Home > Resistance > How often do you make the difference?

How often do you make the difference?

Obviously, selling is a numbers game and doing the numbers allows for sales techniques we are learning or have learned to be practiced.

Now let me post a question - when you come to that moment, after you have studied and learned the skills of how to deal with it, and that objection comes up, how often do you make a difference? In other words - in the past you lost the sale, applying what you've learned and mastered, in real numbers, how often does what you do actually end up with you dealing with this objection affectively and winning the business? - by Gold Calling
When I first started out in the business I repeatedly faced resistance to the length of our listing contract. One day I got tired of the hassle and came up with a response that to this day resolves the issue 99.9% of the time. - by AZBroker
I do absolutely nothing to over come objections or win business. When people say they want what I'm offering them and I ask if the details we'll talk about satisfies their questions what they'll and they say buy my product what remains is answering questions.

Obviously we talk about some personal things as we get to know each other a little better and some questions appear to be an objection but are really for clarity or information to know this or that.

I don't try to win a sale though - victory is often walking away.

MitchM - by MitchM
The most well researched Sales Training System that was ever marketed was developed after the single most profitable invention known to man prior to the micro-chip, that was the Xerox 914 copier.

Xerox knew they had the world by the tail when they bought Chester Carlson's invention, known as Xerography, so they got started and they interviewed thousands of top performers. Every salesperson they had that was a producer ... this research provided the background information for the basics of their Professional Sales Skills (PSS) training courses. Never before or since has such a research project in our profession been undertaken at that level. And, most of the well known sales courses being marketed today are just modified versions of PSS.

Through this extensive project they (some of the smartest people in sales) discovered that there are two main reasons for objections;

1) A Perceived Drawback, or;

2) A Misunderstanding.

And, there are very definitely techniques for understanding which one is interfering with your possibility to get the sale and, once understood, handling them to increase the chance of a successful sales call.

This (what was written above) is not my opinion. It is paraphrased by me, a coach who has spent his whole career training sales people, who knows the topic like the back of his hand from the Xerox PSSII and III days, dating back to 1977 (my personal experience). And I can tell you that if you do not understand how this is done you are loosing sales. If you do, how often did the technique work?

After all, there are some people whom you cannot get a sale from no matter how good you are, there are some who buy without raising an objection and then there are those who might buy, who the product/service is a right fit for, if only you are good at what you do.

Do you try to make the sale when an objection is raised? If so, how often did you make the difference? Or put another way, how often does it work? - by Gold Calling
Preface:

What's the value of PSS today I don't know - I don't know the system so I can't critique it. I do know that I've gone to many resources that have encouraged me to use their sales system or face sales loss - more sales loss. That's fairly common in the "selling to salespersonal" target marketing. I say this all objectively having as I say no specific opinion on something I know nothing about - it's a generic statement.

My personal observation concerning reasons for objections are:

1. I don't want IT.

2. I DON'T want it.

Obviously there are people who say, "I don't want it" when they don't know what they don't want. So some people in sales would attack that "don't want" to try and win a sales.

I also differ from some sales professionals in that I don't try to get a sale in the commonly understood sense of the cliche meaning: to over come objections, uncover the need, transfer the need into an emotional want, and exchange money for stuff. I just don't do that.
-------------------------

"Do you try to make the sale when an objection is raised? If so, how often did you make the difference? Or put another way, how often does it work?" -- GC

No!

The best of the best to you.

MitchM - by MitchM
The most well researched Sales Training System that was ever marketed was developed after the single most profitable invention known to man prior to the micro-chip, that was the Xerox 914 copier.

Xerox knew they had the world by the tail when they bought Chester Carlson's invention, known as Xerography, so they got started and they interviewed thousands of top performers. Every salesperson they had that was a producer ... this research provided the background information for the basics of their Professional Sales Skills (PSS) training courses. Never before or since has such a research project in our profession been undertaken at that level. And, most of the well known sales courses being marketed today are just modified versions of PSS.

Through this extensive project they (some of the smartest people in sales) discovered that there are two main reasons for objections;

1) A Perceived Drawback, or;

2) A Misunderstanding.

And, there are very definitely techniques for understanding which one is interfering with your possibility to get the sale and, once understood, handling them to increase the chance of a successful sales call.

This (what was written above) is not my opinion. It is paraphrased by me, a coach who has spent his whole career training sales people, who knows the topic like the back of his hand from the Xerox PSSII and III days, dating back to 1977 (my personal experience). And I can tell you that if you do not understand how this is done you are loosing sales. If you do, how often did the technique work?

