Salespeople have a dysfunctional relationship with sales and selling. We associate selling with forcing people to do things against their will, scamming, tricking and taking money from people, being a bad person. At the same time, we idolize the superstar salespeople and put them up on a pedestal to worship. All these weird associations that we have with sales and with selling make it a challenge to be good at sales.
We have to get over and get past the strangely flawed preconceptions we have about sales.
Being good at sales means we have to get our heads straight, because everybody is selling something all the time. I had a conversation with a sales manager about sales training and he mentioned that to do well in sales; one had to be phenomenal at sales like Michael Jordan, a hall of fame basketball player, was significant to basketball. I expressed that this was a ridiculous notion, explaining how widely recreational basketball is played. You see there are millions of people who play basketball for fun hitting 3-point shots with somebody waving a hand in their faces. You don’t have to be Michael Jordan to excel at and enjoy basketball. You just have to know how to practice enough, hone, and apply your skills.
It’s the same with sales.
Many salespeople, who aren’t superstar Michael Jordan types, do well and earn a satisfactory, above average living. They’re just good at it, and they’re at peace with themselves being just good at it.
So to do well in sales, you just have to be good. You do need a good support system keeping you on track. There is no doubt that without a proper support and training system progressing you forward, it’s challenging to be good at anything, including selling.
Be willing to train and be trained. Prepare to be embarrassed, feel awkward or get out of your comfort zone so you can be able to learn and improve. If you are willing to be disappointed and sometimes disheartened while you’re learning and going through all the hard knocks it takes to find a good sales opportunity, you’ll be able to get through the rough days without being discouraged. You’ll need some grit, resilience, some self-confidence and some drive to help get you through the hard times. But you can do it.
Not only do we have a dysfunctional relationship with sales in general but the current training methods and routines are broken. Current sales training systems and approaches are frustrating. They are frustrating for trainers, frustrating for the trainees, and frustrating for the big bosses.
Current training systems are inadequate. Trainees become unwilling. Trainers become disheartened. People in the C-suites who are paying for all the training feel like it’s often a waste of money.
Let’s look at a different approach. There is a better way. I’m suggesting a new foundation for sales so that we can move forward and shed our weird dysfunctional relationship with selling.
If the current approach to sales is dysfunctional then the current rules of selling are dysfunctional, too. Let’s wad them up, toss them out, and start over. I propose five new rules of sales.
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