The 21-Day Solution for the Toughest Sales Weaknesses

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Apr 05, 2019 @ 16:04 PM

Salesmind

About a year ago, I wrote a very popular article called, Persistence Over Polish, where I discussed the competencies that the top 10% of all salespeople were better at than everyone else.  The article identified 5 of the 21 Sales Core Competencies that were the biggest difference makers, showed the gap in capabilities, and explained the impact of having these competencies as weaknesses.  You should really take 2-minutes and read it.  Then, about a week ago, I wrote another popular article called, How the Rubber Band Sabotages Sales Performance.  That article discussed six competencies specific to Sales DNA and the impact those six have on performance when they appear as weaknesses.  At the end of last week's article, I promised to introduce a solution to you within a week and true to my promise, the solution follows.

Let's begin with two examples of the problem:

Only 2% of elite salespeople (top 5%) have any weaknesses at all in their Sales DNA, while 98% of weak salespeople (the bottom 50%) have weak Sales DNA overall.

Salespeople who need to be liked are 148% less effective, they are 147% less likely to reach the decision maker, and their probability of closing is 151% smaller.  That's why elite salespeople are 329% more effective at creating urgency than weak salespeople.  Urgency causes action, while a lack of urgency results in an opportunity that gets stuck in the pipeline.

Salespeople who are uncomfortable talking about money are 168% less effective, 129% less likely to reach the decision maker, and their probability of closing is 150% less.  

And if salespeople have both of those weaknesses?  It's over before they make the call!

All 10 of the tactical selling competencies require salespeople who do not need to be liked.  It's most important for effective hunting, consultative selling and  selling value.  Both selling value and Qualifying require that salespeople be able to have in-depth conversations about finances.

Years ago, Objective Management Group (OMG) had a product called Salesmind.  It used self-hypnosis to reprogram a salesperson's limiting beliefs.  Beliefs influence behaviors and behaviors impact results.  Salesmind was extremely effective, helping salespeople overcome 10 different sales weaknesses, each after just 21 days of use.  Compared to coaching and the discomfort associated with change, Salesmind was easy and fast!  But Salesmind was a CD and computers stopped shipping with CD drives so the product faded away.  Until now!

We have migrated all of the terrific Salesmind programming to an online platform called the Sales DNA Modifier, where it can be used more easily than ever before.  We retained the very best content from Salesmind, and added sales affirmations as downloadable audio files for when you are driving in the car.  

The 10 best things about the Sales DNA Modifier with Salesmind are:

  1. It works!
  2. It's easy
  3. It's fast
  4. It requires only 5 minutes of your time, twice per day
  5. You don't need to think about it
  6. It's more powerful than getting coached or going for therapy
  7. It's available 24x7
  8. You can access it from any device
  9. It will make you a much more effective salesperson
  10. You will feel much better about yourself

The Sales DNA Modifier is available as an online subscription for just $119/year and comes with a money-back guarantee.  Check it out here.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Need for Approval, sales weaknesses, Sales DNA, need to be liked

How the Rubber Band Sabotages Sales Performance

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 10:04 AM

rubber-band

I have written many articles about Sales DNA, the combination of strengths that support sales process, sales strategy and sales tactics; or, when it appears as a weakness and sabotages ones ability to execute.

Unlike strategies and tactics, where you can learn and apply them, improving your Sales DNA requires much more effort and time.  

As an example, let's talk baseball, my second favorite topic, and my son, who is now a nearly 17-year-old high school junior playing varsity baseball and showcasing his baseball talent for colleges.  He was four when I first started mentioning him and his baseball in articles.  He's a terrific catcher and hitter but each year, his early spring at-bats aren't representative of the kind of hitter he is.  He always ends up leading his teams in batting but despite working hard on his hitting all winter long, he rarely looks like the top hitter in the first couple of games.  It's the elastic band effect.  As much as he worked on a particular facet of the swing indoors in the batting cage, when he gets outside and faces live pitching, the band snaps back into place and for a couple of games it's as if he never practiced the swing mechanics.  The elastic band is the manifestation of old muscle memory.  

