The secret of success in sales does not lie in the places where most people look:
- Product quality
- Brand recognition
While these are factors in decision-making, they are secondary. The number one and number two factors in the buying decision are whether the prospect trusts and likes the salesperson, respectively. The order is important because the fact that you like someone does not necessarily mean you would rely on them. It is amazing that we can justify paying more, driving farther, giving in a little bit on quality, and not care about brand when we can say that the person we do business with is someone we would trust with our child and is a good friend.
Therefore, if you want to increase your sales performance you need to work on factors that help influence peoples’ trust in you. If you don’t, it will not matter that you have excellent sales skills, work for a great company, or have the best product. The prime reason people lose deals is that they are not able to earn the trust of the buyer. For this reason, a large portion of our sales training programs focuses on issues other than networking, cold-calling, and closing. While we do work on those things, they are secondary to attitude development and soft skills.
Attitude is a very important area because many of the attitudes that buyers have cause them to naturally distrust strangers. In addition, many salespeople’s attitudes have perpetuated this distrust. For example, some traditional attitudes about salespeople are that they don’t listen, and that they will try to sell their product to you even if it is clearly inappropriate for your needs. The attitude of many salespeople is that if you aren’t pushy, you won’t make any sales.
Attitude development is one of those areas most people would prefer to avoid. There is a common misconception that attitude is something you cannot change. While not easy to change, attitudes are nothing more than habits of thought that have been developed over time. By using our sales training process, we are able to help our clients identify habits of thought that are unproductive and to replace them with ones that are productive.
In the soft skills arena, we work with our clients in the areas of human relations and behavior. Most people learn how to communicate with others through what we like to refer to as “tribal knowledge.” What I mean by this is that we develop our communication skills in different areas by observing how those we consider knowledgeable behave in different situations. The challenge with trying to observe other people to gain our knowledge is that we do not know exactly why they get the results they do. Many times, the role models are doing things subconsciously, repeating successful strategies that have become second nature to them. For this reason, Activate Group uses behavioral personality profiling known as DISC and text materials to help our clients learn best practices in the behavior and human relations areas.
By helping their sales staff master productive attitudes and soft skills, employers’ sales grow substantially, and salespeople’s earnings increase proportionately.