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What needs to be got right for selling to be a lot easier than many people think it is…?


So many people I work with struggle to confidently put their sales training in to practice. I don't believe selling is as hard as many people think, or even say, it is. (Yup, that was me as well, some years ago!).

So what, in your opinion & experience, needs to be 'got right' for people involved in selling to feel it can be, and is, easier than it may seem today... so that they can confidently take their performance to the next level?



4 Responses

  1. my three ha’pence worth

    Hi Martin

    Many people find selling difficult because it is an activity where they have little "control" over the buying decision.  They often do not control the price, they have no control over the competition, no control over the economic environment and often little control or even contact over the actual buying decision maker (Yes, we are all striving to deal with the organ grinder but, let’s face it, we are often dealing with the organ grinder’s assistant’s assistant)

    This feeling of having no control makes people fear it, therefore they resent it and this makes it difficult.

    I found that (for me and) for many people, the stress management model of spheres of interest/influence and control helped me to feel the fear and do it anyway.

    Also, without getting too embroiled in the history, we have a rejection of "selling" in the UK in general…..this is why we dress it up with titles such as Account Manager/Business Development Executive/Customer Advisor.  When the organisation and its management are going out of their way to avoid the word "selling" or "sales" there is no wonder that people reject the idea of selling; it is a "bad" thing!

    In my experience most people CAN sell, but they lack the desire to do so because of the spivvy,Walker out of Dad’s Army image we perpetuate:

    Can I share an anecdote? A man I met at a major bank was a commercial bank manager and had been for 17 years.  Every year he failed to achieve his "revenue generation targets" for insurance related products, but was otherwise a brilliant commercial bank manager.  Every year they sent him on a sales training course, every year he failed to hit the target in spite of this.  Eventually (on the performance coaching course I was running) he was asked a simple question…."Do you like selling?"  "No, I hate it, I didn’t become a bank manager to work as a bl**dy insurance salesman!" he replied. QED.


    I’ll now get off my soapbox!

    I hope this helps

    Rus (for when you have a big sale to celebrate)

  2. Self Limiting beliefs


    In my opinion, what holds most sales people back is belief. Either they don’t believe they can "sell" or, more commonly, they impose their values on the sale:

    "I’d never spend that much on X product, so there’s no way I can sell this".

    This is often compounded by having product experts as sales people. I worked in a sales environment selling technical services and all the "sales" guys were actually techies. Try convincing someone to pay for a service that you can do yourself in 2 minutes flat!

    The curse of knowledge makes it impossible to understand why the customer would pay, and so they downsell.

  3. Sales success or failure


    From my experience many people who work as a salesperson forget the’ work’ part of the role if you have been actively selling it is bloody hard work, by the end of each day you should feel as if you really have done a days work. 

    Secondly sales in general is a ‘failure game’, of 10 targeted cold calls  there will be one prospect of gaining a new account, for every 10 prospects one will be converted to a new account creating revenue for your business, that’s a failure rate of 100:1, this wouldn’t work for an airline pilots safe landing ratio! but that’s a ‘success game.’ 

     As soon as salespeople realize that the odds are stacked against them, the sooner they will look at failure as one step towards the goal of new business, if a salesperson makes 5 cold calls it’s easy to see why targets are missed.

    This is a bit of a generalization but a useful reminder of the facts it’s simple maths.

    I can go round a golf course in 105 (which is bad) Tiger Woods does it in 63, based on the figures he is not even close to being twice as good as me at golf!

    Experience, sales training, and some luck, will reduce the odds maybe to 3 accounts in 100 that’s still a 97% ‘failure’ rate even though you have tripled your income. Simple.

    Good thread / topic.




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