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The Arrogance of Sales

Submitted by on Monday, 2 November 2009

arrogantSales professionals face a lot of failure. You work very hard to discover plausible opportunities, understand needs,  respect and care for prospects, and position your products so prospects recognize how your solution manages their need. You are good. You are professional. You are conscientious. Yet you only close a fraction of your sales; you seem to have no idea who to spend time on, who to let go, who will be able to buy, or who will have no ability to buy (even though they act like prospects),  regardless of the fit between their need and your solution.

You end up wasting a lot of time, being annoyed, and facing far too much rejection. Where do seemingly appropriate prospects go? How can they choose a different vendor after all you’ve done for them? How can they take so long when it’s so obvious what the answer should be? Why do people treat you so badly when you really want to serve them?

It’s a tough job, and you end up being protective of yourself – maybe even a bit defensive, and maybe slightly arrogant – hanging on to what you believe: so much of everything else around you seems to make little sense.

And, it’s not your fault. It’s the fault of sales because sales only manages a fraction of  the decision issues buyers must address before they make a decision to accept or choose a solution. Indeed, sales does not offer the tools to facilitate the off-line, behind-the-scenes decision issues buyers must manage in order to get internal buy-in for change. And with this lack, you are left fighting the results of prospects who are basically incapable of  making efficient decisions because they have so much unknowable stuff to deal with at the start of a decision to find a solution.

‘WE ARE RIGHT’ MENTALITY, REGARDLESS OF SUCCESS

I began thinking of this fact this past week as I found myself embroiled in a Linked-In group discussion, with sales folks adamantly defending several Consultative Sales models. Pitch better! Buyers are stupid! Understand your customer! Be their Trusted Advisor!

Each time I tried to remind these otherwise intelligent people that sales does not address the long-standing argument the prospect is having with her deparment head, or that the prospect team really, really wants to use their regular vendor, or when the tech team comes in and attempts to take over everything. And I ever-s0-gently remind folks that their closing rates are very abysmal given the amount of time they spend. So why are they defending what they do when it obviously fails?

Sales is a very faulty model. And yet sellers buy-in to the failure as if you’re expecting to lose, just like folks going to Las Vegas hope they will walk out winners but knowing the odds are bad.

It is almost a crap shoot.  After all, you have no idea, when you start, which of your prospects will buy, do you? You’d like to think you do, but you do not.

The only answer I have is Buying Facilitation™ since it gives sellers an additional tool kit. And it works, with proven success of hundreds of percentage points over sales in studies from major, global corporations. But to want to learn it would mean some agreement that just maybe, an additional tool kit would offer better results and be worth the time/money/effort to learn.

How would you know that an additional skill set would offer you the possibility of having more success?

What would you need to know about a new skill set to understand if you would be able to recognize a good prospect from a time-waster? That  you could lead buyers through their behind-the-scenes decisions before they are ready to buy, and become part of their Buying Decision Team?

How would you know if it was worth the effort to learn how to help maneuver buyers through their off-line decisions before going down the sales route.

What would you need to believe differently to be willing to give up being right, and be open to adding new possibilities – all of which would include your being a true, true partner rather than having an answer at the start?

If any of you decide that you would be open to learning something that will give you good success at truly helping buyers in a way you  have not been able to before now, please consider learning Buying Facilitation™. I know it might fly in the face of  ‘sales’ and operate in a different area of the buying decision. And I know it will be uncomfortable at first. But you have a choice: Would you rather sell? or have someone buy? They are two different activities. And unless you know how to stop selling and use a different set of skills to be the GPS system for your buyer’s off-line and largely unknowable trip, the arrogance of sales will keep you from being as successful as you deserve to be.

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There is still time to get the freebies for: Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what to do about it. Check out the site for more details.

Or consider purchasing the bundleDirty Little Secrets plus my last book Buying Facilitation™: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions. These books were written to be read together, as they offer the full complement of concepts to help you learn and understand Buying Facilitation™ – the new skill set that gives you the ability to lead buyers through their buying decisions. You still get the freebies with the bundle order.

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