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To Sell Convincingly

To Sell Convincingly

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality
Michelle was appointed as a Senior Technical Adviser to a major world tech’s Asia team. She had done well in her exams at school and university. Now aged twenty-two she wanted the experience of dealing with buyers and others who might become partners and investors in new developments. Much of what she had learnt was about computing and using data analytics to make more reliable predictions. Getting clients to understand and pay for these was, she suspected, a rather different matter.

Her team director was an experienced and wise man, fifty years old plus. He was kind and patient and had maintained a way of selling that seemed to Michelle to be somewhat out of date. He knew the markets well and was good at handling the paperwork of buyers and investors. His sales efforts were functional but contributed little of his knowledge and experience. They were confirmatory of the past rather than informative about the future. He made only average sales. His lack of technical engagement with his clients meant that he did not give them a chance to aim at higher developmental risks.

Older clients liked him because they understood what he was saying. Michelle sensed that younger clients wanted him to teach and update more, to get a more exciting and progressive programme running. She had her own views to add to the formulaic claims for new ideas and she wanted to use them.

The first essential was to understand what she was selling. A service, certainly, but more than that. She was selling an ability for her clients to update themselves in the context of advancing technologies. She knew what they wanted – “Best advice, guaranteed return”. An obvious brief, but it doesn’t tell you much about your client’s capacity for upgrading. Michelle needed to understand clients fully to do that.

To do that she needed to get them to understand themselves.

We helped Michelle learn the techniques of selling by asking. It requires a form of focus and a style of questioning that fits the client’s personality – and the mood they are in at the moment. That mood is always a shifting sand. The more clients learn this way the more they want to work with their adviser to maximise initiative without losses.

There are other aspects of selling to be learnt but they are all secondary to being able to understand your clients. Once Michelle could do that her client list grew rapidly.

Michelle is now a highly successful sales leader.

> Interested to learn how you can sell better by asking questions? Start with our Ask Powerful Questions programme