After all, there are some people whom you cannot get a sale from no matter how good you are, there are some who buy without raising an objection and then there are those who might buy, who the product/service is a right fit for, if only you are good at what you do.

Do you try to make the sale when an objection is raised? If so, how often did you make the difference? Or put another way, how often does it work?
Gold, since you're fairly new here, you should know that there seem to be quite a few participants in this forum that strongly believe:

- You sell by not selling

- You close by not closing

- You network by not networking

- You sell more by using less sales skills.

- It's good to be an amateur and bad to be a professional.

I encourage members of this forum who do not believe the four items above to speak up, join the fray, get involved in the forum, and let's all help each other:

- Sell more by selling better

- Close more sales by closing better

- Expand our valuable networks by doing better networking

- Sell more by improving our selling skills

- Being professional in every sense of the word

...and do all of this all while being moral, honest, helpful, upstanding citizens who happen to make a living being a sales professional and have a blast doing it.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Preface: Your post is a funny polorizing paradigm, Skip. And selling without selling - well, there's a long history of contradictions and paradoxes you miss in these distinctions, I believe. I may be wrong. These are not either or necessarily - they may be - nor are they opposites though they may be distinctively differentiated.
-------------------------------
Gold, since you're fairly new here, you should know that there seem to be quite a few participants in this forum that strongly believe:

- You sell by not selling

- You close by not closing

- You network by not networking

- You sell more by using less sales skills.

- It's good to be an amateur and bad to be a professional. -- Skip

I believe:
1. you sell to a buyer who wants what you sell
2. you mutually close the deal with the buyer
3. you build through good sales a network of buyers who often repeat
4. you sell more by using the best sales skills today
5. amateurs and professionals can be very successful

AND you do it all with confidence and the respect of the people you both sell to and don't sell to as well as your acquaintences in the sales business.

MitchM - by MitchM
Well stated, MitchM. An appropriate response to what I believe was a hugely inappropriate post that attempted to demean members of this forum who don't agree with Skip's viewpoints. The fact is that there happens to be serious professionals among that group, and, having read your contributions, I would count you among them.

Thanks for taking the lead in that matter. - by Joe Closer
Gold, I enjoyed your commentary on PSS. What you shared was an interesting perspective. Those posts enrich this forum, in my opinion. - by Joe Closer
I believe:
1. you sell to a buyer who wants what you sell
2. you mutually close the deal with the buyer
3. you build through good sales a network of buyers who often repeat
4. you sell more by using the best sales skills today
5. amateurs and professionals can be very successful
MitchM
MitchM, please share with the community what you think the best skills today are (as you referenced in #4 of your post).

Thanks. - by Skip Anderson
Well stated, MitchM. An appropriate response to what I believe was a hugely inappropriate post that attempted to demean members of this forum who don't agree with Skip's viewpoints. The fact is that there happens to be serious professionals among that group, and, having read your contributions, I would count you among them.
I'm sorry my post was inappropriate. For the record, MitchM has called himself an amateur, that was not reflecting of my opinion because I have no opinion on that.

I think we hear "sell only to those who are ready, willing, and able to buy" enough in this forum. There's no need to post it over and over and over again. Everyone who participates here gets the concept, I believe. And most of us probably agree with the concept (I do), but also believe there's a lot more to successful selling than that. If we could, we'd probably all like to be order-takers and rake in the dough doing so, but that's not reality for most salespeople.

But I'd like other people to feel empowered to get involved in the forum who think it is important to establish rapport with prospects, and want to explore ways to do it better. I want to invite others who think there ways to handle objections to explore those, and share those, and learn from each other. I want to invite others who think that listening and communication techniques are good and desirable and not manipulative and discuss ways to improve it. And a host of other sales topics that deserve attention, discussion, and debate.

But almost every time someone brings up one of those topics, it gets squashed by a post stating "only sell to those who are willing, able and ready to buy" and that throws the whole thread off. The "only sell to those who are willing, able, and ready to buy" opinion is well represented by MitchM and others in this community, but I'd like the community to leave room for dialogue on issues that others, and in fact the majority of the sales community, would see as important without being put down for it or constantly distracted, or having a sales trainer try to pitch his book or training that shows you how to sell only to those who are ready, willing, and able to buy. That's it, that's all I'm trying to achieve.

So once again, I encourage a broadening of posting activity in this forum, not to silence any portion of the community, but to broaden the input and try to take our dialogue to a higher level rather than constantly getting caught up in the "sell only to those who are ready, willing, and able" issue. - by Skip Anderson
"Ready, willing, and able" is a reference to the accepted key prerequisites to be determined in the Qualifying stage of selling. I see no sane reason to toss aside discussions of that stage on a forum for sales professionals and newbies alike.

