Professional Sales and the All-Star Jazz Performance

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Aug 16, 2010 @ 08:08 AM

jazzOne of the most amazing musical performances I ever witnessed took place about 9 years ago in New Orleans.  We had front row seats at a small venue that advertised an "all star jazz band".  The first musician to arrive was the guitarist, who sat polishing his axe (guitar).  Next, the drummer arrived and introduced himself to the guitarist.  Then the bass player arrived and introduced himself to the first two.  The next to arrive were the saxophonist and trumpeter.  They did as the others did, shaking hands and setting up. Someone mentioned to the guitarist that this was a jazz gig, not a rock gig, and he should get his other guitar out.  The guitarist nodded and took out the more appropriate equipment.  Finally, at one minute before 8 PM, the organist walked on stage, introduced himself to the other five musicians, mentioned that he was the musical director, handed out the arrangements, sat at the organ, and at 8 PM, yelled, "one, two, three, four" and the band began to play.  They had not only NEVER PLAYED together before, they didn't even KNOW each other!  Despite that, they were tight, in sync, confident, flexible and completely aware of the expectations, where they were in each tune, and what they had to do to make each song sound like they had rehearsed it together a dozen times.  It's their masterful ability to listen, observe and improvise within a defined structure.

If you want to know what professional salespeople should be able to do, it's exactly that! 

They should be able to walk into any meeting, at any time, at any stage of a sales process, and any stage of the buying process, having never met a participant, and within minutes, be in sync, confident, flexible and completely aware of the expectations, where they are in the sales process, and what they must do to move that sales process forward to a successful outcome.  It's their masterful ability to listen, observe, and ask unscripted (improvised) questions within a defined structure (sales process).

Professional Selling is just like being in the All-Star Jazz Ensemble.  It's being so good and so experienced, that one can perform perfectly, on demand, in any environment, despite tremendous pressure, regardless of product knowledge and expertise.

How many of your salespeople have this capability?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, Sales Coaching, listening and questioning, sales management function, sales mastery

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,700 Articles

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile

Subscribe 

Receive new articles via email
Subscribe
 to the Blog on your Kindle 

 

 

Most Recent Articles

Awards

Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

MVP2018_badge_winner_SPC

Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Individual Blog -  Silver

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver


Top Sales Awards 2018 - Assessment Tool -  Gold

 2016 Top Sales & Marketing Individual Blog - Bronze

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blog 2019

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers

Top100Strategic

Top100SalesInfluencersOnTwitter



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs

 

Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader