Friday, July 17, 2009

Your Salespeople Do Not Like to Sell

At seminars this statement attracts flak like a magnet held over iron filings. Salespeople and their managers protest; they evoke their love of selling. Then I ask pointed questions and request that participants raise their hands.

I ask, Have you ever . . .

• Had an appointment where the prospect was an hour late?
• Had a lead where the prospects didn’t show at all?
• Been allotted half the time you anticipated to make your presentation?
• Been promised an order and didn’t get it?
• Lost an order to lower prices?
• Had the contract turned down by the bank/finance company?
• Had a contract canceled by your customer?
• Been required to work (solicit) around an installation?
• Made a call in temperatures over 95 or under 30 degrees, or when it was raining or snowing?

Then I ask, How many of you like or enjoy these tasks or circumstances?

None of these are fun, yet they constitute a major portion of sales responsibility. Why would salespeople enjoy that part of the role? They don’t.

Getting an order, receiving kudos for performance, getting paid sizable commissions, or winning a sales contest are the enjoyable parts of selling, yet they represent a relatively small part of a salesperson’s time and activity. Once a manager recognizes the indisputable truth that most salespeople do not like to perform these tasks, there is a greater possibility of creating advanced training and motivational techniques.

Disciplined salespeople achieve the greatest earnings because they recognize that calling on prospects, staying organized, having appointments or orders canceled, facing the possibility of rejection, and overcoming objections are simply steps in the process that leads to sale success.

In this changing economy, what changes have you made in training your salespeople and/or stimulating their thinking and understanding of the sales role?

1 comment:

  1. Dave - fully agree... sales people tend to be motivated by the idea of achieving goals and doing so despite obstacles... the actual content of the work (the activities by which they acheive these goals) is typically less attractive.