You ask more questions here, Skip, than you respond to. In fact, you rarely answer direct questions. But I'll try again anyway.

Can you give me just ONE example from your experience where you made an approved sale to someone who was not ready, willing, and able to buy? - by Joe Closer
But almost every time someone brings up one of those topics, it gets squashed by a post stating "only sell to those who are willing, able and ready to buy" and that throws the whole thread off. The "only sell to those who are willing, able, and ready to buy" opinion is well represented by MitchM and others in this community, but I'd like the community to leave room for dialogue on issues that others, and in fact the majority of the sales community, would see as important without being put down for it or constantly distracted, or having a sales trainer try to pitch his book or training that shows you how to sell only to those who are ready, willing, and able to buy. That's it, that's all I'm trying to achieve.
I'll second that. If you have a viewpoint share it. That's what forums like this are about not preaching one viewpoint or another as the gospel. - by SalesGuy
"Ready, willing, and able" is a reference to the accepted key prerequisites to be determined in the Qualifying stage of selling. I see no sane reason to toss aside discussions of that stage on a forum for sales professionals and newbies alike.
Joe my impression is that Skip is writing about the multiple referrences to High Probability Selling by Jacques and MitchM. - by SalesGuy
The "only sell to those who are willing, able, and ready to buy" opinion is well represented by MitchM and others in this community...
I have been a lurker on this site for a while, and have read with interest many of the posts that the prolific contributors have made. I cannot recall a single post by MitchM mentioning "ready, willing, and able" with regard to his selling process. I noticed that he has posted over 500 times.

I may be wrong, but I can't find those words by him. If I'm not wrong, Skip, then why are you singling out a forum member for repeatedly saying things he never said? WHAT purpose does that serve? - by Joe Closer
Joe my impression is that Skip is writing about the multiple referrences to High Probability Selling by Jacques and MitchM.
Yes, I believe you are correct.

I have no way of knowing if MitchM has a vested interest in the Werth progam, or if he is just bubbling with enthusiasm. But again, I believe you are correct. - by Joe Closer
I'll second that. If you have a viewpoint share it. That's what forums like this are about not preaching one viewpoint or another as the gospel.
I won't second Skip's posture in this matter, but I do agree with you on what forums like this are about. I doubt there is a gospel of selling. Well said. - by Joe Closer
"Ready, willing, and able" is a reference to the accepted key prerequisites to be determined in the Qualifying stage of selling. I see no sane reason to toss aside discussions of that stage on a forum for sales professionals and newbies alike.

You ask more questions here, Skip, than you respond to. In fact, you rarely answer direct questions. But I'll try again anyway.

Can you give me just ONE example from your experience where you made an approved sale to someone who was not ready, willing, and able to buy?
No.

As I said in my post, I think almost everyone agrees with that concept. I also think almost everyone thinks there is a lot more to selling than that.

What do you think, Joe? You spend a lot of time criticizing me in this forum. Your screen name seems to indicate that you fashion yourself to be a sales closer. If that's true, how do you do it? Do you ascribe to the belief that you should close without closing? What makes you good or great at what you do? What do you believe in as a salesperson? What methodology or skills or strategies do you employ to be successful? - by Skip Anderson
How about this as a premise; sales skills have not changed since Jesus Christ walked the face of the planet!

And all those who believed the book "selling in the nineties" or a different "new millennium" version that must now be out are perhaps rolling in their eyes ... wonder if you will be after you are further exposed !?!

Og Mandini, who passed away a while back, wrote one of the best selling sales books in history (The world's greatest salesman). His "hero" was a biblical carpet salesman. A man who lived thousands of years before the book was written. And, clearly, if Og used this man and his era to prove his point he felt there was no change in humanity. None that would warrant changing the way you sell.

Robert Kiyosaki, whose book had the longest run as a #1 top seller on The New York Times Best Seller list (business paperback category) suggests in Rich Dad Poor Dad (still ranked #3 on that list over 5 years later!) that if you want to succeed in business, you must learn to sell. He further talks about training programs, their importance and why he choose to join Xerox.

Here is my hypothesis;

There are two reasons why people beleive or promote that selling has changed; (A) to sell books. tapes & DVDs, and; (B) Because they have had experiences with poor sales people who were not trained properly and/or not cut out for our profession and they somehow equated that experience with 'the way selling used to be done' instead of realizing they just had a bad experience.

