Curing The "Sales Bloviator:" Shut-up and Sell More
Two Ears and One Mouth: Equipment for Sales Success!
In a recent Sales Best Practices Group discussion on Linkedin.com, discussion leader, Craig J. Lewis, asked, "What is the #1 most critical mistake that sales people make in the sales process" and "in your opinion, what is the solution?"
As of the date of this writing, Mr. Lewis' discussion stimulated 147 responses. 147!! Opinions on the #1 most critical mistake varied greatly. However, one common thread wove it's way through all of the responses: lack of listening caused by too much talking. In fact, over 30% of the contributors directly mentioned this as the #1 mistake that sales people make in the sales process. Many others mentioned related issues, such as:
- Failure to uncover real pain/needs
- Inability to conduct a discussion at higher levels
- Lack of planning
As Jay Millburn, Regional Aftermarket Sales Manager for RUSH Enterprises, puts it, "Many times the first instinct, even with sales veterans, is to tell the prospect how wonderful we are."
While this discussion was fascinating, very few of the contributors and "experts" provided solutions to the #1 mistakes listed. Maybe they didn't see the last part of the question, "In your opinion, what is the solution?" In other words, for sales bloviators, "How do we stop the talking and start the listening?"
The Real Problem With Sales Bloviators
Years ago in graduate school, one of my professors explained that in order to provide a solution, one must sort through the symptoms to the real problem. Sales bloviating is a symptom of a deeper problem. That problem is "lack of preparation."
Put another way, when unprepared, many salespeople try to dazzle the prospect with brilliance, baffle them with baloney, or overwhelm them with content free (as far as the prospect/customers are concerned it's content free) exuberance. These "sales bloviators" mistakenly believe three sales myths:
1. When they are talking (dumping) they are in control
2. Talk shows expertise
3. Bloviating is a substitute for real dialogue
The Cure for The "Sales Bloviator"
1. Change your terminology from "sales call" to "sales interview."
2. Embed the philosophy of "70/20/10." 70% listening; 20% questioning; and 10% telling
3. Sales Managers:
A. Focus on this formula during field observations and post-interview "curb-side coaching."
B. Demand a written pre-call plan on all prospective customer and key customer calls, especially the ones that you will be observing.
4. Sales Representatives:
A. Conduct a candid post-interview self-assessment based upon the "70/20/10" rule.
B. Perform due diligence research on your prospects and key customers.
C. Using the due diligence results, prepare a written pre-call plan.
Aids In Curing The "Sales Bloviator"
Is it expecting too much to ask a professional salesperson or business development professional to expend 3 to 5 minutes per customer to build higher probability for sales success?
If you believe that preparation is an aid in curing your sales bloviators, click here for a free Guide to Precall Planning.
If you would like to see the latest technology solution to alleviate sales bloviating, click here for a brief, live demonstration. Is 20 minutes of your time worth turning sales bloviating into sales success?
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