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Five Scary Behaviors of Salespeople

August 12th, 2015

Have you ever wondered if your salespeople may be scaring off buyers? Take a look at the list below and decide for yourself. The fact is that most salespeople are downright frightening. The list of scary behaviors goes on forever, but here are five of the most popular ways salespeople scare away new business:  

 1.   They talk when they should be listening:   A recent survey of C-Level buyers indicated that only 14% of interactions with company representatives resulted in any useful learning or value. In other words, the remaining 86% of salesperson conversations were perceived to be creating zero value or differentiation.  

 2.  They educate when they should be learning:   When their lips are moving, many salespeople tell instead of ask. Instead of striving to understand, learn, and facilitate mutual discovery, they strive to educate and “make their points” (even though the buyer isn’t asking).      

 3.  The few questions they do ask are Leading Questions:    Many salespeople strive to get buyers to nod a lot (like bobble-heads). In the fleeting moments when salespeople do ask questions, they avoid the right questions (the tough questions that will differentiate them) and mistakenly believe they should ask only “yes” questions. Most salespeople believe that if they ask enough leading questions, a sale will ultimately follow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Leading questions (commonly known as “tie-downs”) are one of the most effective ways to destroy trust. When you are personally in a buying role, do you like to be tied down?    

4.  When they do listen, they listen selectively:   Buyers need and want to buy, but they hate to be sold. Salespeople who listen for “buying signals” in an effort to “close” show up as inauthentic manipulators instead of valuable resources and solution providers.  Very frightening to prospective buyers!

 5.  They Prematurely Satisfy:    Premature Satisfaction™ occurs any time a salesperson educates, presents, pontificates, demos, or proposes before the buyer is truly ready and willing to listen and accept. This scary, worthless, destructive salesperson behavior carries a consequence in 100% of cases where it is exhibited. In the best case, Premature Satisfaction™ wastes time and cuts into profit. In many cases, it burns up margins via multiple proposals and repetitive “pencil sharpening.” In most cases, it destroys trust and loses the sale.

 So what do you think?  How much revenue and profit do you think your salespeople might be scaring away?


Copyright ©   Joe Zente  2015.   All Rights Reserved.