I see here in this thread various opinions. These opinions are based on personal experience, perhaps some without much exposure to serious training. And further perhaps some are based on limited amounts of experience. And it makes me cringe.

What bothers me the most is not that others have an opinion that differs from the serious research I am sharing. It is that these opinions, which are not supported by fact, may influence those who are just beginning. And the last thing we want to see happen - as their very livelihood could be affected. And the dogma can be passed on and on, affecting others.

Robert was correct. Xerox did the largest effort in history of interviewing professional sales people and came to their conclusions based on thousands of interviews. They created the world's best sales training program in BASIC SELLING SKILLS.

PSS was not an advanced selling skills course. But basic understand of human nature is all we need to be amazingly successful. So, please, realize, that your opinion(s) about why an objection happens cannot compare to the statistics generated by several thousand producers. After all, was Xerox's staff afflicted by mass hallucinations???

I will get back to objections in a moment.

Og was right too. Nothing has changed. There are those prospects we interact with who might by what we sell and might not. And that moment, as also is mentioned the One Minute Sales Person, what we - as professionals - do next will influence the sale if done correctly.

Put another way; say you are sittign with someone who is looking for a car or van. Is that person ready to buy? Sure, there can be no doubt. But why didn't they buy from you???

Gee, did I forget my cologne that day? Did I forget to brush my teeth? Did I miss putting on my under arm deodorant? Or did I miss that one moment, where I could have more appropriately understood what the prospect was thinking and turned them into a buyer who bought from me?

I expect to both make an excellent argument for why they didn't buy from you/me (and it isn't they weren't willing) and point out at the same time that, yes, we should sell to those who are willing. In other words, both sides are right. In my opinion - and this is not me quoting research at the moment - those espousing the ready willing and able stuff maybe confusing what makes a qualified prospect with what we do once we have one. Hmmm ....

Yes, the person you are trying to sell to (and if you dislike the term "win the business from" fine, change this phrase but the information is the same) must be a qualified prospect (with a clear need for what you offer). No professional trainer will disagree with you, your opinion in this regard is bang on. But that does not change the fact that human nature is such that as you talk to them they may misunderstand what you are saying and that can lead them to think that though they should buy, they should buy a different product!

Look, this concept could make up a mini book to explain in full. However, this is absolutely critical. If you are reading my words trying to find the way I have put them together to somehow prove that I stand on the other side of the fence from you, you are sorrily mistaken and missing the point, which will absolutely change/affect how much you earn in commissions. We are on the same team ... don't we just suffer from the same kind of misinterpretation of each other that the sales person and the would be customer does from time to time?

Not everyone you call on knows they have a need. The example of a couple walking in off the street ... say their lease on a Caravan is up and they don't intend to take the lease buyout option ... is clear cut. They are certainly ready, willing and able to buy. But, let's assume I am selling something that the prospect has never heard of and before I called on them had no idea they needed. Can they be sold? Should they be sold? Yes and yes.

If the product or service you are selling is good for the prospect they will certainly be willing AFTER you prove it but not necessarily before. It is win-win, potentially, but the prospect does not know it yet, that is our job, to prospect, find them, qualify them and show them why they need what we have.

Look, professional sales people can and do make a difference in a sales situation. And there is no doubt that would be buyers do not buy because of us. And, apart from the example of the lack of antiperspirant, the reason comes down to sales skills, which is training. And the best training ever came out of the Xerox camp but there are many other sources - Og Mandini, Dale Carnegie, Robert Kiyosaki, J. Douglas Edwards, Peter Burke (my father) ... read everything they wrote and if you get a chance to see them live (those who are still alive that is), do it.

None of these people will tell you that anything had changed. Not a one. And they (including Xerox Learning Systems) sold more sales training material than anyone else who was ever published (and, yes, I know I could have put Earl Nightingale in there and a few others too).

You can and will make a difference if you know how.

I had hoped this thread would bring out examples of how people made a difference in the sale. And how often they felt there was one who nearly bought and didn't or one that was not going to buy and did, but this discussion maybe more important. Because if just one reader gets that there is something to understanding objections and how to handle them that person's sales figures are going to go up (I would not be surprised if that was by 25% or more, as confidence has a way to motivate sales people to do more too).

Remember, objections happen for two reasons. It is not because they would not buy or were not ready to buy. It is not because of missing mouth wash. It is because;

(a) They misunderstood something about your product or service that lead them to beleive that it was not for them, or;

(b) They perceived a drawback.

