I hope your intrigued by the blog title and encouraged to read on… If you are in sales, often your customer needs the exact product you are offering. However, they are not buying what you are selling! In this situation, unfortunately you have missed the customers key requirements, you were unable to establish trust or credibility and therefore you have no traction with this opportunity.
Largely this is because active listening was not used. The solution is to be more elephant! and follow the key characteristics and traits of an elephant. What are they I hear you asking?
Ears for Active Listening When you are in contact with your customer, wherever possible stop talking and listen, really listen! Listen to find your customers challenges, needs and future directions. Only then talk about how you can partner with them to find a solution. Elephants know this, African elephants with their bigger ears are more adapt at this than Asian elephants, you may be interested to read my previous blog entitled The 5th Sense
Playful Elephants love to play and roll about in the mud. In Sales we can learn from this, you need to be ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. You need to learn your products and be able to act as your customers R&D. This is even more important in the internet age, where customers can search basic product information. Its also ok to be yourself, be a little bit quirky. Remember customers can see straight through a fake smile or game face.
Resilient Elephants have thick skin and are prepared to walk miles and miles to get to water to ensure survival. In Sales you will not win them all, and you need to grow a thick skin quickly, to bounce back and be ready to partner and provide solutions for your next customer. Ask yourself how far you are prepared to walk to meet your customers’ requirements?
Memory Elephants never forget but I know for certain salespeople do. Following active listening it is crucial you spend 5 minutes writing up your notes in a CRM shortly after your customer visits. Notes can be brief, but should include, requirements, solutions explored, timescales and agreed next actions. You will lose all trust and credibility if you fail to deliver on your next actions as promised. You may be interested to read my previous blog entitled Do Elephants Forget?
Trunk Elephants can detect water from up to 12 miles away. In Sales you may get lucky with a quick sale occasionally. In general, you need to be prepared to work had and work SMART, keeping good records of budget cycles in your CRM and being organized is key.
Humble and Wise Elephants are humble and wise, when in front of a customer leave your ego at the door! There is nothing wrong with being quietly confident but remember to humble yourself. Keep it real draw on your experience and product knowledge. Next time you are making a significant personal purchase, think of the characteristics you would like the sales team to show to you?
Loyal When a customer knows you have their back no matter what, you will earn their trust and respect and they will be open to working with you. They may also be willing to recommend you and your solutions to their peers to follow.
Marketing Simply by just being, elephants are good at sales and will generate more revenue than anyone reading this blog. 30 Million people alone choose Africa for their safari each year.
Before your next customer contact take a few minutes to think how can I be more elephant? Clear your mind, be present, actively listen and hopefully in the future the herd may walk with you.
If you would like to learn more about SalesTraining through Marginal Gains with SalesAde. How to simplify the complex sales ensuring your team sells more and sells faster, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org