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Salespeople Fail When They Perpetuate Bad Systems

When you call on a prospect your reputation precedes you, even if he or she knows absolutely nothing about you. Legions of salespeople have already forged a path to the prospect’s door using the same tired playbook, time after time, and the results are usually not very pretty. The question is, will you be just another going-through-the-motions drone in a long line of failures, or will you actually change the conversation’s dynamic?

If you’re a salesperson in a slump or a business owner plagued with profit-killing problems like long selling cycles and salesman-slashed prices, you should take a long, hard look at how you are approaching the sales process.

Sandler research shows that most salespeople fail because they lose control of the selling process — or more likely just never had it in the first place. Most sales interactions are not a meeting of equals: Prospects have the upper hand and are used to playing the superior role.

But this is a learned behavior by prospects, taught by all the bad salespeople who’ve come before. The next time you or your business have a sales opportunity, you have a choice about whether or not to perpetuate that unprofitable system or chart a new, more win-win path.

The sales interaction is a dance, a waltz between buyer/prospect and seller. The average salesperson takes one of two well-worn roles. The first is the hard-charging, hard seller, who puts the prospect on the defensive immediately. Instead of thinking about problems he needs solved, the prospect now has tunnel vision, thinking only about protecting the company’s budget. Not only will he likely not buy, he won’t even be considering the possibility, so focused he will be on fending off the hard seller.

The opposite and more common but equally bad approach is the role of the subservient seller, who feels immense gratitude at just being granted face time with the prospect. This reinforces the prospect’s sense of superiority and puts the salesperson on the defensive. This encourages a lot of “free consulting” work that rarely leads to a sale. Those who value their time realize this approach is not fruitful in the long run.

At Sandler Training, our approach is different. We help you establish equality in the dance. We teach techniques that focus on identifying the prospect’s Pain and demonstrating how you can solve it. We re-establish the conversation as one between equals, with better outcomes for both prospect and seller.

The old ways just do not work anymore. Talk to us today about how we can help you chart a new approach.

Ed Schultek
Founder & Managing Principal
Sandler Training / Peak Sales Performance

Learn more about Ed at

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