Published:
June 9, 2023
OOH Sales Blog

Stop Showing Up and Throwing Up

OOH Salesperson walks through the prospects door and greets the business owner with a big, friendly smile and wonders if they ever considered billboard advertising to get their message out. It’s their lucky day! We have an available board right near their location…it’s perfect for their business AND I’ve got this beautiful piece of spec art that would be just the ticket. Sound familiar? What does that OOH salesperson hear WAY too often? I got all the business I need, I use your competitor, the radio, the newspaper, television, I don’t have budget, I’ve already spent my budget for the year, I’ve tried billboards and they don’t work, etc., etc., etc.

That is the traditional selling model or what is also known as features and benefits selling. Been around since the dawn of time. We call it ‘showing up and throwing up’. Works too. Unfortunately, just not as often as you want or need it to…and frankly it’s full of stress, anxiety, and a lot of hard work. What else does it tend to do? When we make a sale, it tends to be a transactional sale. The kind that aren’t sticky at all. Based on price, selling packages, gimmicky sales practices, over promising and underdelivering. The type of sale that tends to not renew. Now we are selling that same board 2x, 3x, 4x per year. That’s a lot of work selling and reselling the same boards over and over.

Ideally, the sales process should be viewed as a win-win situation. But as any salesperson who has spent time in the trenches knows, buyers often see themselves as individuals with something to lose: their money, time, and/or reputation. As a result, they adopt an adversarial approach to salespeople.

According to a 2018 Salesforce survey, well over half (57%) of all salespeople fail to hit their quotas. Most OOH salespeople, in our experience, are not getting in front of enough qualified prospects. Most of them have a close ratio that is not what it should be. And far too many of them rely on discounting and other marketing gimmicks to close sales—a habit that cuts margins and commissions!

More often than not when a traditional salesperson walks into a business the conversation is all about the salesperson, the salesperson’s business and what the salesperson has to offer. In other words, the conversation is all about me instead of the potential client and their business. We often tell our OOH Sales Mastery participants that your prospects don’t care what YOU want to do or what you want to sell.

You have goals to reach, I get it. It’s important. However, your goals are not a substitute for providing value. Owners are not in the business of fulfilling your goals. They are focused on their own goals. Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves…we must engage the prospect to understand why in the world should they even be interested in what we have to sell. What are THEIR goals that we could help them achieve?

The first book that my mentor gave me in my career was Zig Ziglar’s See You At The Top. 45 years after reading that book the thing that still stands out as a touchstone piece of advice was this, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. Are those not words to live by as we develop our true professional, consultative selling skills?

Most salespeople fail because they do not know how to take control of the selling process and lead buyers through it as a trusted consultant. The sales process can be something both parties enjoy, and benefit from.

When salespeople take a systematic approach to their work, they regain control of enough variables to make positive outcomes more frequent and predictable. A direct, no-nonsense approach to selling that frames the sales call as a business meeting among equals. It involves setting up a mutually beneficial arrangement, qualifying buyers, demonstrating a unique value proposition that matches the business’s needs, and confirming the agreement. A consultative salesperson behaves like a highly paid business advisor. Now, doesn’t that sound like more fun than showing up and throwing up all day?!

Need help with sales skills or coaching to take your out of home company to the next level. Learn more about OOH Sales Mastery at oohmastery.com or Contact Dan Nausley at dan.nausley@sandler.com, 423.702.5579.

Lisa & Dan Nausley of Sandler Chattanooga have developed the OOH Sales Mastery Program after more than a decade of training/coaching scores of OOH Operators across the country in sales, leadership, and executive coaching.

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