Selling Naked? What does that mean?
It means going into a sales opportunity to truly listen and not Show up and throw up!
You know who they are; you can see them a mile away. They walk into your office with a big smile and an even bigger briefcase, overflowing with brochures, color charts, samples, and price lists. And they sound like this: “Mr./Ms. Jones (Smith, Brown, White, Green, Schnickelfritz), I am Jim from the Convenient Copier Company, and since your equipment lease has almost expired on your copier, I have come to demonstrate our latest and greatest new Zippy Fast Copier. Based on your copier usage, the latest model Zippy is going to be perfect for you.” (Outcomes the fancy brochure.) “It slices and dices as well as copies…blah, blah, blah.”
You tell him that you do not make as many copies now because of email.
Selling Naked? What? Do you have any idea what that means? “You don’t? Then this Zippy Junior is great for you. It has six hundred and seventy-five gigawatts of power, and see right here…the little button on the side? That will help the paper re-adjust if it goes offline. If you look, you can see the holding tray is larger, even though the copier is smaller…”
“Does it have a warranty?”
“Yes!” (Said very enthusiastically.) “Here is a copy of it.”
Now you are buried in junk, but what did he really tell you?
For all the salespeople out there who do this (and yes, that includes you too, even if you think you don’t), take my advice: Sell naked!! That is right, sell naked!
What does that mean, “selling naked”? “Selling naked,” in this case, means stripped of everything—no brochures, no samples, no demos, no pricing sheets, and no testimonials. But why??
You ask. Good question…and I have an awfully good answer: Because selling does not happen by showing; it happens by asking. Asking the right questions. And more than that when someone asks you, as a salesperson, if you have this type of doohickey or if it does this type of thing, if you go in with nothing, it forces you to find out why they are asking. This helps you discover what issue they are really trying to solve, instead of showing them something you think they want.
“But Greta,” you ask, “why can I not just bring these things in with me and not pull them out?” Great plan, but it does not work. You are so excited to show them what you have, you will reach in there too fast. If you have nothing with you, you must ask good questions and really learn what they need and why. That is selling.
Can you keep it in your car? Absolutely…and only when you have gathered all the information you need, and you are confident, and you understand why and how much they are willing to spend, then and only then can you go get it.
Getting to the real issue is the point here, and getting commitments after you demonstrate the benefits of the product, is what you need to achieve to close the sale and not just get a think-it-over. So if you are getting put-offs now, doing it the way you are doing it, just try this. Make sure you go in prepared with good questions, to really help you discover what is best for them and why.
You may not like this radical approach, but if you are getting stalls and put-offs now, I ask you the question I am well known for asking: “How is that workin’ for ya?”selling