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Traditional sales methods are antiquated.

"Let's face it traditional sales methods are antiquated and just don't work in today's marketplace." I heard that on a sales training video this morning but they didn't say which methods are antiquated. Which traditional sales methods do you think are antiquated? - by Thomas
"Let's face it traditional sales methods are antiquated and just don't work in today's marketplace." I heard that on a sales training video this morning but they didn't say which methods are antiquated. Which traditional sales methods do you think are antiquated?
I think the statement is too general to be useful.

Some of the things that have changed (and are changing) are the "market", our culture, technology, accessability, and information availablity.

In spite of this, I don't think buyers, in most areas of the marketplaces, are better prepared for the buying process.

One of the reasons is that our education system does not teach buying.

So in that regard, although there are more tools available to the selling community, people remain people. And selling is about people. - by Joe Closer
When I read this sort of thread, (unless, someone out there is looking at a single, isolated sales call) I think there is a major disconnect.

Sales methods or a particular sales training approach is a "snap-shot" in time. Any SR who "gets dipped in the waters" BUT doesn't evolve is going to be dead in the water at some point in time. But probably not for any of the reasons in this thread. AND, it certainly has nothing to do with "antiquated sales methods".

Agreed, customers are more aware than ever but, be honest with yourselves, the SRs in-the-day weren't cut from a different cloth! The thread started with the implication that SRs somehow had the "upper hand" and that these successes were scheduled for failure with the passage of time! Sheep-dip ... SRs (auto mechanics, teachers, plumbers, software developers, etc.) who didn't evolve, didn't earn enough to survive and probably weren't destined for long tenure in that craft in any event!

Successful SRs were diligent at weaving those sales methods into part of their personality.

As I look around me, I see somewhat of a malaise in young sales people:
1. the advent of certain technologies were expected to dramatically improve/increase sales (eg. CRM, www, etc.) but look at the abysmal failure of CRM installations and the reluctance of the sales force to use the tool ("big brother watching") and look at the amount of time SRs genuinely waste surfing the net instead of prospecting (not all surfing is wasted time);
2. a brutal effort to maintain professional communications (ie. watch for lazy communications within these forums as an illustration);
3. an inordinate reliance on certain technologies (eg. Blackberries) to avoid face-to-face communications (ever notice the number of SRs using their handhelds during meetings ... I rest my case);
4. punctuality is a lost art;

When I was a 19 year old shipping clerk at 3M in Ottawa, the Branch Manager took me out for dinner: he wanted to interview me for a sales position. I said, "Brian, I don't meet 3M's apparent profile for sales (post secondary ed'n, sales experience, married, in debt, etc.)". To which he said, "... the SR who I just fired, met ALL of those ...". There are a bunch of things in this story but the point which I wanted to make: it comes down to the individual.

I could go on for a couple of gig's on this topic.

Good luck & Good selling!'
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
The "disconnect" is from reality: anyone thinking that sales approaches are antiquated simply hasn't been outside lately. Or, perhaps because they're selling sales training, it's easy to improve the perception of their offering by implying something negative about that which has been proven successful.

I'd rather see people talking about how they're building on what they've learned versus publishing quotes/videos which are simply not well-researched.

In my experience, there is NO a difference between the auto mechanic, hair dresser, software developer, brain surgeon, or a sales person IF they haven't kept themselves up to date.

Having come through these "antiquated methods", I can't point to the old versus the more recent. So there is an evolution ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
The "disconnect" is from reality: anyone thinking that sales approaches are antiquated simply hasn't been outside lately. Or, perhaps because they're selling sales training, it's easy to improve the perception of their offering by implying something negative about that which has been proven successful.

I'd rather see people talking about how they're building on what they've learned versus publishing quotes/videos which are simply not well-researched.

In my experience, there is NO a difference between the auto mechanic, hair dresser, software developer, brain surgeon, or a sales person IF they haven't kept themselves up to date.

Having come through these "antiquated methods", I can't point to the old versus the more recent. So there is an evolution ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
What Pat stated above seems quite logical. However, the facts don't support the logic. One of the major differences between the sales vocation and every other major job function is that sales has the largest turnover and failure rates, by far.

