If you are a sales professional have you ever tried telling someone that selling is hard and they just roll their eyes. Those who don't sell don't know and don't believe you – but for the record and as an expert on the subject let me say that I also believe that sales and selling is a hard job, in fact one of the hardest jobs.
Proof - Why do so many companies struggle to find top sales talent? Why do so many businesses have trouble retaining their top people and why do they find their sales organization full of people that don't perform? Many companies have done a great job at filling out their other departments but they look at sales and wonder "where did we go wrong?"
The simple answer to this conundrum is that sales and selling can be a very difficult job that is not for everybody. Going back to paragraph one why can I say that sales positions are tougher than any other in a company?
Sales people face something every day those others do not – people actually trying to stop them doing their job. Resistance comes in many forms such as objections, excuses, complaints and of course NO!
Balance -Managing a sales process from start to finish is a collection of contradictions and not everybody can handle that.
- Push without being pushy
- Listen and empathize without taking put offs and excuses
- Have a sense of urgency but be very patient
- Be willing to push back but able to do so nicely and not appear rude
- Be really well prepared but really good at shooting from the hip
- Be really well organized but flexible
- Focus and develop relationships but realize respect is more important than being liked
These are just a few – If you are a sales person have you mastered the art of balance? Take a look at yourself and ask yourself the tough questions. Look at your last few sales calls and think about the outcomes – how did the prospect respond to your push back? Were you able to empathize with the client and still offer constructive criticism? Did you spend enough time planning or too much?
When we evaluate a sales organization one of the things we try to determine is something we call sales posturing. Chris Mott wrote this great article on sales posturing here. Bottom line – if you are not being seen as a Trusted Advisor at every stage of the process then you are probably losing more opportunities than you can even imagine.
Thanks to Frank Belzer / OMG Hub / The Sales Archaelologist
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