The Professional Selling Skills Of Peyton Manning
I’ve lost interest over the years in the NFL.
A casual observer now, but I have had one eye on the Peyton Manning search for a new team. And now that Denver has become the customer buying the Peyton Manning product, we might explore the professional selling skills used throughout the process.
Here are three lessons I’ve observed throughout the last two weeks. Let me know in the comments section if you agree with these and what else you would add to the list.
In all the team visits, Peyton Manning is said to have spent more than 6 hours with each. Marathon sessions to understand the needs of each party.
Big decisions require big understanding.
Unfortunately, too many sales people today still rely on a transaction type conversation - “What color, what size, what model, and by when?”
Not much of an understanding there.
Both the seller and the buyer need to question, and question, and question some more. Agreeing that there is a need and a solution to that need might be the easiest part of selling. Deeper down we have to question:
- Will the solution work?
- What is required from both parties?
- Who has what responsibilities?
- What is the critical path for success?
- How will this decision impact things already in play (think Tim Tebow)?
- Are we truly committed to each other?
With Peyton Manning’s prior success, it would have been understandable if he tried to secure his next team and contract from the comfort of his agents office. They have Skype, and email, and the fax at their disposal. Why not?
It’s because they know they must get in the customer’s environment to really understand the opportunity in front of them. So he goes and works out for the Titans, 49er’s and Broncos.
The best sales people I know understand the opportunity of getting out into the customer’s environment. In this fast paced technological world, many are trapped in the world of reacting to customer requests. They constantly receive calls or leads - “We’re looking into purchasing a new forklift with these criteria, can you send us a quote?”
And they do!
They have no idea, what’s going on in the guys plant, what is the customer’s application, much less their challenges and what they are trying to accomplish. To understand these, the best sales people in the world understand the need to conduct a physical survey. Get out into the customers environment, watch, listen and observe.
Look for Fit
Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why, reminds us that the objective in business is not to do business with everyone. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
Early on Peyton considered the Miami Dolphins and the Arizona Cardinals who were quickly removed from contention. The Seattle Seahawks had hoped to enter the Manning sweepstakes but were rebuffed.
I’m going to guess that the seller in this case, Payton Manning didn’t believe what these three teams believed. The fit was not there. So he moved on to the other organizations that could be more productive, fruitful, and profitable - for both parties.
Think about this - he said no!
When is the last time the phone rang,and you said no? Most don’t.
But, we’ll complain that the customer is a pain in the a#%, nickels and dimes us to death, and we’ll drop everything (forgetting any semblance of a plan) at the whim of this customer who really doesn’t fit with our values or value proposition.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, we’ve got to become more proactive in our sales efforts. Your world of opportunity is huge. It really is. There is too much opportunity, and this requires understanding what you deliver, what you and your company believe in and then proactively zeroing in on - getting target fixation on those who believe what you believe.
Now let’s use these lessons from Payton Manning and begin moving the ball down the field.