Two Biggest Sales Training Myths of All Times

For decades the so-called sales gurus have been preaching their 'formula' for success, which they base on the ‘steps to selling’. 

We’ve been taught that selling is a process that needs to be controlled every step of the way. And if the customer doesn’t buy, it’s because we didn’t follow the process or provide them with enough reasons to buy. We’ve been told that the sales process is proven, but what if it’s fundamentally flawed? What if what we’ve been taught in the past no longer applies today? What if we’re following an outdated practice that is ultimately costing us business?  We need to start questioning everything we’ve been taught in the past:

  1. Is selling really a process? 
  2. Is it true that any sale is a good sale? 
  3. Do great sales people really take control the sale? 
  4. Should we focus on motivating the customer to buy? 
  5. Should we ‘always be closing’ and what does that even mean?

In this brief article we explore two myths of sales training and explain why they're fundamental wrong! Do great sales people really take control of the sale, and Should we focus on motivating the customer to buy? 

Myth 1 - You've got to motivate the customer to buy!

Many sales consultants are taught they need to 'motivate the customer to buy'. And then when the customer doesn't buy they're told ...'you didn't give them enough reasons to buy'.

But here's the thing...

You can't motivate someone to buy anything, unless of course you use pushy, unethical sales tactics that destroy your reputation and business in the long run. But you can understand what already motivates them and provide a solution to match.

That way, not only do you make the sale, but you gain your clients trust, commitment and future sales.

Myth 2 - You've got to control the sale!

Many people also think that by controlling a sale they can motivate a prospect to buy, but you can’t motivate anyone to do anything.

They are motivated one way or another. Your role is to understand what motivates them and to find solutions that will help them get what they want within whatever constraints they may have e.g. price, time.

What’s easier - to help a customer get what they want, or to try and overcome their motivations? Sometimes people want what we can’t provide them, in which case we face it and move on.

You can’t change someone’s motivations; you may influence their views and provide information to introduce them to new perspectives.

The upshot: Motivation is intrinsic - it can’t be outwardly influenced. Get curious in what motivates your customers.

Here's an example

Take buying a car.

Try ringing a car dealer and inquiring about the price of car

Go on - try it! 9/10 times you won't get a straight answer. Instead you’ll immediately be asked for your name and number. This is the salespersons attempt to start 'controlling the sale’. We've all experienced this and not only is it confrontational, it feels intrusive. You ring to ask one simple question and instead gets asked two personal ones in return. Not only that, 9/10 times we're told we need to come into the dealership to find out the price of the car. This is the second attempt at ‘controlling the sale’. The salesperson has succeeding in nothing except annoying you!

Let’s say the customer does come into the dealership to get the price of the car and check it out. The salesperson attempts to control the sale again this time by controlling the demonstration. They move from one part of the car to the other explaining every feature and benefit until the customer is bored senseless and can only think of how to get away. The so called guru’s call this the “six point process”.

The emotionally astute sales consultant doesn’t do this. They follow the customers lead, pacing with them until they’ve built sufficient rapport to be able to lead them. They let the customer explore the car for themselves, because this gives them valuable information about what’s important to the customer. There is no point talking tyres if the customer is just dying to see what accessories are inside!  Talk about what interests the customer first and then mention the great tyres! Focus less on your sales pitch and more on connecting and engaging your client.

The upshot: There is no one way to sell. You need to adapt to your customer.

Check out the full Authentic Sales Training program to learn a modern, fresh, more effective way to sell. We dispel all the myths of selling in the dark ages, and introduce techniques that are simple, effective and proven!

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