Refer to Wombat Selling p 26:
How can dividing your sales team in two halves double your profits?
The existing Theory of Selling is:Â You Close the Sale
The Newsell Theory of Selling is:Â You Cannot Close the sale
There is a world of difference between the two theories.
Which one is more productive?
Flashback: Melbourne, Australia, 3 August 1998
Yesterday, I visited ‘The Builder of Sales Champions’, Mr Tom Hopkins’ webpage, where he claims to show you how to ‘close the sale’ for $US24.95 in his book How To Master The Art of Selling. Today, because he’s currently in Melbourne on a lecture tour, I have publicly challenged Mr Hopkins — with a reward of $100,000 — if he can show me how to close the sale. Tom didn’t take up the challenge, which still stands. It was reported in the Herald Sun newspaper.
BID TO TOP EXPERT’S PITCH
A $100,000 challenge has been issued to visiting American pitchmaster Tom Hopkins, who will speak to a sellout audience of more than 2000 at the Dallas Brooks Centre on Monday. Melbourne business motivator Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson says he will give the money ‘to the charity of Mr. Hopkin’s choice if he can prove that the salesperson closes the sale’. But how does Hopkins, who has shared the stage with such motivators as General ‘Stormin’’ Norman Schwarzkopf, prove that the salesman closes the sale? ‘Well, if he can, it will be worth the $100,000,’ said Hewitt-Gleeson. ‘It would win the Nobel Prize.’
In this book you’ll see why I made that challenge. Why it’s so misleading to give young salespeople the impression that their job is to ‘close the sale’. Why this theory, which I have called oldsell, has produced such poor sales results and made a laughing stock of the selling profession. Why customers hate this approach and what you can do to escape from this old-fashioned idea.
The new millennium calls for a new approach to selling. Customers are not dumb. The daily supermarket shopper has more than 25 choices just for buying milk! Don’t expect customers who can shop globally online for a new computer to take seriously the childish antics of the door-to-door bible salesman.
To begin, here are a few of the tips we’ll be using that will help you move away from oldsell towards newsell:
1 Your salespeople don’t close the sale
In reality, this medieval dogma of ‘closing the sale’ is a nonsense that is taught to salespeople as novices and accepted by them as a sacred belief — and unfortunately, it seems very few challenge that belief ever again. Like an information virus that gets into their brains, ‘closing the sale’ influences young salespeople’s behaviour and dominates their sales activities. The costly failure of this ‘close-the-sale’ strategy is well documented and nothing has so damaged the image of the sales profession than this selling disease. It’s difficult to see how young salespeople could be misled more than to be given the impression that their job is to ‘close the sale’.
- FACT: You cannot close the sale. The decision to buy is an electro-chemical event that takes place in the brain of the customer. The salesperson cannot control that event. What the salesperson can do however, is to create an opportunity for that event to happen — making a sales call.
- FACT: The salesperson opens the sale by making the call, the customer closes the sale by deciding to buy — YES — or not to buy — NO.
2 Focus your efforts on how to get the customer’s attention
Before a customer can say YES or NO we first have to get his or her attention. There’s always been the problem of attention in selling but now it’s getting worse. In any marketplace, every trader competes with every other trader for the attention of the customer. It is obvious that before a trader can make an offer they first have to get the attention of the potential buyer. Visit a flea market, a fish market, a supermarket or a stock market and see the enormous amount of selling effort which is directed to getting and holding the attention of the customer. This is mostly done through brain branding.
A brand is a corporate cognitive pattern. The pattern links a brain directly to a corporation. Brain branding, using repetition, is the programming of a corporate cognitive pattern — a brand — in the brain of a customer. This is done through the power of repetition. When a minimum of 10 repetitions of a brand takes place in a customer’s brain, the pattern becomes cognised and later can be recognised and used as part of the customer’s experience. Brain branding makes it easier to attract the future attention of the consumer. As you’ll see, the key is repetition.
Looking back from the end of any transaction — when the customer buys — there is always a track winding back to attention. Attracting and holding attention has always been a problem in selling and as the information big bang gathers momentum it becomes harder and harder to secure ‘share of attention’. Why? Because there are:
more TV channels than ever before
more magazines than ever before
more ads than ever before
more offers than ever before
less‘attention share’ than ever before.
Your selling has to become cleverer and cleverer at getting and holding attention. In a true darwinian sense, only the fittest offers can survive and the edge of an offer is attention.
In the new millennium we are surfing through cyberia. We don’t wade through information anymore.
