3 Selling Characteristics for the Age of Covid, Politics and Recession

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Sep 08, 2020 @ 06:09 AM

poliltics

This is a longer article than usual and includes many links to related articles so grab a snack and a beverage, settle in, and stay with me.  It will be worth it because I know I'm going to get you fired up.

In the first 1,825 of articles from my fourteen years of Blogging, only 21, or less than 1%, mentioned politics.  When I do use political examples I refrain from lecturing, don't take sides, and use what is taking place as a metaphor for sales.  I found that by remaining objective and using current political events as examples of effective and ineffective selling, I receive minimal negative feedback and most come in the form of emails taking a side and lecturing me about what they think are my political views.  They are usually wrong but they won't be wrong after this article!

These are the articles I have written which mentioned politics and/or politicians:

Articles from Before and Inclusive of the 2012 Election

Two Fantastic Examples of Handling Objections  (Links to the next 5 articles also appear in that article so you can skip them here or there)

Sales Force Lessons from Gates, Crowley and Obama  

Obama and McCain - Competing Salespeople Fighting for the Big Sale 

Obama and Friends on Stage - Implications for the Sales Force 

Did President Obama Do More Damage to the Image of Salespeople? 

Two Keys to Selling Success from Ann Romney and Chris Christie 

Articles from Before and Inclusive of the 2016 Election

Best Non-Sales Video Ever on Handling Objections  

A Great Way to Handle Objections, Challenges and Push Back   

Latest Debate Had Some Great Sales Leadership Examples   

A Sales Expert's Take on Who is the Most Deplorable  

The Benefits of Completely Bashing Your Competition  

The Rise of Trump   (article appeared on LinkedIn)

Articles Leading up to the 2020 Election

What Sales Organizations Must Learn from the Impeachment Hearings

Examples of How Salespeople Lose Credibility With Their Prospects   

Managing and Overcoming Resistance is a Key to Sales Success   

It's OK For Salespeople to Lie When This Happens   

Perhaps Hope is a Selling Strategy After All   

How Sales Coaching Utilizes a Quid Pro Quo     

Sales is Like Baseball and Baseball Can Save Law and Order, Capitalism and Liberty  (I took a side!)

FOX News and CNN Can Help You Conduct Better Sales Opportunity Reviews  

5 Keys to Get Your Prospects to Trust You and Then Buy From You  

Thanks to the non-stop political news cycle, I went from averaging just over one article that mentioned politics per year to two!

This article will be different.  For the first time in fourteen years of blogging, I am going to share what I think, uncensored, and despite some concern for what you think, not quite enough concern to stop me from writing about it.  There will still be a sales tie-in so stay with me as I build the case for 3 powerful sales characteristics.

I didn't pay much attention to politics prior to the 2016 election cycle. I'm a registered Independent and never voted based on party.  For example, I voted for Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012.  Now Conservatives and Liberals, Democrats and Republicans all have reasons to hate me!

I have clients all over the world but most of them are in the United States of America. 80% of the partners who represent Objective Management Group (OMG) are also in the USA.  Despite warnings to stay away from Politics, I'm curious as to which side of the political spectrum people are on.  When I think it's safe, I'll sometimes ask a sports question like, Indians or Reds if they're in Ohio, Yankees or Mets in if they're in New York, or Dodgers or Angels in Los Angeles.  Then I might say something like, "Are you in Trump country or Biden country?"  Depending on whether they answer enthusiastically or disappointingly, I can tell which side of center they are on.  When I tell them that I share their sentiments we can talk about it - especially about how the next election will affect our businesses and lives as we know it.

My clients are mostly CEO's, COO's Presidents and Sr. Sales Leaders and they are representative of most of the leaders of the four million B2B companies in the US.   While the personal feelings of the leaders of B2C companies could be similar, they must first and foremost protect their brands from being cancelled by the mob.

One paragraph on where I stand.

I'm for the safety and security that results from law and order, not rioting, looting, violence and shooting.  I'm for democracy, the flag and freedom of speech, not the cancel culture.  I'm for low taxes, limited government and limited regulations, not economy killing tax increases, regulations and a government that controls everything but can't get anything right.  And you and I need a robust economy.  I'm for all that way more than I'm for a particular candidate or politician. 

One paragraph on Trump.

Like him or not, embrace him or puke, however you may feel about his tweets, believe most of what he says or call him a liar, think he's hilarious or a clown, think he's fighting for Americans or his own personal glory, think he's a narcissist or self-proclaimed King, he fights for the issues that I care about and as a result, Trump will get my vote despite his many character flaws.  

One paragraph on Biden.

I like Joe Biden. He's more likable than Trump, but thanks to his alignment with socialists like Bernie and AOC, he stands on the opposite side of these issues or on both sides depending on when he last stated his position.  If you're on that side of the issues, it's fine with me, I respect you for it, and won't try to change your position and certainly won't attack you.  I believe that it is critical to hear both sides of every issue whereas the cancel culture will aggressively act to cancel me if they don't agree with me.

Now let's get to selling and for that, let's use 3 of Trump's characteristics.

Trump does have three desirable selling characteristics but before I share them, keep in mind that I am singling out these three characteristics, isolated, from his more undesirable characteristics.  I apologize for having to state this 5 times but I do.  Remember, isolated, without the undesirable characteristics which, as some insist in their comments, would come along with Trump as salesperson.  Yes, they would come along with Trump, but we don't want Trump on our sales force, only the 3 characteristics described below.  Just the 3, OK?  No more, "But Trump this" and "Trump that" comments.  Just these 3 characteristics.

