Richard Farrell of Tangent Knowledge Systems shared sales advice with MMPA attendees.

“Customers hate to be sold,” Richard Farrell of Tangent Knowledge Systems told attendees this week at the Moulding and Millwork Producers Association’s annual meeting in Williamsburg, Va. “Customers have more and more ways to block you from contacting them.”

If you ever sold anything this likely isn’t news, but Farrell gives tips on how “Selling has Nothing to Do With Selling.” Here are 17 of Farrell’s tips for selling strategically.

  1. Tell them the problems you solve. Do they have a truly compelling reason to change?
  2. It’s not through what you sell but how you solve their problem. That’s your biggest competitive advantage.
  3. A lot of selling has to do with being at the right place at the right time solving the right problem. That has nothing to do with what you are selling.
  4. Price is never the real issue. It’s whether you are worth the price.
  5. The value of your solution when selling strategically is in direct proportion to the value of the customer’s problem.
  6. In many cases the customer has the money; they just don’t want to take it out of their pocket and give it to you.
  7. Ask a customer or potential customer: What are their problems costing them and what are they willing to spend to get rid of those problems? This is all before you give out your information. If they are not willing to share information, you have very little to sell.
  8. If they are not willing to share their problems with you, you have a big problem.
  9. Do they have a motivating reason to change?
  10. They don’t care about you. They only care about themselves.
  11. “I’m not sure if I can help you.” These are the most powerful words in selling. That will increase your chances of reversing the traditional flow of information.
  12. The more you make no an available answer, the quicker you can get a decision.
  13. You’ve got to make it easy for them to say no. You have to close the file. Take it off your books and your pipeline and open the room to go to better opportunities.
  14. They have to be willing to meet with you face-to-face or take your phone call.
  15. Are they willing to share info/problems/budget parameters/timing?
  16. Your job is to make them more curious, whether it’s through a short email, etc.
  17. People buy from people they like, and who help them based on their problems. In the past, it used to be just the first part, but that is no longer the case.


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