Looking Back Over My Shoulder At 2016, I See…

2016 will be over this Saturday. In keeping with end year tradition, herewith the Sales Pitch highlights of this year.

On the twelfth month of Sales Pitch my ‘true love’ sent to me, the importance of painting a picture using practical relevant to the buyer examples for him to ‘get it’.

On the eleventh month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, the Wells Fargo (Bank) scandal as a lesson on why running a company as you would a sales team is a recipe for failure. One is long term, the other short term and a business needs both.

On the tenth month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, a thought provoking, “Even with capping of interest rates, are Kenyan banks too big to fail?” Plus why the anchors of optimism and accepting responsibility are propellers to sales success.

On the ninth month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, succinct, buyer-needs focused opening of the sale. For instance, “Boss! Hiyo wiper yako ikipiga itaharibu windscreen”. (“Sir! You’re wipers are faulty and will spoil your windscreen.”) The hawker who told me this had my full attention in only seven words.

On the eighth month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, a reminder that, sales managers must sell to earn their team’s respect; and, whether you’re in sales and service it doesn’t matter. What matters is to give to a profitable service (one with a commercial attachment) because business benchmarks itself to this.

On the seventh month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, the revelation that asking insightful questions and avoiding jargon, all accelerate the sales process and are only possible with practice. For instance, instead of a confusing our speeds are 5mbps, you’re better off revealing, “can download a movie is less than five minutes.”

On the sixth month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, the challenge that if you are not planning your selling you’re shooting in the dark-you’re betting. Equally, respect the client by giving him a dignfied exit out of an embarrassing situation even if he’s caused it.

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On the fifth month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, why the word but is best avoided in the sales process because it irritates thus impeding the sale. And how to overcome limiting organizational policies by offering suitable alternatives, like a bank guarantee in lieu of an LPO.

On the fourth month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, the fact that because his reputation is his most important asset, the progressive seller will do unto others as he will have them do unto him.

On the third month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, the news that to thrive, the seller must accept to grow emotionally to, say, differentiate between pride and hubris and feel the rejection but deflect it to not being personal because it isn’t. And a reminder that successful selling is a friendship with benefits. If the buyer doesn’t see the benefits to him, he won’t buy your service or product.

On the second month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, the revelation that your academic grade does not define you. You do. The A in school does not stand for Amazing in life; neither does the F, Failure.

On the first month of Sales Pitch my true love sent to me, a reminder to accelerate the sales process by selling to back office staff as you would external buyers; and that  selling goes against the societal grain and is the real reason most people shun it.

And finally, on the first month of Sales Pitch 2017, my true love sent to me…Find out what. Right here. Next Thursday.

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