The focus on consultative selling by many salespeople is often great in concept and poor in execution. This failure stems back to one issue and one issue alone—the fact that consultative selling is really about basic skills.
Too many salespeople, especially those with more tenure, are too focused on acquiring and mastering advanced sales skills. What many of them don’t realize is that the phrase “advanced sales skills” is really a misnomer. Advanced selling is really about consistently doing the basics.
Those who are achieving the best results in staffing and recruitment consistently apply the core competencies of basic selling. They don’t have to get “back to basics” from time to time, instead, consciously choosing to stay with the basics.
This approach to being at an advanced level may not seem as sexy as pursuing the complex or convoluted approaches often presented in the latest tomes on selling. However, the increased profits and commissions gained through this approach more than make up for the “dullness” of keeping selling simple.
Last week I had the honor of speaking at the conference of the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) in Houston, an event with lots of smart and talented people sharing information and learning good practices. Embedded within those good ideas, unfortunately, were Repetitive Practices, inefficient routines that are often the way things have always been done. These include:
Candidate and client control
Always Be Closing
Back to basics
Influencing or convincing clients or candidates
Time kills deals
When people pause and honestly assess these tired ideas, they realize:
Your can’t control anyone. You can facilitate a process that mutually benefits everyone.
Customers don’t buy features and benefits. They do buy an improvement to their current circumstances.
Closing isn’t as powerful as collaborating.
Back to basics perpetuates the problem. Stay with the basics solves it for good.
Value propositions pale in effectiveness to provocative stories.
Trying to influence or convince anyone is a waste of energy and only does harm. Allowing people to convince themselves take less effort and helps your relationship.
Time simply marches on. What kills the deal is the recruiter or salesperson who fails to gain agreement to a process, up front, that maximizes the time at hand.
It’s time that we, as an industry, begin to thoroughly question and assess what we’re being told, unless we’re satisfied with the status quo. I don’t know about you, but I want better for our industry. Better respect, better profits, and better processes that reduce our labor intensity. Perpetuating past practices isn’t going to make that happen.
Scott WintripIs It Best? Or Is It Merely Repetition?
Next time someone someone tells you he already knows all about what you’re saying, say the following:
That’s great! How much are you doing that?
Chances are there is a gap between what someone says they know and what they’re doing with that knowledge.
The divide between knowing and doing is plaguing companies across the globe. The dangerous assumption that just because someone knows something automatically means she’s doing it keeps her from looking closely at her actual behavior. Managers who don’t look closely at the division between know and do are missing the opportunity to ensure what matters most is always being done. This is especially true of those dreaded and maligned “basics” that too many people spend too much time getting back to every few weeks or months.
Imagine what would happen if people stayed with those basics. And why shouldn’t they? If they are so basic, there’s no excuse nor any barriers to doing them, since they are so basic. The real issue, more often than not, is the Knowing Doing Divide. Bridge that gap and you’ll not only close a mental loophole, you’ll close more deals and retain more customers.
Final Days for Charter Memberships to GAIN People in the staffing and recruiting industry have often said they’d love to keep me in their desk drawer, allowing them to open it anytime they need advice or support. While I’ve yet to find a big enough desk to fit into, I have developed a new membership offering that gives you top drawer access to my expertise when and how you need it. Learn more
Scott WintripKnowing Does Not Mean Doing – Scott’s Sales Yoga Thought for the Day