When we went in to replace our Dodge caravan a few months ago, the new ones were not on sale yet. The old Caravan did not have side curtain air bags and we transport our teenage children. Due to safety we were not really happy about that feature and did not buy from them. We were ready, willing and able until we heard that fact. Is that an OBJECTION - a PERCEIVED DRAWBACK or something else?

I will answer this one next time. Best of luck always ...

May your commission checks be monsters! - by Gold Calling
Awesomely well written G.C.! Everyone should read your post.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
No.

As I said in my post, I think almost everyone agrees with that concept. I also think almost everyone thinks there is a lot more to selling than that.

What do you think, Joe? You spend a lot of time criticizing me in this forum. Your screen name seems to indicate that you fashion yourself to be a sales closer. If that's true, how do you do it? Do you ascribe to the belief that you should close without closing? What makes you good or great at what you do? What do you believe in as a salesperson? What methodology or skills or strategies do you employ to be successful?
Actually I plod.

I thought my screen name, Joe, indicated that I fashion myself to be a cup of coffee.

I don't know much about strategy. Define it, please. - by Joe Closer
Thanks Skip, I am usually busy on Saturday mornings but my wife is out (at a seminar as it happens) and I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity to contribute the way I am capable.

To everyone; I can tell you I know without doubt that we do exert influence on the prospect. Even if you try not to. Professional Selling is not about using this influence to your benefit, it is about using it to the benefit of the buyer.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on the beaches of the world! - by Gold Calling
Exceptional Post Steven! It's that kind of a post that will cut through untold layers of confusion. I really look forward to reading what you have to say. thmbp2; - by BossMan
Hey, thanks Boss ... feels funny typing that word - as haven't had one in years!

INFLUENCE - we all have it. It can be used to help or hurt. You can deny that you have it if you like but you might as well cut the nose off your face!

Let's learn to influence people who really need our product to buy it. And let's prospect harder to find others with similar needs rather than working with people who do not. - by Gold Calling
(I believe I misplaced this reply to Skip asking me about what I consider skills)

Best skills are:

1. knowing your product well and being able to communicate what you know

2. communicating what you know about your product to people who want to hear about it

3. if they want it selling it to them

4. doing good customer follow-up after the sale

I've read/listened to/watched hundreds of selling/motivational/network marketing materials but most of my training is with my own company over the past ten years. So I call myself an amateur and believe that people who call themselves professinal or amateur can have the same measures of success.

I've referenced "High Probability Selling" because I've read it four times - I've never taken a course in it - and the selling system in it matches what I was told with I joined our company. I'm not the best example of HPS but it matches what I want to do. Also, when I reference it it's because it fits into the discussion.

MitchM - by MitchM
MitchM - there is one subtle and critically important adjustment in thinking that I would love to share with you and see you adopt. It has to do with your post, specifically with; "If they want it sell it to them" ... well, okay, but ... how about this paradigm in thinking; They don't want it until we do sell it to them!

Change your # 3 from what you have to; "If they need it sell it to them." If they don't need what we offer (product or service), we should be looking for a real prospect, because they do not qualify as one. If, on the other hand, there is a clear need or needs, then we sell it and through our sales efforts they will either come to want it or not (depending on your capability). You don't win 'em all.

This may seem like a different way of saying the same thing or you may misconstrue it as pushy and offensive based on misinformation but that's not the case, not at all.

Again, from my long post in this thread - in the case of the couple buying a van, they definitely want a van but do they want the van you are selling? Not unless we sell it to them.

Other real life sales examples include selling situations where the prospect had no desire to seek what we offer. That does not mean that there isn't a need, it means the prospect is just unaware of this need. In such a case how could you say "If they want it sell it to them", it is a cart before the horse situation.

Selling is a profession. The influence we exert on prospects, if we are true professionals, is only to help them. We do not influence those without need(s), instead seek out better prospects. Through profound understand of this you begin to see a sales philosophy that allows you to be a professional using sales skills and NEVER offending prospects.

I think you are going to enjoy this paradigm once you embrace it. - by Gold Calling
I tried your paradigm, GC - and didn't like it at all. I found it counter to my success and accordingly to my self-esteem. My definition of professionalism is different from your definition, GC.

I never attempt to exert an influence on people who I know need what I have but don't want it - I know some very successful people in sales can do that but that is not my approach.

I'm successful with my company by all standards and my success is largely due to to the approach I take. In the beginning when I took your approach and also taught it we made sales but repeat sales which is the basis of my business dwindled. Even with product results that happened - it happens with all products - but I believe it happened because sold once a person either becomes more cautious the second time around OR can be sold by someone else again and again because he/she is easily manipulated meaning sold.

