Sales training throughout the years has been sorely lacking in some crucial areas. Just have a look at the amount of money (in millions) companies spend yearly on sales training, which focuses mainly on closing. If such training was effective, we’d certainly have more effective closing routinely taking place, wouldn’t we? Yet we’re still faced with, as our research has discovered, 20 percent of the salespeople closing 80 percent of the sales. This 80-20 barrier has never been broken—until now.
Part of routine sales training is to arm salespeople with “feature sets.” In other words, they contact a prospect and immediately launch into their product’s or service’s features. They then aim, as rapidly as possible, for the close. Unfortunately, very few actually arrive there.
A major reason for this failure is the lack of real communication. A salesperson engages, in the beginning, in some social chit-chat. “What about this weather we’ve been having?” “Love that dress!” “How about those Bears?” This is strictly social communication and will get you nowhere.
For real evidence of where social communication gets you, simply remember the last time you arrived at work in the morning. What do you usually say to the first person you meet? “How are you?” What is the usual answer? “Fine.”
Now, ask yourself, what do you really know about that person from that answer? Exactly nothing. It was a totally social answer.
In sales, you really need to know about your prospects, or you’ll never get anywhere. You need to understand why they’re interested in a product or service like yours, why they’ve been wanting to buy it, what they feel it will really do for them. You won’t get any of that information until you are engaging in real communication with that prospect. On top of that, you won’t be able to break through any of that prospect’s sales resistance, because they’re not going to share their actual objections.
For communicating in sales, there’s only one solution: let’s get real!
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