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Why Aren't Your Sales People Selling?

Tony Cole

Tony Cole

Tony Cole, Founder and CEO of Anthony Cole Training Group


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Do Prospects Lie? How Does The Answer Impact Sales Success?


I first heard this when I attended a workshop I attended years ago in Cleveland, Ohio. The speaker was, the one and only, David Sandler.  Many years have passed since that day and I've had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of prospects and sales people about their prospects. The answer to that question is:


Here is a guest blog from Sales Development Expert, Author and Highly Recognized Leader in Sales Force Evaluations, David Kurlan.

Dave Kurlan resized 600

We've all been on planes when they tell us to put our electronic devices into airplane mode so that your laptops, iPads, iPods, Kindles and phones don't send a radio signal looking for a connection.  They tell us that these signals can interfere with the plane's instrumentation.  Scary stuff!  Some planes are now equipped with WiFi so that your devices can access the Internet from those same devices.  Do the airlines and the FAA seriously expect us to believe that our devices will interfere with navigation when there's no WiFi on the plane, but when there is WiFi on the plane, then the devices won't interfere?  They must think we are morons...

Do you know who else thinks we are morons?  Prospects.  

How many of your sales people have been told any of the following lies?

  1. We can't share how much money we've budgeted.
  2. We can't tell you who else we're talking with.
  3. We can't let you know who's actually making the decision.
  4. We can't let you know who we like best.
  5. We can't tell you what our decision-making criteria is.
  6. We don't care about the value you add.  We only care about price.
  7. You don't need to know why we want to move away from our current vendor.
  8. We're going to stay with our current vendor (who you learned earlier has been screwing the crap out of them).
  9. The decision-maker won't meet with you.
  10. You have to go through me.

Prospects must think that sales people are morons.  After all, these lies continue to work for them, as much as the airlines' lies get us to power down our devices.

How many of your sales people find themselves at a crossroads when any of the 10 lies above are thrown their way because of their hidden weaknesses (in parentheses below)?  Do they:

  • Accept it as truth (Too Trusting)?
  • Fear pushing back (Need for Approval)?
  • Give up (Difficulty Recovering from Rejection)?
  • Continue the sales process with these conditions in place (Emotionally Involved)?
  • Understand (Self-Limiting Beliefs)?
  • Not even consider asking further questions (Difficulty Talking About Money)?
  • Know they need to do something but don't know what they should do (Lack of Situation-Appropriate Strategies and Tactics)?
These symptoms are examples of some of the hidden weaknesses which Objective Management Group identifies as reasons why salespeople don't perform as well as you need them to.  These weaknesses can neutralize entire skill sets, from Hunting skills to Consultative Selling skills to Qualifying skills to Closing Skills.  The skills might be there, but if the weakness gets in the way, they won't use or execute what they know.  How do these weaknesses affect their ability to execute your strategies?  How well equipped are your sales managers and sales leaders to recognize, identify, train and coach sales people to overcome these weaknesses?
Will you continue allowing prospects to think your sales people are morons or can you do something to counteract their tactics?  A sales force evaluation is an obvious first step!

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