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Sales Coaching: Time to Sharpen Your Ax

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Sharpen AX

As near as I can figure, salespeople only sell about 5% of the time!  Oh, we’re all busy doing things, but selling isn’t one of them. We visit customers, deliver literature, chat about the weather and sports, and talk about our weekend.

You’ll notice I’ve included myself in the above paragraph. Yes, I also find myself in this situation from time to time. It’s not that I’m lazy, or that I don’t want to do my job. Sometimes I simply lose my prime focus (selling), and I find a thousand other things to occupy my day. How about you?

Some salespeople are like papers in a light breeze. When they leave the office in the morning, they flutter off to wherever the first wind takes them.

Others have a great sense of direction and purpose. They know exactly where they’re going and what they’ll do when they get there. The only problem is that it often has little to do with their primary function — selling.

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Selling Is a Full-Contact Sport

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Times they are a-changing… and so is the face of selling. While selling remains a full-contact sport, there are some rules changes. Before we look at these, let’s examine the sport of Buying.

Unlike selling, buying has moved to being a non-contact sport for many items. Nowadays, buyers can actually sit in front of their televisions with a remote control and a telephone and make purchases without ever coming in contact with a salesperson. Within a very few years, buyers won’t even need the telephone. You’ll simply push a few buttons on your remote control and a signal will be sent from the TV to the remote site and the order will be placed, your credit card debited, and, in some cases, the product might even be delivered before you turn off your TV for the day. Sound far-fetched? It’s already a reality for pay TV, so why not with simple commodities?

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Make Price a Non-Critical Issue

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Price Cut

Some salespeople will tell you that price is all-important and making it a non-critical issue is nigh-on impossible. Not so! I’m about to show you how you can make price a non-critical issue in any non-transactional sale.

Price is almost always a critical issue in a transactional sale. A transactional sale is one where the salesperson doesn’t have to do a lot of selling. This is because the prospect has usually decided what it is he or she wants to buy. Most commodity sales tend to be transactional in nature. In this type of sale, price is usually the key, if not overriding, factor. The farther away you move your product or service from being a commodity or transactional sale, the better your chances of minimizing the impact of price on the end result.

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