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We’re going to be talking about three massive myths that traditional sales trainers still want you to believe. When it comes to sales, there are so many different approaches to take. In fact, last time I checked, if you search for ‘sales training’ on Google, there are 150 million results to choose from. The options certainly aren’t scarce.
Given that there are 172 million opinions out there on how you should sell, I’m going to share with you what I believe to be the three biggest myths out there in sales, and what I recommend you do instead. I reckon I’ve made more mistakes in sales than anybody else, which hopefully qualifies me to help other people. Trust me, amongst all these mistakes, I’ve compiled a very long list of things that simply don’t work.
Myth number one: you need to close hard. This is an interesting one and it’s certainly open to interpretation. Allow me to give you some definitions. If ‘closing hard’ means convincing somebody to do something against their will, we are talking about the number one reason that salespeople get such a bad reputation.
In this situation, it’s a total myth for a couple of reasons. One, somebody who is convinced against their will, will more often than not become a problematic customer. So if you’re having to drag them kicking and screaming over the line to do business with you, it’s not going to end well.
I know enough about selling to be able to convince somebody to come and do business with me; but if they are not the right fit, you probably shouldn’t accept that person as a client in the first place. They may never want to subject anyone they know or care about to the same experience, which means that they’ll never refer business to you, and that’s not a good thing.
However, if closing hard simply means doing everything you can to dissolve the barriers that stand between a willing buyer, and being able to assist them in finding a solution, I’m cool with that.
Myth number two: salespeople need to become better closers. I don’t agree with this, and here’s why. Saying that someone needs to get better at inadvertent commercial closing, implies that the ID portion of the sales conversation that precedes is not as important. It’s only the end that matters.
In my experience, nothing can be further from the truth. Securing a commitment is obviously important, and you need to have language for that. But you shouldn’t do so at the expense of all other criteria. If you don’t create a trusting environment, you can try to close them as hard as you like, but you aren’t going to achieve much at all.
On the other hand, you can set the relationship upfront by connecting with the client, asking well-planned, strategic questions, and making a well-thought-out offer that’s actually relevant to your potential client. Obviously, there are going to be some people that don’t agree with me on this and that’s alright. But it’s based on my own actual experience, not just theory.
If a sales team is having problems at the end of a sales conversation, it’s almost always because something was missed upstream in the conversation. How much further upstream? Probably within the first 30% of the conversation.
Myth number three: great salespeople are born, not made. To be good at sales, you simply need to want to be good at sales. Where there’s intention and motivation, there’s also a good chance of success. People who aren’t motivated to sell, won’t sell, simple as that.
With the right process, if you can provide them with the right framework and phraseology, you can get almost anyone selling consistently. Will they be a superstar? Well, maybe not. But can you get consistent results? In my experience, absolutely.
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