Equipment Sales in the ‘On Demand’ Age

Selling equipment used to be so easy. Or that’s what I thought when I listened to the old timers tell me stories of taking a customer out and signing a “million-dollar order on a cocktail napkin”. Then that damn internet came along and ruined everything! Truth is buyer behavior has changed. According to a recent McKinsey B2B study, there’s been an 85% increase in the preference for buyers to conduct online research, and a 238% increase in buyer preference for self-serve looking for information on the companies’ website. The evolution of the sales profession is not just impacting the equipment world. There is a larger societal shift at play. For example, when I was younger, my perception of a salesperson was the Alec Baldwin character from the ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ film.  Baldwin’s character berates a sales team with his hard charging, second place is for losers’ mentality (in the movie 2nd place gets a set of steak knives!).  Success was the result of those who simply ‘do not take no for an answer’. Today’s sales culture is much different. Training materials focus on skills such as listening, empathy, and personalizing a solution. I read a blog post today which mentioned the importance of understanding your prospect’s needs and not lumping all potential customers into the same broad category. I’d love to take a trip back with a time machine to see the Baldwin character’s face when someone mentions “empathy” as a key to closing deals! READ FULL ARTICLE>>