Unlock value from sales tips and techniques as guides not crutches

“It didn’t work when I tried it.” Of course, it didn’t. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or it’s bad. It just means it didn’t work for you. Sales people that use sales tips and techniques as crutches unwittingly reveal that they are handicapped. They are handicapped because they want, no, need, to externalise the reason for their lacklustre performance; “It’s not me. It’s the weather (the inadequate product, the sugarless tea, the tough economy, these impractical sales tips and techniques, and so on and so forth and what have you.). That’s the problem. It’s not me.”

Importance of Sales tips and techniques

There are many types of sales tips and techniques out there. Several effective ones for each step in the sales cycle or funnel. That’s because they are intended to help you shorten the sales cycle. They will rarely work for you if you use them as crutches. Without first addressing your handicap all you will get are self fulfilling processes. “You see. I told you it won’t work.” Or, “We’ve learnt all this about effectively engaging our resellers, but it won’t work; the problem with our oil resellers is price. They just want us to lower our price. So, what do we tell them?” And in the off chance that it does work, you will be visibly shocked and quickly recovering likely to utter, “That was just a fluke. Wait and see what happens when I use that technique again.” And guess what? It fails.

Sales tips and techniques are a compass, not the map.

And so, while you think you’ve proven the point why your performance is wanting, all you’ve done is inadvertently demonstrate your debilitating attitude. You desperately need help but your shield of pride (that’s what you think it is) won’t let you admit so. Neither will it open your eyes to seeing that it’s only you and your band of merry men that are complaining that, “We’ve learnt all this but it won’t work; the problem with our oil resellers is price.” You can’t see that everyone else in the team is operating well above average and eager to try new methods of selling to improve sales in their company. (They know that those tips and techniques are guides not crutches.)

And so, you wonder why everyone is complaining about your attitude. And why the threat of being fired is looming.

sales tips and techniques

Examples of sales tactics

Now salespeople for whom sales tips and techniques work have a heathy attitude towards them. “We tried what we had learned but it didn’t work as it did in training. In fact, in some instances, it backfired. However, Neema came up with an alternative and it was almost a miracle cure. It worked. So now instead of saying we are students calling from a college we now say we are calling from a marketing institute. And instead of asking for their revenues within a certain range as you taught us, we find that when we just ask outright, they tell us. Maybe because we are young ladies and they are men. I don’t know. It just works.” Now that’s a fertile mind in which seed that was planted has geminated.

Read: One simple trick to close sales faster

How to get better at using sales techniques

In that instance, Neema owned the sales tips and techniques and made them hers. The principle of the sales tip she was taught did not change. Only its content did. Further, if the script had not been shared, she would not have had the courage to try, in the first place. Meaning, she would never have discovered her ‘miracle cure’ at all. And that’s the thing with sales skills and tricks, tips and techniques, scripts and templates. They won’t work if you don’t.  Even the best ones won’t work on an unhealthy mind. Seed planted in rock does not sprout. Interestingly, sales skills and scripts may work exactly as is in some instances but in others require you to grasp the principle and make your own informed content; that is, use the skeleton and fill up the flesh based on your experience.

Even on follow-up, Neema’s strategies worked most of the times and had to be tweaked in others. Selling is not an exact science. It has no formula. And what worked for Kabue may not Mrinji. Possibly, if a salesman asked the same question about revenue as Neema did he would not be so lucky. That, however, would not mean that Neema’s new found method does not work. It just means it did not work for the sales man.  

It’s World Mental Health Awareness Month. A grave and growing problem we should be acutely aware of and concerned about.  For you, this month and every month, always keep a pulse on your mental Sales health.

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