There’s too much. Today, whether it’s snail mail or email, the issue in selling is how to get the surfer’s attention and hold on to it long enough to send a message. In newsell we do this by using a binary switch — a mental thought process — for which I’ve borrowed terms from the game of chess. I call it going from the position of UNCHECK to the position of CHECK.
3 Escape from the Darkness of Uncheck
We use three terms in newsell theory. In newsell the primary focus is on the Check move. Check signifies a customer contact. The Check position simply means the position when you are actually in contact with a customer or prospective customer. Check is the quintessence of the newsell strategy, it’s the moment of customer contact. Check is when you contact a customer with your offer and so the customer can now say either YES or NO. And, they do.
The other two terms are Checkmate and Uncheck. Checkmate is when the customer says YES. This is the same as ‘the close’ in oldsell or traditional selling. Uncheck is when there is no contact with a customer or prospect so the customer cannot say either YES or NO.
Research shows that Uncheck is the default or stable position. Most of the time, most of the salespeople are in a state of Uncheck with most of the customers. At any particular moment most salespeople are not in contact with most prospects. They are in Uncheck. As I sit here writing this book I am in Uncheck and as you sit reading it you are in Uncheck, too.
Checkmate = when the customer says YES
Check = when the customer says YES or NO
Uncheck = when the customer CANNOT say either YES or NO.
- FACT: The customer controls checkmate. Only the customer can say YES. Traditional oldsell doesn’t understand this fact of science and thinks this is where the action is for salespeople. Big mistake!
- FACT: The salesperson controls Check. Check makes it possible for the customer to say YES or NO. In newsell, Check is where the action is. Uncheck is whenever, at any time, you are not in contact with a customer.
FACT: No-one controls Uncheck because there is just NO CONTACT between the salesperson and the customer. Therefore, it’s impossible for the customer to say YES or NO. Like the 99 per cent of dark matter in the universe, this is the darkness of the business world. This is where all the failures take place in selling. Uncheck is your enemy, not the customer. Love your customer and escape from Uncheck.
Newsell is a digital switch. Like other digital switches it has two positions — Uncheck to Check. When you flip it you slide from one universe (Uncheck) where you can never get a YES or a NO to another universe (Check) where you can always get a YES or a NO. And guess what? Only you control the switch. The newsell switch, pronounced as three words ‘Uncheck to Check’, has its own logo — UNCHECKTOCHECK.
4 Quarterly Projections and Daily Measurement of Check moves
Check is the fundamental business move, the basic unit of business measurement. Yet, in 25 years of consulting, I’ve never found a company that knows exactly how many Check moves it makes each business quarter, how often they flip the switch from Uncheck to Check.
FACT: Sales are a direct consequence of customer contacts. If we use quarterly sales projections why don’t we use quarterly projections for customer contacts, for Check moves? To help escape from the darkness of Uncheck and take control of your business, make quarterly projections of your Check moves and keep daily measurements of how often you flip the switch. It’s possible to do (we’ll show you how in this book) and always raises the sales activity — UNCHECKTOCHECK.
5 Use Tenpower — Add a Zero!
In the School of Thinking at schoolofthinking.org we teach our students how to use ‘Tenpower’ to gain an advantage over their competitors. Tenpower is the habit of using Powers of Ten. One way to use tenpower is to habitually multiply by ten (X10) or add a zero — to whatever it is you are doing.
Tenpower helps you escape from Uncheck. You can tenpower any Check move you are planning to make. You can go for the quantum leap. If you want to win, escape from Uncheck and do so ten times more often than your competitor. UNCHECKTOCHECK X10 = Newsell.
This book shows you, step by step, how to do all this. And, to help you program your brain enough to put these strategies into action, I’ve included lots of repetition. Enjoy!
6 Divide Your Sales Team and Double Your Profits
Because the marketplace is continually evolving, your business strategies must never stagnate. You must con- stantly be experimenting and testing new ways, different methods, even old ideas in new settings and watching carefully what happens. Add your wins to your expanding repertoire and harvest valuable insights from your inevitable flops and mistakes. Mistakes, in this context, are good. The only trap is to stand still, marking time.
Every day is a unique chance to use your sales team to test new ideas. You can try fresh newsell experiments anytime by using this simple four-step process:
1 Â Divide your sales team randomly in two equal halves (for example, by birthdays: odd days and even days will divide them randomly).
2 Â Leave one half of the team on their current diet of sales training as a control. Make no changes at all. Put the other half on a diet of newsell.
3 Â Choose the metrics in advance you want to test. Choose the top three key performance indicators you will use to judge the outcome.
4 Â Compare the results after 10 days and 100 days.
What is the essential difference between uncheck and check??