5 Factors That Prevent You From Being A Sales ‘Nearly Man’

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Depressed young businessmanOne of my friends likes a flutter now and again.

Oh, he’s not a bona-fide better, just someone who now and again enjoys taking the risk of seeing if his horse can beat the others.

There’s one big problem.

He always bets on the horse to place.

When you place a bet on a horse to win, your bet pays only if your horse finishes in first place.

When you place a bet on a horse to place, your horse needs to come in first, second or third place for you to win.

The pay-out for placing is lower than the pay-out to win.

So, he reduces his risk by always looking for his horse to place.

Even if it wins, he will win less than if he had bet on it to win.

His risk-aversion means he might as well back an also-ran, that is, a horse that never wins but nearly gets there.

In sales, there are key factors that separate the winners from these also-rans.

The Rain Group recently conducted a study where they found out what most sales winners do that also-rans (the guys who don’t win) don’t do.

The list is really interesting.

Here are the top five components or factors that made the difference:

  • The salesperson educates the prospect with new ideas or perspectives
  • The salesperson collaborates with the customer and their business
  • The salesperson convinces the customer they will get desired results with their solutions
  • The salesperson listens to the customer
  • The salesperson understood the real needs of the customer

Nothing ground breaking there, but it’s always interesting to see how great salespeople do these things consistently and with vigour.

The also-rans may well do some or even all of these, but it seems to be hap-hazard, without a pattern and certainly not strategically thought-through.

What was also interesting from the study was that these components didn’t figure in the top five for the also-rans.

In fact, in the study, these top five took the following places in the list of factors for the also-rans:

Educating the customer (1st) came 42nd in the also-ran’s list.

Collaborating (2nd) came 26th in the also-ran’s list

Convincing (3rd) came 41st in the also-ran’s list

Listening to the customer (4th) came 19th in the also ran’s list

Understanding the real needs (5th) came 27th in the also-ran’s list

So the message that came through clearly from the survey was that the most important areas to the successful salespeople barely registered a flicker in the also-ran’s list.

This is serious stuff, as those top five factors for the winners all focussed on the prospect’s business and gaining results for them, whereas these came so low on the list of the also-ran’s priorities that it’s obvious they will never be seen as anything but also-rans in their clients’ eyes.

It’s important, therefore, that if you want to consider yourself a winner, you need to identify what makes customer want to do business with you, and most often it has nothing to do with your products or services.

It has everything to do with what changes and improvements you can bring to the prospect’s business.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 28 April, 2016

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