Several weeks ago I went to another King of sales event in Sofia, Bulgaria, the date of the event was 21-st of November, 2013. As you may recall this is the second time I attend such conferences, the previous time the guess speaker was Sandro Forte. In this seminar/conference the name of the speaker was Grant Leboff and frankly I did not know what to expect of him as I did not know anything about Grant before the seminar started.
As soon as the seminar started I realized that Grant Leboff did not engage with the audience as much as Sandro Forte did, even though in all fairness he did mention that you can interrupt him and ask questions, but on several such occasions he seemed annoyed. Of course as every experienced motivational sales speaker he started of with a slide that got your attention right away – the slide simply had the following written on it:
“Selling Has Changed, Have You?”
That was definitely a very good opening slide. In the rest of the first session of the seminar he also covered several basic key techniques in sales conversations and in sales negotiations as a whole, such as:
- The technique of asking open and closed questions (which he and I both find nowadays somewhat useless).
- The fact that you have to make the customer feel in control in order for him to buy something from you. The customer has to feel that buying the product is his own decision (in other words you have to do an inception).
- One very important thing that he mentioned is that if you receive a thank you mail you should encourage the person who wrote it to share the experience in a social network – LinkedIn, FaceBook or Tweeter. Could not agree more here – social network is really powerful nowadays.
- He quoted Simon Sinek and agreed with him that most of the times people buy on emotion, not on logic. While on that topic I think that every person in the sales or marketing business should watch at least once Simon Sinek’s famous TED video, which I like to call “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!”.
- Grant also recommend that we do something different each day, in other words that we get outside of our comfort zone.
- He said that the USP method of selling simply does not work anymore.
- One of the other important things that Grant mentioned is that features don’t sell, benefits do. I agree that this is probably a basic thing that every sales person should know, but still it surprises me how many sales people fail to understand that.
I personally found Grant Leboff to be a very good speaker and also a very funny person as well. I loved his attitude towards sales in general and I admired his British accent as well. As to why he was in the sales business he replied back by quoting Willie Sutton and his famous dialogue with one reporter named Mitch Ohnstad who asked him the following:
– Why do you rob banks?
– Because that’s where the money is! – Sutton replied.
This supposed quote also formed the basis of Sutton’s law, often taught to medical students.
Another famous quote of John F. Kennedy that Grant mentioned also stuck into my mind:
“Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
He then explained the concept behind the famous saying in the sales business nowadays: “People don’t want a drill, they want a hole.”, which put into simpler words simply means that you have to sell the benefits of the product that you are selling, not the features of it.
Lastly I would like to mention one other important part of Grant’s presentation was when he said that if you want to be in the sales business you absolutely must be patient and friendly with your customers at any given time. Or as old Chinese proverb says:
“A man who can’t smile doesn’t open a shop!”
I’ll leave you with that thought in mind. Hope you found this blog post interesting.
Dimitar V. Dimitrov