Some of the biggest breakthroughs come from going against the crowd.
When you first start out in sales, the natural and easy thing to do is to sell the way you have always been sold to.
All new sales people have much more experience purchasing things than they do selling things. And most of that purchasing experience is with low value "retail" items.
As a result, the default sales behavior for anyone beginning in sales is to mirror the process they have experienced hundreds of times over as a purchaser of things and stuff for everyday life.
This default sales process amounts to something like this:
- Offer to help prospective purchaser
- Tell them about the product’s features
- Ask them if they wish to purchase the product
- Back off and wonder when they don’t purchase…
Painful though this process can be, many sales people adopt this upon going into sales and follow it for years because "that’s the way its done".
It’s what we "expect" sales people to do, so it becomes what we do when we begin to sell.
The only thing worse then is when new sales people begin to modify this approach based upon how they wish people would sell to them.
They think "Hey, I don’t want to be pressured, so I can’t pressure my prospect. If she needs to think it over, then that’s reasonable – I would probably want to think it over too".
This sort of "reasonable rationalization" in selling is deadly.
You see, the retail selling that we get conditioned too early in life, is NOT training for professional sales.
All of this experience with untrained sellers (who are really nothing more than cashiers and clerks in most cases) builds up a large, unconscious idea of what is socially acceptable and correct.
And it is hard for your brain to go against what you unconsciously believe to be socially correct.
We humans are social beings.
We live, work, and socialize all with other people. Without other humans to interact with we would go crazy.
So going against social norms is fearful and painful for most of us.
But sometimes that is just what you gotta do.
Sometimes you gotta…
- Ask for a commitment before making your pitch
- Go over someone’s head to get the sale
- Ask personal uncomfortable questions
- Takeaway the sale
- Be a hard-ass
- Negotiate up front
- Put conditions on your time
…among many other unnatural and "socially unacceptable" sales behaviors.
People who become successful professional sales people eventually figure some or all of these things out.
Doing what lots of other people in sales are doing is NOT the formula for success.
Doing what the few who are most successful are doing IS the formula for success.
And doing what the few are doing (instead of what the many are doing) takes courage.
It takes courage because you will not have the comfort of knowing that many others are doing the same thing.
Now I can’t load courage into your personality like a software program off of a CD-ROM.
But I can give you an awareness of what’s going on inside your head.
You must go against the crowd to become the top seller in your field.
You must look for and adopt unique, unusual, and better ways of selling.
And when you do you’ll find yourself getting more sales faster than simply focusing on how many more hours can you work today, this week, or this month.