rejection is failure
SALES TRAPS result from three things: fallacies, mistaken beliefs, and partial truths. In selling, its easy to believe the wrong thing and as a consequence do the wrong thing. A fallacy is a false or erroneous idea that is the result of having the wrong information or making the wrong inference. Mistaken beliefs that cause people to fall into sales traps include cultural stereotypes and prejudices. For example, a mistaken belief based upon a stereotype is that top salespeople need to be aggressive. Scientific research has proved that a salesperson does not have to be aggressive to succeed.
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Sales traps can also result from having the wrong information or from applying the right information in the wrong situation. For example, your information about the competitive marketplace may be outdated. You may not be aware of validated, effective sales strategies or the latest sales research. The information at your disposal may be incomplete or unavailable. You may not bring back enough information about client needs. In addition, a fallacy can also occur when you apply the correct information in the wrong circumstances. For example, a transactional sales strategy, such as increasing sales activity, may be mistakenly chosen in a consultative sales situation. (See Sales Trap 20, If You Generate Sales Activity, Youll Close More Sales. ) Having the wrong information leads to poor results for reasons that you cant see or dont acknowledge.
You can also fall into a sales trap if you draw the wrong conclusion from the information at hand. You may have correct information or information that is good enough for your sales purpose, but make the wrong inference from it, resulting in a fallacy. For example, Sales Trap 21, Top Performers Are the Best Teachers, is the result of a fallacy. In this case, the inference is that because top performers are the best at what they do, they will be the best at teaching others what they do. But, in fact, top performers arent sure why they are the best. Finally, partial truths can result in sales traps. For example, it is often said that salespeople should ask questions in order to persuade someone to do something. Well, yes, but that is only a partial truth. Salespeople should probe to understand the customer first, and try to persuade second.
why avoid sales traps?
The 24 sales traps are illustrations of ways in which salespeople, sales managers, consultants, and sales organizations do the wrong thing and how this prevents them from achieving high-performance results. Sales traps have serious consequences. For instance, one trap says that sales-skill training works. This is partially true; however, sales-
skill training doesnt work without coaching and reinforcement. In life, we can usually get by without holding or acting on the correct belief or having the best information. But what if doing the wrong thing as a result of believing the wrong thing makes a big difference? In sales, doing the wrong thing can lead to a negative outcome with serious financial consequences. It may mean not making the sale. It may even mean losing a large client or a favorite customer.
And what if the sales trap is so seductive or so deeply ingrained in a salespersons thinking that it becomes an unconscious pattern, a bad habit? In the worst case, you may have fallen into a sales trap and not even realized it. How do you know where you need to make improvements if you think what youre doing is just fine?
How do you know where to start?
focus on the 20 percent you do WRONG
The 24 sales traps show you how to stop doing the things you do that are wrong and replace them with whats correct. Youve all heard of the 80/20 rule. Its used almost as commonly as Catch-22. If youre a sales manager, for example, you probably can identify the 20 percent of your accounts that produce 80 percent of your sales and the 20 percent of your sales reps that produce 80 percent of your sales revenues.
the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule says that a selected small fraction in terms of number almost always accounts for a large fraction in terms of effect. If you can identify which 20 percent produces the much larger effect, then you can take steps that focus on that 20 percent and benefit from the much larger effect that the 20 percent produces. It is not what sales and marketing people dont know that is most likely to significantly hurt their performance; it is what they think they know that turns out to be either a partial truth, a fallacy, or a mistaken belief that affects their results more.
which 20 percent is wrong? I cant say with scientific certainty that 20 percent of what salespeople do is wrong, but my experience in
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