A Tale of Two Salespeople - Short Attention Span Sales Tip
I have had two diametrically-opposed training experiences recently. They were conversations held with salespeople of equal career experience (in terms of years) and they left me understanding a bit more about why the successful succeed and why the failures fail.
Both salespeople were put in learning environments (i.e. Sales Training). Neither paid for the training personally. Both started off by telling me pretty much the same thing: "I’m quite set in my ways.” After speaking with the both of them, I was convinced that it would take some work to get them to change.
I suppose we are all like that.
What happened next is where the road split. One rep went left and the other went right.
The one who went left kicked and screamed and fought me the entire way. Less than two months into the training, I finally had to cut the cord and end our work together. A 21-minute diatribe on the reasons why he didn’t need help, he certainly didn’t need me, and he knew what he was doing.
The other rep took in the exact same information and decided that maybe he didn’t know everything about everything. Perhaps there was a different way. So, he decided to put aside his sales techniques and beliefs and try something different. Interestingly, he went from making 15 calls a day on average to making five. He traded quantity for quality. While the results are not yet in, the rep who went right reported selling with more confidence, gaining more appointments, and meeting with a higher level contact.
Honestly, I don’t fault the rep who went left. We all develop pride over the years and it gets in our way. Unfortunately, his sales are on a rapid decline, I am told, and doing exactly the same as what he has done all along.
We should all, myself included, heed the lessons that the Fundamentals teach us: There is always a better way. We can always make better use of our time. We don’t know what we don’t know and we never will.
Not surprisingly, the rep who went right is a multimillion dollar sales rep. His numbers are trending upward. Not only is he good at what he does but he brings with him the idea that there is no finish line when it comes to learning. Question your assumptions. Try something new.
Or be prepared for your own trend to continue.
The video version of this sales tip goes into more detail. Click here to watch the video.
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Bill Farquharson can be reached at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org