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Vol. 1 issue #70  Jul 10, 2003

 

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The Seven "Myths" Of Sales Success!
2003 By  Len Foley

I'm a professional sales trainer. Every day I'm on the front lines, experimenting and testing every principle I teach. If something doesn't work, I toss it aside and look for something that will work. I can't afford to waste time on useless ideas. Here are just a few of the "myths" that most sales courses teach:

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Myth #1: You need to be a "good talker"

Otherwise known as the blabbermouth syndrome.

Blabbermouths don't sell; they merely annoy people into handing over their money.

They assume if they can fill in every second of silence with useless (or useful) chatter about how great their products are---then every objection in the prospect's mind will magically disappear.

This isn't selling; it's irritating.

Anytime a salesperson is talking, the client is formulating objections.
That's just the way the human mind works.

Anytime a salesperson is listening, the client is probably still formulating objections...but at least the salesperson will have an idea about what those objections might be.

Myth #2: You need to be a "good listener"

Most salespeople are good listeners...but they're good at listening for all the wrong things!

If you say to a salesperson: "I really want to buy your product..."
Chances are they'll hear every word.

But if you say to that same salesperson: "Oh, I've changed my mind...I don't want to buy this product." You'll suddenly notice their eyes glazing over as they hear something completely different than the words that came out of your mouth.

Many sales trainers teach their students to ignore objections and to listen instead for psychological "hooks" or "openings" that the prospect may either verbally or non-verbally pass along.

The salesperson is then taught to use these hooks to manipulate or cajole the prospect into buying what he or she has to offer.

Does this approach work? Of course it works.

It's worked for hundreds of years with interrogators and psychological bullies.

Does it work over a long-term relationship with your client?

That's something every professional salesperson should be  asking themselves.



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Myth #3: You need to have a lot of self-confidence

You only need a lot of self-confidence when you don't know what you're selling.

If you "think" you're selling a food dehydrator or an insurance package or cars...well, then of course you need a lot of confidence. (It takes confidence selling anything you can't really sell).

Once you know what you're really selling and gain some skill in selling it over and over again, you'll never even consider needing any confidence...you'll just BE confident.

Myth #4: You need the ability to quickly size people up

An old teacher of mine once said:

"The fool is a master at judging other people and only the wise man is a master at judging himself."

If you spend most of your time searching for your prospect's weakness and then exploit it to your own advantage, you may end up making the transaction, but there's no way in the world you'll ever make any sales.

Myth #5: You need to "dominate" your prospect

You probably know when you're being manipulated or lied to...most people have a sixth sense for this kind of treatment. Some sales professionals think they can fool their prospects with charm, flattery, and dramatic appeal, but these behaviors only mask the underlying motivation behind every word the salesperson utters.

Kierkegaard said: "A fool can always find a bigger fool who admires him."
But there is no bigger fool than the salesperson who manipulates and strong-arms his prospects.

Most people are smart, they're not fooled by "covert" forms of subtle-persuasion. It doesn't matter how clever or disguised you think these kinds of strategies are: traditional sales methods send up an immediate red flag in the mind of every prospect you see.

Myth #6: You need to be one step ahead of your prospect

Here's a short dictum to keep in mind:

Anytime you're one step ahead of your prospect...

.your prospect has fallen twenty steps behind you.

Myth #7: You need special credentials

Some people will waste four years at a university getting a fancy degree in sales and still not know how to sell.

Think about it: Entering an expensive university program won't make you a salesperson anymore than entering a music store will make you a musician.

The only credential you need for sales is the knowledge of what you're selling.

When you know what you're selling and possess the specific skills of selling it over and over again.credentials or not.you'll know how to make the sale!



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