Selling is like a bicycle. The back wheel is your product knowledge providing power and propelling you forward. The front wheel is your relationship skills providing direction taking the prospect where you want to go. The frame is your territory and time management holding the wheels together. The pedals provide speed and require endurance. So it is with selling.
A bicycle in its simplest form has a front wheel, a back wheel, a frame, and pedals. Imagine the front wheel representing the relationship side of selling, where people, buying behaviors, intuition, and the psychology of selling are involved. The back wheel represents the product or service side, where application, industry, ROI, and competitive knowledge are required. The frame represents infrastructure where organization, strategy, territory plans, and time-management are necessary. The front wheel (relationship skills) takes you and your prospect where you want to go. The back wheel (product skills) provides the power to get you there. The pedals (mental toughness) supply energy and builds momentum. And the frame (personal management) holds everything together during your journey. The rider (salesperson) makes it all go, at first with training wheels, but with time and a lot of hard work, he will break away from the pack.
I’ll begin with the back wheel which centers on the structured sales cycle. These steps and tactics are visible, logical, and repeatable. In our Tribe Talks we will closely examine each step. Next we will move to the front wheel and examine the buyer and how prospects behave when making decisions. I will discuss four different types of buyers and how we can adapt to them.
I won’t spend as much time on back wheel because each company is different. But remember, high achievers know their industries and products intimately. They can’t afford to rely only on pre-sales support personnel to do this for them. It’s too risky. That’s not to say that support people aren’t important because they absolutely are. My point is that you are handicapped if you depend on them solely to help make your sale. When you know what you are talking about, your questions will have power, and you will win trust.