Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned sales professional, you may think you’ve heard it all when it comes to selling. But is what you’re hearing and what you think you know really accurate? Let me tell you that what many salespeople, HR experts and executives have deemed as conventional wisdom couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Here are seven myths of selling busted:
Myth #1: You need to be born to sell.
Truth: Hard work always trumps talent. Anyone can sell. Think of a child who wants something bad enough, for example. In sales, before reaping the rewards comes sowing, a lot of field work and tons of practice. With enough hard work, almost anyone can become successful in sales.
Myth #2: If you can talk someone's ear off, you're a good sales professional.
Truth: Top sales professionals recognize the principles that are dear to the client and take them seriously. What's most important is that you're able to listen, observe, recognize and understand. Only then start talking, and talk in such a way that you get through to your client.
Myth #3: Sales is a profession where you'll get rich quickly.
Truth: Even though sales provides many great opportunities to make good money, don't focus on the money or your commission. Provide your customer with a benefit. Make his life easier. Contribute to his success and development. There isn’t a single person who made it rich overnight in sales, but if you focus on your customer's benefit, the money will flow.
Myth #4: The first three minutes of your meeting with the client determine whether you will close the deal or not.
Truth: Your sales success hinges on the three hours before your meeting, on your mental programming and your will to succeed. Success is often decided based on what’s going on between your ears. Visualize your sales pitch like a movie. Scene by scene. Shot by shot. The drive to win is not a matter of talent nor of luck. It is not a matter of one’s form on the day or the external conditions. This drive to win is there before you step up to the line or it isn’t there at all. For salespeople this means that the successful deal is something you already have in your head, before you even walk out your door.
Myth #5: When the client says no, they mean nothing but no.
Truth: Most of the time, a client's ‘NO’ is just short for ‘Next Opportunity.’ Many times you'll just get one of the typical objections (“no time,” “not interested,” “we have all we need,” etc.), but top sales professionals know how to handle these. They know a ‘no’ simply comes with the territory in sales and is only temporary. It doesn't mean that you've lost the client. In the long run, follow-up and persistence lead to more closed deals.
Myth #6: Cold calling is dead in today's sales world.
Truth: Social media is just the chocolate powder sprinkled on top of your cappuccino. You still need the basics like prospecting and establishing personal relationships with potential clients. Telephone sales is the quintessential sales discipline, especially in B2B sales, and those who excel at it will also excel at Internet and face-to-face communication.
Myth #7: Good consultants make the best salespeople.
Truth: The best salespeople are those who close the deals. Despite what we’ve been led to believe, there is no wrong time to close a deal. You’re not a consultant, advisor or instructor, and it’s not your job to explain every little detail about the product. More deals are missed by neglect than the number that are made. Never take your eye off the close.
Don’t believe everything you hear. Question what you think you know and you will close more deals.
By Martin Limbeck is an international sales authority and sought-after keynote speaker, dubbed “The Porsche of Sales.” He helps sales professionals seal more deals. Martin has trained and inspired audiences in sixteen countries for more than twenty years. The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) has been honoured as Top Speaker of the Year 2014, International Speaker of the Year 2012, and Trainer of the Year 2011 and 2008. He teaches at Reutlingen European School of Business, Steinbeis University Berlin, and St. Gallen University, and is the author of several bestsellers. His latest work is NO Is Short for Next Opportunity — How Top Sales Professionals Think.