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Are You a Sniveling Little Coward?

Jul 12, 2008
There is one thing I cannot stand in the business world, and that is a weak sales person. OK, there are some other things I can't stand, but weak sales people are my number one annoyance. How can you expect to sell anything if you are afraid to even ask for a sale? Worse yet, why would any company hire such an individual?

As many people know, I believe in going big or going home. It is a complete waste of time for sales people to deal with anyone who can't make a decision to buy. Let me say that again, it is a complete waste of time to deal with anyone who can't make a decision to buy. That means if the person you're dealing with can't sign the deal or purchase order you are wasting time.

Ernest Hemingway once said, "never mistake motion for action." I like that quote so much I have it framed in my office where I can see it every day. If you are in sales and you spend time with people that need approval from higher up to buy, or who seem to just ask for samples and literature you are mistaking motion for action. Mainly because you're spinning your wheels trying to satisfy these people. That's the motion. These people will likely never get approval to buy anything. Therefore you get no action.

Many sales people delude themselves into thinking that if they keep after the middle management people at their target customers they will eventually get a sale. The belief is that as long as they stay in motion with a potential customer the sale might come someday. To put it simply, that's just dumb. It's also fear of rejection.

Any sales person worth their salt knows they're going to get far more no's in their career than yes's. That's the game. The sales people who succeed stack the odds in their favor by quickly identifying the people who actually can make buying decisions. Then, they quickly find out if there will ever be a sale or not. The sooner you realize a company just is not going to buy from you, the sooner you can cut your losses and limit wasted time. Successful sales people don't fear rejection, they blow it off as simply a part of the job.

Many top sales people often analyze why a company chose not to buy in order to see what they can learn, and apply to making their all around sales skills better.

The biggest mistake I see sales people make is to back down on price or throw in extras at no charge to get a sale. This is the first thing I beat out of sales people I work with. Backing down on price shows complete weakness. You're a coward if you do it. If you sell the best product on the market, why would you devalue it by dropping the price? What does that say to your customer? It says you don't believe your product is really worth the published price. It says your company is a '78 Pinto, not a shiny new Cadillac.

When I get a sales person who is willing to drop his or her price they lose the sale. They are essentially telling me their published price is inflated, and their initial price proposal was robbery. Dropping the price makes me as a buyer feel like I'm buying an inferior product or service. Usually I'm right.

Have some backbone for goodness sake. What are you afraid of? I've often found that the most lucrative sales come from almost adversarial relationships. You have to tell your potential buyer why they would be a fool to not buy from you. Literally them they would be a fool. You have to have the facts to back it up, be confident, and stand your ground. When they say your price is too high, you don't back down and drop the price. Respect is earned when you stand firm.

When the price objection comes up ask your prospect the following two questions.

Do you hire people who are weak-willed, weak-minded, and fold under pressure?

Or, do you prefer to work with people who will be honest, loyal, will work extra hard, and give you the best he/she has to give at a fair price?

The answers to those two questions immediately qualify your customer as either a waste of time, or someone you want to work with. Either way, you enhance your reputation as someone who thinks differently, and has strength of character. You will be respected, and considered a partner on equal footing with your customer.

The ones who fold and drop their price will never be respected, and will forever be thought of as an underling.

You want to be thought of as a Cadillac in a world of Pintos.

Which would you rather drive?
About the Author
Ted Hebert is a writer and Maverick Thinker who works with business of all sizes to grow their business. If want to grow your business in new ways contact Ted at ted@atunga.com or visit www.Atunga.com.
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