TALKING SALES 14: "Sales process needs purpose" - Ian Lowe

John Smibert

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In this 3 minute interview Ian Lowe talks with Ian LoweJohn Smibert about how 'Sales Process' and 'Sales Purpose' compliment each other.

As he says "... one amplifies the other, but one, in absence of the other, can easily lead us down a path that ultimately takes us in the wrong direction".

This message is [presented very articulately by Ian. It is similar to the message in the last episode of talking sales (Passion over Process by Dan Symons) where Dan emphasised the same point in a different way.

Ian is the CEO of Go-Givers Australia. He is an expert in sales transformation and a specialist in why people sell.[private]

See more of the 'TALKING SALES' series here

Interview Transcript:

John: Welcome back! I've got Ian Lowe with me again, Ian's the CEO of Go-Givers Australia. He's an expert in sales transformation, and he's a specialist in why people sell and not how they sell. Welcome back, Ian!

Ian: Again, pleasure to be here!

John: Ian, last time we talked you raised the subject of sales process and compared sales process to sales purpose, the why we sell, and said there could be conflict there. Now, sales process to me is vitally important, and in order for an organisation to manage their sales operation and individuals to work through a process and so on. Is there conflict between process and purpose?

Ian: No, I don't think there's conflict per se. I think one amplifies the other, but one, in absence of the other, can easily lead us down a path that ultimately takes us in the wrong direction. [01:00]

John: Okay.

Ian: You know, I think knowing how to sell, which we could say is sales process and sales methodology; critical, knowing how to sell - very, very important. But if you're out there slavishly following the steps of your sales cycle, because that's your sales process, but you don't have a why that's focused on the client... then you can be selling aggressively because that's your job, right?

Process vs PurposeJohn: So the process could be designed on how I'm going to close an order versus how do I create value for the customer.

Ian: Exactly right, yeah. Yeah, your mindset is about following the sales process and trying to make more sales.

John: So what do salespeople need to do to keep that in mind and to ensure that they do have that focus on purpose, the focus on the why?

Ian: Well, I think it starts with an understanding that you can't make a sale in the first place. You know, someone might say "What do you mean you can't make a sale?! We do that all the time!"

John: Yeah.

Ian: We would say "No." In any free market economy you can't make somebody do something they don't want to do. [02:00]

John: True.

Ian: People will make their decisions for the reasons they make their decisions, but you're not in control of the decisions they make.

John: But I have seen salespeople manipulate people into making decisions.

Ian: And that's part of the problem, right? Following the sales process can easily, easily lead down to manipulation.

John: Because they are methods that incorporate manipulation?

Ian: Yeah. Because, again, you don't have a why, right?

John: And we need to get rid of all that.

Ian: We need to get rid of all that. If you have in your mind the idea that you can make a sale and it's all about you and your product and your service, but if you have an idea in your mind and you're invested in the idea that your job is to create value for the customer then your focus is on them and their need.

John: I like it very much, Ian. So, the bottom line is: we need to have a very, very purposeful reason why we're selling, it's got to be around the customer and the value, and process methodologies should support that and lead us to that; not compete against that by trying to close an order.

Ian: Absolutely, you nailed it! [03:00]

John: Thank you, Ian!

Ian: [laughs]

John: That's a great message - look forward to talking next time!

Ian: Look forward to it. Thanks, John!

John: Thanks!



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