I'm not concerned about professionalism as a description of salesmanship - I call myself an amateur in the originial meaning of the word and someone may not care about that. But if I were to care about seeing myself as a professional I'd give all the more reason to continue doing what I do because it defines it for me.

So GC we have different perspectives on this subject. Do you care to describe the kind and quality of success you've had selling the way you sell as a personal example?

MitchM - by MitchM
MitchM - there is one subtle and critically important adjustment in thinking that I would love to share with you and see you adopt. It has to do with your post, specifically with; "If they want it sell it to them" ... well, okay, but ... how about this paradigm in thinking; They don't want it until we do sell it to them!

Change your # 3 from what you have to; "If they need it sell it to them." If they don't need what we offer (product or service), we should be looking for a real prospect, because they do not qualify as one. If, on the other hand, there is a clear need or needs, then we sell it and through our sales efforts they will either come to want it or not (depending on your capability). You don't win 'em all.

This may seem like a different way of saying the same thing or you may misconstrue it as pushy and offensive based on misinformation but that's not the case, not at all.

Again, from my long post in this thread - in the case of the couple buying a van, they definitely want a van but do they want the van you are selling? Not unless we sell it to them.

Other real life sales examples include selling situations where the prospect had no desire to seek what we offer. That does not mean that there isn't a need, it means the prospect is just unaware of this need. In such a case how could you say "If they want it sell it to them", it is a cart before the horse situation.

Selling is a profession. The influence we exert on prospects, if we are true professionals, is only to help them. We do not influence those without need(s), instead seek out better prospects. Through profound understand of this you begin to see a sales philosophy that allows you to be a professional using sales skills and NEVER offending prospects.

I think you are going to enjoy this paradigm once you embrace it.
A golden post my friend. thmbp2; - by bluenote
Thanks Bluenote, do you like Jazz? I've been to the Bluenote in Manhattan many a time ... ! Also love blues too.


Mitch;

This may be a good way for you to see where it is a world class sales trainer would be coming from to assist you at this stage in your career. Let me role play with you for a moment;

Letís say you love role modeling for kids. So you decide to coach a baseball team. After the team is selected, initial practices are held, then games start and you begin to know the children because now they are competing. And competition illuminates personality traits far more than drills could ever allow you that much needed revealing window to their souls!

You begin to notice a boy you like not acting appropriately while under pressure. Specifically, when he strikes out, which isn't all that often, though more often than the best players on the team, he has a tendency to show anger or argue with the umpire. And on more than one occasion he has even thrown the bat, which is dangerous.

You are beside yourself, you donít want to give up on him and throw him off the team. As he sulks on the bench after an episode you wonder what the problem is, better yet, what to do to help him?

Out of the midst of your uncertainty you decide to make encouraging comments. Then at a practice you get a moment alone that just sort of happens and you seize that opportunity to encourage him further and slip in a comment about how, while he ainít the best player on the team, he is better than average for sure and if he works at it there is room for him to improve greatly. You go even further, saying you are very glad he is on the team because the best teams are made of above average talent guys like him that are willing to work extra hard, not of super stars!

Through regular effort you see an improvement. He settles down a bit, maybe getting the idea in his head that he belongs. Because he is not as frustrated or over trying to the same extent any longer, he gets a few more hits and this causes his confidence to soar. The result? You realize you have influenced that boy to have better self esteem. It was always in him but you helped to bring it out!

Now, in light of the story, is influence a negative thing? - by Gold Calling
That's a good story, GC. I can relate to it as I taught middle school fifteen years and high school ten and the variety of subjects and kids would amaze you - I also taught a very diverse collection of adult ed students for seven years - so I know well the situation you described from a teaching perspective. I also coached track one year. Teachers try to positively impact students - teaching was an affair of the heart for me and I loved it!

I just don't use that kind of influence in prospecting - I don't do it. If a conversation begins to open up because the person I'm speaking with wants to hear more there might be some influencing things that enter into it BUT not because I'm saying them things to influence or convince. I just don't do that.

BUT I understand your point well, GC - it's just not in how I work.

MitchM - by MitchM
Mitch;

This may be a good way for you to see where it is a world class sales trainer would be coming from to assist you at this stage in your career. Let me role play with you for a moment;

Letís say you love role modeling for kids. So you decide to coach a baseball team. After the team is selected, initial practices are held, then games start and you begin to know the children because now they are competing. And competition illuminates personality traits far more than drills could ever allow you that much needed revealing window to their souls!

You begin to notice a boy you like not acting appropriately while under pressure. Specifically, when he strikes out, which isn't all that often, though more often than the best players on the team, he has a tendency to show anger or argue with the umpire. And on more than one occasion he has even thrown the bat, which is dangerous.

