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New tricks from old dogs

New tricks from old dogs

Sales training tips from Irish entrepreneurs

In many of our sales training sessions we try and integrate as much diverse content as we can – not just to support the narrative of the discussion but to sustain the interest of the participants.

Audio, visual, kinaesthetic and the odd PowerPoint slide.

The content is pulled from a range of sources including motivational speakers from sport, business, music, film, the advertising industry – if it’s relevant to sales training, sales coaching, helps with shifting perspective, attitude and mindset then we are happy to use it.

One piece of content that I use regularly and still love is the 1980s commercial for The Guardian – they reprised the idea in the 2000s – I still prefer the original but it’s fair to say that both commercials convey a particular message.

One piece of content that I love but hate using is the GlenGarry GlenRoss Baldwin clip – cinematically its incredible but from a sales training perspective its predictable and one would hope, dated.

The ABC – Always, Be Closing narrative should be dead and buried.

If you’re reading this and can relate it in some deep professional way, then we need to talk.

In his book ‘To Sell is Human’ Daniel Pink talks about the ABCs of selling but sheds an entirely different light on the subject.

For Pink the ABCs don’t represent Always Be Closing but:

  • Attunement – being in tune with your customers
  • Buoyancy – the ability to defend and protect from rejection
  • Clarity – find out what the customer’s real problem

Daniel Pink is the author of 6 business best sellers and personally, I have enjoyed all of his work – To Sell is Human is excellent and a real insight into the mindset of New Age buying and selling.

This new ABC nemonic is not at all new however – I have been exposed to this kind of thinking through working with some clients over the last number – no acronyms and whilst the language might be very parochial to the north of Ireland the sentiment is exactly the same.

Long before I read Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence I had heard the phrase:

“Always try and figure out the picture in the other man’s head”

Same as attunement but perhaps  a less complex description of the importance of perspective, context and understanding when it comes to the world view of the person you are trying to engage with.

Not just in selling – maybe all important relationships?

A simple phrase and guiding principle that I have heard from 2 successful entrepreneurs.

‘Buoyancy’ visually describes the challenges of keeping emotionally afloat following the disappointment of the ‘NO’

It’s not a phrase you would hear too often in Ireland outside of maritime circles.

One of those businessmen taught me the phrase:

 “No just means Not Yet – embrace rejection. It’s part of the game”

C is for Clarity.

It makes sense with the benefit of hindsight, but retrospective selling shouldn’t be part of a sustainable business development strategy.

 “The problem you need to solve is usually not the problem you are looking at.”

Less succinct than ‘clarity’ but it definitely makes sense – problem solving isn’t the game.

It’s now all about problem finding.

I’ve been lucky to work with some very clever entrepreneurial minds where I have been as much of a mentee as I have been a sales trainer, sales coach or sales mentor.

Success does leave clues. I’m in no way knocking ‘To Sell is Human’ – far from it but sometimes the wisdom is to be found much closer to home.


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