How’s that for a title? Straight out of what we’re all trying to do today with tools like sales automation and CRM; with devices like smartphones and tablets; with interactions by webinars and web conferencing in addition to phone and email; with Big Data and Drip Marketing and High-Velocity Selling; and with training in the principles of adaptive selling.
Wait. Adaptive selling? What’s that?
Before I explain, I have a confession. The title of this article is plagiarized. Yes, I stole it verbatim from three PhD’s – Harish Sujan, Barton Weitz, and Mita Sujan. It appeared in the August, 1988 edition of the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Is there a statute of limitations on plagiarism, because that makes the title nearly 25 years old.
Anyway, back to the question, what is adaptive selling and how can I learn to do it and work smarter? Well, according to their paper, adaptive selling is altering your “sales approaches based on the nature of the customer.” That seems pretty basic, doesn’t it? But is it so basic that the term is gone? Google it. From my computer the first five hits were for simplistic definitions from Investopedia and The Business Dictionary, a referral by the American Marketing Association to a 1990 paper in some other journal, a scholarly paper from 2nd World Conference on Innovation and Computer Science held in Kuşadası, Turkey, and this paper. Not exactly your top search term, apparently.