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Sales Focus: 4 Myths of Sales

Recently I came across an article that was discussing the sales myths people hold.  As I read it I thought they were almost cliched in what they said, but then I realized that clichés generally come about because of their overuse in our daily lives.  The cliché is in reality yesterday’s witticism.  As I read the myths I thought I would share my thoughts on the ones that provoked me to think. 
  1. Sales is all about the money…Money is certainly an important driver for sales people.  How many sales people are not motivated by money?  How many people do you know resent the amount of money good sales people can make?  The truth is that money represents a large part of why sales is so important.  Without sales you do not have a company regardless of how great your HR is or your operations people.  

    The truth is, sales is too hard to be solely motivated by greed.  Good sales people are paid well because it is the lifeblood of the company, but a good salesperson motivated only by greed will not last.  There has to be an inherent satisfaction for a truly good salesperson that involves the recognition and feeling of achievement in hitting sales target.  The customer’s satisfaction and the ability to help them solve needs has to be of importance to a sales person.  Doing an excellent job and taking pride from it must be a motivator.  Without these internal drivers, no one would want to stay in sales.  The work can be grueling and it is certainly the most unforgiving…either you hit numbers or you do not.  Sales people have to work hard, take joy from the successes they get and be able to overcome the myriad of reasons why customers will not buy…and it is not just about the money.
  2. Using a script makes you sound like a robot…People who make great speeches, are professionals in the craft, will practice, practice, practice.  The truth of the matter is having a solid sales pitch that is consistent and consistently honed for better messaging creates the best opportunity for you to share information in an effective, sharp and condensed package.  The best sales organizations incorporate best practices into their training for reps and those all will have standard pitches that each person needs to know.  

    Often you will hear a sales person say they want to be able to react to the room or they need to be flexible in how they approach customers.  Having a solid pitch does not eliminate that opportunity, but it provides a platform and take off position with which to discuss your product or service.  The structure of your organized sales pitch provides framework for the reaction and discussion moving forward.  You cannot control the message without developing the framework around which the discussion will take place.  Sometimes I think people just do not want to put in the hard work to learn and train to give a good, practiced sales pitch from a script.  
  3. The best salespeople are extroverts…The truth is that extroverts can be good salespeople, but they need to temper some of their inner drive to be seen and heard and learn to listen.  The most successful sales people are able to listen to their customers.  A customer wants someone that will help them solve issues and improve their own performance.  People that talk a lot or want to be the center of attention can fail to focus on the most important person in the room…the customer.  We all can be sales people regardless of our natural tendencies.  The key is to take advantage of those tendencies.  If you are an extrovert, you are comfortable with new people, but make sure you listen.  If you are an introvert, you have to be willing to step out, but your natural ability to listen will help you.  Everyone can learn to sell. 
  4. Cold Calling doesn’t work…Maybe it does not work for you, but cold calling most certainly does work.  The problem is not cold calling, the problem is the sales person.  Cold calling takes persistence, patience and thick skin.  The billion dollar companies that do use cold calling will certainly tell you that you are wrong if you say it does not work.  It may not work for you, but that is not because cold calling does not work.  

    Cold calling is hard, dirty work that requires hundreds of calls to get a sale or two.  Cold calling will never be a joy, but it will be the basis for success if you are willing to engage in the proper role of research to develop prospects, patience to allow your calls to mature, and diligence to not be discouraged by the hundreds of no’s you will receive. 

I know each person is working hard during these difficult times, but just remember to work hard to develop your sales and to enjoy the help you are giving your customers as you solve problems for them.  

R. Kyle Fresh
President
WJW Associates, LTD
 
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About WJW

As the company has grown, it has expanded its offerings to include dedicated equipment, freight management services, intermodal, flat, van, reefer, and specialized services. WJW brings the flexibility and dedication of a small company combined with the expertise and capability of a large one.
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