Streetfighter Selling for Sales Professionals
  • Apr


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    There’s a phenomenon sweeping our culture, forcing change at every level of business. Change Guru/Strategist Clay Christiansen gave it a name: Disruptive Innovation.

    By definition, Disruptive Innovation is a new, sometimes radically different way of doing something that ‘disrupts’ the old way, sometimes leaving those practicing those old way in the proverbial dust. While the innovation is usually a service or product, at its core is a change that’s radical enough to ‘disrupt’ the product or service process currently in use. Examples include the way cell phones totally changed the landline industry or the way the Internet changed newspapers.

    The solution to disruptive innovation is to innovate yourself. A few salespeople have already adapted with innovations of their own. A few others have already been defeated by it. Most salespeople are somewhere in between.

    Disruptive innovation has hit the profession of selling in two dramatic areas:
    #1: Connecting with customers, and
    #2: Maintaining relevancy

    The rapid rise in technology has altered the psychology and methods of customer contact. It’s popular to keep supplier contacts short, to the point and only when needed. Technology has rendered obsolete the old approaches to cold calling by phone or having voice mails returned. Connecting with customers today requires proactive innovation, including live and online networking, and high-purpose calls.

    Maintaining relevancy is even more reliant on proactive innovation. We’ve got to continually ask ourselves “am I bringing value here?” Or, better still, “do my customers need me?” Historically (meaning, of course, in the old days), the salesperson was the courier of information, of details, pricing and the like. We were the customer’s information and action connection. But, with information abundantly available online, how can you remain relevant? The solutions lie in what they need, not what we want to tell them. Ask more, deeper questions to uncover their hidden costs and concerns. Demonstrate your problem-solving expertise. Make sure they see you as a valued consultant and not just another vendor who wants to take up their time. The secret is…make them want to see you!

    Disruptive innovation is changing the world, and the way business is done. We can’t scoff at it or ignore it. To survive and thrive, we have to innovate, too.

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