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The Sales Buzz Issue 193 - Break One of the Golden Rules of Sales Training
February 20, 2013

In this week's Sales Buzz:

There’s a golden rule of sales training that we have all had drilled into us on every course we have attended.

Well I say it’s wrong and if you break it you might close more sales, what do you think... Read on...

Break One of the Golden Rules of Sales Training

There’s a golden rule of sales training that you, like me, and every other seller, has had shouted at us on every course we have attended and I say it’s wrong.

Sales trainers tell their audience that they should never assume anything about their buyer.

They preach that if you assume you make an ASS out of U and ME.

Like many other theories that get repeated in different training media it becomes an accepted practice without being properly tested by sellers in real situations with real customers.

Sellers, managers, and trainers pass the rule on without ever challenging it to see if it is correct.

And so it gets passed down as if written on slabs of stone and becomes another practice that might be holding you back and having a negative effect on your results.

Here’s a different viewpoint

I’ve been in sales for over 20 years and from real practical experience my view on ‘never assume,’ is:

Break that rule and from the first contact with your prospect start making assumptions. Read your customer’s verbal and non-verbal communications. Use your intuition and sales experience to continuously assess and re-assess the buyer.

We all read people that we communicate with whether we are in sales or not. Some of us are better at it than others but we can all use this sales skill and we can all improve it.

In retail sales you can pick up information about your customer by observing them from the minute they come through the door. Do they feel products, look at them, or ask their friend what they think.

All this is important for knowing which opening lines to use as you approach them.

If they ask their friend for their opinion then you can safely assume that you should involve the friend in the sales process.

Assume, yes go ahead you should really, that if a customer touches and feels the items then you should pass items to them and ask how they feel about the product.

The more skilled you are as a seller the more accurate your assumptions will be.

B2B sellers and field sales people will often sell to companies in a particular market sector. Use your experience and make assumptions about a business’ needs based on your experience with similar clients. It shows that you know your market. You can always re-assess and make better assumptions as you go along.

Directs sales people are the absolute experts on using intuition, reading prospects, and making assumptions.

From the second they see their prospect, and especially if they sell in the prospect’s own home, they are taking in and processing all the information around them. They quickly make assumptions and test them as they progress their pitch with the prospect.

They look for indicators that will give them information that they can base their assumptions on. They will look for indicators that there are children in the house, and their ages. The prospect’s financial situation can be assessed by looking at age and condition of furniture, type of car, the prospect’s clothes. All these signs allow the direct sellers to make some accurate assumptions.

Increase sales by making assumptions

Set yourself free of the rule that says do not assume anything about your prospects. Use your intuition and build a profile of the buyer in front of you. Make assumptions about them, their needs, and if appropriate their business.

The only rule I would advise when selling is to test your assumptions and constantly revise them as you learn more about your prospect.

To be able to do this successfully you have to do several tasks at once: Observe non-verbal signals, actively listen, pick up information, and recall similar situations, and all this while you are going through the stages of the sales process.

To do all that you need an effective selling process that you can use confidently without thinking. You need to know where you are, and what to do next, at all times.

To see the sales training course that I use with my teams to build a great sales pitch based on an easy to learn process open Sales Training Courses...

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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