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Customers Love to Buy - Why Do Salespeople Struggle?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Oct 02, 2017 @ 06:10 AM

happy-buyer.jpg

I just returned from the local car dealer.

Have you ever noticed how happy people are when they are buying things?  What about you?  How did you feel the last time you took delivery of your new car?  Was it the new car smell?  The finish?  The wheels?  The look?  The brand?  What about the last time you bought a new smartphone, tablet or notebook computer?  And how happy were you when you moved into your house or apartment?  When you installed the swimming pool, bought the boat, renovated the kitchen, painted the house, bought new furniture, the flat screen TV, or a new wardrobe?  Happy buying extends to vacations and even sporting goods.  It never ends!  The excitement from these purchases tends to last much longer than the moments themselves.  

So if we all love buying stuff, why do salespeople struggle so much when they try to sell stuff?  Why isn't it as friction-free as an abundance of happy buyers would suggest it should be?

There are at least 13 reasons for this:

  1. Many salespeople try too hard to sell instead of helping people buy
  2. Many salespeople try to sell stuff that some people don't want or need
  3. The B2B buying experience is different from the B2C buying experience
  4. Many salespeople and customers don't have the same goals
  5. Many salespeople put their own interests ahead of those of their customers
  6. Many salespeople don't know how to lower their customer's resistance
  7. Most salespeople are predictable and obvious and their customers hate it
  8. Most salespeople don't know how to have a real conversation about issues and the impact of those issues
  9. Most B2B salespeople don't know how to make the B2B conversation personal and fail to get their business customers to the happy place that consumers get to
  10. Most salespeople are absolute amateurs when it comes to the consultative approach to selling, the only approach that makes it personal
  11. Most salespeople aren't able to sell value with any degree of effectiveness so the buyer-seller conversation ends up focused on price
  12. Most salespeople don't take the time to develop relationships
  13. Salespeople are ineffective at getting and setting realistic expectations

There are more reasons but I'm equally sure you get the gist of this.  How can you make the B2B experience more pleasant, helpful, personal and value-based and less about your goals and needs, which raise resistance?

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, Closing Sales, b2b sales, selling skills, B2C Sales

Is There a Lack of Clarity on the Current State of Selling?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 @ 15:04 PM

clarityLast week, I wrote this article questioning the Death of SPIN Selling.  Over the years, I have questioned the impending death of other important areas like cold-calling, selling, sales process, salespeople and more.  As we continue to discuss these issues and more like them, let's think about why there are two camps - those who continue to prophecise the eventual death of salespeople and selling; and those who defend its existence and continued importance as we march into the future.

I believe that if you do some digging into who is writing relative to each topic, it becomes fairly easy to see that most of the deathmongers hail from isolated areas of the industry. Some of them are marketers who, in order to push their applications, must convince you that marketing can handle both finding and closing sales - all via the internet.  Others are from the big, new, inside sales industry.  Those bloggers too must convince you that traditional sales is on its way out the door in order to get you to buy their services.  It's no coincidence that because most inside sales groups are responsible for the top of the funnel (following up on leads or generating leads and/or meetings) or selling low-cost, high-demand products and services (transactional of course), they have little insight into a longer, more complex sale.  Then there are researchers who simply fail to talk with the right people. 

On the other side of this discussion are those, like me, who are saying, "Sorry, you just don't get it.  You don't know what you're talking about."  We are actually in the field, working with companies, their leadership teams, their sales management teams, their salespeople and helping them navigate these choppy waters and develop modern, effective sales processes, strategies, tactics and styles.

Without question, the internet, inbound marketing, and social selling have replaced traditional sales - IN CERTAIN AREAS.  But they are relatively small areas and most B2B sellers will NEVER, EVER find themselves in that situation.

If your company has a long sales cycle, a complex sale or sells a high-ticket product or service, you will always require great salespeople.  If your company is not the market leader, low-cost alternative, or the maker of the products that people wait in line to buy, you will always require great salespeople.  And if your company and/or your technology is new, you will require great salespeople.  It's really that simple.

There is some clarity though.  It's clear that most of the inside sales/marketing folks lack clarity when it comes to writing about sales.  What they write about certainly applies to what they are doing in their corner of the sales world, but it is no more representative of sales and selling than Palm Beach resorts and Orlando Theme Parks are representative of Florida.  People who visit there experience life in a controlled environment.  It's an aberration - a bubble - because the real Florida has violence, crime, pick-up trucks, cowboy boots and large metal belt buckles. 

Yesterday, during our 2014 Objective Management Group (OMG) International Conference, I was speaking with Cliff Pollan, CEO of Postwire, my favorite content-sharing application and one of our great Strategic Partners.  Despite leading a company that essentially helps companies market via an ability to push, pull and track content engagement, Cliff sides with those of us helping traditional B2B companies to sell their products and services.  

OMG introduced its brand new, fourth generation Sales Candidate Assessments at this conference and they go live next Monday, April 21.  I will be leading a webinar and walking end-users through the new report on Thursday, April 17, at 11 AM ET.  Even if you aren't a current user, you are welcome to join us and learn why there is so much buzz about OMG's Sales Candidate Assessments.  Register here.

Image credit: rtimages / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, inside sales, postwire, cliff pollan, b2b sales, sales assessment testing, objective management group

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About Dave

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

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