Selling as it has been taught for decades – as a snake-oil sideshow huckster – is dead. The majority of classic sales training seminars have been focused on any number of “guaranteed” tactics, ploys, mechanisms, and techniques of persuasion that are designed to take the sale from the prospect or client. In today’s economy, however, the methods that once paved the way to sales success now do little more than to expose the user as a huckster.
The old “tried and true” sales training curriculum was focused on taking: taking objections and overcoming them, taking sales reluctance and transforming it into sales agreement, and taking sales regardless of the actual needs of the client. Regardless of the training company, they all came from a very similar – and alarming – perspective: information is currency to be hoarded and should only be shared when you are able to take something in return to benefit the salesperson.
In 2016, sales training needs to focus on the give, not the take:
Giving help and direction freely to both prospects and clients.
Giving authenticity in every client communication
Giving prospects and clients an honest assessment of their needs – regardless if they make a purchase
Giving a complete buying experience that provide a consistent “wow”
Giving more of the only unique differentiator – you
To be sure, there are still a horde of salespeople using any variety of tired sales “methods” that place a premium on mastering different types of closes, merely becoming an expert in every facet of a product or service, or simply “smiling and dialing.” In the short term, salespeople employing those methods may experience some semblance of success. However, for there to be real successes in sales in an era where differentiation is challenging, information is cheap, and relationships are prized, place focus on the give in every interaction.
To use any other approach is like selling snake oil as a panacea for all that ails your sales audience and, at best, is disingenuous. The huckster is dead. Give first, give second, give always – and the results will follow.