Trump is a fighter.  Whether or not you agree with his position on an issue or like him, you have to agree that he is a fighter.  If he is attacked he fights back, even if the attack is justified.  If he wants something he fights for it.  He may piss off some people along the way but that's unavoidable today.  I wish more salespeople could fight for what they want the way that Trump does.

Trump is persistent.  To fight for your beliefs is one thing, but if you aren't persistent you won't win too many of your fights.  I wish salespeople were more persistent.  Not annoying, but persistent.  There is a huge difference between annoying and persistent.  While many find Trump's tweets annoying, he is persistent.

Trump is entertaining.  He engages people with humor and shock, and by getting them riled up or angry with him. Whether positive or negative, people get emotional when it comes to Trump.  I wish salespeople were more entertaining and could get their prospects and customers more emotional.

Objective Management Group (OMG) does not measure fighter, persistency or entertaining.  Perhaps we should.  Or perhaps they would be a distraction from the 21 Sales Core Competencies which, by the way, will be the recipient of an update this month.

We are introducing a new Sales Technology Competency which will include Video/Virtual Selling, CRM and Social Selling. Reaches Decision Makers, already a full blown competency, gets promoted to one of the 21 Core Competencies, and Remote Seller, an important finding for the last 10 years, will be more prominently featured.

Should we add these three selling characteristics?  Let me know!

Do you agree with my political position?  Let me know. I understand that just because I showed you mine you might not be comfortable showing me yours.  I won't have a problem with it but I know there are others who will.

Image Copyright 123RF

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales competenices, Obama, romney, Donald Trump, joe biden

4 Great Sales Lessons from a Notre Dame Commencement Ceremony

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, May 17, 2016 @ 11:05 AM

gen_martin_dempsey_300.jpg

We were fortunate to be in the audience for the 2016 Notre Dame Commencement where Vice President Joe Biden, former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and former Joint Chiefs of Staff and retired 4-Star General, Martin Dempsey were among the speakers.  While all were good, Biden had one great takeaway, and the General shared 3 tips and an action step. I believe that these are all share-worthy and apply to sales and sales leadership as well, and perhaps even better than they apply to those graduating from universities.

Dempsey is known for a 3-word call to action, "Make it Matter."

Let's apply "make it matter" to sales and sales management.  In sales, it means that every conversation, with every prospect and customer, should be meaningful to the customer and/or prospect.  How can we make each conversation matter to them? To them!  We need to stop thinking about our own needs and focus on the needs of the person on the other end of the call or the other side of the conference room table.  This doesn't mean giving up control, or facilitating, but it does emphasize the importance of listening instead of talking.

When it comes to coaching salespeople, this concept is even more important.  How do you get your salespeople to come back and want more coaching from you?  After all, that is the true measurement of whether or not your coaching is having an impact.  Are they getting enough from it to want more of it?  Make it matter - to them!

I found his advice to graduates even more meaningful.  He told them, "We need you to have a warrior’s heart, an immigrant’s spirit, and a servant’s soul."

Let's review.

Heart of a Warrior - It's the will to sell - grit - the ability to do what it takes - and wanting it badly enough.  It's finding a way - any way - to get the desired outcome.  It's more than surviving sales; it's achieving and thriving in sales. 

Spirit of an Immigrant - It's finding your way, seeking something better, and fitting in.  It's being flexible, taking risks, being memorable enough to differentiate yourself from all others.  It's learning your customer/client's culture and embracing it.  

Soul of a Servant - It's about giving people what they truly want and need and you identify that by asking great questions and listening and following up with more great questions.

Biden stressed engagement.  He urged graduates to engage with conversation and build lasting relationships.  My sales translation is that while our current generation of technology is great and should be leveraged, a connection on LinkedIn is not a relationship, a follower is not a raving fan, and a conversation cannot be conducted over email.

These are all common sense guidelines, but today, whether it's politics, technology, or how we view ISIS, there doesn't seem to be enough common sense as a main ingredient of our discussions.

As an example, as I write this, we are in the first morning of our spring Sales Leadership Intensive and the conversation taking place this very moment is about the importance of a formal, milestone-centric sales process.  Common sense suggests that a time-tested and proven sales process will be much more effective, consistent and predictable than going without.  Despite the common sense factor, I've read articles suggesting that we no longer need such things with the current technology available to us.  I've read countless articles about the death of selling, the death of SPIN selling, the death of Solution Selling, and the death of consultative selling approach. And of course we have all been told that cold calling is dead.  Uh-oh.  Most of these articles were written by companies trying to get you to buy their software applications and they hope that you will buy into the dead = need for software.  Nice try!

There is no doubt that selling has changed.  If you just read the article I linked to, you should recognize that the real key is in understanding how the dynamics have changed.  Selling has changed only to the degree that we must understand how to deal with those changing dynamics.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, solution selling, SPIN Selling, notre dame, joe biden, sales software, selling has changed, martin dempsey, john boehner

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,800 Articles

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight 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

2019-Silver-BlogIndi
9 Consecutive Years!

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver


2019-Gold-AssessTool
9 Consecutive Years!

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

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