THE “RIGHT WAY” VERSES THE “WRONG WAY” TO SELL
I was encouraged to present this article by a comment Hermilo Novelo Quiroga made on one of my Facebook groups, below one of my Sales Tips, that simply said … “A great way to make the sale is to get the prospect so engrossed in the ownership of what you’re selling, formalising the details will be like a junkie feeding a habit.”
Hermilo then went on to say, that he had noticed that a lot of new salespeople overdosing on closing techniques that they neither understand or are able to use effectively. He then goes on to say that they do not have a clue of how or when to close. Worse still they call this process “the new school of selling.” In his opinion those “new school techniques” will teach you (at best) how to sweep streets well, but not sell. It’s the “old school” sales techniques and salespeople that are the ones that work. (My paraphrase)
As fate has it, the very next day, one of the USA vehicle industry’s most respected sales trainer and corporate sales advisor, Noel Walsh presented a short Facebook video titled, “Sales is a Long Game … Are you going to win? ” where he outlined many of the sales basics that pertain to sales rookies and the fact that need to take a long term view of their profession.
After seeing the video I immediately posted this comment … “Good Video, Noel Walsh. For most of us there are not, nor will there be any short cuts in sales, especially if you want to forge a milestone career in this profession. And it is a profession and not just a job, because to a seasoned professional the rewards are massive.”
With that, I then went into my article archive and resurrected this reworked introductory preamble to an advanced professional selling book of mine, titled, “Secrets of the Supersellers, Book 2, The Must Have Superselling Skills.”
PANDERING TO THE EASY WAY OUT IS NOT ON …
In my early seminar days I worked hard at giving the participants what they wanted, but quickly found that the more I gave them what I was sure they wanted, the more they wanted – especially in any of the keynote talks I gave.
One after another the attendees came up to me telling me what I delivered was good, but somehow lacking in “real” substance. If that is confusing to you, just imagine how confused I felt trying to deliver subject matter that always seemed to fall short of what it was they really wanted. Unfortunately, I kept wanting to please everyone; rewrote the content over and over; repackaged the material with more and more depth, but still the attendees wanted more.
Then “out of the blue,” a mentor of mine suggested he would have a closer look at what I was doing, and within minutes of his evaluation I realised what I was doing that was less than favourable. I was pandering to salespeople who were not looking to improve, or to go back to basics on a regular basis, because they simply wanted someone, anyone, to give them an easier way to sell.
Today, I find that I have little need to be as diplomatic as I have been so many times over the past 40 years. And Now that I have a little more experience, and the necessary “runs of the board” I feel I can tell it the way I should, and that’s all that really matters . . . it’s a little lesser used concept called the truth.
SELLING – AN AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY
The dictionary describes PROFESSIONALISM as: “Engaged in, connected with, or worthy of the standards of a profession.” If you think you’re safe because your “Engaged in”, or “Connected to”, lets look at the second part which states “Or worthy of the standards of a profession.” The dictionary goes on to describe PROFESSION as: “An occupation requiring advanced education”. And without the appropriate education, you won’t understand the basics and therefore have trouble learning the more advanced concepts.
The problem with sales in the 80’s and 90’s is we were turning out SALES-WISE REPRESENTATIVES. The ones Industrial Psychologists call “Comfort Zone Sellers”. People who are always going after new and innovative selling techniques before they’ve mastered the true and tried methods that have always worked.
Now we’re in the 21st century, those past years have now begun to haunt us, because in so many ways standards have dropped. Not because those levels cannot be taught, far from it, it’s because so many of the supersellers in sales are no longer prepared to pass on vital information.
So many have tried time and time again, only to be ridiculed because of what they’ve said, or to have a non-performing salesperson publically taking them to task because they “disagree” with the one with the runs on the board.
So many salespeople today want instant fixes, in place of sound training. They experiment, rather than apply that which is know to give results. Their language contains phrases such as “Trust me”, “She’ll be right mate”, “This is best for you” and a host of other easy to learn one-liners.
To achieve results, their presentation has been rewritten to include phrases that exaggerate, overstate and manipulate. And rather than advise, they impress. In time they harden their attitude towards their prospects, their peers and their companies.
But the irony is – people who promise great things to get the sale, fail more often than those who bungle their way through a bad call.
The reason I have written this book, I’m nearing seventy, I’ve gained a lot from sales and now feel it’s the right time to give back what I can to a profession that has given me so much; introduced me to so many wonderful people; gave me a chance to learn from some of the “real” sales masters in Australia and from around the world. So take this book as my gratitude for the 52 great years the selling industry has given me.
MODERN SALESPEOPLE JUST WANT THE EASIEST WAY TO SELL
I quickly learned that modern salespeople, the ones that are being spoon-fed by their employers, who also provided them with books, CD’s, training and external seminars, were the same ones that were anxious to learn the latest selling concepts or the newest closing techniques, so they could turn (what was already an easy work life-style) into an easier work life-style.
