Last Friday, Dan Waldschmidt prepared a great post for my regular Friday Guest Post, titled “Retarded Sales Behavior and The Reasons We Under-Perform“, a must read. It got some really rave feedback, right across the spectrum.
Some readers loved, and a few did not respond positively at all. What was interesting to me was those who reacted positively, discussed the content and specific topics and actions the post examined and talk to. In fact one reader was moved to the point of saying: “Dan, You Hit the Nail on the Head!! This article has so many good points to take away for me. I’m asking myself why won’t I stop in at the Big Scary building and introduce myself just see where it takes me?”
On the other hand, ALL detractors’ reactions and comments were strictly limited to one word in the title, to the point where one commentator could not even bring himself to write the word, and referred to it only as the “R Word”. It took me a second to realise he wasn’t talking about the word Reason, because the comment was so devoid of any reason.
Having a day or two to reflect on it, it is interesting to see how the REACTION to the piece is very reflective of the issues in sales today, and just served to legitimize the piece. Too many sales people spend too much time reacting instead of exploring and discovering what is really at hand. If they were not so reactionary, they would have seen that Dan did define the word “Retarded” a few lines into the piece, which gave greater context to the whole piece. But hey, why cloud the issue with facts, when I can just jump to conclusions from the title, and skip the time, work and energy to deal with the actual thing, and become informed.
We see this unfold in sales every day, people not taking time to fully discover all they can, all the facts, all the possibilities. It is so much easier to REACT, than to be proactive and work past the surface. It is so much easier to make assumptions based on a few words a prospect says early in a conversation. It is easier to base the rest of the sale reacting rather than challenging oneself, and the buyer, to get all the issues on the table and deal with them to deliver a solution; and if you can look PC in the process, all the better.
It takes guts, conviction, and effort to do what Dan did, just as it takes guts, effort and work to be proactive in selling, to challenge the prospect to make sure that they get the best solution. The seller in return gets a good long term client and source of referrals, and the satisfaction of work well and completely done. I guess Dan, like all good sales people was focused on the other “R Word”, REVENUE.
What’s in Your Pipeline?