The Blind Side for Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 @ 05:10 AM

blind sideYou may remember the book and later the movie, The Blind Side.  The football term refers to the offensive tackle that protects the quarterback's blind (non-throwing) side from defensive linemen who are rushing in hopes of sacking the quarterback.

[This marks two posts in a row with a football metaphor.  What's happening to me?]

Last week my car was in the shop for service and as always, the Lexus dealer loaned me an RX350.  This was a brand new model and had a new feature that I couldn't leave alone!  Both side mirrors had orange warning alerts that would light up whenever a car was in the driver's blind spots.  That has to be one of the most awesome safety features introduced since anti-lock breaks!  It provided me with confidence - worry-free lane changes!

Of course, it got me thinking about selling and how great it would be if our salespeople had this feature.  Every time a salesperson got in a blind spot, an alarm would go off to prevent them from taking a turn, going down the wrong path, or leaving the road they were on.  It would force them to ask another question before they could proceed.  How cool would that be?

If we were doing the technical work on this new feature, we would have to identify all scenarios where the alarm would be triggered - points from which our salespeople would temporarily or permanently be operating in the dark with a given prospect or opportunity.  Otherwise, it would be a useless feature.

I'll get us started with the first five and you can contribute some more:

  1. The prospect claims to have the money or money is no object.
  2. The Contact claims to be the Decision Maker and doesn't need to get it approved.
  3. They claim to be happy with their current vendor.
  4. They would love to get a proposal from us.
  5. They say they are going to act very quickly on this.
Can you come up with one or more of the next 45 scenarios?  They won't always be something a prospect might say.  They can also be situations like: the salesperson is calling too low in the organization, the contact won't make an introduction to the decision maker and won't get the decision maker involved.
Your turn.
By the way, this is World Awareness Week - a Celebration of Top Sales World.  Click the image below to visit!
Top Sales World - World Awareness Week

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, the blind side, blind spot, selling scenarios

The Ignorance Factor and Achieving Your Company's Revenue Goals

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Feb 01, 2010 @ 05:02 AM

I have nearly completed reading The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis. You may have already seen the movie, about Michael Oher, the absolutely huge kid who was simply born to play left end, and protect the quarterback's blind side.  The kid who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

According to Lewis, Michael Oher was ignorant, not dumb, and the Tuohy family and Oher's tutors spent several hours every night providing him with context and tutoring so that he could become familiar with the things in life that nearly everyone else understood and took for granted.

A dozen or so sales consultants and trainers will spend most of this week with us to become sales development experts. They will be learning how to evaluate sales organizations using our tools, the impact of our findings, and the steps they can take to rectify problems we identify.  In addition, four new clients will each spend about a half day as we review the results of their own sales force evaluations.

What do the 12 sales consultants and trainers and 4 new clients have in common with Michael Oher?

They are ignorant too.  Not about life or business as Oher was, but about sales forces.  The single greatest overall benefit from evaluating the sales force is to replace ignorance with knowledge, insights and understanding about what makes this sales force, or any sales force effective or, in about 95% of the cases, ineffective.  Most ignorant people don't walk the face of the earth knowing and understanding that they are ignorant.  They don't know enough to know that this huge gap in understanding exists.  The same is true for most sales consultants, trainers, business owners, Presidents, CEO's, Sales VP's and Sales Managers.  They just don't have any concept of all that they don't know, about what is under the hood of their, or any other sales force.

Think about the last time someone you know was ill, you heard the name for it and hopped on Google to figure out what it meant. You learned what it was, the symptoms, the severity, how to treat it, what the odds were, how long it could take and what to expect along the way.  The more you read about it, the more you understood something that was always there, but you were simply ignorant over its existence.  So it goes with the sales force.

What don't you know about your own sales force?  You can't answer that question because you don't know what you don't know.

What do you know about your sales force?  You know only enough to get the results you're getting today.

What kind of results would you like to get?  The gap, between where you would like to be, and where you are today, is your ignorance factor.  When you erase that ignorance and replace it with insights, knowledge and understanding, you can quickly close the gap and generate the revenue that you're looking for.

(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan



Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales management, Sales Force, revenue, michael oher, the blind side

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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 nine 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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