The ABCs and ABMs of Sales
In business, we see many different angles on this thought.
As business owners or sales professionals we all have to generate sales and revenue. There are many companies that have instilled the culture to “always be closing” (ABC). They sometimes push and prod until we agree or get annoyed. Many leading companies seem to have a strategic ability to create awareness of the benefits of their products and services and get us excited about wanting the product or service. To me this is (ABM), or “always be marketing”. Apple does this very well. They create products that make us want to buy. When you go to an Apple store, you are likely going with the intent to actually buy something. When you arrive, all team members are there to help you and answer any questions you have about a particular product.
This is not always the case with many businesses or sales professionals. Yes, I agree that not all businesses are in the same position as Apple, but even Apple had to start somewhere. People had to believe in the product and trust that it would fill a need.
I can think back 10-15 years ago and going through many sales training programs. How to close a sale was critical and lots of focus was given in that area of the sales process. My philosophy on this has changed a lot over the years. In our own business and when we support sales teams through sales coaching or training, it is more about “seeking to understand” what the customer really wants and needs and asking questions to gain more clarity. It is about building relationships and trust, before earning the right to “close a sale”.
As I see it, the more you focus on the customer and less on you needing to close a sale, the more likely it is that you will gain the customer’s business. It’s not always fast, but it is effective! What is their pain? What do they want? What do they really need? If you can address those areas, you may gain a new customer. “ABM” is a constant. We must “always be marketing” and create awareness of what we do, how we do it and ideally why we do what we do. The right customers will respond to this approach more times than not.