The same thing happens to salespeople.  In training they learn sales process, better listening, questioning and qualifying skills, and role-play. Then they get in a live conversation with a prospect and the rubber band snaps back into place and they revert to their old presentation mode.  In this case, the rubber band is the manifestation of their Sales DNA controlling what they can and can't say, ask or do.

Rubber bands are tricky because you can pull them very far, but if you release the pressure for even a second, they always snap back to their original shape.  Sales DNA is tricky too.  Any of a salesperson's six Sales DNA competencies can appear as a weakness, including: 

  1. The need to be liked (prevents salespeople from asking good, tough timely questions, pushing back, or challenging their prospects' thinking)
  2. Tendency to become emotional (makes it difficult for salespeople to engage in active listening)
  3. Discomfort talking about money (makes it difficult for salespeople to fully qualify on finances, terms and ability to pay)
  4. Self-limiting beliefs (sabotages outcomes)
  5. Personal buying habits (causes salespeople to understand and empathize with stalls, put-offs, objections, excuses and sob stories)
  6. Difficulty overcoming rejection (causes salespeople to procrastinate having their next call)

When attempting to overcome any one of those issues, you can pull hard on that rubber band with awareness and coaching, but as soon as you stop pulling, the band reverts back to its original shape.  It's as if you never had that coaching conversation and never pulled on the band.

Most sales managers find it very difficult to help their salespeople overcome these weaknesses.  It requires tremendous amounts of repetition, positive affirmations, permissions, workarounds, and role-playing.  It's not easy and change doesn't occur quickly.  Most sales managers give up  after everyone becomes frustrated trying to fix it.

Visualizing the rubber band helps.  You can actually watch the Sales DNA snap back into place while the salesperson reverts to their pre-coaching behaviors.  That can serve as a visual cue to take another shot, make another attempt, and reinforce the coaching you just provided.  While that won't immediately change anything, salespeople will eventually become numb to the negative Sales DNA and over a period of months, overcome it if they don't give up. 

Next week, I'll share an even more powerful solution with you.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales weaknesses, Sales DNA

Whiplash on the Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, May 26, 2015 @ 06:05 AM

whiplash2.jpg

I don't know too many people who saw the award-winning movie Whiplash.  This past winter, Tom Schaff, an OMG Partner in St. Louis, recommended it and thought that I would love it.  As luck would have it, we were living in an igloo this past February, when temperatures never rose above freezing (for 6 weeks), we had nearly 10 feet of snow on the ground, and our home was encased in ice.  That was a great time to be watching movies!  I did love Whiplash and there were so many great scenes that I could have written about. I never did get around to writing about it, but no problem.  Chris Collias, a friend, loyal reader, and longtime client going back to the 1980's, sent me an email with his suggestion for an article.  Here it is.  Chris said that the main character, the incredible drummer, Andrew, is a metaphor for a salesperson. Fletcher, the brutal and narcisistic music professor, could be viewed as an extremely difficult customer or prospect.   

In the movie, the more impossible that Fletcher made it for Andrew, the harder Andrew worked.  The louder Fletcher yelled, the quicker Andrew put his head down and tried harder.  The more manipulative Fletcher became, the more tireless Andrew was.  Andrew is the epitomy of commitment - doing whatever it takes to succeed.  It wasn't conditional commitment; it was unconditional commitment. No-matter-what.

Chris noted that many salespeople aren’t committed to their profession.  They don’t put in the 1,000 hours that it takes to achieve mastery so when they encounter a prospect similar to Fletcher (who actually threw a cymbal at Andrew's head), they don’t react by working harder or facing their weaknesses. Instead, they rationalize, make excuses, or move on to another company (or band). 

Chris said, "Andrew was able to overcome his nemesis by working hard, planting his feet, and calling his tormentor's bluff by delivering his best.  Some prospects, especially in purchasing, can be real bastards.  However, instead of becoming emotional, timid, defensive or sarcastic, you should view them as providing an opportunity for learning. Face them head on, remain calm, and consider that you might be the only salesperson who ever got this far with this particular difficult prospect."

Well stated, Chris!

