Sales Obstacles Are Really Opportunities
In the printing industry, many salespeople see obstacles as objections and view them in a negative light. They view obstacles as things that get in the way of what they are trying to accomplish. Many salespersons have been taught (through good or bad training) how to “overcome an objection.” Assuming such training was good, then learning how to overcome an objection is good. And, if you’re satisfied with just being good then read no further.
However, because I am a person who is never satisfied with the status quo, let’s focus on how to get even better. To be a great salesperson, one must anticipate objections before they even occur. A great salesperson has already thought through a number of scenarios (in advance) of what might occur in any situation. They have well-developed intuition and are seldom caught off guard. This is why so many printing companies seek to “hire away” such sales reps from a competitor. You know the adage: Why develop a good “farm system” of salespeople when you can just steal them away. They are great for a reason. Instead of trying to “pick them off” focus on developing great salespeople yourself.
Great salespeople know that there is a solution behind every “problem” and see obstacles as being nothing more than opportunities. They know there is always another option and they also outthink their competition. They don’t merely think outside the box; in reality, they don’t even notice the confines of a box. Such salespersons are deep thinkers who look at an issue from many angles. They ask smart questions, listen and are always prepared. They possess strong emotional intelligence and notice even the smallest nuance of a human interaction.
In my consulting work with printing companies, the great salespersons are up for the challenge of any obstacle that is thrown their way. In fact, they relish such a challenge. In contrast, the salespersons that struggle like to complain, tell me why things will not work, what they don’t have and what they need. Simply said, they do not believe they are better than their competition, see obstacles as negative and do not provide or convey value.
So, I challenge you to think (and, yes, Everyone Is in Sales) whether you view obstacles as a hindrance that keep you from moving forward or as an opportunity that you know you can overcome. Great salespeople welcome obstacles and know they’ll find the way to win, no matter what is put in front of them. Which description best describes you and your sales staff?
Ryan T. Sauers has spent nearly 30 years running, leading or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications-related organizations. Sauers is CEO of two companies, Sauers Consulting Strategies LLC and End Resultz Inc. that among other things, owns magazines and is a media firm. Key areas of focus of the firms include sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs globally and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in the U.S. to achieve all three rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality and behavior).
Sauers has completed his doctoral-level coursework in Organizational Leadership and is now (ABD - All But Dissertation) working on his dissertation on why some entrepreneurs and small businesses achieve initial and long-term success, whereas countless others do not.
Sauers is the host of the Marketing Matters radio show in Atlanta that later becomes a global podcast. He also is the host of the Community Connections TV show that comes out in video and podcast form. Sauers is the author of the best-selling books, Everyone is in Sales, and Would You Buy from You? More info at RyanSauers.com or call (678) 825-2049 or email Ryan@RyanSauers.com