Everyone reading this article can remember the two dimensional stick figures you drew when you were a kid? They were simple; you drew one line and then another line until you had drawn what resembled a person. You smiled at your creation, your mom praised you for your newly discovered talent and your drawing was proudly displayed on the refrigerator door. To distinguish your stick figure as a man you drew a hat, and for a woman you drew a triangle as a skirt with curly lines sprouting from her head as hair. I dare say none of these artistic renditions would win any awards other than the praise from your parent or your pre-school teacher. Now that we’re all grown up… why are you (and your team) still selling in 2D? 97% of all sales models are teaching 2D selling. 2D selling models are antiquated, predicable and unimaginative. When a sales professional sells in 2D they’ve been taught to focus on uncovering a prospects problems by asking them specific questions.

These questions orient the prospect to a problem that can only be solved by the product being sold. By asking “pain” questions, the person using the 2D selling model hopes to create so much pain for the prospect that they cannot possibly live without the product they’re selling by linking the (severe) consequences of not having your product. Nearly every sales model in existence works like this, from the simplest to the most advanced consultative sales model taught. NEWS FLASH! Buyers from the oil field to the boardroom understand the manipulative nature of the pain/consequence tactics derived in 2D selling better than your pre-school teacher understands the real value of a stick person. 2D selling models fail in modern day selling because they do not take into account the most important part of sales, the third dimension…

What’s the 3rd dimension? Only the most successful people on the planet know how to leverage the third dimension to become the trusted advisor with-in their market. The third dimension evolves around trust. Trust the prospect has that you will meet or exceed your promise to your prospect. Trust does not come from using outdated selling tactics (i.e. 2D) on your prospect it flows from the confidence you have to do what ever it takes to help a future client. Trust emerges from your personal confidence, and the confidence your prospect has for you. You and your prospect must believe in each other, establishing a promise with the other. Confidence is the conduit that provides surety to your prospect, linking your natural abilities to serve your prospect wants (and needs). Lack of confidence in my opinion is the primary reason why many sales people fail. When someone lacks confidence, they falter building trust in themselves and that wavering of confidence is recognized by their market. This “lack of confidence” causes the sales professional to fall back on obsolete 2D selling techniques. However, the confidence chasm is a lot smaller that many people realize. I’ve discovered personally with my clients that the chasm between my personal self assessment and the perception of experience needed to succeed are easily bridged within an area of expertise. A personal example of this is that I can teach anyone how to make more sales; I cannot teach you how to audit a tax return. I have a specialized knowledge when it comes to generating revenue, not accounting. I recognize my expertise, and more importantly, my market recognizes it. One of my mentors, William Bailey, an Horatio Alger Award Recipient shared a real gem a few years ago. Bill told me that he could tell anyone how to become a millionaire the way he had become a millionaire, however he could not give someone a map to a trail that he had never been down. And, he’s absolutely right!

I’ve observed many successful people who have made money in one area, and jump into another area trying to tell others how to be successful when they don’t have a clue. I do believe success principles are universal, yet the map does vary from one area of specialization to another. Even selling has its specific nuances. An example of this is the difference between selling to a large corporation and selling to an individual. There are common denominators for success in each as well as differences. Once again, I believe the most important factor to success is your confidence to perform that lays the underpinnings that build trust with the prospect. Trust is the business enabler for your prospect. Confidence is one of the most critical components in building trust. Moreover, trust is the #1 reason people do business with us. So what is confidence? My definition of confidence is the complete mastery of your abilities to achieve success for yourself and others. The power of the individual is the 3rd dimension in selling. Ok, let’s wrap this up. I know it seems like I jumped off into a tangent about personal confidence. However, personal confidence is directly correlated to trust and that’s the power of 3D selling. I believe that a professional’s ability to work in the third (trust) dimension will continue to broaden the gap between the hypersuccessful and all the rest of the people on the planet. 2D selling in the past has always depended on the value of the product being offered, however this is quickly becoming secondary. I’m not saying that the value of your product isn’t important, I am saying that an individual’s unique ability to earn the trust of their market is the most important part of the success equation.

Today YOU are the MOST critical part of the value proposition. That’s right, YOU are the third dimension. The burden of building value in your offering falls on YOU. Value does not rest on your product, company or its brand. YOU are the last and most critical piece of the sales puzzle. What can you do to build the trust in your market? Look inwards and have confidence in your natural abilities to perform for your prospect. What should you take away from this article? Remember, today’s buying society places more importance on trusting the individual delivering the product than on the product itself. The prospect judges the value of the product based on their trust for YOU. 3D selling builds the “trust” bridge between you and your market. 3D ensures confidence by your market and is the only way to win the revenue game in the 21st Century! To learn more on 3D and how the 7 ways to build trust in your market contact “The Sales Samurai” at 1.888.5HELLER. Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional questions? Fax a note on your letterhead to 281.749.8106 or send an E-mail to joe@joeheller.com and Joe will send you an invitation to discuss the topic on a conference call. © 2002 2003 Heller Research International, All rights reserved Worldwide.

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