Sometimes the best business training examples come from non-business settings. For instance a great example is from the world of skiing. I’ve heard the story with different people’s names attached to it, so it doesn’t actually matter who was involved but more it’s the principle illustrated that matters.
The winner of a lady’s skiing event was interviewed on Eurosport. She’d completed a downhill event with a camera attached to her helmet and so the viewer was treated the exhilarating rush of seeing the ski-slope ahead of her. And it wasn’t just a ski-slope. It was through trees, avoiding rocks and other natural obstacles, all at tremendous speed. The viewer’s heart was in the proverbial mouth.
That was impressive enough, but during the interview she famously said many naturally wise things that were taken and used by trainers. This example stuck with me and I use it all the time myself whenever I’m engaged in challenging tasks. She was asked, “How did you avoid all these obstacles?”
Her answer was perfect. “Simple, I don’t look at them. I look at the clear space in-between them and focus on that.”
Think how universally that concept is. If you are a salesperson you know how important it is to be aware of potential objections. However, so many times salespeople get caught up in thinking about objections that might arise and subconsciously orientate their pitch to accommodate objections that are not there. However, because the salesperson is thinking about it, the objection has more chance of appearing. Its as if we as salespeople sometimes conjure up the spirit of an objection that would most likely have never come into the buyer’s mind.
So, that’s why, when presenting, don’t aim to counter an objection. Just aim for the clear spaces in-between. Sure, we have to be aware of potential objections. But do that away from the sales front. Do it in training, in preparation. In other words, do all that way before you do your presentation. By doing this you get the best of both words, being prepared for objections but not to the point of being distracted by them during a presentation.
This makes sense when we think of times we have all experienced an easy sale, a straight-forward presentation, a simple statement of features and benefits of the product or service you are selling right through to the close and the customer simply says “Yeah, perfect, thanks”. These sales feel good don’t they? It’s always a good idea to mentally start every presentation as if the prospective buyer is tailor-made for the product and the product tailor-made for the prospective buyer, a perfect marriage. This way, you are aiming at the clear spaces in-between the rocks and the hard places, and then sailing through them.
Customers have a habit of following good salespeople through the adventure. If you make it as easy as it can seem, you’ll find that - not every time but enough times - the customer will willingly follow your through those clear spaces in-between. Expect success. Behave and think as if you expect success. Lead the customers through the spaces.
By Bob Smith who has worked in sales for more than 30 years, works as an experienced recruiter, trainer & motivator and is also a published author of both children’s and adult titles.