The Sales Expeditor

Wordiness Sabotages Improvement

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 @ 14:03 PM


Selling is harder today. Prospects are more educated; the competition is ferocious and differentiating yourself requires better skills and execution.

If you don’t change how you sell and how you manage, the competition will win. It’s a zero-sum game, you must either commit to improvement or ride status quo to the end.

Salespeople today must be highly effective hunters, skilled at having wide-ranging business discussions, steadfast in their commitment to walk away, tenacious at closing, and capable of establishing high-value relationships on the first meaningful call.

Using Objective Management Group data, I compared average salespeople with 10-15 years’ experience to average salespeople with 3-5 years. The seasoned group is slightly better. In relationship creation, hunting, consultative selling, qualifying, value-selling and sales posturing their scores are 3-5% higher. The percentage of “veterans” OMG defines as having strength in these same areas is 10% higher than the newer salespeople.

This means average new salespeople do improve over ten years but only marginally and that a higher percentage of veteran salespeople were either strong when hired or became strong in these critical skills.

 My conclusion: the status quo is way too acceptable.

The term, gift of gab, has been used to describe “born salespeople." Unfortunately, one reason salespeople struggle with improvement is wordiness or over-talking. As a result of this:

  • Prospects get bored
  • Prospects get confused
  • We oversell
  • We talk over prospects
  • We lose our train of though
  • The discussion is no longer a conversation
  • We sound like a salesperson
  • We don’t hear what people say

Our brains are wired to continue “normal” behavior. This means doing what we have always done. Patterned behavior can be changed but the new behavior must be repeated many times before it begins to become normalized. Learning to shorten your statements and questions requires practice and intentional application. You need a coach to listen to you and tell you when you are off course.  

When you use lots of words, it’s hard for people to understand. They tend to ask clarifying questions which can reinforce the behavior.

Try to avoid the first long-winded statement, this makes it easier to manage yourself. It’s best to leave props (literature, presentations, talking points) at home since they may get you talking.  Above all else focus on listening and asking about what you heard.

If you are really committed to be a better salesperson or manager, you need to become comfortable being uncomfortable. You don’t have to like it, you just have to do. Comfort comes from discomfort. Discomfort is a natural response to changing what is normal. If what you are doing feels too comfortable, it likely means you are not getting better, and getting better is a requirement for continued success in today’s sales environment.

If you are brave enough to look in the mirror, click on the link below.


Topics: value added seller, improve my sales teams performance, better management skills, sales force excellence, elite salespeople, difficult sales

Sales Leaders Can Benefit From Forgetting What They Know   

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @ 10:09 AM

When sales managers know their salespeople quite well, that can be a really good thing. However, there is a difference between knowing them and knowing what makes them tick. Understanding what motivates them, how they process information, when to nurture and when to push are indispensable for coaching them to the next level. What happens when sales managers don't know their salespeople as well as they should? As they said in last night's GOP debate, the current occupant of the White House just doesn't know what he doesn't know. When sales leaders don't know what they don't know, there can be tremendous risk.

Insight from people and organizations who are not directly invested in the existing people, systems and processes can help you develop a new perspective if you are open-minded enough.

This short video discusses why sales leaders may reject information that does not represent their opinion or frame of reference and cause them to miss an opportunity for greater understanding, change and improved performance. 

Building a world-class sales force requires that we continually update our perception of what we believe we know. Evaluating your sales force using a new lens will challenge your assumptions and identify the things that you didn't know that you didn't know.        


Topics: developing better sales teams, developing your sales people, sales development, better management skills

Why Salespeople Don’t Consistently Reach Their Sales Goals

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 @ 09:09 AM

Obstacles to Reaching Goals
There are many reasons why salespeople do not consistently achieve their sales goals.
In this video blog, I discuss some of the critical causes of this.
After you watch the video, take the sales force grader below and we will give you a quick sales force checkup!

Sales Process Grader 

Topics: change sales behavior, better sales outcomes, accurate sales forecast, better management skills

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