The Dumbest Mistake that Smart Sales People Make

The Dumbest Mistake that Smart Sales People Make

Last Updated on November 3, 2020

Listen to your prospects

It’s been 17 years, and I still remember my first sales manager saying:

“Don’t worry, you’ll get it. Smart people always have a hard time with this at first.”

I didn’t want to admit it. But weeks later, when I saw people half as smart as me closing four times the sales, I started to get it.

Smart people have a harder time learning to sell. If you’re a smart person and tired of seeing “mental oysters” outperform you on the sales board, this could be one of the most important messages you ever read.

If you’re a sales manager who uses our call recording solutions to monitor sales calls and turn them into training opportunities, this will show you how to turn your smartest sales people into your BEST performers.

Let’s start with the #1 challenge for smart sales people…

Rule #1: Smart People Don’t Perceive that They Can Be Wrong

It’s hard for smart people to admit that they’re wrong. So when a prospect disagrees with you and whips out an objection for why they don’t want to buy, your first instinct is to argue with them. This insults the prospect’s ego and many times they won’t buy, even if they KNOW it’s a good decision. What smart people need to remember is that the prospect doesn’t expect you to agree with them.

They DO want to know that you UNDERSTAND and value their objection, regardless of how irrational or “dumb” it might sound. Andrew Carnegie warned against arguing in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People. He said that no matter how irrational someone is being, no matter how “evil” their actions might seem, they ALWAYS believe that they’re doing it for the right reasons.

It’s smarter to affirm that you understand the prospect. THEN you present another viewpoint instead of trying to debate. For example:

“I understand you want to talk to your wife Mr. Prospect, I’m married too. I’d just like to know what YOU think about this decision.”

Many times, this will reveal the REAL objection. If they insist that they need to talk to their wife, they’re probably telling the truth. If not, they’ll usually tell you what they really think. Then, you can overcome the REAL objection. But a debate only causes them to defend their objection even more, whether it’s the real one or not.

CALL RECORDING TIP: When monitoring calls, listen for the point when a sales call becomes a debate. These are often the spots where the reps need to be right is overpowering their ability to listen, to understand and to smoke out the REAL objection.

Rule #2: Smart People Like to Talk About What they Know

This is no mystery. When you know something well, you want to talk about it. You want to educate people, to wow them, to help them or to prove that you’re an expert. But empathy will take you much farther than expertise. Many times, ONE insight is enough to demonstrate your expertise. You don’t need a 5 minute exposition. But this only works if you’ve demonstrated empathy and understanding first.

After the deal is closed, customers are much more open to being educated. But empathy is the key to getting them there. That means, since you have two ears and one mouth, you should listen at least twice as much, and twice as OFTEN as you talk. This is how you let a conversation breathe, and many times, this is enough to get the rep out of lecture mode, and the sale will be closed right there.

CALL RECORDING TIP: When monitoring calls, listen for your reps who talk more than 15 to 20 seconds without the customer responding. These are the reps who need to be trained to stop and ask for the customer’s perspective.

Last Updated on November 3, 2020