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4 sales essentials the training courses don't teach you
There are some things that most sales training courses don't teach you. Whether you're an entry-level sales rep, executive, consultant or associate, an experienced business development specialist or commercial director, this advice will make you think twice about you sell.
The self-proclaimed UK's most hated sales trainer, Benjamin Dennehy is both controversial and cunning in the ways of behavioural science and sales. These secrets of selling will allow you to not only discover new predictors of success and recruit the right candidates for any sales roles, but battle against money concepts, subservience and tired belief systems in an industry where profit is king.
Benjamin Dennehy on the Escape Your Limits podcast.
Do you know the basics of selling?
“It all comes down to habits, behaviours and beliefs. Just like anything in life. But you also need to have a process that you can follow that you're comfortable with. I also discovered why people buy things, which I'd never known. In fact, to this day, if you ask the average salesperson 'why do people buy?' they'd look at your blankly, because they don't know.
“How can those people be in sales? It's like asking a lawyer how does the high court work? He's been working in it for five years and he says: 'You know what? I don't actually know. I just turn up and stuff happens.'
“One I discovered why people buy, then I realised that all you've got to do is figure out how to get them to do that. People buy emotionally and justify intellectually. That's it. It's that simple. So how do you get someone emotional and then get them to justify why they should act on that emotion. That's all selling is.”
Do great sales people make great sales managers?
“Managing people and selling are two different skill sets. Now, you may naturally have them and you can develop them. Like any skill, you can learn. I'd be a pretty crappy manager. Quite often in a company they take the best salesmen and promote them. What tends to happen is they lose a good salesman and get a bad manager.
“Also one of the biggest problems that you see in a lot of companies is that the sales manager also has a sales target. Which thing do you think he's going to focus on the most? The sales target! That's going to be the most important because that's going to be the thing you'll measure him by. All sales managers should not have sales targets!
“A sales manager has two jobs: hire the right people and get the best out of them. That's all their job is.”
How do you act in front of your sales prospects?
“If I get in front of a finance director I know I have to behave completely differently from an MD. The finance director's very fact and figure-orientated; very reserved. An MD's blue sky, energetic, passionate; he doesn't care so much about the detail. He's the 'let's make it happen,' and the finance guy's the one that says 'I'm not sure if we can make it happen.' The MD says 'I'm sure we can make it happen.' The finance director says 'well let me go away and do the numbers.' The MD says 'well whatever, we're going to make it work. That's why they're different. It's like a marriage.
“[As a salesman] you can't be a bean counter in front of an MD and be the passionate, blue sky thinker in front of the finance director. You have to know your audience and you have to give them the character that they need.
“That's all learning about personality types and it's learning how to engage them. The problem is that with most sales people, they have a naturally outgoing personality – that's why they're drawn to sales. It's funny, people who need social acceptance go into a job where there's high rejection. It's fascinating, isn't it?”
Are you a salesperson that's scared of the phone?
“There are certain rules that we were taught as children which interfere with our ability to act and behave like grown ups. For instance, one of the first rules you were taught as a kid is to never talk to strangers. No one ever told you that rule doesn't apply as a grown up. Psychiatrists call it scripted behaviour. You now have a script that goes over and over in your head that you've never been told that it doesn't apply.
“You're then told it's rude to interrupt. No one tells you that doesn't apply as an adult. Then you're taught that if you're asked a question, you have to answer, because you've been programmed your whole life to answer a question.
“So then you get a job in sales and you get a list of busy important people who are going to ask you questions, oh and now you have to interrupt them and they're a stranger. So psychologically, this fear paralyses you. Most salespeople, I guarantee, when they're picking up the phone most people are thinking 'please don't answer, please don't answer, please don't answer.'”
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