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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Mark Tewart

Mark Tewart President

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 Death of The Traditional Salesperson– Part 2

                A recent article I wrote titled “Death of Traditional Salespeople” received more response than any article I have ever written.  Judging from the massive response, I struck a nerve with salespeople, managers, business owners and just about everyone who read the article. Based upon the overwhelming response and the huge amount of requests for more information on this theme, I am providing the following article.

                For as long as I can remember traditional sales training has focused highly on certain sales skills such as cold calling, presentation-demonstration, objection handling and closing. This model is outdated and out of touch. The traditional model taught to salespeople has an adversarial tone and combative tone that goes against the grain of basic human communication.

                Selling is not something you do to someone. By my definition, selling is assisting people in finding and understanding a solution to their problem(s). Every buyer has a problem whether it is a want or need problem and it’s the job of the salesperson to guide the buyer to the solution instead of force feeding him with product or services. It’s much easier to practice what I call the “slippery-slide method of selling.”

                If you were at a pool and it had one of those slippery-slides, you would start at the top and slide effortless to the bottom.  In sales, it’s usually the salesperson that puts obstacles in the way of the customer from flowing effortlessly to their destination. The obstacles start in the form of an outdated mindset of “control” and coercive techniques.

                If instead of concentrating so much on outdated word tracks to overpower people, why not concentrate on understanding basic human emotion and thought in assisting the customer rather than fighting him. Let’s start with the most abused skill in selling which is listening. So much of selling is actually just listening. It is a proven part of communication that when most people listen they listen intently for about the first ten seconds and then quickly shift into thinking about what their response  will be. A quick shift occurs in the salesperson that is now self-focused and control oriented.

                To truly listen is to seek to understand based upon complete focus of the customer and their perspective. Perception of the customer is the only reality that matters. It’s not about right or wrong or overcoming objections but about truly understanding the customer and their thoughts and feelings.  From understanding comes a shared goal achieving process with the customer. You and the customer share a destiny rather than acting as opposing players.

 Traditional objection handling techniques stress changing a customer’s thoughts and emotions rather than understanding them and then utilizing those thoughts and emotions to come a winning solution for the customer. I call this paradigm shift “selling form the heart.” Some old school types will read this and think it’s a bunch of psycho-babble and feel good mumbo-jumbo.  To those of you locked in that vein of thought, understand that it’s not my mission to change you, as most adults do not change.  As Jesus said to his disciples, “Don’t tarry too long with the non believers.”

To find out more about this topic and  receive some FREE bonuses go to www.superstarbookvideo.com

 

 

Hillary Mxyz
Sentenced to death decades ago, Michael Bueke, ultimately saw his last day. This morning prior to 11 am Michal Bueke was pronounced dead from lethal injection. In 1983 in Ohio he murdered 1 person, paralyzed another, and critically injured another in 3 individual car robberies offering him the nickname, Mad Hitchhiker. After he was captured he expressed that, he was trying to grab an auto to rob a bank so he could settle his lawyer fees for drug charges. A few questioned his peace of mind, and why not who does commit crimes to get money to fund the defense for already committed crimes, but he was found to be sane.
Sam Nash
I must say you are certainly convinced that you are right. I would only ask you what is the difference between you and the "old timers"? I take from your last paragraph that you think you have created something new... Something along the order of someone bringging a knife to a gun fight. I believe you have been trained to believe that there is a limit to how much money you should make also. I think your probably convinced that the government is "listening" too!
Renee Stuart
Our industries executives, managers and sales force are failing because most were hired “to fill a spot”. Yes – the wave of sales opportunity was so great, our people perceived success because they were in the right place at the right time. Who took the time to teach you the responsibilities of your “Role”? I’m not asking about your job tasks & duties. Take a minute and ask yourself “who took the time to support my success as a leader during the transition into my current position? As I quote Mark – Part 1 “What I see in the auto business today as an average is scary. I see lazy, untrained staffs that either cannot or will not learn the skills necessary to become a strong, professional salesperson. I see dealerships with weak or non-existent game plans to recruit, hire and train a strong professional staff. I see managers who like to sit behind their desks and wait for untrained sales staffs to bring them deals.” Mark – We hired these lazy, untrained staffers! To make matters worse, we not only didn’t offer them consistent, disciplined training to learn the skills necessary to become a strong, professional salesperson – we didn’t bother telling them it was mandatory in order to support their success. Why? Because then we would be the responsible for their failure. I don’t believe anyone in today’s sales workforce chooses to be lazy. Furthermore, I don’t believe that there is a Sales Manager left standing that chooses to sit behind the desk and wants to wait for a deal. Unfortunately, your overview may be the perceived expectation of what the job is for many – very few of our people have been taught and empowered to lead. We are ALL leaders – remove your job description from your business card, and exonerate the boundaries you have given it in your mind. Replace the written text with the words “Industry Leader”. It doesn’t matter what your job title reads – We all have the responsibility to be the teacher and the student. Don’t wait for your Dealer, no matter what your roll is – I challenge you to… • Become a student of the business – master the basic selling skills, create good habits and keep a positive attitude. Believe! • Become a Teacher of the business – Invest in your future; hire your replacement, teach them everything you know and love about this business. Gratification! Old vs. New – Let’s face it… Lost opportunities, lost sales, lost profits cannot be blamed on the “Internet”. Let’s not be hypocritical! We all use the Internet for product comparisons, research and reviews. As consumers our “Buy Now” signal goes off when we realize the “Value”. For any business to survive; past or present – it looked for innovation – innovation requires creativity – creativity happens with diversity! Diversity is your “PEOPLE”. It’s time we stop looking back; it’s no longer an option! None of us have a crystal ball, so there’s really no point in spending time predicting the future either. Opportunity is “Right Now”. We can all learn something from the “Old Timers” knowledge and passion – We can all learn something from the “young ones” perspective and beliefs. We are all “Valuable Industry Leaders” – Now let’s quit talking and writing about it, and start investing in each other to get the job done!
Bart Wilson
I think too many salespeople view this job as a temporary solution until they find something better. Sooner or later there is the realization that selling IS the something better. Our goal as managers should definitely be to hire the right people. But once we hire them there must be training and support. Too often I think we spend a lot of time searching for salespeople and not enough time training and mentoring them. It won't come from the sales staff. They don't want the competition. It must come from management. New hires must view sales as their own business, and their success or failure depends on their willingness to learn and progress.
Bryant Gibby
I think you have posted some good stuff here, but it isn't anything that we haven't heard before. Any salesguy knows that the most important part of closing a deal and overcoming objections is to listen. I agree it is very important and abused very frequently. However, if a dealership has good managers and trainers that help them close deals, they will learn from example and it shouldn't be a problem as much as you make it seem.

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