Someone in a workshop last week asked me what the future of selling is. What are the new and future ideas and theories on selling. Dunno!
Actually, I've thought a lot about it over the last few years. I think in most cases selling will always be selling, from the classic First Impressions, Opening, Questioning, Selling, Objection Handling, Closing, Repeat! And on to the softer stuff like Solution Selling, Consultative Selling, SPIN Selling, Win-Win Selling, Relationship Selling.
The thing that bothers me the most, is the language that describes selling. We don't use that language in everyday conversation. "Finding a Need" "Questioning" "Closing". It's as though once we try to define what's going on with language, something of the spirit is lost.
So the answer I gave last week, is sure I can tell where I think selling should go, but I don't know that most "Clients/Customer" and "Sellers" are ready for it.
Secondly, I still think that a dose of Cluetrain is the pointer to where it's all going, be it more slowly than some of us want;
1. Markets are conversations.
2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.
5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.
And near the end of the book......
Have a sense of humour.
Find your voice and use it.
Tell the truth.
Thirdly, I've believed for a while (and I have a model for it) that Buyers and Sellers will start to match values, not just in traditional values and business values, but in Spirituality and Lifestyle type values. This is still some way away and it's a bit touchy feely, but it goes further than "Developing Rapport" with a customer because you learnt it on a course, to having a genuine connection with people.
Fourthly, I think the big money is in the Ranking and Rating of products and services a la Amazon, Google, eBay, whereby it's the consumer that starts to drive the information and knowledge, and more Social Networks, but not quite as we know it today.
So all in all, we're fairly traditional in how we sell and are sold to, and that's ok for the majority of situations, but things are changing, very slowly!!