Death of a salesman (part 1)

May 5, 2011 • peaceofmindguy

Ever have that feeling inside that you’re being sold something?  Why does that make me angry?  It’s the feeling I get when it’s time to buy a new car.  I’d almost rather spend an entire 24 hours locked in a room listening to fingernails on a chalkboard.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, I’ll say only 8 hours then.  What is it about the sales rep that can instantly turn people into not buying from anyone versus the one that can take a prospect that was not going to buy that day into their best client?

I wanna get to the bottom of what most people think a salesman should be.  Then I want to kill that idea.  I believe that in the death of a typical saleman we can find new life in the ways of selling.

Since I didn’t want to write a book in one post, I decided to break this up into 2 parts.  First I’ll focus on the top 3 don’ts of a sales rep; with follow up of the 3 do’s in part 2.  It will be like Terminator 1 and 2, both will be great, but part 2 will definitely take the cake.  You won’t wanna miss it!

Don’t!  Don’t!  Don’t!

  1. Don’t presume anything. In sales, it’s beat into us that you need to read the customer and know what they need before they do.  I disagree completely.  You see, funny thing about the human being, is that there is no two people that are exactly alike.  You can try to fit people into your mold and end up on the wrong end of the spectrum (no pun intended).  This is also true with long-term, non-retail sales.  I will never walk into an office and pretend to make a connection with a prospect just because I see golf clubs in the corner of the room.  The approach of searching for something to connect with is pretty weak in my book.  It tells me that you are shallow and don’t have a great product to offer me so you’re trying to make up with small talk.  I don’t have time for small talk and neither does your prospect.
  2. Don’t puke.  This don’t is meant to be both literally and figuratively.  It’s gross and it’s also a waste of time.  Too many sales reps try to wow the prospect with an overload of information.  Did you know that the decision making part of the brain, the limbic brain, cannot comprehend language?  It’s the same reason why even when the numbers line up, you still might have a gut feeling that says somethings not right.  It’s the same part of the brain that discerns trust.  Some people like talking until their blue in the face.  I personally don’t.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t sell to somebody out there, it just means that you need to be aware that not everyone is going to be a good fit.  Onward to point number three.
  3. Don’t fight for everyone.  If you think that what you are selling is globally universal then I would say that you are crazy.  For every client you have, I’d be willing to find 100 prospects that are not a good fit.  But that’s okay because there are plenty of ‘good fits’ out there.  Take for example Apple, selling in a heavily dominated windows market.  Steve Jobs didn’t try to take over the world and sell to everyone, he simply found Apple’s niche and sold directly to them.  You see, I believe that sales reps waste too much time trying to oversell to someone that should never have been a client to begin with.  Just remember, all the time you spend fighting for that one, you could have found five more that were a good fit from the start.  I’m not saying that there aren’t some that will take longer than others, I’m just saying be mindful of where you delegate your time.  We’ve all only got 24 hours in a day.  In sales, the most successful make the most of every minute.

Okay folks.  Time for recess.  Leave me your comments.  I can’t wait to get to part 2.  “I’ll be back.” (In my best terminator voice.)  🙂