In many cases, difficult prospects are actually easier to sell because there isn't a whole lot of competition.  Most salespeople give up or lose the prospect's respect before they get remotely close to doing any business with them.

It is important to be aware of potential weaknesses though.  For example, if you have need for approval - the need to be liked - it may be very difficult for you to navigate a situation like this without worrying about what the prospect will think or say or do.  Get over it.  

If you have difficulty recovering from rejection, you may be very uncomfortable putting yourself in a situation where a prospect like this could reject you.  You have nothing to lose!

If you lack self-confidence, it might be scary to jump in and deal with a prospect like this.  Push yourself and do it anyway.

As Chris says, difficult prospects will make you stronger and that will make it even easier for you to deal with prospects who are normal.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, sales weaknesses, objective management group, difficult customers,

The Phony Baloney Sales Superstar

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 @ 06:04 AM

phony

I was in the car when the call was forwarded to my cell phone.  I didn't recognize the caller and his first statement was, "I have some questions about Objective Management Group (OMG)."  Very Dry.  Very Abrasive.

I was thinking detective, maybe researcher.  I asked, "What kind of questions?" Keep in mind that he hadn't said hello, introduced himself, or explained why he was calling so I was wondering what this was about.

He said, "I took one of your assessments and it prevented me from getting a job.  Is this based on the Myers-Briggs?"

I calmly explained that Myers-Briggs was a personality assessment that reported on 16 dimensions of personality but the OMG assessment he took was sales specific and looked at 21 Sales Core Competencies.

He told me he had problems with the Myers-Briggs preventing him from getting a job once before so it must be based on that. He repeated that it prevented him from getting this job so I asked what led him to that conclusion.  His answers will blow your mind! 

He didn't ask permission or whether or not I had time, but took the next several minutes to tell me what a great salesperson he is, the multi-million dollar deals he has closed, and the quotas he has exceeded by 800%.  He said he had a great interview with this company, but after the assessment, he wasn't called back, so it had to be the assessment that knocked him out.

I explained that the assessment is only a single data point and wouldn't knock out a great salesperson like him.  I asked how he knew it was a good interview and he mentioned a recruiter telling him so.  I asked how many salespeople the company was hiring and he said one.  I asked if it was possible that they had more than one good candidate and if another candidate could have been more qualified or a better fit than he was.  Believe it or not he said, "No."

Then he asked to see his results.

I explained that he wasn't the client and in the United States, clients - employers - were not obligated to share assessment results with candidates.  

He didn't like that answer and asked if there was some other way to get his results.  I explained that if he wanted them badly enough, he could simply pay $400 and retake the assessment on his own.

That's when he said, "That's a lot of money. I'm in between jobs.  That's not fair."

I mentioned that with all of those big deals he sold and quotas he busted, it seemed odd that $400 was a problem for him.

He said that one company still owed him $2.3 million in commissions.  I asked whether his lawyer expected to collect that money and he said his lawyer didn't think he had a case - something about a stupid lawyer...

It's not terribly rare for a candidate to send an email or make a call to their potential employer to whine or complain when they don't think they should have to take an assessment, don't get an interview, or don't get the job.  It is almost unheard of for a candidate to call OMG or me directly.  This is only the second time in the past 8 months!  Just the same, I love this part - it's my favorite.  After the call, I attempt to guess which findings I will see on their assessments, based on how they behaved on the call or in their email.  In this guy's case, I KNEW that I would see:

  • Unlikely to develop relationships early in the sales process (weakness)
  • Doesn't need to be liked (strength)
  • Difficulty recovering from rejection (weakness)
  • Arrogant (weakness)
  • Low Money Tolerance (Weakness)
  • Excuse Maker (weakness)
  • Dillusional (we don't test for this, but if we did...)
  • Poor Outlook (weakness)
  • Low Sales Posturing Score 
  • High Hunting Score
  • Strong Commitment (strength)

While those findings jumped off the pages for me, there was also a low confidence score, meaning that OMG wasn't confident with its overall score for him because he was so inconsistent in his approach to the assessment.  He also had very few selling skills beyond his ability to hunt, only a serviceable Sales Quotient, and he was a poor fit for the selling environment he applied for.  If you want to see a sample of this Sales Candidate Assessment so that you can put all of this into context, you can request a sample here.  If you want to skip right to a free trial, you can request that here.