People like Pat, who learn traditional sales methods and succeed, are the exceptions, not the norm. What he refers to as an evolution is largely limited to people who have the ability to adjust their behaviors experientially, to what works, rather than adhering to an inefficient sales process. - by JacquesWerth
People like Pat, who learn traditional sales methods and succeed, are the exceptions, not the norm. What he refers to as an evolution is largely limited to people who have the ability to adjust their behaviors experientially, to what works, rather than adhering to an inefficient sales process.
With a sincere apology to him, in advance, for speaking of Pat in the third person, I'll ask Jacque's opinion.

Does Pat's success come from an exceptional ability to execute traditional sales methods, an ability lacking in the majority? If so, doesn't that make those methods viable, but difficult?

Or is Pat, in your opinion, somehow unaware of what works for him, because it is natural for him, and because of that, attributes his success to the popular, and more readily understood, and acceptable, stuff?

I have known people who did not seem to know what made themselves successful, and they often explained it away with cliches.

Would Zig Ziglar have made it with a squeaky voice? - by Joe Closer
Interesting Jacques. The results should be fascinating if those conducting the research are truly open minded. Beware; preconceived notions might not influence or skew results. And this is a well meaning comment.

Possible reasons why the conclusions generated from the research data will be more or less meaningless; were the fortune 500 sales forces trained properly in the first place? In other words, if researchers introduce a change and get a measurable improvement or reduction in sales efficiency, what does that mean to what you do?

Since Jacques, by his own omission looks at sales process "differently". And I, by my own omission, assert that by far the great majority of sales training within the last 50 years has been crude or mediocre at best, Jacques and I can both argue that what the Fortune 100 companies are doing is inappropriate for different and varying reasons, many perhaps quite compelling.

The above being said, it is Outsource Sales various comments that are the most thought provoking in the thread in my oh so non-humble opinion;

I'd rather see people talking about how they're building on what they've learned versus publishing quotes/videos which are simply not well-researched.
I wrote quite a tirade in regards to the "closers are for shysters" thread, on this exact topic. Authors/Speakers/Trainers ARE IN FACT USING SLEAZY TABLOID HEADLINES and EXPLOITIVE SALES & MARKETING TECHNIQUES in order to sell.

The problem with it is that it is working and filling many sales people's minds with garbage. By far the most frustrating part about this style of marketing ploy is there simply is no need to do it to sell boatloads of services and materials, none at all.

In my experience, there is NO a difference between the auto mechanic, hair dresser, software developer, brain surgeon, or a sales person IF they haven't kept themselves up to date.
And what is the point? Up to date means what? How about this as a concept - it means that you are either improving or doing the opposite. That repetition is a very strong concept in any training. Just the act of making you think during a weekend, 1/2 or one day event is enough to sharpen your mind and have an impact on skills, let alone the reminders about things you have forgotten!

If the sales training industry was selling the benefits of training, as it is done in sports, for instance, there would be no need for SHOCK treatment to sell.

Exploitive methods in marketing within our industry is what all of us as professionals need to rally against.

The comments about "building on what they've learned" and "evolution" (this in reference to what Pat's comment made me feel first, then Jacques) is, to me, very natural. Of course, as you mature and with experience you will improve. And that applies to whether you were taught sales by XEROX, SANDLER, Jacques, myself or Pat.

Finally, what bothers me Jacques about your obstinacy, referring to your sales method teaching and your posts in various threads is quite simple. It isn't that you assert what most in the sales industry do not beleive, it's as if you deny that sales people will improve with practice - no matter who taught what methodology.

All I can say is, I think Socrates is rolling in his grave (and this applies to 99+% of what is posted in this forum, let alone any specific thread). - by Gold Calling
I agree with much of the above post by Gold Calling.

I don't know if the use of the word "omission" twice was a typo, in lieu of "admission", or intentional. But if you really think about it, "omission" just might work in the context of the thoughts expressed.

Most "sales training", as touted by the ever-increasing army of self-proclaimed gurus, is pure pablum.

Everybody participates on this forum for their own reason. As a self-depracating "Joe Closer" (Jung in chic'), I look at the site mostly to get a glimpse of the competition, ie., the minds of those in sales at all levels.

