Paula White jokes that digital selling was the red-headed step-child for a long time—but it was true. Because of the pandemic, we’ve learned that things can be done via the phone and technology. For salespeople to excel in this digital sales world, Paula would suggest implementing the right technology immediately. To do this, organizations need to understand what salespeople need to succeed in a remote digital sales world. Part of it? Simply remembering that you can still pick up the phone.
If Paula was to build a blueprint for digital selling, it would start with training salespeople how to pick up cues over the phone. Then she’d go into assessing someone’s competencies and whether or not they can sell digitally. But salespeople who naturally have certain attributes may excel.
Paula believes the first attribute you need to have is active listening. You have to be able to hear and understand when a person is bored, isn’t paying attention, or isn’t interested in a product. You must understand their cues. You must actively listen for door opening signals. You need to be able to pick up on that to close the sale. Secondly, you need to be able to work remotely and not be afraid of using the phone.
Paula recommends using gamification to bring competition to your teams. The best strategy is to get on the phone. Paula has always implemented a “10x10” rule i.e. making sure that your 10 calls happen before 10 am. The goal is 30–35 calls a day to reach your customers. The bottom line? A salesperson’s income comes from closing sales.
It’s easy—pick up the phone. Secondly, only sell on a need or want. What does Paula mean by that? People buy on emotion and justify it logically, so you need to find out what someone's needs or wants are. If you’re speaking to a CEO, are their needs or wants financial? Will the product make an end user’s life easier? If you’re speaking to a manager, how will it help both the end user and the financials? Pinpoint who you’re speaking with to understand their needs and wants.
Paula emphasizes that you shouldn’t fake a connection. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. People feel like they’re hidden behind a screen or phone, so don’t forget to bring the human element. Don't try to oversell or you’ll lose the sale. Don’t lose the competition aspect of selling. If you go into the history of sales, you always made a sale with a handshake—it meant something. We don’t have that anymore. So you’re pushing to be in the top 4%. If you don’t have the competitive edge to win ethically, truthfully, and honestly, sales will be a challenge for you. Keeping that in mind makes you better every day.
Many years ago, Paula called a customer and spoke to him around April/May. She asked for his business and he said, “Give me a call back the first week in July.” So she did. He answered the phone and he asked where she was from. She answered, “Ohio.” His response? “You don’t read the paper very much, do you?” Turns out, he had gone out of business.
He was an EMS flight pilot carrying passengers to the hospital. His only plane had gone down. When she hung up, her heart sank. So she sent him a simple condolence card. He called six months later and she got all of his business, simply because of her act of kindness. She learned to do her pre-call planning—and that everyone is human. It’s only with kindness that you can grow.
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