In most cases, the more insistent that sales candidates are about their sales capabilities, the more likely it is that they are in the bottom 74% and they suck.  In most cases, the only sale they ever make is to the gullible sales manager or HR Director that falls for their lies, claims and exaggerations.

The funny thing is that this candidate was probably right.  In this case, the assessment and its 150 or so sales findings painted an accurate picture of him and alerted the employer that this was a Phony Baloney Sales Candidate who should not be considered for this role.

 

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, HR, sales weaknesses, omg, objective management group

Super Bowl 49: Salespeople That Win vs Lose

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Feb 02, 2015 @ 06:02 AM

SuperBowl49

We just watched the Patriots and the SeaHawks battle it out in Super Bowl 49.  Just 8 minutes into the game, it was obvious that second efforts would be the rule of the day.  Then, with less than two minutes left to play, we witnessed THE CATCH - requiring a fourth or perhaps even a fifth effort - that put the SeaHawks in a position to win.  It wasn't meant to be, as the Patriots came up big on defense with a key interception to earn the victory.

As I write this, we're expecting yet another 12-18 inches of snow, on top of last week's blizzard.  Tomorrow, in the thick of the storm, I'll be training Objective Management Group's (OMG) 30 newest partners.  Many of them are struggling to reach Boston because the same storm that is bearing down on us is wreaking havoc across the Midwest today.  But one by one, they are getting here.  Second efforts.  And on our end, we needed to make a number of alternate arrangements to get everyone here safely.  Second efforts, and more.  Which brings us to selling.  How many salespeople do you think make appropriate second efforts?  

I'm not talking about when salespeople are pestering prospects who have no interest.  I'm talking about when salespeople are told they lost; or the article from a couple of weeks ago when a salesperson closed the deal and then lost it when the prospect had a change of mind.

OMG has a lot of statistics on second efforts.  All of the elite 6% and many of the next 20% are able to make a second effort.  But the majority of the bottom 74% can't.  And it's not for a lack of skills, it's because of their Sales DNA.  There are several strands of Sales DNA that make it next to impossible for most salespeople to step up, push back and take control of their destiny:

  • 54% of Salespeople have Need for Approval - A salesperson's need to be liked prevents them from asking a lot of questions beyond a no, and especially tough questions or challenging their prospect.
  • 86% of Salespeople are Too Trusting - A salesperson who is too trusting will accept at face value what their prospect says and when they hear it's a "no", they accept that and won't consider a need to push back.
  • 72% of Salespeople Have Difficulty Recovering from Rejection - Salespeople who struggle to overcome being rejected are typically in no kind of shape to quickly bounce back and make a second effort.
  • 18% of Salespeople Lack Commitment - It takes tremendous commitment to do whatever it takes to succeed in sales.  Salespeople who possess only conditional commitment -  the salesperson agrees with what must be done, it's not too difficult, and it's not too scary - will totally bail out after a "no".  It's too difficult for them to overcome.
  • 84% of Salespeople have Self-Limiting Beliefs - When salespeople are told, "No" and they believe that it's "Not polite to push back," that belief will stop most salespeople in their tracks.

When I was a young salesperson in the 1970's, the very first professional sales training video (actually film back then) that I watched starred the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.  The topic?  Second Efforts.  Tonight I found a 1:15 second clip from that timeless video on YouTube.

Second Efforts can be the difference between a loss and a win.  Would you like to know which of your salespeople are capable second efforts?  It's part of a sales force evaluation from OMG!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales weaknesses, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, second efforts, vince lombardi, green bay packers

Why There is No Value When You Provide Value Via Special Pricing

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 @ 09:09 AM

negotiation Image Copyright: violin / 123RF Stock Photo

I was discussing the OMG Partnership opportunity with a gentlemen from Hong Kong, who objected to our reasonable licensing fees, refusing to pay any fees to a US company.  This is when the conversation began to resemble a sales call.  He did what a lot of buyers do to salespeople and began to boast about how well-positioned his company is to market OMG in Hong Kong and what a huge opportunity this would be for OMG.  He expected me to waive the fees in exchange for the great opportunity he described.