I agree with Gold Call that one can progress as one matures in a variety of methodologies. What I look for, and zero in on, is some form of evidence of that progression.

This wonderful forum has existed for a while. When you take the time to read the posts of those who post here, from months and years ago, it seems the same questions are often there. That is not progress.

I don't want to paraphrase Gold Call, but if he feels that the idea is to pick a good concept, make it your own, and be the best you can be with it, then I would heartily agree.

BTW, Socrates was the contrarian of his day. - by Joe Closer
Jacques, I'm not sure what you're smokin' but I am NOT the exception: "People like Pat, who learn traditional sales methods and succeed, are the exceptions, not the norm."

I can tell you in all sincerity that probably 85% of the SRs with whom I worked at 3M, Xerox, Apple Computer, etc. have a sustained history of consistent sales success! In fact, numerous have been more successful once they've departed the politics of the big company ... taken the sales training and run! Without counting, I think there are somewhere in the order of 10 to 15 SRs from my past life who are currently C-level in large companies or retired millionaires!

Your comments are off-the-mark: "What he refers to as an evolution is largely limited to people who have the ability to adjust their behaviors experientially, to what works, rather than adhering to an inefficient sales process." It seems to me that, by bringing it down to "ability", you've glossed over some fairly fundamental strengths which are typical of those who have sustained success in sales. Interestingly, a number of these associates have been nurtured by formal training (time management, business skills, etc.). Others, became successful by taking it on the road with a superb mentor, coach, motivator.

I'd suggest that some SRs flourish in certain environments where others suffer. In these instances, the training is taken with much gusto and they bolt for greener pastures in fairly short order. This is especially true with the young SRs today. A close friend of my daughter's was explaining to me last month why he left a Xerox agency after only about 14 months. Whereas, the sales offering tended to be more robust when I was his age (salaries, pensions fully vested in 5 yrs., etc.), so, we were able to endure the learning curve.

Jacques, I'm missing something: "... the facts don't support the logic." To what "facts" are you referring? My personal experience has been laid out, not for judgment, but in an effort to assist the rookies participating in the thread. As far as I'm concerned, what I've included in the post is factual and I don't see anything in your responses to the contrary.

The authors of business books are interested in selling books, so, they make explosive statements. Thus my apprehension in "facts" which are illustrated in these publications. With respect to research studies, my time managing a marketing team (at Apple), showed me how mis-guided the data can get. Especially, when the stakeholders have a point to make: anyone read a research study sponsored by a pharmaceutical firm?

I'm also having difficulty with: "One of the major differences between the sales vocation and every other major job function is that sales has the largest turnover and failure rates, by far." I'm not sure that you can make this general a statement. I think if you took certain sales jobs, there may be empirical data to support the thought. Real Estate, retail, etc. might well have massive turn-over. The comment might be especially accurate where the roles do NOT include a salary, so the rookies cannot afford to gain real experience.

It would be interesting to see what average tenure for 711 attendants, airport security guards, etc. and compare that to the broad definition of SRs which you seem to be including in your broad statement.

Jacques, I learned a valuable lesson in the hey-day: when dealing with investment brokers, I would ask, "... are you selling any investment products?". The answer to the question was always telling when the particular broker was angling his "advice" towards any specific product (which he happened to be selling).

This analogy to imply, Jacques, that when you're selling a product or service (eg. sales training), you really need to be a little bit more objective when you offer advice. Simply put (by Gold Calling), "Exploitive methods in marketing within our industry is what all of us as professionals need to rally against."

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Simply put (by Gold Calling), "Exploitive methods in marketing within our industry is what all of us as professionals need to rally against."

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
WHY rally against?

I prefer to simply compete against it.

First I'll take care of my family. THEN I'll save the world.

The FACT is we don't need to rally against that, as you suggest. We need to just be better than that. - by Joe Closer
Joe Closer, the quote is from Gold Calling but I'm truly apprehensive when I see info in the thread being portrayed as "fact".

My experience dictates something 180 degrees away from Jacques' comments. AND, I do not consider myself the exception so something's amiss ... AND, the SRs with whom I worked were successful. Xerox has a history in this regard which cannot be refuted.

