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WOMBAT selling could save you.

January 10, 2010

WOMBAT, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson’s savvy book on ‘How to Sell by Word of Mouth’ published by Hordie Grant Books is my first favourite read of 2010. I love writers who slay cherished assumptions with social science. Hewitt-Gleeson leverages a PhD of credibility and 20 years of international experience in leadership, creativity and sales to decree closing the sale is dead.

I agree with this Melbournian and half way around the world, California authors Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg in Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing concur.  Let me add, no one wants to be told and sold. Sales pressure is a total turn off, making buying a pleasure is a turn on. Remember, the client who feels manipulated will be your next social media headache.

I have heard Sales Directors say a staff member was a terrible ‘closer’ and knew they were wrong because I’d witnessed day after day of  exceptional customer care. While I tried to encourage the manager to change their focus from the salesperson’s  ‘close problem’ to eliminating the myriad of road blocks experienced on the buyer’s journey (thank you Eisenberg brothers) it was a hard sell.  Not surprising, it is easier blame a character flaw than face organizational failings.  I also didn’t have a strong enough rationale to make my case. Now I do.

Hewitt-Gleeson gives us sound strategies to be effective rainmakers. Sample WOMBAT (Word of Mouth Buy and Tell) approaches include focusing more on the sales start because that is what you can control, leveraging your client database, and using the power of 10 to multiply your efforts. It all sounds like I’ll need a better multi-vitamin but I’m game because old sell is dead.

If managers keep pushing people to do the wrong thing well, crazy has a whole new definition. Outdated sales rhetoric only makes revenue generators feel inadequate because the manager’s advice doesn’t work. No organization can afford to disengage the very people needed to keep them viable.

Wombat Selling and Waiting For Your Cat To Bark – odd that it’s animal metaphors that are reminding us of what people really want. No sales pressure just buying pleasure so delightful that it generates word omouth buyers and tellers.  Sounds like 2010 is the year of the WOMBAT. Dig that.

Happy New Year, L

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