I’m here to break some news that might make you shift uncomfortably in your seats: the era of sales secrets is dead and buried. Yep, that’s what I said. In this age of technology and unlimited access to information, your precious secrets are no longer hidden in the shadows. It’s time to face the music, folks. Sales transparency is here to stay.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Troy, what the heck are you blabbering about? I’ve been guarding my sales secrets like Fort Knox!” Well, my friend, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Whatever you think are your secrets – pricing, contracts, billing terms, product features, and even your failures with customers – they are out there. Let me break it down for you.
- The Rise of Technology: In today’s hyperconnected world, technology has become our best friend and worst enemy. It has armed your buyers with a wealth of information at their fingertips. A few clicks and taps, and voila! They know your prices, your product specs, and even how many cups of coffee you had this morning. Thanks to technology, there are no more hidden corners for your secrets to hide.
- The Information Avalanche: In 1998, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said, “By 2005 or so, it will become apparent that the internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.” Ol’ Paul just might have been wrong about that, not that he’s ever done a mea culpa. The internet, gang, is a treasure trove of knowledge. It’s like a never-ending buffet of information, with data swirling around like a whirlwind. Customers can read reviews, compare products, and research market trends all day long. And you know what that means? They can easily discover your secrets or find an alternative that suits their needs. It’s like trying to hide a needle in a haystack. Ever tried it? It doesn’t work well. Don’t ask me how I know.
- The Power of Social Media: Ah, the mighty social media beast. It’s not just a platform for sharing cat videos or stalking your exes anymore. It’s a tool that amplifies every whisper, every word, and every secret. Customers are connecting, sharing, and discussing their experiences with products and services openly. So, if you think your secrets are safe from prying eyes, think again. Social media is watching, and it has a bigger audience than the Super Bowl – wait, I mean “The Big Football Game.” I don’t want the NFL to sue me.
For salespeople rooted in the past, this can be a problem. You see, once upon a time, sales was built around the idea that we were the repository of all the valuable information that customers would want, and that we could mete it out as we saw fit – giving the customers the info we wanted them to have, and withholding that which might have been damaging to our case. It worked well while it worked – but it doesn’t work anymore.
That means that those old tactics that depended on holding back information are dead. If you’re still using the “up front close,” worried about “spilling your candy,” giving out “free consulting,” or worst, still executing the “firing Horace,” STOP IT. Your customers will spot it in a heartbeat (in fact, there are websites dedicated to helping them spot cheesy sales tactics), and they’ll toss you out of their buying process.
This shift in the sales landscape isn’t all bad news. In fact, it’s an opportunity for us to adapt and thrive. Here’s how you can rise above the rubble and embrace this new era of transparency:
- Build Your Relationships on Trust and Transparency: In a world where secrets are scarce, trust becomes your superpower. Focus on building genuine relationships with your customers based on solving their business needs, not just talking about football. Become their go-to person for expert advice, guidance, and insights. Show them that you’re not just a salesperson but a trusted ally who has their best interests at heart. Trust me, they’ll choose you over a competitor, even if their prices are lower.
- Differentiate With Your Customer Experience: When everyone can access the same information, it’s the buying experience that sets you apart. Go above and beyond to deliver exceptional experiences to your customers. Be responsive, proactive, and attentive to their needs. Provide personalized solutions that address their pain points. Give them a reason to choose you, not just because of your secrets, but because you’re simply the best damn salesperson out there. Oh, and don’t say, “We’ve got great service!” to your prospects (that’s like fingernails on a blackboard to me). Platitudes don’t work anymore. DEMONSTRATE your service with testimonials, case studies, statistics, and the like.
- Continuous Learning: Embrace the never-ending quest for knowledge. In this transparent world, staying ahead means constantly upping your game. Stay up to date with the latest industry trends, sharpen your skills, and invest in your personal growth. Knowledge is your secret weapon in a world where other secrets have faded into oblivion. Too many salespeople are static, and don’t learn and build their skills. Don’t be one of them. Learn more. Get better. Be better. Do better.
Want to succeed in the future (and the future is NOW)? Embrace transparency, adapt to the new rules of the game, and show your customers that you’re a valuable and integral part of their business. Make it so that dealing with you isn’t optional if they want to be the best they can be. Remember, it’s not about the secrets anymore—it’s about the value you bring to the table.