I am currently engaged documenting a start-up's sales model (everything from sales compensation to training). Interestingly, they've struck upon a web-based sales training offering. The appeal is that there are about 72 modules (seriously) formatted as videos and the cost is LOW. In this fashion, my client can run the training sessions with these modules as the foundation. The unfortunate thing is that the content isn't an exact match. There are some concerns with the "generic" approach, it's questionable how valuable the lessons learned.

My point: I can't find a PSS-like training offering which fits their needs. It's frustrating to see that every sales training site which I've visited misses the point by miles!

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Joe Closer, the quote is from Gold Calling but I'm truly apprehensive when I see info in the thread being portrayed as "fact".

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
Pat, I used the word "we", a collective pronoun. Gold call might need to rally. I don't. Therefore, my statement is factual.

I agree with you on your discernment on the word, "fact", as it is used in an arena of opinions, but your apprehension on my usage was misplaced.

That said, I'm intrigued by your current project, and would love to know more. - by Joe Closer
Joe Closer, I wasn't referring to you wrt "fact", rather, it was back to Jacques' comments.

Gold Calling was right on the money with his insightful comment about "Exploitive methods in marketing within our industry". I'm not on-board with rallying against it ... although I am getting a little stressed on the topic.

My apologies for not being a little bit more clear ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Outsource, may I say it again. Terrific job of expressing your thoughts so they are clearly understood. A mighty "Here, Here" from here!

Joe ... this issue for me (and perhaps what stresses Pat) ... is really simple. It is as simple as misuse of sales skills. I cringe when someone says "Oh, he could sell ice cubes to Eskimos!" After all, why would anyone even try to sell someone something they don't need (because they don't have enough prospects?). And while this analogy is perhaps weak, as you cannot force a sale, why would anyone use SLEAZY TABLOID HEADLINES to EXPLOIT HUMAN NATURE just to sell books?

Now, let me be very clear about one thing before I go on - I had the great pleasure of speaking to Jacques on the phone yesterday, which I enjoyed. And I am not specifically referring in this post to anyone in particular (unless referenced), to Jacques' book or his training or whatever it is he does/offers. I am referring to a technique that is doing exactly as Pat alluded to all over the Internet. It stinks.

The issue is human nature. And I say that from all sides. Sales training (there are many trainers here), actual sales and the prospect/client. I am stunned when someone suggests that some form of prospecting means you won't have to deal with "attitudes" (stemming from misunderstandings in communications for instance). That "if you do it right, this never happens" (or words to that affect). It is like saying that what the sales person does belies that the human nature of the buyer or would-be buyer affects communications!

And, the above, this comment about human nature, this applies regardless of what methodology is used - people do misunderstand. And a misunderstanding does not preclude you doing business, not at all. What stops business from being done is a lack of actual need or the inability of the seller to understand the needs and attitudes of prospects.

Who knows? Pat and I came out of the XEROX camp of training. We know it inside out and backwards (though me from the training side, I never worked for Xerox - not an "oid", just oid-like). We don't know what Jacques or anyone else in radical departure from the sales training industry teaches and that is part of the issue. If it is so good, explain why. Don't just make vague reference to some unnamed research or "fact', prove it.

And Jacques, I am not attacking you personally or your method, whatever it is. I am saying - we do not know what it is and therefore cannot evaluate it.

I teach sales and make money doing it. But I am not afraid to share what I know here for free to help people. I would like the 'other camp' to be honest and forthright for the same reason.

Spill the beans and let us see what they are, otherwise you are or could be misleading people. That is what I rally against and would talk others into following me on. Let's keep those who don't know any better yet from being mislead.

What have you got to hide? If nothing then let's have the meat of the matter out in the open.

Why do I have to get debates started to uncover the facts that are heretofore merely referenced and not explained?

There can never be an end to the argument that things have changed or have not, not really. As studies can be slanted either way with exactly the same data ... what is of little doubt is that using the right headline can sell a **** load of training/books/tapes/cd's/dvd's. Even if the information is based on little or no research or is just misleading.