Most salespeople - 74% to be exact - not wishing to jeopardize a great opportunity, start negotiating or worse, agreeing, to the unrealistic requests.  There are ripple effects to this, for example:

  • It creates precedent, making it difficult to uphold terms with new and even existing customers
  • It makes whatever deal they sign very short term.  It is only a matter of time before someone else offers a better price and the business goes away before it has a chance to generate enough volume to make up for the discounted pricing. 
  • It threatens the profitability from the account.  If you reduce or waive fees and/or prices once, the customer expects to negotiate and win every time, making it more difficult to achieve profitability.
  • In OMG's case, the potential partner would have no skin in the game - removing the urgency for them to generate business, and further eroding the potential for a profitable partnership

Weak salespeople mistakenly see the compromise or discount as the value when, in fact, selling at a premium actually establishes the value.  This is so difficult for most salespeople to comprehend.  They think they are doing everyone a favor when they acquiesce, but in reality, they are setting everyone up for failure.  

Most executives think that this is a training issue, but they would be wrong.  While training can provide a number of strategies and tactics for dealing with prospects and buyers who behave this way, it doesn't change the misguided salesperson at all.  At best, these salespeople have new words, but still execute with the old beliefs.

The root cause appears in the way that salespeople make major purchases for themselves. If they have always shopped for the best price, that behavior becomes the norm.  When a prospect wishes to do the same, the salesperson views that as acceptable - appropriate even - and finds a way to accommodate.

This particular issue is one of the many hidden weaknesses that OMG identifies when we evaluate sales forces and assess candidates.  It can explain why margins are poor, why salespeople are unable to sell value, and why business is lost because of price.   Listen carefully to this entire audio clip, taken from a sales training webinar, where a salesperson ambushed himself as a result of this very weakness.

How many of your salespeople have this hidden weakness?  How many candidates have you considered that have this hidden weakness?  How would your business change if none of your salespeople had this issue?  What did you learn from the audio clip?


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Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, sales weaknesses, sales assessment tools, value selling,

This is How Sales Managers Should Coach Their Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 @ 06:03 AM

HallOfFameLast week I posted an article that linked to two additional articles I wrote for EcSELL Institute and Top Sales World.  [Speaking of Top Sales World, they just published a page showing all of the greats (I'm honored to be included) that have been inducted into their Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in the past 3 years.]  Apparently there were issues with those links from last week because I got dozens of emails letting me know that you couldn't get to those two articles.  I will share the article I wrote for EcSell below.  Sales Management must spend 50% of their time coaching salespeople like this: 

An enormous part of developing salespeople these days is helping them to differentiate themselves from your competitors.  Effectively applying a consultative sales process helps to accomplish this.  Executed correctly, the salesperson has a conversation with a decision maker that is unlike any conversation the competition has had.  It uncovers the compelling reasons for spending money, changing vendors, buying a product or service and, as important, buying it from you.  That creates urgency, and an incentive for a prospect to self-qualify.  The end-result should be a prospect that is willing to spend more to do business with you, and a sales cycle that is not based on winning the price war.

A salesperson told me he met with a customer that had taken their business to a competitor because of price.  It sounded like they were getting what they were paying for: 

    • Paying more for freight,
    • Finding variations in the product,
    • Stocking more inventory than necessary because of availability problems

The salesperson accomplished enough to uncover some issues and while these aren’t compelling reasons, additional questions would lead us there.  To keep the story short and get to my point, let’s assume that the salesperson did enough correctly to continue moving the opportunity forward.   

The Salesperson Comes to You Having Said This to the Former Customer 

“If you had access to local delivery, through a distributor, and the price was competitive, would you consider looking into this?” 

Step 1 – Can you identify what’s wrong with his outdated trial close?

Step 2 – Can you articulate why it’s wrong?

Step 3-  Can you explain the root cause of why it happened?

Step 4 – Can you role play the solution?

