Implementing Successful Sales Paradigms
When it comes to our business and sales specifically, are there certain paradigms holding us back from success? Here’s how and why to make a shift in our thinking.
Paradigms can refer to the framework of basic assumptions and ways of thinking we have. Whether they work for us or not, paradigms that we have really bought into can be hard to break out of. However, if you have new information about something, it can change the way you think about and relate to it.
As children many of us believed in Santa Claus. The paradigm we had about Santa Claus was fun, exciting and enjoyable for everyone during early childhood. Then someone, an older brother, sister or vindictive kid, told us that there was no Santa Claus. At first we didn't want to believe it. We kept hoping and searching for validation that there really was a Santa Claus. But, with the new information we eventually gave up believing in Santa Claus and the way we related to Christmas time changed for us. Unfortunately, some salespeople are still waiting for Santa to come around. They still don't believe that they are responsible for their own success.
Paradigms can change when you acquire new information that alters your usual framework. It is called a paradigm shift. No doubt at some time in your life, you believed somebody had done something to you. As a result, you got upset—only to find out later that what you thought was true was not so. When you found this out both your paradigms and your resulting behavior changed.
A salesperson has many paradigms about what selling is and what he or she can do or needs to do to be successful at sales. Some of these are true and some are not.
Here are some examples of common sales-related paradigms:
Paradigm No. 1: The customer is always right.
Paradigm No. 2: I know all there is to know about sales.
Paradigm No. 3: I must have the best dollars to win.
Paradigm No. 4: It’s OK if my prospect shops my quote.
Paradigm No. 5: I must present my products so my prospect can be informed.
So, what’s the most important thing you can do when you realize one of your relied-upon paradigms isn’t working for you? The key is being willing to explore your paradigms and make paradigm shifts when you are not as successful as you would like to be. Learn new paradigms and practice using affirmations with them in order to really let them sink in and become part of your sales framework.
How important is it for your entire team to buy into the same effective business-related paradigms? The short answer—very. If members of the same team are going in different directions with their sales tactics and techniques, chances are it is only a matter of time until chaos ensues, productivity decreases and sales goals are left unachieved.
But this is where sales training comes in. We train in most other areas—medicine, law, accounting and so on—why not in sales and sales management? Arranging for formal sales training for your team—and yourself—can help everyone to buy into the same, successful sales strategies
Tom Scully is sales consultant and owner of a Sandler Training franchise in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.