As seen on P. William Clarke .com – 

Here comes your prospect, ready-set-go, you’re off to the races. But are you running a race, or a sales encounter? Many salespeople move quickly, eagerly enticing prospects toward the finish line. The aforementioned question might seem like an obvious NO. Yet, it happens every day! Research and consumer feedback lend credence to the fact consumers fear salespeople because they often engage a prospect and begin moving from product to product until the first buying sign is observed. That’s where the “selling” begins. A full download on everything about the product, demonstrations on functionality, well rehearsed bullet pointed features and benefits statements, all while handing them a fancy promotional flyer. If you think thats a mouthful, can you now imagine the salesperson, catching his or her breath standing poised for a decision?

Wow, that was fast. In a matter of minutes, the prospect is taken through complete selling cycle. Perhaps this sounds like something you have experienced as a consumer? There are many reasons why this dynamic is so prevalent.

Today companies are under a lot of pressure to capture sales.  Sales management places pressure on the sales force to make more sales. This is a necessary element of sales management that is often done improperly. Sales managers often place emphasis on the end result (a sale) instead of a process to foster the desired result. A frantic attempt to get to the goal line can resemble a race between a tortes and the hare.

Fast does not equal success in selling. In fact not only will fast decrease overall sales conversion (closing) ratios but it will also diminish profit margins immensely for products and services where price can be negotiated. Nobody wants this. However, salespeople often internalize a sales managers sense of urgency and externalize it in the form of hasty sales presentations followed by a hand full of well though out closing questions.

To illustrate a point, imagine yourself crossing a beautiful field of flowers with an objective of reaching the seashore off in the distance. If you keep your eyes focused on the seashore, you will eventually get there. Because your eyes are focused on the destination, you’ll miss nearly all of scenery along the way. If selling were as simple as walking to the sea shore through a field of flowers, I wouldn’t be writing books and articles on the subject. To contrast, selling is more like painting a seashore rather than walking to one. With each brush stroke you determine your end result. The foreground, flowers and scenery leading up to the seashore is a blank canvas.  Only the painter can create a pathway to the destination but sometime it takes an art team.

We all know the pathway to success in sales is determined by the prospects unique set of needs, wants and desires. We often forget these wants, needs and desires are constantly changing and evolving. A key difference between the good salespeople and truly great salespeople comes down this. A heightened level of influence and collaborative input the salesperson has in helping the prospect accurately qualify and quantify their true wants, needs and desires.   Any selling role short of this should carry the title of Order Taker.

There is a universal truth, whether you espouse to using my Discovery Sales Process® or any other will constructed selling system. It won’t work unless you put it into action. I don’t care if it’s Spin Selling, Sandler Selling, Dale Carnegie, my friends Tom Hopkins or Brian Tracy. Knowing the steps, and executing them are two entirely different things. A system is simply a strategy. Skills and tactics foster successful implementation.

Slow down, learn to differentiate and get out of the sales (rat) race. Today, you can get more information about the Discovery Sales Tools and Pitfalls online of seek out active listening, questioning and advance human relation skills elsewhere. Armed with these skills you will be well positioned to help your prospect on a path to a mutually beneficial destination.

In closing… I’m not saying you can’t get to the destination through the brush and trees. I’m only suggesting it will be easier for your prospect on a clear path. Besides, walking on a clear and even path keeps everyone from staring at his or her feet. Everyone involved has the benefit of keeping his or her head held high to enjoy the scenery. And, you get to enjoy the human interaction elements that make A Sales Life Worth Living.

All the best,

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