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Five Major Sales Weaknesses - Objective Management Group Sales Assessment & Training

1 COMMENT | THURSDAY, JULY 2ND, 2009
In our sales evaluation training we discovered there are five major weaknesses that derail sales performance. Each of these when fixed can improve sales performance 25-50% or more. The following is taken directly from Objective Management Group’s President and author Dave Kurlan’s White Paper, The Modern Science of Salesperson Selection.
 
While identifying dozens of weaknesses that could hinder sales performance I discovered five major weaknesses which, when present in certain combinations, prevent salespeople from executing their sales plans making success more uncertain.
 
Many people choose sales after being told they had a perfect personality for selling. While that could be true, many of those same people feel complete only when people like them. Salespeople who are easily liked have a great advantage but salespeople who need their prospects to like them often make that a priority over getting the business. Salespeople with need for approval usually have difficulty asking tough questions, often have a fear of rejection and avoid confrontation.
 
Salespeople that think, analyze, create, strategize or otherwise talk to themselves when prospects catch them by surprise become emotionally involved instead of remaining in the moment. When they are emotionally involved, their listening skills tend to be self-focused rather than prospect focused, causing them to miss important points and lose control of the meeting.
 
3. Self-Limiting Record Collection (often an opposite of Empathy)
Every salesperson has as many as 60 beliefs that either support the selling process (“I have the ability to be effective with company presidents”) or sabotage (”I don’t like making cold calls”) it. The collection of self-limiting beliefs is what I refer to as the Record Collection. Ineffective salespeople often have 10 or more of these self-limiting records while more effective salespeople have very few.
 
4. Non-Supportive Buy Cycle (an opposite of Empathy)
Buy Cycle refers to the way a salesperson makes a major purchase for his or herself. When one buys in a way that supports the selling process, it is a Supportive Buy Cycle. Most ineffective salespeople have Non-Supportive Buy Cycles. They think it over before making decisions, comparison shop, and shop for the lowest price, perform research or think that a relatively small amount of money is a lot. When their prospects wish to engage in this behavior, the salesperson understands (empathy) and the techniques for handling stalls and put-offs of this kind are either not used at all or used ineffectively.
 
 
5. Discomfort with Issues Involving Money (a frequent opposite of Empathy)
Many salespeople are uncomfortable escalating a question about budget, or whether a prospect can afford the product or service being offered, to the next level. Their discomfort prevents them from helping a prospect figure out how to pay or even where the money could possibly come from. When prospects don’t have the budget, can’t envision increasing the budget or don’t know how they can find the money, the salesperson empathizes rather than digging deeper, asking questions and making suggestions to solve the monetary shortage.
 
I’ve summed these up and provided links back to the blogs I created on each one of them for you to explore more if you’d like. Let’s look at the four critical sales success elements next blog.


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