You are beside yourself, you donít want to give up on him and throw him off the team. As he sulks on the bench after an episode you wonder what the problem is, better yet, what to do to help him?

Out of the midst of your uncertainty you decide to make encouraging comments. Then at a practice you get a moment alone that just sort of happens and you seize that opportunity to encourage him further and slip in a comment about how, while he ainít the best player on the team, he is better than average for sure and if he works at it there is room for him to improve greatly. You go even further, saying you are very glad he is on the team because the best teams are made of above average talent guys like him that are willing to work extra hard, not of super stars!

Through regular effort you see an improvement. He settles down a bit, maybe getting the idea in his head that he belongs. Because he is not as frustrated or over trying to the same extent any longer, he gets a few more hits and this causes his confidence to soar. The result? You realize you have influenced that boy to have better self esteem. It was always in him but you helped to bring it out!

Now, in light of the story, is influence a negative thing?
Gold, another great post!

Your scenario is a perfect illustration of the importance of engagement. It's important to engage your team members if you're a coach, or your prospects if you're a salesperson. If prospects aren't engaged with us, we don't stand a chance. Top sales performers are excellent at engaging their prospects.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
I just don't use that kind of influence in prospecting - I don't do it.

MitchM
MitchM, do you use that kind of influence during selling? (after you have found a viable prospect?)

Skip - by Skip Anderson
This may be a good way for you to see where it is a world class sales trainer would be coming from to assist you at this stage in your career. Let me role play with you for a moment;
Interesting analogy using the baseball coach. With some good points. I think we all have a responsibility to encourage young people. If that's a personal story, you are to be commended.

Have you had any experiences, or can you give any specific examples of similar encounters in the selling arena?

You mentioned a world-class sales trainer. Who would that be? Did you get the story from him/her? - by Joe Closer
Some comments on MitchM's post, and ensuing responses.

I can't speak for him, but I sort of think he is using the word influence when he really means persuasion. There is more than a fine line of difference.

I would guess from his posts, that MitchM has a wonderful influence on those around him, and I would hope that he had a positive influence on his young students where he taught before he retired. That doesn't mean he is always aware of it, or focuses on it. Some things come natural.

Persuasion is something else. The message I get from reading his posts is that he doesn't focus on persuasion in his selling efforts.

MitchM has stated on this forum that he is successful in his field. I just can't muster up any reason to believe he is fibbing. And I'm not about to spend my time trying.

Now I am sure enough no world-class sales guru. Just a lil' old country peddler at heart. I can't help polishing off the old credo, "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it." - by Joe Closer
I think the two words can rub elbows - kissin cousins or synonyms in some sense of the words - so yea, that may be something happening here, Joe.

Everyone - everything has an influence - okay, that's so obvious and general it's almost meaningless. So what are we talking about anyway?
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Skip, I don't attempt to either use persuasion or influence or convincing arguments to get someone into a wanting-what-I-offer position - I make an offer and if the person wants to know more with a strong and positive I Want That attitude I ask questions and present informtation relative to the questions. So during the selling there's influences of many kinds BUT they're not used for any kind of friendly persuasion in the conventional selling or closing systems - they're simply validation of the products and what the person wants - so that validation would have some influence obviously.
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Again, I'm an amateur student of Mr. Werth's "High Probability Selling" having read it four times and I continue to study it - but I'm not a good example of his system being used to it's fullest and I've not taken a class from him or his trainers.

BUT what I've found in that resource has helped me more than any other selling resources - leaving out conventinal methods of influence and persuasion and making convincing arguments are not things I do today - others may and they may be very successful.
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The analogy you posted is a good story GC but I fail to see how it's relevant - what am I missing here?

MitchM - by MitchM
Mitch - I relate to what you are saying, totally. We completely agree, In fact, I do not beleive that anyone can convince another of anything. This is the part that I am struggling to get across to you.

As you can see, if you - a professional sales person - do not comprehend what I am saying, there is quite a good argument why your prospects also will on occasion misinterpret you or your product/service. That is where asking questions comes in ... objections can be dealt with and no part of dealing with an objection or skepticism includes an attempt to convince.

We do not CONVINCE prospects.

However, I am in good company. A great philosopher, perhaps the greatest of all time, struggled intensely to share this (Socrates). Most people just did not get it. And that is okay, because "in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king!"

In order to emphasize this point, if convincing where the same thing as influencing, you would not be putting up an argument (meaning a disagreeing point of view), you would already be thanking me profusely for literally changing your life, making it possible for you to repeatedly be top salesman in your company and potentially dramatically increasing your commissions!

