There are people who believe that the choice of medium is the dominant factor for producing results when prospecting. They believe that the tools are what produces a better outcome, that some choice of medium is so much better than another that salespeople should shift their efforts to those tools. This group believes that the primary challenge for salespeople is that they lack the knowledge of how to use the relatively new tools, believing that the primary challenge in selling well today is a lack of training in using them. More still, they believe that single change worth noting as it pertains to sales results is the internet, when in fact, it is one of many, and not the most important.
Like those who have tried to improve sales effectiveness in the past, they look for things that can easily be trained and employed. Like the sales manager that attempts to improve sales by demanding more activity because he is at a total loss as to how to help people become more effective, this group of people believes that shifting the focus to the use of new tools will increase the salesperson’s effectiveness. The tools, however, do not increase a salesperson’s effectiveness, even if they improve their efficiency.
The tools do not create any value for the client to suggest that the salesperson using a certain tool is someone worth meeting with, someone with the business acumen or situational knowledge to improve their future results. If there is a challenge in prospecting now, it is a lack of value being traded for time, not the medium being used to make the ask.
The tools offer nothing when it comes to controlling the process, gaining the commitments necessary to consult with clients and help them make the changes they need to make inside their own company. They offer even less when it comes to helping deal with a client’s internal conflicts, competing priorities, and a systemic resistance to change.
The new tools do nothing to improve the intangibles that weigh heavily in a decision to buy from one person instead of another. They don’t make one a peer, provide executive presence, or create a preference to work with an individual or their company.
The poor thinking here is that the tools are what is missing when it comes to producing better results. The tools themselves provide no insight. They produce no content; they only deliver the content. They are not a reason for a client to take a meeting or to decide to engage with a salesperson. Those who focus on tools inflate the value of them to a level they cannot possibly deliver.
The tools available to you in sales are useful, but they are not enough to make you an effective salesperson. In most cases, they are a distraction from the real challenges of selling well, and your efforts are better spent working on the messenger and not the medium.
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Filed under: Sales Knowledge