic of a bygone era; sophisticated, modern consumers are less sensitive to sales presentations in an era when so much information about products and pricing is available online. While this mantra is correct, in today’s world, we need to put it another way- Always Be Selling is what we should say.

Always be Selling: A Golden Mantra for Sales People

Always be Selling: A Golden Mantra for Sales People

The Always be closing method of selling may have succeeded in the 1980s, when David Mamet wrote the play on which the film is based, but things have changed dramatically since then. 

While the close is an integral part of the sales process, many other activities demand time, focus, and effort before the deal is concluded.

Buyers today are bombarded with information from all sides and are wary of being offered hollow promises that aren't backed up by meaningful data. 

That's why, in today's market, adopting an Always Be Closing strategy would most likely scare away your customers before you even have a chance to close the deal. So instead, Always be selling is more appropriate in today’s world.

In a company, regardless of the positions people hold, all must rebuild customer relationships and re-sell the value of why customers buy from them in the first place

To sell value, you don't have to be a salesperson. All you need is a passion for offering excellent products and services to customers, as well as a desire to help your company become "better" while your customers obtain more value.

You don't need to collect signatures or payments; all you have to do is use your knowledge and experience to make your customers feel like they're getting more than they bargained for. 

That's what "selling" value entails. Today's selling needs an emphasis on value. For products, buyers do not require salespeople. Instead, they require salespeople who can recognise the value behind them and pitch that.

Principle of Value-Based Selling

Principle of Value-Based Selling

Value-based selling is a sales strategy that emphasises the customer's benefit throughout the sales process. 

Sales representatives focus on providing value to customers through a consultative approach thus, sales decisions are made based on the potential value the product can give.

1. Value-based selling is more concerned with needs than with solutions

One of the most essential principles of value-based selling is understanding customers' needs entirely before presenting a proper solution to the customer. 

Only by asking questions that probe deeply into the customer's core needs will you accomplish this. Too often, salespeople are in a hurry to close deals. 

Given the demands imposed on salespeople, this sense of urgency is natural. However, it is more beneficial to initially obtain all the details of the customer's situation so that the positioning language is more resonant later.

Another benefit of understanding the customer's needs is that it allows the salesperson to incrementally add value in insights and information directly related to their goals and challenges. 

Finally, this tactic builds trust because the customer benefits from a non-self-serving sales approach. A salesperson, for example, may present useful industry data, analytics, and trend reports without requiring the consumer to buy into the solution's value proposition.

2. Only value-based selling delivers what is important

Today's products and services come with a wide range of features and benefits. Only those features of the product relevant to the customer's particular situation are highlighted in value-based selling. 

Committing to this approach is more challenging. In some instances, a solutions’/products’ competitive advantage is a feature that is just irrelevant to the consumer. 

In this case, the salesperson will have to work even harder to create a path to the sale by ensuring that every insight and suggestion they make is relevant to the customer's situation.

Some salespeople use this strategy by ensuring that every suggestion they make answers the question, "So what?" They will automatically give an experience tailored to the stakeholders if they limit their remarks to only those who can answer the "so what" question. 

This strategy emphasises the necessity of asking questions early in the sales conversation. It's tough to tell if a concept will be helpful to a customer without first understanding the decision-maker's priorities. 

Relevancy establishes trust by demonstrating that the salesperson is continually thinking and speaking with the customer's best interests in mind.

3. The buying process is made educational through value-based selling

The purchase decision in value-based selling is more than a transaction or a sales pitch; it is a journey in which the customer learns how to attain their objectives. 

The sales process is educational for the customer because the sales expert is guiding the customer through the ‘problem-solving’ required to make a decision. This means, when using a value-based approach, the role of the salesperson is to function as a consultant, assisting the customer in making the best buying decision possible. The salesperson must share fresh ideas and strategies that can help the customer improve their own competitive positioning.

The Bottom Line

Value-based selling helps the customer understand that they are not part of a by-the-numbers sales and marketing approach. Instead, the potential customer begins to see the salesperson as an adviser.

The sales professional is even considered an extension of the stakeholder team in the most successful engagements. Their business knowledge and perspective are a valuable addition to the process.

Value-based sales assist in developing a customer base by providing more than just a solution. The customer's demands are understood, the ideas addressed are relevant, and the process is instructive with this method. 

As a result, selling becomes a collaborative process where interactions and insights take precedence over product pitches and transactions.

A value-based sales approach will help you avoid the practice of pushing a solution to customers at every level of the purchasing process. On the other hand, value-based selling aims to provide customers with genuine value without directly promoting the solution.

If you are looking forward to beginning your sales career, we at Juno School of Business invite you to begin the journey with us. 

In an eight-week interactive online session, we teach all you need to know to begin a successful sales profession (and get hired). Start your application now!

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