Cover Story: The New Art of Selling
FORGET EVERYTHING YOU LEARNED
Steve Bryant, president of The Bryant Group, has trained tens of thousands of salespeople, most of them members of the Nationwide Marketing Group, over the years in both seminars and online modules he produces out of his PrimeMedia facility in Atlanta. Tim Ryan, principal of Consumer Electronics University, spent over 20 years training salespeople for the Ultimate Electronics chain before starting his own training and consulting firm based in Englewood, Calif. He’s been hired by The Pro Group, among others, to update the way salespeople approach and engage shoppers. Both men say salesmanship has become a completely different ballgame over the last 18 months.
“The process that had been in place for something like 30 years was ‘Greet, qualify, present, demonstrate, overcome objections, close and follow up,’” Ryan said. “But the steps have changed. The new sales process must deal with the needs a customer has, the lifestyle and preferences of the customer. Forget, ‘Stack ‘em high and let ‘em fly, get ‘em out the door!’ Our sales process in 2008 has to make sure that customer loyalty is the number-one goal.”
The sales process today is based on trust, Bryant said: “The way you earn a customer’s trust is to act like a human being, and you absolutely can’t fake it. If you don’t like people and have their interests at heart, get out of sales, go do something else.”