Recently I was working with a client and his new sales guy was young, and ambitious. there was one problem though, he only had one tool in his toolbox.
Confidence is a great attribute in Sales, no doubt. But often inexperience gives young sales people a false confidence because they haven’t been out in the wild, slapped around a bit, until they learn to be resilient and adaptable.
Anyway this client of mine, who is a rockstar boss, was almost pulling his hair out because this young sales gun kept bulldozing prospect calls with pushy confidence. When he got any kind of resistance from a prospect, he just double downed with more confidence, which escalated to the point of arrogance.
When you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. You only know how to hammer, so that’s what you do.
Even if a problem needs a twist, with a screwdriver, you don’t care. Because you’re not a screwdriver.
So you smash that thing as hard as you can.
You may laugh. But it’s not that funny when it’s costing you pipeline revenue though, like it was with my client.
How do I know this? I used to be like that unfortunately.
Back in my advertising days, even though I was quite high up in the food chain, as a Creative Director, it took a more seasoned business professional to give me the feedback I needed to hear.
We were in a pitch together, and I was kind of bulldozing the client with charisma and confidence.
Afterwards, the managing director of the agency pulled me aside privately and said, “You were great in the pitch…but…I think you need to work on your range.”
I was of course, pretty pissed off with the comment, and fired back with more bravado and confidence.
But he was right. I only had one style, one tool. Over time, I learned a broad range of ways to connect with a prospect.
So much so, that I got the reputation for being “magic” with clients. Becuase I’d barely say anything, and prospects would turn around from saying, “No no no,” to saying, “Maybe, maybe, actually, actually, yes, yes, yes.”
I’d even get called into sinking Sales conversations I wasn’t a part of, to help turn them around.
I wasn’t using any shiny Sales tricks, I was just connecting, with range.
If there were a magic underlying trick I would say it’s finding your authentic voice. You’re not always a hammer, you’re not always a screwdriver, or pliers. You are different things in different contexts, just like your prospects.
The sooner you work on that, the more you’ll improve your conversions.
What’s your authentic voice? How many tools do you have in your sales bag?
I hope you can start thinking about your authentic voice.
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