I know a man intimately who sells every day of his life, who is not as intelligent as I am (and he would admit this too, though he is certainly impressive), yet he has gotten consistent results for 5 decades. If you ask him about changes in the world and prospects what he will tell you as an old sage is quite surprising. He can clearly demonstrate what has changed the world and business and loves to talk about it but he can also say that there is no quantitative change in people - in human nature.

"Prospects know more!" Really? I thought people were a little less educated today than before, if anything. Though this is not the knowledge that is being referred to, is it?

Now, hold on. The "other camp", before you jump to conclusions, damn it, try to communicate. And 'listen' to what I am trying to say. I have had "ready, willing and able" ones not buy. Now ... the question is "why not?"

Do you really think that I would try to sell someone something who doesn't need it? Or that "my camp" uses pain (a word I do not prefer, I like 'needs'), pushing on it to get people to feel the pain so they buy or is it just a word (nearly a direct quote on this forum in response to a post I made!)? What we are interested in is why we loose a sale.

Please, do not trot out here while hiding behind a keyboard and tell me it is because I did not start with a better prospect (that magically had their nature changed and that is why I lost the sale). And, at the same time, don't tell me that TOP PRODUCERS do not walk into prospective client's offices unannounced when they are there anyway and have time until their next meeting. Because I have earned over a million a year, more than once and know many top guys who love old school prospecting, even though referrals are the majority of their income today.

What happens when you ask "Oh, why not?" Are you curious? Is there anything wrong with being curious? Apart from killing the cat, what else does being curious and asking questions do? Allow you to understand the buyer possibly?

My telephone call with Jacques lead me to beleive he is not that much different than I am, though, like Pat, I am from the other camp. Pat and I and others are supposedly unusual, this is what is deduced. It is the only way to fit us into thee empirical data or the thesis. Yet Pat seems to beleive there was a high degree of success at Xerox. Both sides cannot be right .. so what is the truth? Well, like asking the prospect "why not", the answer is very interesting.

Xerox did two things very well. They hired well and trained well.

I would never have survived at Xerox and my hat is off to Pat for having done so. I just thought they were over the top about buying from them. Their brand was the best, never mind features that suited the customer or price.

Remember the K car? Did prospects have to be better informed not to buy that piece of you know what? Or did the Japanese just need to make a car with more value?

Regardless of Xeroid approach, they choose people well and they trained them well.

There is information on this website forum claiming that the reason why conventional training does not stick is what is being trained. How can that be true? Xerox trained conventionally and it stuck. Can it be that hiring is not as good today at Fortune 100 companies as it was when Xerox ruled the world (and did NOT make the best copier!)?

And since I high degree of people succeeded within Xerox and in life afterward it leads us to beleive that the theory that we are unusual; is not based in fact. So what is the truth?

I don't know. I never claimed to know it all. But the main reason I feel unsure to comment further is that the CHANGED WORLD Camp does not explain what is so different about what they teach.

Believe me, I can go on and on about this. And I apologize for the length. But what I am saying is NOT that Jacques isn't on to something. I would like to see disclosure. Put up the support or stop telling us you know something that is unusual/different/better or factual. So far, from what we've gleamed, we have not seen evidence other than opinion to indicate that you are on to something.

What used to be taught b y conventional sales training wisdom from some sales training companies worked amazingly well and still does. From others there was junk and still is, no argument.

I have matured. I am a terrific sales person today. But what I do is the same information I used in 1979 with very little changes except for how I do it (how I say what I say, how it has become more easy. more a part of my nature).

"BTW, Socrates was the contrarian of his day." Yes, he was, and it is my firm belief that he would be today too! That is the whole point. Dale Carnegie was out there and, if by some miracle was alive today, still would be. The inventor of telephone cold calling definitely differed from conventional wisdom too. Doesn't what Jacques is suggesting fit in the same way???

Acting in a way that is contrary does not indicate anything. Columbus might be argued as contrary to popular belief. Magellan definitely was. So what? Some contrarians are ground breakers, some are nuts. Who is to say?

We know one of Megallan's flotilla was first boat to circumnavigate the world and
Socrates is now regarded as the "father of western philosophy!" And Xerox training stuck, plus ex-iods, on average, are excellent sales people in terms of success rates.

