Upgrade Your Selling Skills

How do you know it's time to upgrade your selling skills?

That's not an easy question to answer.

Chances are your sales prospects and customers will know before
you do that it's time for an upgrade.

My wife and I are having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
Our server meant well but he didn't do well.

He was sweating profusely when he took our drink order. I couldn't
stop thinking about the beads of perspiration on his forehead and
cheeks. I kept hoping those droplets of sweat wouldn't find their
way into my glass of Cabernet.

His shirt tails were hanging outside of his belt, and he just didn't
look professional.

Look, I wouldn't want a dentist dripping sweat on my face while he's
replacing a crown and neither would you.

I certainly don't want a server dripping his beads of perspiration
into my drink and onto my food.

This guy needs to upgrade his skills. I'll spare you the details of
what I would recommend.

Here's a different tale.

Another person who should consider upgrading, in this case, his
selling skills.

In three months my auto lease will expire. I really like the car
I'm driving, in fact I have leased five cars from the same
manufacturer over the last 15 years.

So I start thinking, maybe it's time for a change.

I visited another dealership. My wife and I walked into the
showroom and immediately observed six salespeople walking around
and gazing at us - because that's what most car salespeople do.

So Victor introduced himself to us.

I explained that I still had three months left on my lease and
I'm just looking to get an idea to see what else is available.

He was happy to show me several models and told us he could
probably pay off my lease so I wouldn't have to wait three months
until my lease expired.

I asked him if that would increase my lease payment? He told me
it wouldn't.

You know of course, when something sounds too good to be true,
it usually is.

The plan was for me to call Victor the next day with my existing
lease account number. He would then call the leasing company to
find out what the lease payoff amount would be.

So far so good. Victor never called. In fact, I called him twice
and left messages on his cell phone.

I finally called his sales manager, 2 days later, and left him
a message. Victor finally called.

Of course he apologized - he said he had been very busy.

This luxury auto dealership had a reduced monthly lease payment
number prominently displayed on the hood of the car. It was a
very attractive number.

Now I was born at night, but not last night. There's no way
this dealership could absorb making the payment to buy out my
lease without passing that amount over to me.

Victor was not a newbie salesperson. His office had plaques
showing he was salesman of the month 11 times during the past
12 months.

Victor proceeded to tell me that the very attractive leasing
number displayed on the showroom car would be increased by
$200 a month.

It was just a big waste my time. And speaking of time, it's
time for Victor to upgrade selling skills.

You see in both of these instances I recognized the need for
the upgrade before the server and the auto salesman did.

And what about you? How will you recognize it's time for you
to upgrade your selling skills?

Maybe it's time if you haven't attended a sales training program
in a while.

Maybe it's time if you haven't read 12 sales books during the
last year.

Maybe it's time if you haven't set aside a block of time to assess
all the skills required to do the work that you do.

You see, you can't be the world's greatest salesperson if you're
employing undesirable selling skills.

Here are some questions for you to think about.

Do you fill your sales presentations with lots of "Ahs" and "Ums?"

Do you tend to ask close-ended questions instead of the more
valuable open-ended questions?

Do you routinely make sales calls without having written sales
call objectives?

Do you think your solutions are more important than you sales
prospects' problems?

When you look over your shoulder, are you selling or solving

It's real easy for any of us to become complacent.

It's more difficult to upgrade your selling skills.

The key is to focus on your Continuous Personal Improvement (CPI)
without being sidetracked by the daily distractions and interruptions.

Finally, I think one of the biggest mistakes most salespeople make
is to believe their self-development is their company's responsibility.

Self-actualization, self-assurance, self-confidence, self-improvement,
self-reliance, self-realization, all have one thing in common - SELF!

That's you!

You can't delegate your self-improvement to someone else. It's
your responsibility.

So don't be too quick to dismiss the need for an upgrade to your
selling skills.

Imagine coming to a fork in the road.

One sign says self-destruction.

The other sign says self-development.

Robert Frost made these words famous. "Two roads diverged
in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that
has made all the difference."

Your self-development will make all the difference in the world
for you too!

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