5 Lies You Hear in Sales Training

You’ve started at your new sales job. You’re bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to work. Monday morning arrives and your first training session begins. You’re prepared to learn all about your product and how to sell it. That’s when you get hit with the five big lies of sales.

You shouldn’t let the customer get away with buying the cheapest product. It’s not going to make them happy.
This is a lie for two reasons. First, we aren’t the client and don’t know what they want. Maybe price is their single biggest concern. Second, we don’t necessarily know more about what will make a client happy than they do. In the information age people often do tons of due diligence before approaching a sales rep and know very clearly what they want. They resent pushback that says the salesperson thinks they aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions. People also want to pay as little as possible. You don’t want to overpay for things, so why assume your customers do?

Instead of pushing higher priced products ask your customers what they are looking for and provide exactly that. Don’t push for costly add-ons or upsell items. Customers are often so shocked by fair treatment that they refer other people to sales reps who offer it.

Our product is the best.
There is only one best product in any given category and a lot of companies that make less-than-optimal versions. Odds are that the company you sell for doesn’t make it the top of the line. Training classes often try to teach reps to think they are selling the best possible offering so they can sound confident in the product.

Instead of assuming your product is the best available learn its strengths and weaknesses. When you know where your product excels you can seek out customers who need those aspects of it. When talking with that kind of customer you can confidently and honestly tell them your product is a great choice.

Increase your activity and you’ll increase your sales.
That’s a lie of omission. You should be taught to increase your profitable activity to increase your sales. If your activities are not working it does not make sense to increase the amount of time you spend doing them. As the old saying goes, banging your head against a wall only feels good when you stop.

Instead of increasing activity pause to evaluate whether your activity is working. Is it closing sales and making you money? If not, find another activity and increase that instead.

Cold calling works – it’s slow, but it works if you do it enough.
When was the last time a random stranger called you on the phone and convinced you to buy something from them? You’ll be lucky if you get people who hang up on you instead of messing with you when you interrupt their day.

Instead of cold calling try making yourself attractive to customers. Make yourself into the kind of person they want to work with and do things to stand out from your competitors, even the ones at your company.

You need to build rapport and make customers into friends.
That’s just wrong. Sure, it’s fun to be able to sit around all day at a “business lunch” with a prospective customer and talk about last Sunday’s big game. If the person opposite you at the table isn’t making out a check to buy your product, though, you are wasting your time. When you need a cardiac surgeon do you ask whether you want the doctor over for dinner and sparkling conversation? Of course not – you ask whether the person in the lab coat is the best cardiac surgeon you can find. You can bet the doctor is not wondering if you’d be a good bowling buddy.

Instead of building relationships that feel like friendships but are really more of a shield your customer builds to keep your sales pitch away try becoming the most valued professional in your field. Just as you would want the most qualified possible surgeon, your customers will want the most qualified person they can find. Make sure that person is you.

Also written by Andrew
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