False Dichotomies in Sales Advice

The idea of a false dichotomy is that one is presented a choice of two ideas that are seemingly exclusive when they are not. It also leaves out other possibilities. The false choice forces the person to choose one to the exclusion of the other.

When says that you can either cold call or use social channels to reach your prospective client, they pretend that one precludes the other. You can easily see how one could use the telephone and use social tools, something many people routinely do. You should reject this choice on principle.

You may also have read that you can either build relationships or offer insights and advice. I have never understood the choice being presented here because the very idea of trusted advisor suggests that you have a relationship and you have advice. Why would you have to choose between developing a strong relationship and possessing the ability to be good counsel? Isn’t it more likely that the strong relationship would aid you in having a greater understanding about what advice you offer and improve your ability to help execute it?

Mutually exclusive choices are different. You cannot be a rainmaker (one who creates opportunities) and an order-taker (one who wait passively for opportunities). You cannot be a trusted advisor (the component parts being trust and advice) and be a know-nothing (one who lack the ability to advise).

When you are presented with an “or,” look and see if there isn’t also possible for there to be an “and.” Some things that are presented as opposites are no such thing. When two things are truly opposite, when they are genuinely mutually exclusive, look and see if the context of the way they are being presented makes one choice better than another in a certain situation, and keep an open mind to looking at the opposite choice in other circumstances.

Look carefully at anything deprives you of choices.

Filed under: Sales Acumen

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