That last paragraph may influence you to consider that there is something here you are not quite grasping. Enough perhaps to have you look at it again. You may think to yourself "Maybe there is something I am missing? Maybe sales techniques are not meant to convince or force prospects to do what they are not interested in doing? Maybe what sales techniques do is actually help people make good decisions!"

The story about the boy in the baseball team is just an analogy. I mean there is never a time when we encourage prospects the same way, as this selling thing is not about the prospect's self esteem. It was just meant to show that influence is good (or can be).

The expression "He could sell snowballs to Eskimos" is not an accurate way of describing a sales pro. Why would we want to sell people something they don't need? The public perception of us and even the perception within our profession is total inaccurate. We actually help people with real needs to buy what we offer, that is it.

If you don't help them, the ones who need help, some will not end up with what they need. It is really that simple.

Of course, there are those prospects that never object. But in most sales calls there is at least one perceived drawback or misunderstanding. If not you are sitting with a skeptical (reticent) prospect. And skepticism, though the hardest attitude to deal with, can be handled.

Since it is now Monday morning and I want to sell rather than keep up this struggle, plus I have not the time to do this topic real justice, I am going to leave this thread alone. I have further decided not to contribute to the forum except for on those weekends when I have time and one night a week, likely Wednesday (again, unless I have social commitments). So I will have to leave this argument there.

Been a blast! - by Gold Calling
My last post was composed last night - I did not see your question Mitch. I will think about it and try to answer it on Wednesday evening. Thanks. - by Gold Calling
Of course, there are those prospects that never object. But in most sales calls there is at least one perceived drawback or misunderstanding. If not you are sitting with a skeptical (reticent) prospect. And skepticism, though the hardest attitude to deal with, can be handled.

Since it is now Monday morning and I want to sell rather than keep up this struggle, plus I have not the time to do this topic real justice, I am going to leave this thread alone. I have further decided not to contribute to the forum except for on those weekends when I have time and one night a week, likely Wednesday (again, unless I have social commitments). So I will have to leave this argument there. -- GC
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I fully understand some people in sales want to handle skepticism and influence perceived drawbacks before any kind of commitment is made - that's only common knowledge in what I've learned and studied in sales. Nothing new there. I also realize there are very successful people who work like that - that's common knowledge also.

When skepticism or perceived drawbacks come up without a commitment - it migh be like this: "I'm skeptical of your product helping me." I can easily ask: "If I can answer specific questions you have in a way that satisfies your skepticism then what will you do?" I did that this morning actually when I got a call on my mobile phone in a coffee shop.

If the answer is: "Well, we'll see. Even if I get my questions answered I'm not sure what I'll do. There are other things I'm also concerned about." I exit. The salesman who likes to run with that can have my prospect!

If the answer is: "Well, if you can answer a couple of questions to my satisfaction then I'll start on your products." I've got enough of a commitment to continue.

After that I want to spend a few minutes finding a little about this person to see if he/she is trustworthy and honest - as much as I can discern - answer questions, etc. At any point if that person fails to answer my questions, dodges answers and proves to not be paying attention in a way that I need I exit.

ANY influence will come after the fact - after the kind of commitment I just gave.

Likewise, you may also be wondering if maybe you're missing something I've said that could turn a key and open a door in your perception of sales - has anything I've said influenced you just a crack that way yet, GC?

MitchM - by MitchM
Joe Closer

I was fortunate enough to have such a trainer as a father.

He is almost 80 now and lived in the pre-Internet world. He never write a book because he preferred live training. So you would not have heard of him. However, I know several business owners who beleive he is the best sales trainer they have ever heard.

He even trained people at Dale Carnegie Canada!

Here is an interesting sales story for you. In his 74 year of stomping on the planet Peter Burke was representing a software company, he made a telephone call to Toyota. That phone call lead to a presentation and, eventually, to a $12.1 million dollar software sale. Today Toyota manufacturing worldwide is all run by a software program (Manufacturing Intelligence type) developed in Canada. Peter, my dad, ended up with the biggest commission check of his life and career.

We are developing a website to host his trainings.

In case you have not guessed, I too am a renowned trainer. I have spoken to more than 10,000 sales people in my career, though I always did it part time. - by Gold Calling
In other words - in the past you lost the sale, applying what you've learned and mastered, in real numbers, how often does what you do actually end up with you dealing with this objection affectively and winning the business?
I can resolve most "common" concerns to the client's satisfaction a majority (+75%) of the time. - by Houston
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