We used to worry about the language we use to have client conversations. Because some salespeople didn’t like scripts, mainly the ones who most need them, the idea of planning to have effective conversations has gone by the wayside. Very few sales organizations work on planning the dialogue that would improve effectiveness or provide their teams with language choices for the most common questions and concerns their clients are all but certain to raise. When conversations tend to play themselves over, there is never a reason to be unprepared or caught off guard.
We also used to role play. The part of the sales force that was embarrassed to play their part of the conversation in front of the peers believed it was some kind of a punishment. In fact, it was that these salespeople were self-conscious, fearing the judgement of their peers of being publicly humiliated. Now, without role play, the first time a salesperson says something out loud, it is both the client and the salesperson’s first time hearing the words. When rehearsal is possible, and when it improves your odds of winning, there is no reason not to do so.
Great sales organizations were built on rainmakers, those women and men who could go into green fields and create opportunities where none existed. Not only were they good at prospecting, they were unafraid of the telephone, and less fearful of clients. They were not ashamed to be salespeople. The word “hunter” had no negative connotation; it simply meant someone who could create an opportunity, something that is woefully in short supply in many sales organizations now.
Some things that should have never been lost now need to be found. Not everything that was once is true is now false. The false narrative that everything has either been disrupted or is in the process of being transformed now overstates the case when it misunderstands how things evolve. What comes next surely transcends what has some before while retaining the part of the truth that made what came before so valuable.
Larger principles and values tend not be easily disrupted. Values like honesty, integrity, and caring are becoming increasingly more important, not less. The ideas of preparation and rehearsal and creating new opportunities are more important now than ever, and they are not likely to lose their efficacy because some things have changed.
While others look to the future for help in understanding what to do now, looking backwards will provide you with better solutions.
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