Step 5 – Can you get to lessons learned? 

Coaching – Step 1

Forget for a minute that the call to action was horrible; “Look into this” instead of “Pay a little more for my help solving this problem”.  

That wasn’t the worst of it.  

The horror of the salesperson’s question was that he introduced an unnecessary criterion - competitive pricing - for doing business with him.  

Coaching Step 2 - What’s wrong with that? 

Two things: 

    1. Even if you wanted to be the low priced seller, and you don’t, after that question, if you don’t come back with a competitive price you don’t get the business!
    2. He didn’t need to offer competitive pricing because he sold value!  He identified the problem and has a solution for the problem.  That is the value someone will pay for and he undermined it by bringing the customer’s attention back to price! 

Coaching Step 3 – What’s the Root Cause? 

The salesperson was afraid to ask the customer to pay more so there are 4 potential weaknesses at play, as well as the possibility that he hadn’t remembered the correct way to ask the question.

    • Discomfort talking about money prevented him from addressing it
    • Understanding of Price Sensitivity because that’s the way he buys
    • Need for Approval caused him to believe the customer may not like him anymore if he asks a tough question.
    • Self-Limiting Belief that he needs a competitive price in order to get the business 

Coaching Step 4 – Can You Role Play the Solution? 

Salesperson: “How important is it to have continued availability of quality, local inventory?”

Customer: “Extremely important”. 

Salesperson: “Tell me how that would affect your business. 

Customer: “I’ll have control over costs and availability.” 

Salesperson: “Peace of Mind?” 

Customer: “Exactly.” 

Salesperson:  “And, in order to solve this problem, get local, as needed, quality inventory, eliminate your enormous freight costs, and restore peace of mind, are you willing to pay a little more for my help and solve this problem once and for all?” 

Coaching  Step 5 – Lessons Learned

I hear an awful lot of salespeople complaining that they can’t sell in their business unless they have the best price.  The reality is that there are only four reasons why price becomes an issue:

    • The salesperson made it an issue (experience)
    • The salesperson accepted that it was an issue (non-supportive beliefs)
    • The salesperson didn’t know how to prevent it from being an issue (tactics)
    • The salesperson was foolishly calling on purchasing instead of an actual decision maker who owned a problem or an opportunity. (strategy)

What did you learn?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales skills, sales management, Sales Coaching, EcSELL Institute, sales weaknesses, sales enablement, sales effectiveness, Top Sales World

Getting Reluctant Salespeople to Fill Their Empty Pipelines

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 @ 10:06 AM

empty sales pipelineLast week, I wrote this article about the best time to ask salespeople to fill their pipelines.  One reader asked how to get salespeople to fill their pipelines.

It's an interesting question because your real performers don't have to be asked.  They will keep it filled on their own.  If you are having difficulty getting salespeople to fill their pipeline, then one of several things may be true:

  • They are relatively inexperienced and, while willing, aren't very effective.  This is your best scenario because training and coaching will help these salespeople, but you must both put in the work!
  • They aren't motivated enough to do it.  This describes most account managers who are happy to live off of their existing business.  Unfortunately, while this might be good for them, it isn't very good for you or your business.  While there could be a tremendous amount of business being managed by them, they are not setting a good example for others on the sales force.  The bad significantly outweighs the good unless all you can see is the revenue that they manage, and then you'll be blind to all the bad for which they are responsible.
  • They aren't committed enough to do it.  Bye - It was nice knowing you!  There is no place for this salesperson on your sales force.
  • Their hidden weaknesses prevent them from doing it.  This is your second best scenario, but it will take a lot of training, coaching and time to help them overcome their call-anxiety and some will never overcome it.
So, how do you get them to fill their pipeline?  You make it a condition of continued employment.  You'll provide training and coach those who don't know how; provide training and long-term coaching for those who are uncomfortable; replace those who lack commitment; and redeploy those who aren't motivated to an account management position.  The rest - the real salespeople - don't have to be asked.
How do you distinguish between lack of motivation, lack of commitment, hidden weaknesses and skill gaps? A Sales Force Evaluation will provide you with all of that intelligence and more.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales motivation, sales weaknesses, sales competency, sales commitment, sales skill gaps, sales assessments

You Can Help Salespeople Burdened with Sales Weaknesses

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Jan 22, 2012 @ 23:01 PM

If you have been reading my Blog for a while you know that there is more to selling than just utilizing skills to execute the sales process, sales model, and sales methodology.  The big, hidden, 600 pound gorilla in all this is the combination of hidden weaknesses that prevent salespeople from executing.

