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How do your prospects feel after sitting across from you in a sales call? Maybe the answer doesn’t come instantly to you. That’s OK. Here’s another question: Ever been to therapy? Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question… but it’s OK if you have. A career in sales can certainly lead to an occasional need for a therapist!
Have you ever wondered why a once-promising new hire is performing far below your initial expectations? From one perspective, what’s happening here is pretty simple: the person you hired is not the person you interviewed. The dynamic at work in an interview situation is similar to the dynamic at work on a first date./blog/how-succeed-onboarding-new-hires-podcast
In his book Blink, author Malcolm Gladwell contends that people make their best and most accurate decisions in the first two seconds of facing a situation—in other words, in the blink of an eye. It seems inherently suspect, though, this notion that people can make correct decisions quickly. Is it? You were probably taught from an early age that haste makes waste; don’t judge a book by its cover; and look before you leap.
Are your sales presentations more like a Gettysburg Address or a Gettysburg Oration? Few people know that President Lincoln was actually the secondary speaker at Gettysburg. The program for the dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery, four months after the famous 1863 battle, listed Dedicatory Remarks, by the President of the United States after Oration, by Hon. Edward Everett, the main speaker.
Rodney Dangerfield built his comic career on a signature tagline: “I get no respect.” Unfortunately, there are far too many salespeople who suffer from the Dangerfield syndrome – either they feel they get no respect or, worse, they act that way. They walk around with sullen expressions and a woe-is-me outlook. They are selling sympathy rather than solutions. If we are describing you, study this carefully. Hold your head high and reflect the pride of your profession. Selling is a great field. It has advantages that few other careers can claim.
A while back I attended a one-day Prospecting Boot Camp for salespeople in the heart of downtown London. After nine days of visiting attractions abroad, I decided to let my wife do the final day by herself, so I could endeavor to learn the differences (if any) in the mindset of British salespeople from their American counterparts.
Do you talk too much? Many salespeople do. How do I know that? Because I use to do it! But more significantly, when I visit a store and indicate my interest in something it seems the sales clerk takes that as a cue to talk too much.
It’s already the second quarter; is it too late to discuss sales mistakes to avoid in 2017? Or lessons learned in 2016? It matters not what month or year it is, for some sales lessons are timeless, and furthermore, we need to revisit them on a regular basis.
Traditional sales training says present, present, present and close, close, close – convince your prospect with a compelling presentation, show him enough value, and he will surely buy. When I first got into sales I really sweated the presentations. I practiced them over and over; used different visual props and brochures; tried a variety of persuasive arguments; and created notebooks full of evidence favoring my product and my company. Ultimately it became apparent that no matter how exciting or compelling my presentation was, my close rate was mostly dependent on what happened before the presentation, not during it.
Remember this rule when meeting with potential customers at your trade show booth: The essence of selling is not telling; it is asking questions and sharing third party stories that will help your prospect self-discover his own need for your product or service. People do not buy features and benefits; they buy solutions to problems. If you want to stand out from your competition, stop overloading prospects with information and brochures. Start asking thought and emotion provoking questions.