As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, December 2005.
I believe that more than 50 percent of what people learn about sales training is wrong. This poor training contributes to our industry's high turnover rate.
Here are some myths taught in sales training and how to move beyond them.
Myth No. 1: The secret to referrals is asking for business
Frankly, if I had to go around and ask people for business every day, I would quit as well. Some sales trainers even say that you must experience pain to be successful in sales. I say they are wrong.
Getting referrals is about being in the position to ask. When we ask for business, we are thinking about ourselves. But the sales process is not about you. It is about your customers.
The best way to position yourself to help your customers is to develop value. For example, if you are an expert who can help clients in all situations, people likely will approach you for help. Wouldn't it be a more pleasant experience than hitting them over the head?
Other ways to position yourself may include delivering a value-added newsletter every month with financial news to previous customers, rather than sending birthday cards or letters asking for referrals.
Myth No. 2: The key to selling is finding something in common with your target
When you have to search for something in common with your prospects, you are showing them two things: 1. You didn't know enough about them before you contacted them; and 2. There is a good chance you picked the wrong prospect.
You should do business with people with whom you have something in common. The problem is that most salespeople are not taught enough about their sphere of influence. The sphere of influence is people with whom you have a relationship and others with whom you have something in common.
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