Effective or Easiest - Which Path Will Your Salespeople Choose?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 08, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

If you were a fly on the wall at a client's sales training event you would observe several interesting dynamics when it comes to the specific words their salespeople are asked to use.

  • There aren't very many words at all that we impose upon them.  Instead, it's a lot like Jazz music where there is the basic song - in this case the sales process - and they can improvise through that process.  There are chord changes that must be observed in Jazz and similarly, there is criteria that must be observed within the sales process.
  • There are (only) three specific events in the sales process where we do impose words - the number of words and the specific choice of words - or the specific strategy/tactic will likely fail.
  • Salespeople always attempt to change the words by adding more than necessary - they dislike being concrete and concise - or using softer - less powerful and not as effective - words.
  • When we redirect them to the original lesson we'll get push back because they aren't comfortable applying the lesson as taught.

two pathsSo why the discomfort and why can't they simply go back to the phones or out in the field and apply three VERY simply lessons?

It's usually because of their Need for Approval or their need to be liked.  They worry that if they were to say THAT (what we directed them to say) their prospect won't like them anymore.  The irony is that if they do say THAT (what we directed them to say) their prospects will respond positively and respect them - which leads to them being liked.  If they say what they're comfortable saying, chances are that they'll simply waste their prospects' time - like they usually do - and the prospect will find them to be just another unmemorable, mediocre, selfish salesperson.

There are always one or two crucial turning points in every sales cycle where your salespeople must choose between asking the tough question that's called for, or saying what's comfortable for them.  74% of the sales population will always go for comfort because it's the path of least resistance.  By doing so, they will sound just like your competition and in your prospects' eyes, become a commodity.  What do your salespeople choose?  How will this affect your coaching?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, sales tips, sales management coaching, sales techniques, sales effectiveness

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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.

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