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Complete this sentence: The trouble with most sales training is…

The trouble with most sales training is that it tries to teach people how to sell. And selling is portrayed as a battle of wills and wits between the reluctant, awkward prospect versus the cunning, wily salesperson, which the salesperson can win with the right tools, techniques and “tricks of the trade”.

For example:

  • opening gambits
  • qualifying the prospect
  • overcoming objections
  • closing techniques
  • asking for the order

… and numerous other arcane and “dark” arts that the would-be customer cannot be allowed to find out about. Because if they found out, it would remove the salesperson’s advantage and we can’t allow that, can we? How are we going to get hold of the poor sucker’s (sorry – prospect’s) money if we let them see that they’re being sold to?

BUT if “selling” worked

  1. there’d be no need for “tricks of the trade” to make a sale!

  2. there wouldn’t be so many salespeople and their managers and employers spending money on an apparently inexhaustible supply of books, seminars, training courses, exhibitions, conferences, etc. about “selling” in the belief that they could and should be selling more… if they only knew how.

What does work is repeatedly and deliberately creating the circumstances in which people actively want to buy what you’re offering. Which starts by developing an acute insight into how and why people buy stuff. And then using that knowledge to enable them to buy more stuff. (But not, you’ll notice, to “sell” them more!)

Next: Why just about everyone can be a natural salesperson.

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