When Did You Become a “Know-it-All?”


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“Good is the enemy of great.”  This quote from Jim Collins, author of several bestselling books, is one that every salesperson should have posted in their office.  Too often, when salespeople become good, they stop striving to become great.

What causes a salesperson to stop growing and learning?  There are a few reasons and I’d hope you’ll share some of your views and opinions.   

Here is a big one that I heard more than once.   “I’ve been selling for years.”  The translation is, “I have mastered this profession…I’m on auto pilot.”   You’ve been selling for 10 years but the real question is this:  Have you changed how you sell over the last 10 years?  The world has changed but many selling professionals have not. 

For example, how many of you have studied the neuroscience behind how people buy and incorporated into your sales process?   If you are still spewing features, advantages and benefits, you sound like a walking website, and you are definitely not connecting with the brains emotional center, the amygdala.   

The amygdala, often referred to as “the old brain” is the gatekeeper of the brain.  It is always on the alert for danger.  And if it senses danger, it sends a person into a fight or flight response. 

Salespeople that are not keeping up with the times still ask leading questions such as, “Wouldn’t you agree?”  Or, “If we could would you want to…”  These type of questions quickly move prospects into fight or flight mode because they know they are being set-up to be closed.  As a result, they become hostile towards the salesperson (fight) or shut down the meeting early (flight).   Neither response results in business.   

Ask yourself the following questions to see if you are on a path of continuous improvement or following a path of stagnation:

  • I read at least one business book a month.
  • I ask other salespeople for advice on what they do to open and close business.
  • I invest in at least one seminar a year that will help me grow professionally.
  • I subscribe to one business magazine a month.
  • I read the Wall Street Journal so I can connect and carry on better conversations with the C-Suite. 

What have you changed in the last year about your sales approach?  Are you a know-it-all or a learn-it-all type salesperson?  Are you good or are you great? 

Good Selling!

Colleen Stanley

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.


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