Did you ever take a look in the maintenance bay of an auto repair shop? See all those large toolboxes? One at every workstation. They contain the tools a mechanic needs to do his job. Like the mechanic, great salespeople have a “toolbox”. It’s a collection of the attitudes, behaviors and knowledge a salesperson needs to find, win and keep good customers.
What’s In Your Tool Box?
Those big red toolboxes a mechanic has have lots of drawers and those drawers are filled with specialized tools to do a particular task. Great salespeople, too, have lots of tools. We have techniques to keep ourselves motivated and optimistic. Each day we go out and do the things needed to find, win and keep good customers. Great salespeople know their products and how those benefit their customers.
Choose The Right Tool
On the top of those big red toolboxes is a tray. The mechanic chooses the tools he needs for the task and places them there in easy reach. Some tools are used for many tasks like the common screwdriver. Others are used only for a specific task like a spark plug wrench. Great salespeople have different tools for different phases of the selling process. Whether they are building rapport, finding or creating pain, determining the budget, understanding the decision making process, making a presentation or following up, great salespeople pull out the right tools for the task.
Keep your tools organized
Look in the drawers of the big red toolbox. You will see some are shallow. Some are deep. Most have dividers to keep like tools together. Think about the tools you, great salesperson, use. How about those active listening tools? Do you have good questions for finding pain? Are they different from questions to build rapport? How about those tools to deal with objections? Where do you keep them? Great salespeople plan each sales call and select the right tools to achieve the goal of the sales call.
Inventory Your Tools
The mechanic keeps track of his tools. He knows where they are so he can quickly get them when needed. Great salespeople also keep track of their tools. Take the tools in the great salesperson’s knowledge drawer. They can quickly find out the purchase history of their customer. Great salespeople follow trends in the markets they sell to. When a new product is introduced, they know how to present the benefits to their customers. Great salespeople understand the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor and how to sell against them.
Keep Your Tools Up To Date
Have you ever noticed those large Snap-On or Matco tool trucks parked outside an auto repair shop? Mechanics tools wear out. Sometimes they break. Perhaps a new more effective tool is developed. Mechanics keep their tools clean and in good repair and replace them as needed. Great salespeople likewise are constantly refining their skills. Each sales conversation offers opportunity to learn which tool works best. Is it good open-ended questions? Is it a compelling unique selling proposition or value statement? How did you handle an “I want to think it over”? Did your assessment of a market shift really affect your customer? Did you approach the sales call with optimism and enthusiasm? Great salespeople evaluate each sales call to understand how the skills they used achieved the goal of the sales call.
What You Can Do Right Now
- Open up your “toolbox” and inventory your sales tools
- Which ones are used the most?
- Which ones bring the best results?
- Which ones need some polish?