Yes, I've had my fair share but this is irrelevant here. This is why...
I know there are many salespeople out there who've become sales trainers, but I've had the opportunity to go the other way. I don't want to teach anyone how to sell using the old-fashioned manipulative sales techniques. Well, I suck at it myself.
And I agree that 99.9% of the sales trainers, who used to be salespeople, are great experts at selling.
As the saying goes, people love buying but hate being sold to.
The sad fact is that over the years the way buyers buy has evolved a lot, but the way sellers sell has remained stuck in the mud somewhere in the 70s.
So, I would be an idiot to sharpen my selling skills. Why would I improve a skill which people hate and would do their level best to avoid me like the plague? It makes no sense to me. If I want to learn gourmet cooking, why would I study how to poison people?
My unique edge comes from being an expert at how "premium" buyers buy "premium" IT solutions. I used to be a buyer for some 14 years, so I know how buyers make decisions. So I help my clients to create a decision-making dialogue during which the buyer's people and the seller's people jointly decide what to do next. It's a jointly-made yes/no decision. And in my world of selling, "no" is as valid of an answer as "yes" is. In my clients' worlds, salespeople don't fail when the buyer's decision is no.
But using the strong and largely automated self-qualification process, salespeople's success rate is basically 100%. I try to stay away from closing rate. We don't close sales. We open relationships and discuss possibilities of doing some neat shit together. And both yes and no are acceptable answers.
The other point is that in our world, there are no salespeople. We've got engineers, technologists and consultants who are also skilled in the art and science of facilitating a process of diagnostics and decision-making. The difference is that, unlike pedestrian garden-variety peddlers, these professionals don't have pre-created agendas as to how much of what to sell.
They diagnose the client's situation and facilitate the decision-making process with an unbiased and open mind, and are detached from the decision itself. They are respected technology experts not merely techno-peddlers
That's why they are regarded as respected industry experts buyers are eager to meet, not dreaded peddlers buyers try to run and hide from. A drastically different mindset.
The objective is not merely sell more of the company's stuff, but to help buyers to make the best decisions in their own best interest. That is, a decision that best supports the buyer's objectives and overall organisational strategy.
Again, this is not a selling process between superiors (buyers) and subordinates (salespeople) based on various tricks of the trade, but a decision-making process between peers based on mutual trust and respect.
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