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02.22.07


Death Of A Sales Pitch

By André Bell

Far too many people in business waste time
pursuing leads that refuse to pick up the phone or return calls.

In your initial interactions, the prospect seemed 'hot' for your services. You did your song and dance. You sent literature. Now... nothing. The prospect has turned cold to all attempts to further the selling process.

Why? Because they suffer from an ailment more common than the common cold. Salespressuritis: a sickening fear of being sold.

Fortunately there's a simple cure for this fatal ailment: avoid selling in the first place.

I don't mean to steer clear of all contact. I mean toss out the gimmicky, 1980s talk-your-head-off, push-for-a-close techniques the 'gurus' of the past preached. In business-to-business sales, gimmicky pitches DON'T WORK. If anyone buys, they buy in spite of the gimmicks not because of them.

Gimmicky sales pitches are also ineffective in any big ticket sales situation, regardless of the market you're selling to. There are two reasons why gimmicky sales pitches never have worked and never will. Today's market is far too sophisticated. They've "seen it all" with respect to alternate choice closes, Ben Franklin close, and all the other stupid techniques that insult a buyer's intelligence.

Second, fast-talking, outsmart-your-listener, old school techniques don't work if you're selling anything over a few hundred bucks. This applies to what you're selling. Lets face it, there's not an industry alive that will pay sales reps to pitch products or services under $100 (except maybe MLM). So, chances are, what you're selling qualifies as a big ticket item and you need to know these important steps if you want greater sales success.

The key to sales success in today's corporate and big ticket markets is to talk less and listen more.

Here's proof. In 1992 I came across a small case of sales training booklets that would change my selling career forever. The case was labeled, Xerox's Professional Selling Skills System III. The promises of the system seemed somewhat outrageous. And the sales model was unlike any sales system I had ever seen before then. But I reserved judgment and like Mikey... I tried it... I read every page of the system. I worked through the sample case studies and scenarios. I had no clue if my efforts would pay off or not.

Low Rate eCommerce & Retail Plans

The results? My sales more than doubled. In fact, finally finding a selling "system" instead of winging the sales process made me the top salesperson in under 30 days at that company where I had previously been struggling just to keep my job. People with more experience than I had years on this planet were selling less than me.

Pretty impressive stuff considering the month before I received a written warning of dismissal if my sales didn't turn around. And here, all of a sudden, I became number one on the totem pole. Sweet!!

However, I DON'T recommend using the Xerox Selling System today.

The Xerox sales model is a tedious process to use. Yes, it's more effective than "winging it". But the problems the system brings are many.

The process is easily fouled if you forget one or more techniques or miss hearing your "cue" for what to say next. And worse, the Xerox selling model often causes objections where none existed before.

How? By encouraging you to attempt to force replies from your listener, by requiring you to follow a bunch of predetermined hoops to get your listener to jump through (which they probably don't want to do) and by encouraging you to move them towards a close. People aren't stupid. They will notice your efforts to 'close' them even if your closing process is merely parroting back to them what they liked about your offer, then doing some lame alternate choice close.

You just destroyed your credibility and created unnecessary resistance.

Continue reading this article.

About the Author:
Andre Bell is an author and business growth strategist. Andre is committed to helping people in business discover what it takes to maximize profits from every marketing communication and effort. Visit his site at http://www.AndreBell.com for fresh marketing tips and resources.

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