Guess what. That oasis didn’t exist around 25 or 30 years ago, and it definitely doesn’t exist today.
THEY BELIEVE THAT CLOSING IS WHAT THEY NEED TO IMPROVE ON
What today’s modern average seller is yet to understand, is that the ability to close is not a survival issue. Having the ability and knowledge necessary to ensure that a sale is made is the only issue worth considering.
But they go off on tangents on the mistaken belief that their employers do not want to pay salespeople for sales calls that end in “No” or “Maybe”. And that’s why they believe that there is a simple way to get a “Yes” on every call. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
IF NOT CORRECTED, DESPERATION CAN BECOME THE NEW ISSUE
Whether we believe this or not, every one of us gives off certain vibes that can make a prospect feel good in our presence, and at other times feel really uncomfortable. Discomfort, in turn, can create doubt and doubtful and uncomfortable prospects tend not to buy. The same doubt can be just as apparent when we leave a voice mail as it is when we sit down in front of a potential customer.
Women are usually better at sensing this than men are, but men also sense things just as quickly if they are constantly observing, evaluating and analysing the performance of others . . . and that’s what most managers do.
AND DESPERATION CAN BE A REAL CONCERN TO MANAGEMENT
So let’s talk about desperation in salespeople. No matter what level of desperation the salesperson is suffering, it’s still desperation and desperation creates other on-going issues and problems, that if not addressed can have dire consequences both for the salesperson and employer alike. So let’s investigate this further.
According to the dictionary, the word “Desperate” means “having lost hope” or “suffering extreme need or anxiety.” Taking each of the words stated above, desperation takes on a new meaning:
1) If someone has “lost hope” they have generally lost the will to do most things. In this instance that could mean they have lost the will to anything. They may just go into remote control mode and stay there. Now, that’s a worry.
2) I they are suffering “extreme need” then they could be capable of resorting to a variety of extreme measures to keep their figures up. That could mean a compromise of ethics and integrity. In so many cases I have experienced desperate getting the sale at any cost.
3) If “anxiety” is allowed to take a grip any number of “downward spiral type issues could follow. Depression is one that can cause one to camouflage their anxiety making it hard for the average manager to spot.
Each of the three above is at the extreme, but it is well worth noting them all at this point.
PROFESSIONAL SELLING IS NOT A MONTH TO MONTH PROPOSITION
If the purpose of business is getting and keeping customers, then the purpose of a salesperson is to develop a customer who will buy more than once and whose experience will be so positive that they will give the salesperson additional referral business too. Salespeople who have lost hope or are anxious are the ones who perform differently than self-confident, hopeful salespeople.
Desperate salespeople also have a different mindset, their purpose for making calls takes on a new purpose, and that purpose is to make a sale at any cost in order to keep their job for another month.
YOU NEED TO READ THIS BECAUSE IT’S THE TRUTH
I’ll probably be riddled for writing this book, by those that have achieved very little in sales and disagree with what’s written here, for no other reason than they have never seen or heard it before. But the truth is, the contents of this book will be dynamite in the hands of the true professionals, because it will remind them of how to fine tune certain things to get them on track. It will also move so many others to a new level in sales, giving them a new status and higher income. Yet I know others will dismiss it outright.
I have not written this book to win a popularity contest, but to pass on the things that have allowed me “Hall of Fame” status in two multinationals, and to break hundreds of National and International Sales Records and Awards over the years, then to be a distant Mentor to others as I have had the privilege to have been mentored by so many of the Greats as I’ve described in the editorial at the beginning of Part 3 of this book, and reproduced it here in its entirety.
“I have been in sales now for nearly 53 years. I can personally tell you of the countless rewards that the industry has blessed me with, the wonderful places I have been to, the luxuries I have enjoyed and the people I have been lucky enough to meet that have helped shape my life.
Many will never know how much of an impact they’ve had on me or how they’ve influenced my lifestyle, my friendships and my focus. These are the ones I met reading their books, listening to them on reel to reel tape, audio cassette, CD and now mp3, watching them on 16mm film, video cassette, DVD and mp4, or attending their breakfasts, keynote talks and seminars.
Some of them I have been lucky enough to have met in person and yet others I have been even luckier, I shared a stage with them as a trainer or a public speaker. There are also so many, many others that I’ve had the privilege of working with or managing over the years. All are my hero’s because of their influence on my life in one way or another.
Many of them have also been with me through the tough times, although they’ll probably never know when, how often and to what depth. Yet if it wasn’t for their timely guidance, or the influence they’ve had on others that have helped me by lending me an audio tape, book or video that helped me through when times got really, really tough, and they did.”
Copy and distribute this content as often as you want. You are encouraged to share it. © Copyright Peter Collins, Sydney, Australia, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies over 48 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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