I have been writing a lot about the teaching model of selling. The biggest point of the teaching model is you have to be a trusted advisor to your prospective clients. In a way you need to be a skilled navigator to help you prospective clients purchase your product and service.
From a learning, teaching and entertaining prospective (funny how those things tend to always go together) I am fascinated by unintended consequences. To give you an example, British Airways in the eighties gave their pilots a bonus to save on fuel. Meaning the more they saved on fuel the higher their income. Imagine British Airways’ surprise when customers started complaining about the planes being too hot, because the pilots weren’t running the engines on the tarmac, and schedules being messed up because pilots were flying too slow (to save fuel). Helping your prospective clients has unintended consequences too but unlike British Airways they of the positive variety.
If you prescribe to helping your clients learn all of the advantages of your software and services there are a few things that you will need to make this happen. They are…
- More knowledge – In order to give wise counsel, which is the cornerstone of the teaching model, you have to know more about your offering than your client. Not just your software (by the way software knowledge is far down the list) but the industry, business practices, lingo, competition, application and (here is the big one) the impact of the change of your software and service.
- A heavy pipe – As a rep you will make the most when you need the least. I bet you have heard that before, but to be a teacher your skills and need to “close” have to be in the proper perspective. If you have a number weighing heavy on you – your desire to teach as well as your teaching skills will take a back seat.
- Teaching skills – Just like salespeople, good teachers are trained and not born that way. There are certain skills if people naturally have will make then a better teacher… skills like empathy, desire to learn, ability to listen, and above average communication skills.
- A super-hero mentality – with much is given – much is required (a Spiderman and Bible quote). Becoming a trusted advisor and teaching people to buy will put you in a unique position to have influence. Using that influence for evil and not good will destroy everything you will work for (Wow! High drama!)
If you have the four above characteristics or attributes then you have a significant person brand. A personal brand is worth its weight in gold and it helps you rise above the noise of the competition. The best thing, however, is your prospective clients will stop treating you like a commodity.
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