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Sales Myths

In your experience, what are some of the myths regarding the field of sales or sales reps in general? - by CoachMaria
Great topic!

Here are three to get started:
  • The advice that says never ask a question that can be answered with a yes or NO.
  • The popular cliche', ABC, always be closing.
  • Sales is about overcoming objections.
- by Gary A Boye
Great response Gary -thank you! - by CoachMaria
I will throw in, "Salespeople are born, not made." - by Jeff Blackwell
I couldn't agree more with that one as a myth, Jeff! - by CoachMaria
Maria, how about you sharing some of the sales lore that you believe are myths? - by Gary A Boye
"Sales is a numbers game"

I always cringe when I hear it...

"The close is 80% of the deal"

Not anymore... - by tw5270
"The best salesperson is one who can sell car tire to a person who doesn't have a car." - Nothing could be farther from the truth. - by ezynes
"Great talkers make great salespeople"
"Good salespeople can wing it"
"Successful salespeople make good sales managers" - by rensia0303
A corollary to rensia0303's post:
Myth: "Successful salespeople make good sales managers":

Reality, stated differently: "Sometimes, when you promote a good salesperson to Sales Manager, you lose a good salesperson and get a bad Sales Manager".

Ganesan. - by ezynes
The routine promoting of good salespeople to sales managers is not so much linked to mythology, but rather to The Peter Principle which states "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

The sales industry has no exclusive on that phenomenon. Rest assured it will continue simply because it's the nature of things.

The real point is that we all have levels of incompetence, and, as individuals, we must guard ourselves from falling prey to the common things which can create a downward spiral in our careers. - by Gary A Boye
I want to point out as follow-up to my own post above, that authentic opportunity in sales management is ALWAYS linked to incentive, usually in the form of an override. It is that which can transcend the dead end danger of a sales management job and make that job rewarding. Of course, some people just like to be in charge. But being in charge, or the illusion of being in charge, can wear thin. On the other hand, if a person with very successful selling skills can duplicate those skills among the people he/she manages, and gets a direct compensation for doing so, THAT can be productive for all concerned. - by Gary A Boye
Absolutely. Couldn't have been said better.

Ganesan. - by ezynes
In your experience, what are some of the myths regarding the field of sales or sales reps in general?
How about: Most successful sales people are extroverts. - by John Voris
How about: Most successful sales people are extroverts.
Yes. It's largely due to not understanding the true meaning of "extrovert" which is someone who draws his/her feedback from without, as opposed to "introvert" which refers to a person who draws his/her feedback from within.

Many top achievers in sales are introverts. - by Gary A Boye
Yes. It's largely due to not understanding the true meaning of "extrovert" which is someone who draws his/her feedback from without, as opposed to "introvert" which refers to a person who draws his/her feedback from within.

Many top achievers in sales are introverts.
Exactly! Of course I expected you to know that. ;bg

Unfortunately, those who would classify themselves as introverts, according to the corporate definition, avoid approaching sales as a career when there might have been a match.

Many other introverts think that wanting to be the center of attention and the loudest in the room, are prerequisites to sales success and never apply.

Myers/Briggs did a great disservice to millions of people over the years by ignoring Jung's direct criticism on this matter.

As you know, there are many more pseudo-scientific ideas advanced by the sales training industry today that are directly responsible for denying people their right to contentment and well-being. - by John Voris
As you know, there are many more pseudo-scientific ideas advanced by the sales training industry today that are directly responsible for denying people their right to contentment and well-being.
Large segments of that industry are Contextually Challenged. - by Gary A Boye
After interviewing many sales candidates over the years, I always looked forward to asking the applicant, "What makes you want to get into sales?"

Can you guess the funniest answer?

"Because I love people." I would tell them, "Well, get into sales because you love people and you'll find a way to learn to hate them."

Outside of sales, one misconception seems to be that it's a field for those who "love people." I find that funny because if you're looking to a sales career to fill up your love cup, you'll be sorely disappointed.

There may be many components to a sales personality. I'm not sure "the love" is a foundational trait.

What do you think? - by magicman
After interviewing many sales candidates over the years, I always looked forward to asking the applicant, "What makes you want to get into sales?"

Can you guess the funniest answer?

"Because I love people." I would tell them, "Well, get into sales because you love people and you'll find a way to learn to hate them."

Outside of sales, one misconception seems to be that it's a field for those who "love people." I find that funny because if you're looking to a sales career to fill up your love cup, you'll be sorely disappointed.

There may be many components to a sales personality. I'm not sure "the love" is a foundational trait.

What do you think?
Of course the words "love" and "hate" signify emotions in their absolute forms at the opposite end of a natural continuum.

We all may use words in their extreme from time to time to get a point across. No mentally healthy person literally either loves or hates prospects.

However, many people enter sales for reasons that only clients can provide. The one I hear the most is the lack of boredom. People come in so many varieties, offering so many divergent histories and perspectives, boredom is difficult to maintain.

Many in the medical field confess that they work in the Emergency Room of hospitals for the "explosive rush" of performing at their peak, testing the full array of their expertise. The demand of people in need of medical care is an excellent way to get this "high."

Your candidates are people who could not work on an assembly line or alone in an office. That's most likely all their really trying to convey.

I know of many Realtors who truly enjoy seeing the faces of young couples after purchasing their first house.

Also, I do not know anyone in sales who truly despises people and is able to make an adequate living at it. - by John Voris
John,

Those are excellent points in a great post. Of course, you're right. Hate and Love are both strong emotions, but I don't think they are at different ends of the spectrum.

In my view, the absolute opposite of love is apathy.

Your use of the word "high" is spot on. I think - after all is said and done - the rush of the sale or the high from helping a client (including young couples) WIN might be the ultimate motivation for overcoming all the frustration.

I appreciate your thoughtful comments on my post. I learned something and that's always a good thing.

All the best - MM - by magicman
John,

Those are excellent points in a great post. Of course, you're right. Hate and Love are both strong emotions, but I don't think they are at different ends of the spectrum.

In my view, the absolute opposite of love is apathy.

Your use of the word "high" is spot on. I think - after all is said and done - the rush of the sale or the high from helping a client (including young couples) WIN might be the ultimate motivation for overcoming all the frustration.

I appreciate your thoughtful comments on my post. I learned something and that's always a good thing.

All the best - MM
Thank you for your generous comments.

It's nice to know if I have been of some help. ;bg - by John Voris
GREAT topic!! thmbp2;

I have often heard, "You are only as good, in sales, as your last close"

That one gets me REALLY bent! My last close, although technically a "Close" may not have been my best salesmanship! I may have stumbled through the whole process and got the close out of mere pity! I would certainly not want myself or my teammates following such a blunder, just because I got the close!

Another thought on this: There are so many variables that go into each close. Some closes may be as easy as a ten-minute meeting followed by a handshake, while others are a sales "chess match" where I've had to think advanced moves out ahead of my prospect's. I have looked back and seen aspects of what I would like to consider "my best work" in both the easy and difficult close. - by rgp3man
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