3 Reasons Why Better Sales Skills Aren't Helping You Sell More.
Knowing more doesn't make you more. Let's face it, your obsession with learning every new sales tactic isn't getting you that far.
If you are like just about everyone else in business, it's something you've been thinking about for some time now.
You are frustrated, angry, and confused about this idea of learning to build more revenue.
Here are a few things you ought to know.
1. Style is just as important as substance.
Details matter when it comes to negotiation and sales. What you do is important, but how you do that is even more important.
You can negotiate in a away that follows exactly what you learned in a classroom and offend long time relationships and destroy opportunities for success -- simply because your style doesn't work. What you did was right. How you did it was awful.
Frequently sales people will make the comment that if a prospect doesn't get it: "that's not my fault". Which really means they lack style. Reality is that with the right style, patience, and empathy pretty much everybody "gets it" -- whether you are selling peanut butter sandwiches or cancer drugs.
Style matters. So don't just spend time learning your seven step sales program. Take the time to practice so that you are smooth and polished when it comes to presentation. And get a therapist if you have a lot going on in your life. You can't have a smooth and polished style when you're walking head case.
2. Anything works if you do it long enough.
When it comes to talk to tactics everything works some of the time. Nothing works all the time.
Obviously, there are some things that are more likely to work then others. Those things are are what you hear in your sales training seminars.
But the problem is that everything you hear is historic. It work for somebody else. It's not the future. It is the past. Which means the moment you heard it, it is outdated.
Some of the greatest sales success stories of all time have started with people doing things differently. The reason that matters is that when you do things differently you stick out and get noticed. And you do it long enough and with enough class then people automatically want to do business with you.
It's less about the tactic and more about your persistence and creativity. Remember that the next time you get told to follow the plan. Maybe what you just learned is just a really good history lesson waiting for you to take it a new direction.
3. Gray is the new black-and-white.
Not everything you hear is true despite the fact that every sale lesson you hear comes packed with examples of wild success and glory. That's just smart business on the part of the trainer.
There is a lot that is gray in business. People have access to more information now than they have ever had. The smartphone in your prospect's pocket is smarter than the entire set of encyclopedias your grandparents had on their bookshelf. There's not just more data out there, there are more types of data. More opinions.
More access to information means that your prospects can Google and find any opinion they want to find. If they want to disagree with you then they can find a thousand people on the internet to back up their gut instinct.
Just because your sales process makes it sound like success from buying your product is a black-and-white issue, your prospects know differently. They don't always make rational choices.
No amount of training will help you be successful if you aren't good at navigating through the grayness of life. This isn't about morals, this is about different perspectives. Sadly, your training usually only has one perspective -- yours. And that's just not good enough.
Success doesn't have to be a painful process of learning from one bad mistake to the next.
Learning from what you don't know and adding new skills is a noble effort. What you don't know can hurt you.
Just remember that there are a lot of "know-it-alls" who are broke, miserable, and determined to make your life that way to.
Maybe it's time to start thinking about sales skills a little differently. Maybe it's time to stop focusing on "get rich quick" strategies.
Maybe it's time to "be" amazing instead of learning the next amazing tip or trick.
It's that time, isn't it?