Great Salespeople – Few are Born, Most are Made

By: Julie Crisara

ContractorSelling.com Great Sales People - Few Are Born. Most Are Made.

You would never start playing golf and expect to be Tiger Woods. You would never take up hoops and think you were LeBron James. I know, these examples sound crazy, but that’s sort of what newer salespeople do all the time, under the direction of equally unrealistic sales managers, who send them out into one of the most under-appreciated and misunderstood positions on Earth, expecting them to dunk the ball when they can’t even yet see the basket.

The above mentioned star athletes (let’s pretend poker is a sport) worked very hard on their craft, their game, honing it to perfection and success. But let’s just say that they didn’t, and were totally born with the tremendous natural advantages of skill, instincts and physical abilities. Let’s assume they were inevitable champions even if they’d never diligently studied the game or been trained by the greats who came before them. They are the absolute exception, the statistical oddity, the needles in the haystack.

The fact is, in any demanding field, 99.8% of entrants can NOT use these superhuman exceptions as their example. Your company’s sales people need to be conditioned to possess methodical advantages that will put them on the field and let them win points- over and over again. Why did I say 99.8 instead of 99.9? Because I’m GENEROUS!

The overwhelming majority of humans are not a Bach, an Einstein or a Michael Jordan, and that’s okay. That’s great, actually. An ability earned is an ability appreciated. A clean slate makes for a beautiful artwork. And slow and steady wins all the important races. (Okay, except those dumb marathons, where you have to be fast and steady, but really those things are terrible on your knees!)

Show me a prospective or newer sales person who is willing to really listen and learn, who throws themselves open to the wisdom and knowledge of a true teacher, a veteran in the field, and I’ll show you someone who can be built up into a selling machine, someone who will have a logical, reproducible method for pitching and closing. Show me a sales manager or owner who fosters a methodically trained and coached sales staff, and I’ll show you a genuinely successful business person- and I mean a terrific, bigly & amazing business person!

Your sales people should be more like Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. He worked harder than anyone in order to justify his unlikely walk-on position on the Notre Dame ‘Fighting Irish’ football team. He listened to his brilliant coaches, he took instruction from the best. And he made it out onto the field for the big game and is the hero of the movie Rudy.

A lot of people underestimate what it takes to be a great- or even just successful- salesperson. They reason that since it’s one of the least formal education-dependent positions in terms of hiring and because employers will often take a chance on someone who doesn’t have previous experience in the job, that it must be easy. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s arguably the hardest position in the company- and that’s why top salespeople often make more than even top executives.

Objection! Objection! Objection!

In sales, objections are your demons, your grizzly bears, your hailstorms in July. Overcome objections and you gain the world! (Okay, maybe you don’t want the whole world. It’s a nice place, but I’d hate to run the plumbing and wiring!)

We teach sales people incisive answers to objections that cut right to what their (prospective) clients really think and feel.

“I already have a company I regularly use.”

“Then why did you call me? What were you hoping to accomplish?”

This is just a tiny example of what sales people learn in our program. You see- we arm sales people with an approach that works, because it’s based on the real psychology of the person you’re talking to, not some fake, theoretical chalk talk. After this exchange, a conversation is started- not a polite “No thanks, goodbye” – click.

The process of becoming a consistent, methodical and undeniably successful sales person should not be thought of as requiring horrifically painful, back-breaking work. Not at all. Sure, there is work, but it’s much more about working smart and efficiently and learning how to go around resistance, not trying to smash through it.

“Knowing 50 possible moves and counter moves before the match begins allows you to save your energy and deliver just one good deadly strike in the ring.”

You know who said that? Lao Tzu. Okay, it was either Lao Tzu or me. It was me. Not bad for a guy who’s never even taken a karate class.

Great salespeople make it look easy, and that’s because they really know what they’re doing, and that comes from A.) years and years of hard trial and error out in the field, or B.) getting trained and coached by someone who’s learned from years and years of trial and error out in the field, and distilled that experience into scientific methods that work again and again. And those C’s? Natural prodigies who could sell ice cubes to the Inuits at age five? You’ve got better chances buying a Powerball ticket. (But if you do buy a Powerball ticket, and win big, remember me and all that I’ve done for you!)

What is Price?

Aaahhh, clients and price. The two seem to go together like oil and vinegar. But instead of a clashing mixture of opposing liquids, you can also combine oil and vinegar into a delicious and harmonious Italian dressing. (That’s not only a great analogy, but it reminded me to tell you that we provide a fantastic lunch!)

When is a price too high? What is the worth of peace of mind and a product that your client will be proud of? What is the negative value of a product or service that needs to be repaired, replaced or excused for being substandard?

“I didn’t realize that the price would be so high.”

“When have you purchased anything of necessarily high standards and it was cheap? What words did I use to create an image of low value in your mind?”

Another small example of the kinds of real-life, actionable script items sales people learn in our program.

Sales is an art and a science, and being great at it- or even good- requires a basic, stripped down understanding of psychology and sociology, some elementary math and a bit of performance. And that’s exactly what a seasoned, professional sales coach will impart to your sales people, very quickly, efficiently and effectively.

If Not Me, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?

Time. Time keeps on tickin’, tickin’, tickin, into the future. My pal Steve Miller said that. Whereas Steve dealt with the whole time tickin’ thing by flying like an eagle, we understand the importance of responding to prospective or current clients’ hedging, hemming and hawing about closing a deal with effective, concrete comebacks. One of the common brick walls sales people run into is not the “No,” but the “Sounds good, let me think about it.” Fewer words instill a butterfly-filled stomach in a sales person than those. Except maybe “Sir, do you realize that was an illegal left turn, and your tail light is out?” (That’s when I hire the best traffic attorney! He loves me- I re-wired his kitchen and rec room.)

“I need to think about it. My wife and I need the weekend to think it over.”

“Would you mind sharing with me what you’re thinking? Does your wife normally buy the premium or economical option?”

That’s an open-ended conversation, not a dead end. And dead ends are only nice if you live on one, especially if you have a large yard with flower garden, putting green and koi pond.

Don’t think that successful sales is about pulling the wool over someone’s eyes or dishonestly selling a bad product. Quite the opposite- this entire approach is predicated on the fact that you have a great, high quality product that is not getting it’s fair chance in the sun, so to speak. When the prospective buyer truly understands the high quality and lasting value your company offers them, they are going to ultimately thank you for taking the time and effort to sell them.

If you now understand the difference between flying blindly as an untrained sales person and coming into sales calls with tried, tested, statistically successful techniques then you really should take a serious look at our Total Immersion Program.

We’re currently accepting reservations for our 2017 Total Immersion Sessions. There are several dates available, one of which is bound to work for your team.
To get all the details on the Total Immersion Sessions coming up, and to save your spot, click here.

And if you have any questions about the program, please call us today at 877-764-6304.

Let’s make 2017 your biggest earning year ever!