As a salesperson, your job is to stop your buyers shaving sheep…
Let me explain.
Shaving sheep is the last step of a series of events that happen when your buyers decide to make a change.
Or in other words, your buyer acknowledges that they want to move from their current reality to a better reality.
In this example, your buyer want’s to move to the future reality of making more sales.
So the buyer stands up in their office and announces…
“We need to make our sales team more effective.”
The feedback from their colleagues is good. They then say…
“OK, well, we’ll schedule a meeting to discuss it. But first, I’ll pop out and grab a coffee for everyone, so we’re all engaged and energised.”
“Starbucks is the other side of town, and so I’ll pop into the home furnishing store while I’m there as it’s right next door.”
“I’ll grab those pillowcases that my partner has been asking me to grab.”
“Oh, that’s a nice woolen blanket, but I don’t like the color. I bet I could make one of those…”
A few steps later, the buyer has driven to Wales; they’re kneeling in a field, in the blistering rain, shaving a sheep.
They’ve gone through all these crazy steps so that they can have a meeting to make their sales team more effective.
This convoluted way of getting things done is what your buyers are doing day in day out. They want to make changes, but they get sidetracked and end up shaving sheep.
It’s your job as a sales-professional to stop the buyer from wasting all this time.
Think of it like this: Your buyers are living in their “current reality,” and they want to move to a better “future reality.”
Most of the time, your buyers will try and make this change by shaving sheep. This looks like a long, messy line going from A to B.
Your job as a salesperson is to bridge this gap between the two realities with your product, service, or expertise.
Now, how do most salespeople go about communicating that they’re able to bridge the “reality gap”?
They start pitching features and benefits.
You have to be care with this approach. The more features and benefits you pile on top of your buyers, the more sheep shaving they have the potential to do.
Every feature you share, the buyer has to compare it to the competition.
Every benefit you announce, the buyer has to work out if it will move them from where they are to where they want to be.
So think less about sharing the features and benefits of your product and more about how you can be a guide. Think about how you can get your buyer from A to B.
Imagine the “reality bridge” isn’t very wide, and there’s a significant drop either side of it.
Every time your buyer wonders off to look at something new and shiny, you need to nudge them back on track.
Every time the buyer asks what this feature does or what happens when they press that button… nudge them back on track.
Success in sales doesn’t come from asserting your will on a buyer and pushing them down a predetermined sales funnel.
Success in sales also doesn’t come from being passive and allowing the buyer to wander off to shave sheep.
Success in sales is all about gently nudging the buyer back on track towards their ideal future reality.