Was talking last week to a world-beating salesperson. (Female.) She dismissed most sales training as stuff and nonsense. “They teach you to ‘deal with’ ‘objections’ and the like. They ought to teach you how to keep your mouth shut and listen. You know, Tom, the old one about why God gave us ‘one mouth and two ears.’ ‘Great sales skills’ are 99% about respect and empathy and listening.”

I’m afraid my immediate reaction was to go into a funk about my own lost sales opportunities. Most have not been because I failed to ‘close,’ or some such. They were by-products of being so full of my product and its advantages that I’d go on for 20 minutes without taking a breath! (I point out that my discussion partner was a woman, because I believe women do make the best salespeople. Some may be less aggressive than a red-meat devouring male—and that may well be their primary advantage! Think about it—before you make your next sales hire.) (Hey, let me know what you think … please.)

Tom Peters posted this on August 19, 2004, in Trend$.
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