Unless I am mistaken, there is no company that pays their salespeople on how well they educate people vs. how much they sell.
I work with a lot of high tech and new media companies who are in the Early Adopter stage of the sales curve (see "Crossing the Chasm" by Geoffrey Moore if you want to know more). For those of you not familiar, the Early Adopter is the time in a product or industry life cycle where a new product or service is being introduced. Therefore prospects need to be educated on what this new thing is before they buy it.
Makes sense, but the pendulum has swung way too far to educating and not selling. In the last few months I have been working with 3 different companies who are so conditioned to educate they are completely missing opportunities to sell. They are not applying the education to the specific ways a prospect could benefit from their offering.
Here are just a few (3) examples of educating vs. selling:
Educating: Giving figures about the market potential their offering addresses
Selling: Discussing how much of the market the prospect could capture and how much it would be worth to them
Educating: Discussing the differences between their offering and the competition, or, discussing their offer without comparing or contrasting to what they already know so it is easier to understand the differences. IN EITHER CASE
Selling: Relating how these differences will give a better result
Educating: Over emphasizing the background of the founders, including their names and to various degrees, their work history
Selling: NOBODY CARES unless they are from Google, Apple or they are Lady GaGa
Another deficiency is the inability of salespeople to utter these phrases:
- The reason this is important
- And what this means to you
- The benefit of
- I am highlighting this because it will benefit you in the following way
- This unique capability allows you to…
- Without this capability you may not .... (FUD)
This has gotten so bad that I think a mandatory part of hiring salespeople should be to test them on whether they can verbalize these words.
Please comment or call me if you think I can help or if you have an opinion.