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26 2011

21 Things I Would Like to Fix in the Selling Profession

Syndicated from: Fearless Selling Blog ~ Increase Your Sales

I have long believed that sales is an honorable profession, at least for those individuals who “get it” and do it right. Unfortunately, there are many people who give sales a bad name and reputation. If someone gave me a magic wand and I could “fix” the sales profession, here’s what I would do… 1. Sales people ask thought-provoking questions. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I’m a big believer in asking people high-value, tough, penetrating questions. Unfortunately, most sales people miss this. 2. Every sales presentation focuses on the prospect or customer’s needs first. It sounds like a simple concept but the majority of sales people start off on the wrong foot. 3. Sales people never misrepresent their product, solution or offering. I have never understood this approach. You might get the sale in the short term but you will seldom get a long-term client or a repeat sale. 4. Sales reps who cold call actually take the time to do some research before they dial. This is such a fundamental concept. Enough said! 5. No sales person ever opens a call with, “How are you today?” This is so lame…can’t you think of a better way to open a dialogue with people? 6. Sales reps are honest about the drawbacks of their product. No one likes to admit that their product won’t do everything their customer wants it to. But no buyer expects a product to be perfect either. Be honest with people and your results might change. 7. No sales pitch ever starts with 5 slides focusing on the seller’s company. I don’t think anything needs to be added to this point other than to say this, “If you think opening your presentation with details about your company is goingto compel them to buy from you….you’re sadly mistaken. 8. Sales people actually listen. Huh? Seriously, if more sales people listened to their prospects and customers more sales could be won. 9. Sales training consists of more than product training. Too many companies mistakenly believe that product training is enough. However, truly successful companies know the difference between product training and sales training. 10. Sales leaders hire people who are actually well-suited for their sales role. Experience in a particular industry does not mean someone is, or will be, a good sales person. 11. Good sales people aren’t automatically promoted to sales manager. Just because someone is a great sales person doesn’t mean they will be a good sales manager. In fact, in most cases, they will fail because the requirements for success are completely different. 12. Sales managers don’t bark, “Every deal gets closed today!” Seriously? Do you REALLY think that helps your team close sales? 13. Sales people don’t waste time trying to develop rapport by engaging prospects in small talk or social chit-chat. This is an outdated sales tactic that needs to be abolished. Busy decision makers no longer have time to talk about non-sales-related topics. 14. Sales leaders involve their team in the setting of quotas and targets. Far too few sales managers involve their reps when determining sales targets. However, it is a powerful techniques that gain buy-in and commitment. 15. Marketing and sales work together to develop materials that actually work and mean something to prospects and customers.  Unfortunately marketing departments create fancy and expensive brochures that don’t actually help sales people. 16. Sellers stop using manipulative tactics to try and close a deal. If you need to resort to this type of approach you should consider another career. 17. All sales people possess a solid understanding of their products. This can be challenging if your company sells a wide ranges of products. However, at the very least, you should have a basic understanding of all of your products. 18. Companies provide on-going sales training to their team. A pipe dream, I know. However, regular sales training can help your sales team deal with new challenges and learn how to deal with changes in the marketplace. 19. Sales people constantly upgrade their selling skills. See above point. 20. Sales managers never use the phrase, “Always be closing!” Similar to point 12, this comment does not motivate people to close a sale. 21. Sales managers take the time to properly coach their team. Unfortunately, sales coaching is still not widely accepted. Yet, when executed properly, it can have an very positive impact on sales results.   You will notice that I did not include anything about the negative behavior of buyers or decision makers. I deliberately excluded this because if the above issues were fixed buyers wouldn’t behave the way they often do. After all, they wouldn’t need to. What do you think? What have I missed that should be included on this list? Please add your comments below…   I help sales teams master their sales conversations. Could this help your team? If so, give me call: 905-633-7750 or Tweet This

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