In an earlier article I asked whether selling is more of a skill or a discipline.
My take on it: It comes down to about 80% discipline, and 20% skill.
Some people took umbrage with my view, probably because they want to glorify this fine occupation of ours, making it seem difficult, and therefore somehow more professional.
But the real difficulty is summoning the discipline to do what has already been proven, in millions upon millions of transactions, over many decades, to get buyers to buy.
For instance, it's well known that smart practitioners sell benefits and not features, alone.
The car salesman doesn't simply push a hybrid because it consists of two styles of propulsion under the hood. He talks about its overall economy and efficiency, which during the course of ownership will add up to big bucks, especially as gas prices soar.
That salesperson has learned to say: "This is a hybrid, AND HERE'S WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU.
That "meaning" phrase is crucial, not only because it prepares the client to hear the benefit. It is a prompt to the seller himself, to ALWAYS SELL THE BENEFIT after he has mentioned a feature.
This is sales discipline at work. It isn't something we do some of the time: We must do it all of the time.
Likewise, the ABC's of selling, as you've probably heard, are translated as follows: Always Be Closing.
There should be no such thing as a sales talk that isn't driven to a close, or an objection that is countered that isn't followed by a close.
You have to ask for the sale; that's basic, and once may not be enough.
What makes you ask, over and again?
You've got it: discipline.
Remind your salespeople about its importance, and if you sell on your own, keep selling yourself on what discipline means to you!
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 750 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered the world's foremost expert in telephone effectiveness, customer service, and sales development. A top-rated speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org