Integrity Selling provides the “value” that customers truly seek – With a sales process that can break through any difficulties. [Client’s Voice]

Integrity Selling provides the “value” that customers truly seek – With a sales process that can break through any difficulties.  [Client’s Voice]

“Integrity Selling is firmly rooted in our company,” said Mr. Takamasa Nishikawa, Marketing Development Manager, and Ms. Ayana Takahashi, Sales Training Manager, both from ASP Japan. We asked them about the appeal of this program, which they can see from both their own experiences in sales and their viewpoint from the sales training department, where they support the development of their own field force.

ASP Japan provides advanced medical equipment in the fields of sterilization and disinfection. Aiming for a “future without infection,” the company is working to create a safe and secure environment for patients, healthcare professionals, and local communities alike. The company is a member of the Fortive group, which consists of top brands in industrial applications and electronic measuring instruments, and is headquartered in the United States.

The power of the “interview” in revealing latent needs.

Nishikawa: We deal in medical supplies and medical equipment used in the disinfection and sterilization of medical devices. Generally, our sales activities begin with getting customers interested in the products, but in our case, that is a tall hurdle to overcome.

Takahashi: Indeed. Since the COVID disaster has hit, the public has become widely aware of the importance of infection control, but in the medical field, it has long been a matter of course to implement infection control measures. In other words, there are cases where it is customary to do so, and so issues are not even noticed. Some customers are too busy with their work to spend time on infection control, even though it is important.

Nishikawa: It is uncommon for infection control issues to be neglected in the medical field. Hospitals are taking measures as a matter of course. So if we try to sell them on the subject unnecessarily, they will simply say, “We don’t have any infection control issues that need to be solved right now.

Takahashi:That’s why we first encourage customers to recognize the issues. This is where Integrity Selling’s sales process comes in handy: in the second of the six-step AIDINCⓇ framework, the “Interview,” we interview the customer about the situation surrounding them.

Nishikawa: “How should the business process be changed?” “If something does not change, are there any risks or concerns?” We ask them to recognize the difference between the “current situation” and the “ideal situation” by asking questions that bring to light issues that had not been apparent. One of the features of Integrity Selling is that we can put this into practice.

Takahashi: Listening is never a passive act. Interviewing can be seen as a means of creative communication to clarify needs.

Turn objections into opportunities by facing them with sincerity, and then moving on to the next step.

Nishikawa: Hospitals that purchase our products have many stakeholders and these are not limited to doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel. They include administrative staff and people in departments involved in management. People who have various issues from different standpoints are involved in the selection of the model. This is one of our difficulties in sales.

Takahashi: That’s right. It is difficult to purchase expensive medical equipment worth tens of millions of yen just on the decision of a single user. The benefits that people perceive from the product also differ depending on their position, so it is necessary to involve a large number of stakeholders. Even in such a situation, we can finally win an order by carefully eliciting the “desire” of each individual user.

Nishikawa: The bigger the investment, the more cautious the client will be in making a decision, and sometimes they may react defensively. The skills to overcome this can be learned in detail in the “Negotiation” step of AIDINCⓇ.

Takahashi: The word “negotiation” may conjure up images of “argumentation.” However, “Negotiation” in Integrity Selling means responding to the other party’s objections in good faith.

Nishikawa: Our stance is such that when we receive a comment such as, “I cannot purchase the product because I am concerned about this specific point,” we can positively discuss with the customer how to resolve the issue. A counterargument from the other party is a sign that they are interested in the product, so it is also an opportunity. If we can solve the problem, we can move on to the next step.

Takahashi: When I first joined the company, I accompanied a senior sales representative, and I thought it was so impressive that he never let a complaint end as a complaint. Rather, he used each one as an opportunity to promote business. I was very impressed by the way he used complaints as an opportunity to rebuild relationships with customers. I think it was because he had acquired that capability through Integrity Selling.

Systematized, so it is easy to learn and easy to teach.

Takahashi: The beauty of Integrity Selling is that the sales concepts and skills are systematized and easy for anyone to learn.

Nishikawa: When I was a sales representative myself before knowing Integrity Selling, I was groping my way through the sales process. I was so impatient that I was always pestering people to place orders. I didn’t fully understand that simply making appeals about the performance of a product by saying, “This product is superior to our competitors’ products,” would sometimes have the opposite effect, as people would be put off by that.

Takahashi: When you go out into the field as a salesperson without knowing anything, you tend to explain only the product specifications, right?

Nishikawa: I assumed that if I conveyed the features of the product, I could motivate the customer to buy it. What is important is to truly convince customers that our products and services can solve the future issues that they are aware of. I first encountered Integrity Selling more than 20 years ago, and I was surprised that such sales training existed.

Takahashi: I felt as if the sales skills that I had cultivated through my own senses had been theorized and verbalized. I am now in the position of supporting sales development as a trainer, and I believe that Integrity Selling is the reason why I am able to avoid the “watch and learn” approach.

The 8-week follow-up enables us to grow as an organization.

Takahashi:Training tends to either be “one and done” or “not sure if it’s actually useful.” With Integrity Selling, you receive an 8-week follow-up through which everyone learns together. We practice and apply what we learn in our daily sales activities, and then look back on those efforts. By repeating this process, it takes root not only in the individual but also in the organization.

Nishikawa: It may be difficult to set aside time every week for follow-up. But now that we also conduct them online, there is no need to necessarily visit a specific venue. Even if it is just on the screen, sharing the results of our practices face to face with each other helps team members grow as well.

Takahashi: I realize the strength of Integrity Selling every day because we deal with products that have a complex process leading up to the buying decision.

Nishikawa:I think many companies struggle with the large number of stakeholders when it comes to sales. If we utilize Integrity Selling to find out what each customer’s issues are and take steps to address them, we are sure to find a solution, even if the issue is highly challenging. I would recommend it, and not only to those in the medical industry.


Mr. Takeshi Kanamaru, National Sales Director, comments on the background and deciding factors in choosing Integrity Selling out of all the various selling programs available.

We have been operating in Japan for over 25 years, but in 2019 we became part of Fortive of the United States, and have taken a new step forward as an independent company. One of our key values is to help our clients succeed through innovation. We wanted to ensure that our salespeople, who are the frontline contact for professional healthcare providers, had the skills to deliver on those values, so we introduced Integrity Selling. We introduced this capability for two reasons.

One was that it was the best way to standardize the language for sharing activity status. We wanted to have the same definitions of words in order to accurately and promptly share the status of customer issues and proposed solutions among supervisors and subordinates. We were able to successfully onboard new hires while aligning the perspectives between them and team members who had been working with us for some time.

Customers invest a great deal of money in our products, and use them over the long term. We wanted to make sure that our salespeople’s daily visits are pleasant for our customers and ultimately help them succeed. This is the second reason we chose Integrity Selling.

Integrity Selling is designed to help salespeople get a sense of where they are by defining six stages of customer engagement. The training and audio learning guides help them through each of these phases and indicate what kind of communication is required for each. Our team of sales managers is also certified as facilitators to promote these capabilities within the company. We are working together with our managers and sales team to resolve issues by incorporating these concepts into our daily dialogue.


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