Alignment-Based Sales: Three Steps of the Alignment-Based Sales Structure

SIBP-Blog-NEW-B-3What does the alignment-based sales approach look like on the ground level? It’s one thing to conceptually understand the theory, but it isn’t always obvious how to take that 10,000 foot view and apply it to your sales process. How do you start an alignment-based sale? What do you say to make sure both parties are still in alignment? How do you walk away when there isn’t an alignment?

Let’s roll up our sleeves and dig into some real-world techniques for implementing an alignment-based sales process. There are three basic steps: The Alignment Statement; Qualifying; and Continuous Testing. Let’s take a look at how each of these work. Continue reading

Alignment-Based Sales: Five Core Benefits to the Alignment Approach

SIBP-Blog-NEW-B-2We’re all consumers, and we all know what it’s like to walk into a store where the salespeople are paid by commission. From that very first moment we see the sales associate walk towards us, our guard goes up. No matter how helpful and pleasant they are, there’s an almost instinctual reaction we have as shoppers. We say something like “Just looking!” and hope that’s enough to keep them at bay.

Why is this? It’s pretty simple, actually. As shoppers, the last thing we want is to be pressured into buying something. This is the exact same instinct that your prospects feel when they agree to hear your sales presentation. Even if they know they need the product or service you provide, they don’t want to go through the ordeal of a high-pressure sales presentation. They put up the same sort of “Just looking!” defenses.

This is exactly why the alignment-based approach is so powerful. It changes the very nature of the interaction, removing the tension and apprehension completely. Here are five core benefits you will experience while using an alignment-based sales method. Continue reading

Alignment-Based Sales: Alignment Sales in Action

Modified from source image: you’ve spent any time at all in sales, you know how stressful it can be. Going into a selling situation often feels like contest, where the goal is to find the prospect’s pain, and to slowly press on that pain point until they become desperate for it to go away. You want them to become just uncomfortable enough about that pain to spend their money on your solution.

Is it any wonder that prospects often feel like salespeople are trying to trick or manipulate them into parting with their money? If you’re an empathetic person, which the best salespeople often are, it’s a process that really sucks.

The exciting part of an alignment-based sales approach is that it can make selling a lot more fun. Instead of creating a stilted, adversarial dynamic between the salesperson and the prospect, the process becomes much more about finding common ground. I also know it works, as I’ve personally sold millions of dollars of products using this exact sales philosophy. Continue reading

Alignment-Based Sales: An Introduction to the “Always Be Aligning” Approach

Modified from source image: me to destroy a major misconception about sales for you: Closing isn’t everything. It’s an important step in the process, but it’s not the winner-take-all endgame many inexperienced salespeople believe it to be. Closing a sale — particularly when it’s an initial sale with a new customer — should mark the start of a relationship, not the end of contest of wills.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my biggest issue with the “ABCs of Sales” approach is the puzzling emphasis on closing. It implies that sales is fundamentally about delivering a knockout punch to the customer, or that it’s something of a deception-driven, non-consensual relationship between the salesperson and their prospect. That’s a terrible way to build a customer base, particularly if you’re running a business where long-term contracts, renewals or subscriptions play a major role. Continue reading

Alignment-Based Sales: The ABPs and ABAs of Sales

SIBP-Blog-NEW-B-2In a previous post, I explained my many problems with the “Always Be Closing” approach to sales. In a nutshell, I find that the “ABCs of Sales” is a one-sided approach that creates the wrong dynamic for a sustainable business. The only thing it’s good for in the long term is alienating your customers.

If the “ABCs of Sales” is wrong, then what’s the alternative? I have two other acronym-ready sales philosophies for you: “Always Be Prospecting” and “Always Be Aligning.” Or, if you prefer, the ABPs and ABAs of Sales. These may not be quite as catchy-sounding as the ABCs, but they do deliver real-world results. Continue reading

Alignment-Based Sales: Don’t Be A “One Way”

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Sales shouldn’t be a win-lose relationship. It you’re focusing on the knockout punch of closing the deal, like the “ABCs of Sales” approach, you’re creating a dynamic with those clients that’s really not sustainable. It’s an incredibly short-sighted way to do business, but it’s also surprisingly common.

I even have a term for people like this. I call them “one ways.” Why? It comes from one of the first dates I had with the woman who would later become my wife.

When we first started dating, I was a different guy. It was a lot younger back then, and I was both clueless and a little selfish. On one of our earliest dates, we were hanging out at my apartment watching a movie. We were a good ways into the film, and I realized I was getting a little hungry. Continue reading

Alignment-Based Sales: Why The ABCs of Sales is Junk

GGR-Image“The ABCs of Sales” is junk. I know I’m going to disappoint some of you by saying this, but it’s true. Let me tell you why.

I’ve worked on the sales side of the business world for a long time, and been on almost every rung of the sales ladder in the process. Along the way, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. When I hear people repeating the idea that the right approach to take in sales is to “Always Be Closing,” I cringe. That’s a terrible sales philosophy, particularly when it comes to building a sustainable business. Continue reading

Ep. 052 – The Alignment-Based Sales Approach

SIB-Blog-2How exactly does the “Always Be Aligning” approach to sales work? In this episode, host Tom Ryan explains the three fundamental building blocks of alignment-based sales, from creating a strong alignment statement and confirming interests to qualifying leads and learning when to pull the plug.

Not only can this technique build more sustainable and long-term relationships with customers, it also prevents the unnatural and high-pressure conversations of traditional methods. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and fellow podcaster Jason Pyles. Continue reading

Ep. 051 – The “Always Be Aligning” Approach To Sales

IMG_2523Sales doesn’t have to be the high-pressure, trust-destroying experience from the “ABCs of Sales” scene in Glengarry Glen Ross. Not only is it a terrible approach for building a long-term, sustainable relationship with your customers, it’s also not very effective in day-to-day sales.

In today’s episode, host Tom Ryan explores a more cooperative sales philosophy he calls “Always Be Aligning.” It’s a disqualification-focused approach that favors strong, mutually beneficial connections with customers over simply getting them to sign on the dotted line. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and fellow podcaster Jason Pyles. Continue reading