The Golden Triangle

Those of us that have chosen sales as our professional craft recognize that for any approach to have great impact, it must include what is know as “The Golden Triangle”. This is made up of:

  • Industry knowledge
  • Product knowledge
  • Sales skills (at both the consultative and transactional level)

Quick story…

Last month, I walked into the store of a national vitamin chain. My mission was simple – to replenish my typical supply of vitamins. Why change? My self-taught blend has worked for years.

As I walked in, the bell rang, alerting the staff that a customer was entering or exiting the store. (Little did I know that this visit was going to be different. I was going to be met be a professional that took his craft seriously.) Out from the back of the store my new friend emerged with a smile a mile wide, asking if he could assist? As normal I thanked him and pulled my proven blend from the shelf and was ready to check out, minus any chit chat.

His first tactic called on his sales skills by asking three simple questions in a calm confident manner.

  1. How is this working for you?
  2. Was what was my choices based upon, moreover what was I trying to accomplish?
  3. Would I be open to considering an alternative that would combine two if my choices into one, and save me $X in the process?:

Now he had my attention! Nothing about product up to this point.

His second tactic was to support question #3 by sharing his product knowledge in a confident manner. At this point I didn’t feel that I was buying vitamins, instead I was buying his solution to what I wanted my vitamins to accomplish.

Hs third tactic, after he had won my confidence, was to call on his industry knowledge by assuring me that I had made the right decision. He used supporting data stating that his solution would meet and exceed my objectives just by making a few simple changes. Now I was ready to make a change.

After I made my decision he threw in several samples, one being a new formulation of the protein that I am currently using. Smart! He was protecting future sales and setting the stage for a potential up sell with product knowledge included.

In the end, I took the plunge. In doing so I reduced my number of different vitamins by 30% and reduced my costs by 15%.

Conclusion. How many of your customers would be willing to change, once you walk them through the Golden Triangle?

To your success,
Andy

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