The Power of Storytelling in Sales
By Mike Schultz

mesmerized

In the latter half of the 1700s, German astrologist and physician Franz Anton Mesmer treated his patients by looking deeply into their eyes and waving magnets in front of their faces. Mesmer believed barriers in our bodies disrupted the natural flow of the processes that gave us life and health. He further believed his penetrating eye gazing and object waving restored natural order inside his patients and relieved all sorts of maladies.

In fact, he is reported to have cured headaches, swooning, blindness, paralysis, and a long list of additional ailments, even hemorrhoids.

He became quite the celebrity, at one point touring major cities across Europe to demonstrate the efficacy and power of his medical advances. It is reported that as he worked with his patients, he would gain complete control not just of their actions, but of their thoughts, their perceptions of reality, and their feelings.

When he did this, the patients were said to be...Mesmerized! And thus a new word was born...

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7 Ideas for Building Trust in Sales
By Mike Schultz

trust

Lots of things have changed in the world of sales, but some things have not. Building trust was important 50 years ago, and it's just as important today.

When buyers trust sellers, they depend on them, listen to them, give them access, and spend time with them.

Trust is critical for sales success. But today's buyers are busier than ever and, at the same time, have access to more information and choices. This makes their time harder to get, and their trust harder to build.

While researching our new book, Insight Selling, we found that building trust is one of 6 key drivers of client loyalty and one of the top 10 things sales winners do. Yet most sellers agree they could do a better job of deepening and strengthening trust.

Trust in sales is built around three factors—competence, integrity, and intimacy. Following are seven ideas for building trust in each...

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The End of the End of Solution Sales
By Mike Schultz

armageddon

Since articles like "The End of Solution Sales" and "Selling is Not About Relationships" were published in the Harvard Business Review, there's been a lot of disagreement in the sales world about what's working and what's not. The arguments behind these articles were steeped in data. The arguments against these articles seemed more based on experience and belief. Which were true? We didn't care one way or the other, but we certainly wanted to know.

So we decided it was time to collect and analyze fresh data to find out what's really going on in sales.

We undertook research from the buyer's perspective to understand what buyers want from sellers and what sellers can do to tip the scales in their favor. To find out, we studied over 700 B2B purchases made by buyers with $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power.

We found that sales winners don't just sell differently, they sell radically differently, and they exhibit a specific combination of behaviors to achieve better outcomes than second-place finishers.

Guess what? It is most certainly not the end of solution sales. Not even close...

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What Is Insight Selling?
By Mike Schultz

lightbulb

Think about someone you seek out when you're working through a challenge.

They help you think things through, see what’s important. They ask the right questions. They listen. They don’t just give you answers—they help you come up with them.

On the other hand, they’re not afraid to tell you what they think, share their ideas, and take a stand when they feel strongly about something.

People like this make us better. They help us see what's possible. That's why we get so much from interacting with them. That's why we seek them out. Again and again.

The sellers who are winning major sales these days are starting to look just like these people.

Today's buyers have a lot of information and choices because of the Internet, but they don’t necessarily have more wisdom or confidence. They need people to share ideas, and help them think ideas through.

Yet this is where so many sellers are struggling, falling short and losing, while a select few are getting it right and winning...

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How Consultative Sales Methods Need to Change
By Mike Schultz

change

Call it what you like: solution sales, consultative sales, consultative selling—at the core of each of these concepts is diagnosing and connecting the "pain" of the buyer with the products, services, and overall capabilities of the seller as "solutions."

Pain + Diagnosis + Offerings as "Solution" = WIN!

While this concept is still alive and necessary today, it has changed in 3 very important ways.
 

3 Ways Consultative Sales Methods Need to Change
  1. Understanding vs. Diagnosing Needs

    In consultative sales, there’s typically a heavy emphasis on the seller “diagnosing” the needs of the buyer. The need for diagnosis implies that the buyer doesn’t have a thorough understanding of why they find themselves in their current, undesirable situation or what to do differently. Through diagnosis, the seller figures this out like a doctor might with a patient who feels unwell, but who doesn’t know what they have or what to do to get better...

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