By Ken Guest
Here are some beliefs about what it takes to cultivate a successful sales career beliefs on which many selling strategies are built but don’t hold up under close scrutiny.
Fallacy #1: Persistence and hard work pay off.
There seems to be a belief that the longer and harder you work, the more you are likely to accomplish. Certainly, persistence and hard work pay off in some endeavors. Digging a tunnel comes to mind. If you keep at it, digging straight and true through the darkness, you eventually see daylight and complete your goal. But selling shouldn’t feel like digging around in the darkness…hoping to eventually see some daylight, and if you’re lucky, complete a sale. A friend of mine told me about something her father taught her, what she now calls the Universal Rule of Holes…when you find yourself in one, quit digging. The adage “Work smart, not hard” may be a bit overused, but the message nonetheless rings true.
Fallacy #2: Salespeople must be motivated. Motivation is often regarded as a magic potion.
The thinking seems to be that if enough of it is sprinkled on you, you will be able to accomplish things you were not able to accomplish prior to the anointing. Getting hyped, energized, or excited doesn’t enable you to do something. At best, it encourages you to do it. The energy born of motivational meetings works great until the cord comes unplugged. Then, it takes something bigger and better to get that same level of energy back. Behavior drives your attitude, not the reverse as most might think. To stay “motivated”, even when you are struggling, if you plow through and do the “behaviors” you know you need to in order to be successful, it will drive the attitude and motivation you desire.
Fallacy #3: Salespeople must be skillful handling stalls and objections.
While a prospect may voice an objection or attempt to slow down the process, handling these situations should not be a normal part of business development. Prospects make buying decisions for their reasons, not your reasons. When you take the time to discover the prospect’s reasons and then present your product or service from a perspective that addresses those reasons and only those reasons many of the objections disappear. Stalls and objections tend to revolve around issues that should have been dealt with earlier. If you wait for the “close” to deal with objections, you’ve waited too long.
Perhaps it’s time to examine your own beliefs about the strategies and actions required to be successful. Do those beliefs truly support success? Are the beliefs built on facts? Is there evidence to support them? And, most importantly, are the facts or evidence relevant in today’s business arena? It’s true that nothing changes until you do. And in trying to grow a business, thinking that something shouldn’t change just because it’s “the way we’ve always done it” can be the kiss of business death.
Tell the Grim Reaper to go play someplace else. Embrace change, challenge your belief system, and welcome success!
If you are interested in learning more about Ken Guest, the Ruby Group and Sandler Training and the programs or training offerings available, please contact Ken Guest at 330.421.7347, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.therubygroup.sandler.com and be sure to mention seeing the article in The Medina County Women’s Journal for special discounts.