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Good Sales People Are Hard To Find

Date - 05 October 2016/ Category - Be A Conductor
be a conductor

Sales people can often be the hardest of all people to find simply because in an industry devoted to bending the truth you can never quite know how good a person is until you try them out.

There are however a few facts that you need to bear in mind when employing sales people.

The first overarching fact is that sales people don’t like to be tracked. They like to be left alone to work at their own pace and they certainly do not like giving detailed analysis of their working habits. You can counter this by creating a CRM system and adopting the rule that if it’s not on there they aren’t going to get paid for it.

The second rule is that sales people are always over confident of their own skills. I’ve seen some of the best sales people I have come across take huge dips in performance because their training has not been kept up to date and their pitches have gone unchecked. In order to keep your sales team firing on all cylinders you need to ensure that they are spoon fed with product updates and coaching all year round.

The third rule is that sales people more often than not do not self-generate leads. There seems to be this assumption that sales and marketing are the same thing but they aren’t. If you really want to control your sales process you need to control the lead generation process that your sales teams sell to above all else.

The fourth rule leads off the back of this. If you control the leads, train your team as to how to sell and provide them with a CRM to track it all then you’re going to have to dictate a structure for the sales process and follow up process too. Sales teams hate structure but structure is measurable and it prevents a common issue with sales teams; picking leads.

Sales people fall victim to sales pitches more than anyone else. In fact there is no one easier to sell to than a sales person. If they meet a lead that they think will be the easiest to sell to they will prioritise it over all else and forget other leads meaning you don’t evenly distribute your efforts.

The fifth rule is that sales people need to know how to sell. That sounds odd but you’d be surprised how many people think that they can sell but they do not understand how to structure a sales pitch or how to close a sale. A basic closing the sale technique is to get a commitment on every interaction e.g. fill in an application, to talk again on a certain date or even to give a referral.

The sixth rule is that there is a huge difference between telephone and face to face sales. A telephone sales person cannot necessarily sell face to face, and a face to face sales person can’t necessarily sell over the phone. If you want to work out what a person is good at then you need to test them in the job interview with actual situations like phone calls or face to face sales pitches; you’ll be surprised how quickly you will rule out people you thought would be brilliant. Great sales people can sell anything on the spot.

The final rule then is that sales people will always blame their tools over themselves. If sales people aren’t hitting their targets then they will say anything to divert attention from themselves. More often than not I find that the things they say are a red herring from the truth, said in the heat of the moment without much thought or empirical truth.

To solve this I pull facts and figures to prove their statement wrong, you simply can’t let a sales team believe their own false statements or it can breed issues.

You’ll be amazed how fast you can wind up a sales person with motivation but then how fast they can come down too.

Sales people need to be able to deal with rejection, get knocked down and keep on going.

When I was living out of a suitcase I had brochures thrown in my face and suffered huge amounts of verbal abuse for simply opening a door; it’s all part of the job.

Sales people are an abundant resource, but good sales people are very hard to find. Half of the problem is that we fail to understand when people have sold to themselves and the sales person is just taking the credit by filling in the order form.

A person can look like a great sales person because the leads they receive have been pre-sold; but as a society we prefer to focus on the person and not the lead and that means we misidentify where our success truly lies.

Chapter Summary:

• There are 7 sales rules you need to apply
• Great sales people are very rare
• Don’t confuse great leads with good sales people

Read our next blog post “Don’t create inequality”.

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sales, rules, leads,