The truth is the truth and when I use the word RALLY there is no suggestion to torment or start and negativity. All that is mean by me is for us to keep seeking the truth.

Show me a better mouse trap and I can sell it. Show me a better way to sell mouse traps and I will champion it. But tell me you know better and I have to wonder why you aren't proving it - are you just using a marketing ploy to attract buyers?

Yes, I did twice type the same typo in my previous post. - by Gold Calling
I think we might have beaten this one to death. Gold Calling, I understand your use of the word, "rally". I simply don't have the bandwidth ...

One further thought on two of your comments about Xerox:
1. "I would never have survived at Xerox ... I just thought they were over the top about buying from them. Their brand was the best, never mind features that suited the customer or price." In point of fact, Xerox never had the lowest price. It's my recollection that Xerox intended to be the highest price (certainly throughout my time there). You aren't alone: it wasn't meant for everyone!

2. "Xerox did two things very well. They hired well and trained well." The two massive mistakes which Xerox made were:
a) the believed that they were strong marketers but they were NOT (if they were so good at marketing, how can you have the patent and 95% share niggled at for so many years?); and,
b) they had an unwritten policy which made hiring ex-Xoids impossible (when what they needed was someone who'd seen it from the other side and could have come back in for a meaninful difference);

On the topic of marketing, Xerox had a room full of "mainframes without front door" (ie. the next technology). Next door, they had a room with ALL of the latest competitive products. At the time, there was a principle in Xerox marketing called, "don't eat your babies". This forced the company to amortize old technology well beyond the useful lifespan. The barnfull of technology sat until some non-sales type decreed it appropriate.

All of this to say, we were fighting the latest competitive technology with the "old iron" (refurb'd - vs - new) and winning more often than not. There certainly was something to be said for the sales skills!

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
I have no idea how Pat sells. Both of the alternatives that JC suggested are good possibilities and there are myriad other possibilities.

It is typical of most top salespeople to have very little factual knowledge of how they are actually selling or why what they do works so well. And, of course, there are exceptions to that, too. - by JacquesWerth
wrote - in small part.
Finally, what bothers me Jacques about your obstinacy, referring to your sales method teaching and your posts in various threads is quite simple. It isn't that you assert what most in the sales industry do not beleive, it's as if you deny that sales people will improve with practice - no matter who taught what methodology.

All I can say is, I think Socrates is rolling in his grave (and this applies to 99+% of what is posted in this forum, let alone any specific thread).
I don't remember ever saying or implying that salespeople will not improve with practice regardless of what sales methods they use. In fact, almost all top salespeople started out using typical persuasive sales methods. And, those salespeople either improved or failed. Persuasion has been around since before the days of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates.

Most of the best salespeople (the top 1%) intuitively change there methods to a non-persuasive sales method. However, some of the best become experts at persuasion. I believe that it is much easier to do the former than the latter.

If you believe that is evidence of my being "obstinate," that may be indicative of your own passion to prevail. - by JacquesWerth
I seem to "fit the bill" for this thread but I'm really not sure how it's gotten to this stage.

For the record, I am aware of what I'm doing when I'm out there. To something Jacques implies, at this stage, it's probably "unconscious competence". In other words, it is NOT a conscious effort which takes me through the cycle. I'm not following a script as I progress through the selling cycle, so, I find the sales life highly enjoyable.

Your comments are somewhat accurate, "... most top salespeople to have very little factual knowledge of how they are actually selling or why what they do works so well." The phrase would be more accurate if you included some perspective on level of maturity as I believe that my success "has improved with age". Where, I was success as a young SR, what's come with experience is a comfort level with the complex, long sales cycle. I'd attribute this directly to the business acumen that has been absorbed, the more temperate approach which has come with the gray hair, and the evolution of my eons of sales training taken.

I don't know a young sales people who can articulate the reasons for their success other than, perhaps, "... I work hard...". I know some seasoned SRs who can identify elements of what has made them successful.

For the last couple of years, I had managed a relatively young sales team. Last year we generated over $17 mil on a revenue plan of $13 mil. To a person, they attribute their 2 years with me as the turning point in their careers. I could detail their attributes without referring to notes but they could not tell you specifically why they hit those sort of numbers. BUT they would say that the "gray hair" got them to seriously re-think their approach to a number of facets of their approach to the business!

