My 1 Year Old Sweats A Lot When He Sleeps The Single Sales Principle and The 8 Myths of Selling

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The Single Sales Principle and The 8 Myths of Selling

The uniform sales principle states that:

“People buy when a compelling need is met with an authentic solution that offers perceived value.”

Simple. Too easy? Well, as Jim Collins states in his book Good to Great, “Freud, Darwin, and Einstein had one thing in common. They took a complex world and simplified it.” And single-minded salespeople do just that. They understand that selling doesn’t have to be complicated. They simply make shopping easier for the customer.

That’s one of the two things they have in common. They are customer-oriented, not sales-oriented.

Another thing single-minded salespeople have in common is that they never follow the 8 Myths of Sales. Just never.

The 8 Myths of Sales were taught by well-intentioned sales managers who were happy to pass on the wisdom and knowledge their sales leaders imparted to them. Like a cult, however, no one questioned whether they were true. The 8 myths may have worked in their day, but they just don’t today.

Do you remember how you felt when you realized that there really isn’t a Santa Claus? I remember it well. It was December 12, 1971, and my (so-called) best friend, Johnny Harrison, gave me the fateful news of a curly haired man. I felt like I got it. You don’t question what you were told as a child; you just think it’s true.

Well, that’s how I felt the day I realized that everything I had been taught in sales was a complete lie; everything is a myth. These were theories that had no substance in the modern world.

Walk into most sales floors and you’ll see the 8 Myths of Selling proudly displayed on the wall (probably next to Target and the “Inspiration” poster):

“Attitude determines height”

“People buy people”

“Always be closed”

“Customers like to talk about themselves”

“It’s a numbers game”

“Sell the Sizzle, Not the Sausage”

“Money Talks”

“The planning failed, failure is the plan”

Be honest, you believe at least half of the 8 myths yourself, don’t you? You’re not alone.

Most salespeople will refer to them as the “sales gospel.” Tell them these are myths and they’ll think you’re crazy.

On the surface, the 8 myths seem perfectly reasonable. In fact, when placed in a picture frame, they are all positively motivating. And I’m sure it made a lot of sense at the time. But things change. And the sale too.

Myth 1: Always be closed

If you have to use closing techniques to make the sale, you obviously haven’t proven that your product meets their needs. Instead of forcing a customer to make a decision they’ll regret, simply go back to where they lost it in the buying process and start over. When you apply the Single Sales Principle®, you don’t have to close…the customer has to ask to buy.

Myth #2: Attitude determines height

Abraham Lincoln asked the question: “How many legs does a dog have if you call its tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” If you don’t believe in your product, it won’t work if you look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re a tiger.

The better the value proposition, the better the salesperson’s attitude. Single-minded salespeople ensure that they believe deeply and sincerely in their value proposition.

Myth 3: People buy people

People buy when the product/service meets the customer’s needs in a cost-effective manner. Arguing with the customer doesn’t make up for a bad product fit.

Of course, personalization is important in sales. But isn’t it important in every profession? Friendly plumbers are more pleasant to deal with than unfriendly plumbers. Friendly bus drivers are more pleasant to deal with than unfriendly bus drivers. Friendly lawyers are more pleasant to deal with than unfriendly lawyers (unless, of course, they are on your team!) American author Ken Hubbard said, “Beauty is only skin deep, but it is a valuable asset if you are poor or if you are poor. no common sense!”

In the good/bad old days, salespeople used their charm (“prettiness”) to mask the lack of an authentic solution (“common sense”). Today’s professional customer sees through this. What matters most is what’s underneath.

Myth 4: Customers love to talk about themselves

We have participated in thousands of sales calls. Some were good. Some were bad. And some were downright nasty. The bad ones were the ones where the seller doesn’t ask at all. They present their features and benefits without considering what the customer might need.

Then came the nasty calls. The salesperson knew they needed to do some fact-finding and get as much information as possible about the customer. So they started a “Spanish Inquisition” and asked a list of pointless questions that did nothing but bore the customer.

Yes, there is a certain amount of information that needs to be identified in a sales intervention, since without it it is difficult to make a recommendation and know if the opportunity is worth fighting for. But it’s all for your benefit, not theirs. Needs make sales, not customer bios.

Myth 5: It’s a numbers game

Average salespeople go a long way by putting in long hours and interacting with lots of people. They then submit “phantom forecasts”; overly optimistic sales forecasts based on a series of offers that never materialize into business. This is because the needs identified in the sales call were not compelling needs.

Just because it’s needed doesn’t mean the customer will act. Many of the salespeople’s deals remain unclosed because the customer keeps postponing the decision. Playing with the numbers won’t help them get more sales. This only creates more work for themselves and those around them.

The Single Principled Salesperson ensures that the needs are convincing before presenting the solution. Why? Because only then are they sure that the customer will make them take action.

Myth 6: Sell the Sizzle, not the sausage

We love the concept of filming presentations. Our problem with the “sell the spin” myth is how salespeople think they can dazzle the customer with fancy presentations that are high quality but lack substance.

At first glance, “selling the hiss” seems completely logical. Sausage sizzling in a pan is much more likely to be sold than raw sausage sitting in the fridge. But that’s because the sizzle heightened his senses and alerted him to the fact that he was hungry. The buzz satisfied his compulsive need.

Have you ever tasted a sizzling sausage when you have food poisoning? You’d probably feel even worse. That’s because you don’t need hunger this time. In fact, food is the last thing you need.

Myth 7: Money talks

Listen to customers and you might think they really do believe money talks. Buyers are a brutal species, they take great pleasure in making the seller sweat over the prices. They are led to believe that it is all about cost and if the seller won’t lower the price, they will find a supplier who will. In fact, some customers believe the hype themselves.

But customers actually want value, not the cheapest price. If people wanted cheap we’d all be driving 10 year old cars and shopping at charity shops. Products are considered expensive only if their value is not appreciated by the customer. You can never lose because of price, only because of value.

Myth 8: You don’t need to plan, failure is a plan

Salespeople fall into two camps: those who plan too much and those who plan too little.

People who plan too much tend to be ‘busy fools’, meaning they do very little. When we go on the phone with these vendors, they show us all the plans they have: a tour of the client’s site; previous history; a list of questions that will be asked; competitor information, etc. The problem is that they don’t even refer to it.

The second type are salespeople who do very little planning. In fact, most sales people fall into this category. You might be surprised to learn that Custom Sellers do the same.

“Hooray!” I hear the cry from the sales community. “What? Don’t you have to plan?” Not quite!

Management guru Peter Drucker defined the difference between “effectiveness” and “effectiveness” this way:

“Efficiency means doing things well, and effectiveness means doing the right things.”

Single-minded salespeople are effective because they determine the right thing to do. Therefore, they often work fewer hours than average performers.

Cartoonist Doug Larson has this to say about time management: “For vanishing acts, it’s hard to beat the eight hours you’re supposed to have left after eight sleeps and eight work.” I think we can all relate to that feeling. Life is too short to plan for it.

Summary of the 8 myths of sales

Winston Churchill said: “Out of intense complexities emerge simplicities.” Selling has become a complicated business. But it doesn’t have to be. Simple is good.

And that’s why great salespeople follow the Unified Selling Principle®. If you focus on matching compelling claims with credible solutions that offer perceived value, you will succeed in selling. We guarantee it. Follow these 8 myths and you will be disappointed and disillusioned with our wonderful profession.

The original article was written by Mark Blackmore (of Lammore MD).

For more information on the “One Selling Principle” sales training program, please contact:

Ben Thompson

[email protected]

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