Objective Management Group identifies five big ones and a dozen or so additional weaknesses that cause problems for salespeople.  Most salespeople have at least 3 of the big ones and average a total of 9 weaknesses all together.Sales Weaknesses are a heavy burdern

Sadly, most sales training and sales trainers are unable to help salespeople overcome these weaknesses because their focus is primarly the sales skills and methodology that they teach.  That puts tremendous pressure on sales managers who are simply not equipped to help salespeople overcome things like:

  • Need for Approval (prevents them from asking lots of good, tough, timely questions)
  • Non Supportive Buy Cycle (causes them to empathize with stalls, put-offs and objections)
  • Self-Limting Record Collection (negative self-talk that sobotages sales outcomes)
  • Uncomfortable Talking about Money (not able to have an in-depth financial discussion)
  • Tendency to Become Emotional (temporary panic when things don't go as planned)
  • Difficulty Recovering from Rejection (takes too long to get back on the horse)
  • Being Too Trusting of What Prospects Say (they believe the stalls and put-offs)
  • Not Being Goal Orientated (they lack purpose and incentive)
  • many more
Is there anything you can do?
Yes, there is.  Have you heard of SalesMind?
You can have your salespeople work with the SalesMind CD. It helps them overcome these weaknesses - and more - through subliminal programming.  Even better?  It works!  I've been using SalesMind with salespeople for years and it always does the trick.
It works like magic, it works quickly (usually within 3 weeks) and effortlessly.  Your salespeople simply put the CD in the computer, watch the screen, and listen to the audio (only one program at a time) twice daily for 21 days.  And poof.  The weakness is gone.  Salesmind sells for just $99.
If you are interested in getting SalesMind for your and/or your salespeople you can email me.

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales process, sales model, sales methodology, sales skills, sales weaknesses, salesmind

Salespeople Become More Effective Part 2

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 @ 08:09 AM

baseline selling process Yesterday's article discussed the possibility for salespeople to develop weaknesses AFTER being assessed and during the period of comprehensive sales training, coaching and development.  Today, we'll discuss some of the areas where you should see fairly early improvement, as well as the areas where you need to see it but may not.

The first problem that you must take care of is the elimination of Excuse Making so we should see Excuse Making as one of the first weaknesses to become a strength.  That should be followed by issues like being Too Trusting of Prospects, Not Being Goal Oriented, Not Asking Enough Questions, Ineffective Listening, Assuming and Failure to Uncover Real Budgets.

Some of the issues that take longer to resolve are Consistently Following the Sales Process, overcoming Need for Approval and changing the way your salespeople buy things (Non Supportive Buy Cycle).  Unfortunately, these three issues are perhaps the most important of all.  So how do we handle the challenge of knowing that these three take longer, yet needing these three to resolve more quickly than normal?

The key is Sales Process.  You must talk about Sales Process and, assuming it's been formally developed, structured, optimized and introduced, include it in every daily coaching and development call so that the backdrop for your conversations is "Where in the process are you?"  In Baseline Selling, that would sound like "Which Base are you on?"

By making the Sales Process the backdrop for each conversation, it won't take as long to get your salespeople consistently following the process.  The next challenge is for them to effectively execute each of the steps in the process.  These conversations will expose the sales challenges that develop as a result of their Need for Approval and Non Supportive Buy Cycle.  The more chances you have to demonstrate how those weaknesses sabotage their efforts and lead to undesirable results, the more attention those weaknesses will get from your salespeople and awareness and attention leads to overcoming those weaknesses.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Need for Approval, Sales Coaching, Sales Force, sales management functions, sales weaknesses, sales assessments, non supportive buy cycle

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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.

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