You Can’t Learn Sales From a Book
I came across a blog today written by a sales consulting firm which had a step by step analysis on how to close the “deal.” It was well written but over-simplified. To close a deal successfully, you are going to have to do a lot more than read a blog post. When I started this business, I decided to focus on sales recruiting because sales isn’t something you can just learn from a book. As a salesman myself, I feel I have the necessary background to determine whether or not a given candidate has what it takes to be a successful sales professional.
Sales is so much more than a simple step by step process. There are hundreds of books about how to sell and a million different “follow these easy steps” guides that promise to make you a fortune if you follow a few simple guidelines. The problem is that even if you execute each step exactly by the book, you cannot predict how the other party is going to react. Sales is a conversation. If sales were as easy as “1, 2, 3” I would be out of a job.
This is where consultative selling comes in. Consultative selling techniques are more focused on the customer. By learning to read your customer, you will learn how to be a better salesperson. This kind of skill is something that takes a great deal of practice and cannot just be absorbed from a blog or text book. My advice to all sales people is to start building you network. Get to know people in your industry. Reading books and blogs won’t hurt, but at the end of the day its the person to person connections you make that really count.
Ken Sundheim is the owner of a sales and marketing recruiting firm.