Seth Godin’s blog, Nine things marketers ought to know about salespeople, left one very small gap which I decided to pop an idea into. The reason I enjoy reading Seth’s ideas is because they resonate! Maybe that’s also why I like to find a tiny crack to contribute another small idea. Here are Seth’s 11 and my two small additions at the end – but not meant to be last in priority. What are your additions?
1. Selling is hard. Harder than you may ever realize. So, if I seem stressed, cut me some slack.
2. Selling is personal. When I make a promise, I have to keep it. If you force me to break that promise (by changing processes, features or a rollout schedule) I will never forgive you.
3. Selling is interpersonal. I am not moving bits, I'm trying to change people's minds, one person at a time. So, no, I can't tell you when the sale will close. No one knows, especially the prospect.
4. I love selling. I particularly love selling great stuff, well marketed. Don't let me down. Don't ask me to sell lousy stuff.
5. I'm extremely focused on the reward half of the equation. Salespeople love to keep score, and that's how I keep score. So don't change the rules in the middle, please.
6. I have no earthly idea what really works. I don't know if it's lunch or that powerpoint or the Christmas card I sent last year. But you know what? You have no clue what works either. I'll keep experimenting if you will.
7. There is no comparison, NONE, between an inbound call (one that you created with marketing) and a cold call (one that you instructed me to create with a phone book.) Your job is to make it so I never need to make a cold call.
8. Usually, customers lie when they turn me down. They make up reasons. But every once in a while, I actually learn something in the field. Ask!
9. I know you'd like to get rid of me and just take orders on the web. But that's always going to be the low-hanging fruit. The game-changing sales, at least for now, come from real people interacting with real people.
10. (a bonus, switching points of view for a moment): I know that selling is hard and unpredictable. But if you're going to be in sales, you've got to be prepared to measure and predict and plan. You need to give me sales reports and call lists and summaries. It does neither of us any good to keep your day a secret. If you don't plan and organize, I can't do my job of marketing.
11. (and bonus number two): The two worst pieces of feedback you can give me (because neither is really actionable or especially effective): a. lower the price and b. make our product just like our competitors.
12 My two-bit offering 1–- Rules can change often when we throw ideas together with smart people and I meet them daily.
13. My two-bit offering 2 -- Every one of us must sell something at one time or another, and Seth’s ideas can give us the guts to step up to the plate and crack a good deal with both customers in mind and also with profits in hand.
Thanks Seth… you did it again!