GC, my sales success relates to a broader scope than "an exceptional ability to execute traditional sales methods". I believe that's virtually 2nd nature at this stage which is probably your point (although, I frequently find myself consciously thinking (for example), "... this guy is a low reactor ..."). I'd like to think my success is also a function of my personal style which includes my sense of humour, compassion for my clientele, and a sense of who I am as an individual. ALL of the above makes sales a good fit for me.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Exploitive methods in marketing within our industry is what all of us as professionals need to rally against.
It's refreshing to see that some people have a problem with this. Kudos GC.

One way to rally against this is by not supporting it. You don't have to look hard in the sales training industry to find sales trainers/authors who participate in that type of exploitive marketing themself or partner with sales trainers/authors who do. Even crazier is that many of these same sales trainers/authors complain about manipulation and ethics in sales. That's the pot calling the kettle black. - by SpeedRacer
Outsource (Pat), that was exactly what I was saying about Xerox. At the stage where I was cutting my sales teeth (1979 thru 1983), neither features nor price by comparison had an advantage over the Japanese - quite the opposite in fact (I knew exactly what you were selling). That was why I was so intrigued by the training. After all, there had to be a reason why XOIDs were as successful as they were ... but I never liked the Corporate attitude (not meaning the sales people), which is partially revealed by your story about ex-XOIDs not getting hired back.

Of course, if I was not on the other side of the fence I might have felt quite differently.

In my opinion it was this general Xerox attitude that caused them to loose the market domination. They could have made a better product but the feeling was similar to the one Bell Canada displays. And they are getting eaten up too (this is old news).

I think Jacques quote is amazingly revealing. He said;

"I have no idea how Pat sells."
And I have no idea how Jacques sells. This is the very point I was striving at. Let's get some of this out on the table to see what the real differences are if there are any (I have a feeling that they are not that great, that is why I have called all these guys on the phone and spoken to them).

Pat (Outsource) and I both started with the same basic selling skills training program, which is referred to as BASIC for a very good reason. Everyone is expected to build on it or evolve (or whatever term you want to you call it). In my opinion Pat has quite eloquently shown his sales evolution in this forum and I am not picking on Jacques I just want to see where we differ.

Being a little less general in the forum is a good start. After all, if we can't do it here where can we? As this site is listed on top at Yahoo and very close to the top at Google.

Finally, I do not know how to teach persuasion. The word persuasion nor any techniques that would lead anyone to believe that something dark exists exists behind the curtain - like in the Wizard of OZ - and are taught in PSS or in our own 4 hour prospecting seminar or via Gold Calling®.

I do know how to ask the prospect what they need and, if my product addresses those needs, how to show them they can get that from what I offer so they can then make an informed decision.

This is not one iota different than what was taught in 1977 when I took PSS II. That does not mean that I am not more comfortable in my skin today and as a result a much better sales person. It just means that the basics are EXACTLY the same.

So, if I am not persuasive and Jacques teaches sales people not to be, what are we debating? I wish I knew more so that it would be far more interesting and productive.

Understanding once again that influence is something we all have, regardless of what we want to name it (or if we try to ignore it or run from it, which is not what I am saying Jacques does).

I love the argumentative process. It is extremely productive. In fact, I personally can't think of anything that would be more invigorating than debating sales other than selling. With the possible exception of running a river in an open canoe for 4 or 5 days during full spring flood in Northern Ontario or Quebec!

Thanks Speed! - by Gold Calling
I seem to "fit the bill" for this thread but I'm really not sure how it's gotten to this stage.

For the record, I am aware of what I'm doing when I'm out there. To something Jacques implies, at this stage, it's probably "unconscious competence". In other words, it is NOT a conscious effort which takes me through the cycle. I'm not following a script as I progress through the selling cycle, so, I find the sales life highly enjoyable.

Your comments are somewhat accurate, "... most top salespeople to have very little factual knowledge of how they are actually selling or why what they do works so well." The phrase would be more accurate if you included some perspective on level of maturity as I believe that my success "has improved with age". Where, I was success as a young SR, what's come with experience is a comfort level with the complex, long sales cycle. I'd attribute this directly to the business acumen that has been absorbed, the more temperate approach which has come with the gray hair, and the evolution of my eons of sales training taken.

