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Graduate From Old School Beliefs, Selling Does Have Structure

Jun 16, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Graduation CapsAs the calendar hits mid-June and I can hear the kids in the neighborhood celebrate the last day of the school year I ponder what they learned about life as well as their scholastic advancement. Those ideas provoke thoughts about what salespeople learn from one year to the next, or are they just repeating their earliest days in sales over and over, not really growing from the experiences along the way. So often when I am working with a sales team someone will complain about a prospect that will not return a call or a customer that expects to buy everything at the lowest possible price. Inevitably someone says that is just the way sales is and that complaining never makes it different. In other words, just live with it because that stuff just goes with the territory.

Do you want to believe that, or do you want to graduate from that old school practice of jumping through the prospect’s hoops or living in a world of relentless follow up calls? Seriously, you do have a choice to change the game and release yourself from the ties of the customer is always right and if you do not do what they want someone else will. The hard part is deciding to believe it does not have to be “that way.”

In every sales opportunity there is a moment when you must consciously decide to set the rules of the game or follow the rules set by the other party. That one decision can impact the entire experience for you. Will you be leading the way or following someone else to the ultimate outcome? By setting the course you can eliminate so much of what salespeople hate about selling, or at least makes selling feel like a second-class profession. Proactive implementation of deliberate steps and processes can keep you in control of the game and allow you to know what it takes to do business and when the next step is going to happen. For centuries, the buyers have been allowed to believe that they dictate the way the game will be played, and your decision was to either play along or move along. The process they apply to buying seems more like an either/or game than the win/win that everyone hopes for.

I am not advocating that you lay down the rules of sales process like Atilla the Hun, but I am saying there is a process that is mutually beneficial to both the buyer and the seller. By getting an agreement on how you both communicate with each other and agree to be decision makers rather than adversaries that produces a winner and loser, you can feel more in control and more respected than most salespeople ever believe is possible. No, selling does not have to be “that way.”

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