This is the moment that many sales people who are confusing effort with result. Our profession, while quite rewarding, can be very harsh.

Specifically, trying hard just isn’t enough.

We sales professionals are always measured on the only thing that counts…new order. If you’re not growing the topand bottom lines for your employer, it’s improbable that you’ll be rewarded for merely trying hard.

Professional golfers that “try hard” but don’t lower their score, just don’t win.

Let’s take a look at why I believe that the difference between trying hard and getting the results that are desired frequently is an issue of alignment. Specifically, the alignment between the selling styles of the sales representative and the buying styles of the majority of the prospects in a given market.

Research has been conducted and published which shows an extreme correlation between the success of a sales representative and his or her alignment with their buyers. This research identified several different selling/buying styles.

They are as follows:

  • Consultative; a consultative sales representative solves problems for their prospect and or customer. A consultative sales person produces a permanent improvement in one or more of the businesses operating conditions. A consultative buyer buys a true solution…problem resolution.
  • Stimulus Response Seller Selling/Buying; a stimulus response sales professional pitches the features of his or her product and hopes to “hit the hot spot” as a result of these pitches. Stimulus response selling is appropriate if and only if the customer understands the value of each feature that is pitched.
  • Relationship Selling; all sales require a relationship… that’s a given. In this instance, I’m talking about a sales situation that requires multiple relationships to be managed in order to get an account to give the affirmative response to a sales professional. Relationship selling is appropriate in large accounts and or large multi decision maker decisions are being made. Failure to get all of the relationships to say yes (albeit for different reasons) will result in the sale failing.
  • Commodity; the commodities sales person believes that price equals values. Based on this belief, he or she leads with price and frequently leaves profit on the table.
  • Retail; the retail sales professional is passive. Very much like a waiter in a restaurant, the retail sales professional will explain his or her product or service. Then they will passively wait for the customer to give the go ahead. Retail selling is completely inappropriate in today’s modern business to business selling environment.

If you are trying hard but not getting the result you desire, you may be suffering from utilizing the wrong selling style in the right situation. 

How hard are YOU trying?

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