I don't know a young sales people who can articulate the reasons for their success other than, perhaps, "... I work hard...". I know some seasoned SRs who can identify elements of what has made them successful.

For the last couple of years, I had managed a relatively young sales team. Last year we generated over $17 mil on a revenue plan of $13 mil. To a person, they attribute their 2 years with me as the turning point in their careers. I could detail their attributes without referring to notes but they could not tell you specifically why they hit those sort of numbers. BUT they would say that the "gray hair" got them to seriously re-think their approach to a number of facets of their approach to the business!

GC, my sales success relates to a broader scope than "an exceptional ability to execute traditional sales methods". I believe that's virtually 2nd nature at this stage which is probably your point (although, I frequently find myself consciously thinking (for example), "... this guy is a low reactor ..."). I'd like to think my success is also a function of my personal style which includes my sense of humour, compassion for my clientele, and a sense of who I am as an individual. ALL of the above makes sales a good fit for me.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
The above post is so instructive, it should be copied, pasted, studied, and frenquently referred to.

On an Internet forum, a person can be anyone he/she wants to be, and sometimes get away with it for a while.

I don't know Pat. But I can say now with absolute certainty, he is the real deal. A rare breed. For anybody who wants to know what a true professional has inside, you just saw it. - by Joe Closer
I certainly to agree Joe. Pat has a real straight up, straight forward professional approach to selling. Love it or not (and I do), you have to respect him for this overall attitude.


My last post was badly edited – please replace the first paragraph with this;


Outsource (Pat), that was exactly what I was saying about Xerox. At the stage where I was cutting my sales teeth (1979 thru 1983), neither features nor price by comparison had an advantage over the Japanese - quite the opposite in fact (I knew exactly what you were selling). That was why I was so intrigued by the training. After all, there had to be a reason why XOIDs were as successful as they were ... but I never liked the Corporate attitude (not meaning the sales people), which is partially revealed by your story about ex-XOIDs not getting hired back.

---- ----- ---- ---- ----

For those who do not know the story, Xerox had the patent on plain paper copier technology (Xerography, invented by Chestor Carlson), which did not expire until the late 70's. There was a very smart decision made by Halloid Corporation (by then they changed their name to Xerox), to rent their equipment, leading to the single most profitable invention until the subversive nature of the micro chip and personal computers (Xerox 914).

When the patent expired the company from the Corporate end believed they were the be all and end all. Following through with this vision, selling inferior product, their sales reps won business mainly based on the name and reputation as well as a stable company. This approach eventually failed (as it must, because people buy value - no not price - VALUE!) and Canon is now the largest copier company in the world.

In fact, indirectly Chestor's invention led to what we know as the laser printer. All it took was to realize that the DEVELOPER (iron fillings) in Xerography could be replaced by another element that both held a static charge and could be fused (ceramics). This technology, belonging to Cannon, is used under license by Hewlett Packard and many other laser copiers, fax machines, printers and copiers.

Interestingly, Xerox is not the first to blow it in the copier market. APECO, dominated prior, starting in the 30's with a machine that was basically an enclosed dark room. They were offered exclusivity of the Xerography license, because American Photocopier Equipment CO. (APECO) was the largest. After stupidly turning it down they basically disappeared to obscurity inside a decade.

About the time that the Xerox 914 was taking over, my dad won the APECO's National Sales Contest in Canada (1963 I beleive) and got an cash award of $900.

I would wholeheartedly agree with this topic thread if we were referring to the antiquated marketing strategies and corporate attitudes of many companies, especially both Xerox and APECO, who lost big time as a result. Though APECO paid the much bigger price.

The sales training and sales people, however, at both companies, they weren't to blame and were quite the opposite. The word excellence comes to mind.

In fact, APECO's influence (there's that word again) to some degree brought about the creativity that spawned the phrase now trademarked as GOLD CALLING®, which belongs to me in both Canada and the U.S. and is destined to become well known in sales. - by Gold Calling
Thanks to everyone for the great information and responses! thmbp2; - by Thomas
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