Salespeople are Like Children

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Dec 13, 2005 @ 10:12 AM

The best way for me to show you that salespeople are just like children is to share an experience I had yesterday with our 3-year old son. While driving him to school I asked, 'Would you like to go shopping with me tonight and pick out a present that you can give to Mommy for Christmas?'

'Oh Yeah!', he replied.

'What do you think she might like?', I asked.

'I think she should like a pocketbook', he said thoughtfully.

I was thinking, 'He gets it. He really understands gift giving.'

He continued, 'Or maybe she should like a train set for me.'

So maybe he is just like a salesperson. After all, your salespeople learn that they should ask questions to learn about the needs, issues, applications and problems that their prospects might have. And some of them actually ask one or two of those questions - like they get it - and then they start to present their product, service or company. Just like our son, they can think about the other person for only so long before they revert to thinking about what's important to them or comfortable for them.

How do you break this child-like behavior? Stickers work for our 3-year old. Perhaps the corporate version of stickers would work to change the child-like behavior of your salespeople. The stickers your salespeople will respond to would be spiffs or recognition - anything that would motivate them to behave the way you would prefer. If they ask the right questions, they get rewarded. If they ask enough of the right questions, they get rewarded. If their prospects provide the right answers, they get rewarded. If they perform those behaviors consistently they make more sales, earn more money and they reward themselves.

Salespeople really are like children.

(c) Copyright 2005 Objective Management Group, Inc.

Topics: coaching, selling, Management, Lessons, Performance

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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.

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