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As a sales trainer, I get a lot of pushback about the word “pain.” Many of my clients reason that there are many other motives to explain why people buy. There have been multiple instances where they were offended by the very word “pain” and its negative connotation and then asked if we can call it something else instead.
Many sales organizations get caught up in the details of educating or convincing their prospect to buy. Some sellers might even ask “What do we need to do to earn your business?” and worry about what they can do to facilitate the buying process. “What do you see as next steps?” is another common question that salespeople ask. These sellers lose sight of the fact that it’s the prospect that needs to do something for a sale to happen.
I spend about 80% of my time working with sales professionals to perfect their ability to structure the questions that need to be asked. They all understand the importance of asking questions but need some assistance in creating their own tailored versions. Salesmen often enjoy the exercise of deciphering which questions uncover the compelling reasons the prospect should do business with them.
I just returned from Las Vegas where I spoke to business owners in the construction industry. I admit, I do get excited about wagering, especially in Las Vegas, but I realized how I was getting suckered in when a slot machine caught my eye. It said "99% payout guaranteed," which sounded like a good thing. You essentially put in $100 and over time, you will get $99 back. When you aren't emotionally involved, it's easy to see the futility of gambling in Las Vegas. But the lights and the bells and the buzz of excitement reels you in and sure enough, in an hour, I handed over $60 to the resort.
Sandler Training has many novel approaches to selling. But back in 2000 when I started my sales training business, there was one topic in particular that I wasn't expecting in a sales training curriculum. There was an entire section dedicated to insuring that salespeople's self-identity was separate and distinct from their sales role. I figured that since salespeople get rejected a lot, this chapter was there to ensure salespeople had methods to deal with rejection and not take it all too personally.
I used to be an engineer before I transferred into sales in 1988. I'm guessing you've heard jokes about engineers in sales. Accountants, contractors, PhD's, and lawyers don't have stellar reputations in sales, either. Yet these professions generally are an intelligent lot. They are quite skilled at what they do, since our daily lives may depend on their specific calculations and recommendations.
Here's how I used to sell:
Research the prospect and prepare a powerful presentation that applied specifically to them
The ABA Journal published a wonderful article about the legendary Texas lawyer "Racehorse" Haynes. In his very first jury trial, he accidentally stepped on a spittoon and fell to the floor in front of the judge and jury. After his client was later acquitted, he reasoned that it may have been because the jury felt sorry for the defendant being represented by such an inept attorney.