A few years back, Staples came up with a very popular and genius marketing tool called the “Easy Button.” It was so successful that the advertising campaign spawned an in-store product to support the campaign of an actual “Easy Button" that you could buy and place on your desk in your office as a kind of gimmick or gag. It was a bit of fun. Staples sold more than $7.5 M worth of buttons across the country. The button represented for people a symbol to recognize the frustrations many businesses have with processes today and by contrast, how easy it is to do business with Staples. I loved the campaign, although I never went as far as buying a button.
Now that I am involved in sales training, I have the great pleasure of working with folks in my profession who are front and center in various sales processes. Let’s face it, selling is selling. The products differ, but at the end of the day, your personality starts the selling process. It is probably what got you into the profession in the first place and will stand to you the longest, as it is usually something that does not change or go away. It is ingrained in you; it is in your DNA. Over time, other key elements fall into place the longer you stay in sales, just like many other professions. Likely those key elements came at a price. The price of time, the price of success, and even the price of failure. If you are like me, you have been on many sales calls, you have heard the objections and experienced the rejection, while on the other hand, you have shared in the spoils of victory and achievement.
Unlike the Staples campaign, there is no easy button in sales. Every sale must be fought and won based on using your personality and ability to influence the most ardent objector. Every ounce of knowledge you acquire must be used resourcefully to guide a buyer to a favorable decision. Every sale you make is a breeding ground for learning that must be applied and sometimes modified for your next sale to keep the momentum going. Roadblocks and obstacles are the norm today. It seems that it is getting harder to close business than ever before. You have competition at every turn and technology that is evolving every day. Management wants more data, tracks more metrics, seems to pay less for the business you bring in, and is always looking for ways to save a buck or two with your commission check or bonus.
Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the phrase I often hear from salespeople is, “What about when …?” This is code words for can you give me the “Easy Button” answer to this objection. “What about when my customer says the cost is too high?” There is often an answer to an objection, maybe even a proven talk track to deal with the objection. For sure, there is an answer, but here is what an answer lacks and can never give, the individual customization of the retort that is unique to the individual delivering it to the customer. As I have said before, tonality and language are personality differentiators by the individual. Someone else’s words are not yours and cannot be, as everyone delivers in their unique way. It is important for salespeople to embrace concepts and knowledge but apply their personality to the language spoken in a retort. Understanding why something is the way it is can be more important than just being able to say why it is. That understanding of your product, your company, your prospect, and their objections will allow you to communicate in a more meaningful way every time and convey your expertise to your customer.
So next time you are back in the office, and you happen to see an Easy Button on a colleague’s desk, I would be curious if they are a fellow salesperson. Naaaaa! They are probably another department, like Accounting, Finance, or Information Technology, where they need all the "Easy Buttons" they can get. If they were a salesperson, they would already know there are no shortcuts. Every inch of ground gained, or prospect sold has been hard fought without an "Easy Button" in sight.
Roger McNamara Bio:
Roger is a 25+-year veteran of the Payments Industry, most recently as the Director of Business Development with American Express in the US. He has worked on the largest Acquisition targets for acceptance across multiple Industries and across the globe that include : Airlines, Communications, Technology, Cruise Lines, Entertainment, Fractional Jet, Freight, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Residential Rent, Restaurants, QSR’s, Retail, Services, Supermarkets, Travel, Vehicle Sales, B2B and Wholesale. Over that time, he has sold more than $200 Billion worth of Card processing and became an expert in Bankcard Interchange and Discount Rates, how they are calculated and what merchant pay to accept Credit and how this is dramatically different from what they believe they pay. He is an expert in Merchant Statement analysis and payment processing and the rules and regulations associated with payments and the associations. Roger has also developed the insight for Merchant Services Salesforces and salesforces in general to be able to better position their products and gain share particularly in B2B. Let him show you how you can too. He can be reached at Guide2Interchange@gmail.com