Persuasive sales skills sometime require the harsh reality; and that is there are times that you will have to fail. Sales failure is needed to learn how to make persuasive sales calls. Sales skills are normally learned out in the field and not just by absorbing them from sales books, persuasion seminars, cds on influence or even dvds featuring sales gurus. If learning these sales skills were that easy many sales people would be in the top 2% of their industries.
It seems that people are always looking for the short cut. You know the secret sales formula that increases sales by huge multiples over night. Almost like its a prize in a cereal box and everyone can get it.
Many times new salespeople will ask sales trainers “What is the biggest thing you have learned while doing X” or “how do I combat when people do X” and sometimes “when a person says X what do I say”? It would be cool to be able to dispense sales advice like a bubble gum machine just put in the question and the right question falls out but it doesn’t work that way. There is no secret sales formula except living through the sales calls.
Now some of this nonsense comes from the belief that is you model someone that you can have the same exact results as them. Well just like the legal disclaimer “results may vary” depending upon the user and not just the knowledge. Its not just knowledge that you need for sales success its implementation plus real life experience.
How long does it take for someone to be an expert at what they do? Some will tell you on average 10,000 hours some will say 1,000 hours now whatever that answer is you cannot cram it into a weekend or even a few hours of training. Yes you can try but it will not work consistently or to the level as to what most would expect. Does it hurt to hear that in many instances there is no quick map or sales formula that turns into a sales recipe for every sales call? For some they will say it isn’t true for the ones who have had to work their butts off at what they do they should be smiling.
Now every once in a while the stars and moon align and there will be that one guy or girl in 10,000,000 who can make something happen out of just talent and ability to follow others, those people is what give the ones who want some modeling shortcut hope.
Have you ever watch karate on television or in real life? Some of those guys are flat out ridiculous they can break boards or bricks with their bare hands or foreheads. They are masters and they have done hard work to get to that point. There is a reason why they have a sequence of belts in Karate that start with white and move through black (In most disciplines, some use other colors). That is because the person has mastered each specific level for certain talents and or abilities. The same goes for persuasive sales abilities. There is a definite sequence of steps that you must learn and master.
Some of the steps in persuasive selling skills are:
- · Asking the right type of questions that have been crafted to reach a certain response
- · Getting commitments for each level of the meeting with understanding of the next step
- · Knowing how to react or not react not just verbally but physically
- · Negotiation basics so you know where your potential client is going or where you can go
- · The art of playing dumb or reversing to not just find position but to gauge the level of involvement
- · Non-verbal communication or body language
- · Vocal pitch and tone abilities to use your voice correctly
- · Knowing when to walk away from the sale and being ok with it
- · Being ok with complaints
- · Learning that cancelations are a normal part of sales
- · Not taking rejection personally
- · Knowing the other styles of sales and who represents them (Sandler, S.P.I.N. or whatever they are and whoever you like)
- · Implementing what you have learned from sales training or sales gurus
- · Paying attention to details
- · Being on time just to name a few
Now if you were to think that you would have persuasive sales skills by being able to master one of those items what kind of sales success do you think that you would have? Would your persuasive sales truly be persuasive or would they just be sales skills?
For those who want to learn how to make more sales you will have to fail in some subjects to learn what you are doing. This isn’t saying that you will have be a complete sales failure but it is saying that there is something to be said for having to get knocked down and saying that will not happen again.
Learning how to be persuasive for some comes naturally for others they have to work very hard at it for it to work. Knowing that it is ok in instances to fail is a tough lesson to learn: learning from those failures is how people become successful at what they do.
Just because you have enough sales techniques so that you can overcome sales objections in a class or the office and beat “I wanna think about it” with your manager does not make you an expert in sales or prove persuasive selling abilities.
In order to grow you will need to have many failures along the way not just in sales but also in life. That’s because you learn from each step of your life and from being uncomfortable. The sales success formula comes from experience.
As always I would like to thank you in advance for your comments and or questions.
Now go implement!
Scott Sylvan Bell