Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Education the Sales suicide - the dangers of driving a coach and horses through the customer's opinions

Unlike USA Presidents ,Professional Salespeople put themselves up for election every call not  once before the presidency of a second term.

The current unedifying scenes of 'kicking the can down the streets' of Washington in the public/ private negotiations on  Capitol Hill over president Obama’s budget is an excellent example of how business negotiations should not emulate.

 Verbal fiscal fisticuffs such as these are a very high stakes game.

The gamble and the risk to the global economy have significance well beyond the borders of the USA herself.

How you argue matters is  often seen as a measure of  the educated person to some.

Yet Mark Twain viewed  education a cauliflower as merely a 

"cabbage with a college education."

A college education is a wonderful thing .

Learning to argue is a rigorous and robust way to study and test academic  notions.

However it maybe  worth remembering  the American nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dennis Prager who is quoted as saying

“ One of the great mind destroyers of college education is the belief that if it's very complex, it's very profound.”

 Sometimes such an education is hugely detrimental to otherwise talented sales professionals.

How as well as when you use that education in a sales conversation is critically important.

The customer may not be correct commercially. 

They may not be correct technically but never forget they are the customer .

 They pay for your goods, they pay for your services.  They ‘buy into’ you and me

Coach and horses giving rides at the "Apple Day" at Fulham Palace , London
When handling sales resistance such as price , bad past experience, minor technical objection, resistance to change, ‘happy with present supplier’ avoid the temptation to drive a coach and horses through the client’s opinions.

When you over emphasise the large size of the holes or gaps in their argument as you see them it can feed your competitive spirit

 You may win an argument but likely as not lose the business .

If you really need to expose weak points or "holes" in an argument of a buyer, figuratively drive the horses and carriage very gently through them like the pace of the video link below. Or best of all avoid them altogether

( Click)   Driving a coach and horses

Years ago on the Children’s TV programme on the BBC called "Cracker-Jack they held a quiz where children accumulated prizes which they had to hold onto. If they dropped a prize they were out of the game.

If they got a question wrong they were given a cabbage to hold. Three cabbages and you were out.

Will the Republicans drop their cabbages or the President his cauliflowers ? Their educated people on both sides of this argument but maybe some skill-full selling is needed and some prayers.

I guess we will find out this comingThursday

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