A library of books and a decade of lectures exist on effective sales. In fact, it's no surprise that companies all over the world analyze with great detail their strategy and tactics, all to make sure that "the plan" will be successful.
Today in business, game theory is often applied as the analysts want to develop a modeled approach that is sure to succeed. Despite all alternative efforts, successful selling is still more like a game.
Engage in a game of strategy
Rest assured there are no foolproof plans or one-size-fits-all approaches to sales, especially in the digital signage industry. For us, it is a process of people working directly with people. In our process, we may point out that our industry is different and new approaches are needed.
Market analysts may also suggest to both customers and the market that the products we are selling are becoming a commodity. The answer lies somewhere in the middle, and the ultimate goal to create a satisfied and repeat customer is never a simple deterministic task. Our job is one of complication and endurance, and it requires engaging in a game of strategy.
With the proper understanding of the customer's applications and needs, there is most often a best solution. However, understanding those requirements is a time-consuming process.
Our job requires engaging directly with customers; selling is not taking orders. Selling is a contact sport with both customers and competitors, and it requires significant activity in uncertain markets. It is essential to uncover the leads and needs that create the solution beyond what even the customer thought possible.
So, is there a better way?
A recent publication for systems integrators talked about how pervasive the mobile app "Pokémon Go" use is among the installers and systems designers. Who would have thought? Can we use that for a teachable moment?
Let's consider the lessons of "Pokémon Go." While only at level 18 of the game, it has already taught lessons to be considered for selling. This is a "real environment" augmented reality game of preparing, while doing and learning, all in order to win — even when no one is certain of the rules and challenges of the game!
Here are 10 lessons learned so far from "Pokémon Go":
- You must get out of your office/home and physically walk around many kilometers to even start playing the game. Rule: Meet with the customer. You cannot play on the sidelines!
- Initially you must become familiar with your own neighborhood or city environments to understand the game. Rule: Get to know the industry in which you are selling.
- You must make hundreds of interactions by moving to physical "stops" in unique areas to obtain the items needed to play. Rule: It takes hundreds of calls and emails to critically know the market.
- You have to capture everything that becomes available. To get experience, each must be captured and added to experience. Rule: Answer every call; learn from the customer how to succeed. Don't get discouraged, many are difficult to capture and will escape.
- As soon as you think you are ready, get to a gym and compete. You will need to revive and heal yourself after the confrontation. Rule: Engage in the proposal ASAP. It doesn't kill you.
- You will lose many times in the gym. You will realize you need more experience and a better understanding of the rules as well as a stronger "Pokémon." Rule: Let proposal failure encourage you.
- Now that you know what you don't know, find expert "Pokémon Go" trainers to help walk you through best practices and "tricks of the trade." Rule: Align to a top sales leader with thoughtful questions.
- "Pokémon Go" has to be powered up or evolved to get to a level to compete. Rule: Take sales learning seriously and emulate the best-of-class practices.
- Head out to totally new areas to find unique "Pokémon Go" characters in each geography and new possibilities. Rule: Expand your territory; search for the target-rich environments.
- Win back the gym with a better team and greater experience, and fight until you get your first win! Rule: Work with your team for a stronger proposal. Win the deal and beat the competition!
As with "Pokémon Go," the next step to digital signage sales is "do it all again" with more intensity and better experience. Each level gets more difficult.
Pound the pavement. Go places you have never tried before. Gather all the experience you can. Challenge yourself regularly to do greater things, against greater competitors. You will be amazed at the magical world that is out there to be enjoyed.
Sales beget both sales and experience.
/ Gary Feather is a sought after senior operations executive and an expert in the worlds of display technology, imaging, lighting and energy systems. He holds nine United States Patents with coinventors in TV, display content and LED systems. Gary began his career at Texas Instruments where he progressed through the ranks for seventeen years before moving to Sharp Electronics where he served as the Senior Vice President of LED Lighting. Today, Gary currently spearheads product development and operations as the CTO of NanoLumens. An avid traveler, Gary has earned 3.9 million lifetime airline miles! And today, because the majority of his travel is for work, you can find him enjoying home; involved with Bible Study Fellowship, Norcross Cooperative Ministries and Medical Teams International.