Never ‘assume’ in sales, by Mark Blezard
Why do we endure sales training? Selling is something you can either do or not, right?
Just like someone who knows someone’s gran who is 101 years old and has smoked 20 cigarettes per day all her life – we all know a salesperson who has never been on a sales training course, ever, and is earning 6 figures commission.
All true. These are lucky people, the exception not the rule. And yes, selling is probably something you can either do or not. It is not an appropriate career path for many. However, what is true is that you can either do it well or mediocre and luckily.
This is the difference between being skilled and unskilled. The unskilled person ‘assumes’ they’ll get a sale at some point because they are quite popular. The unskilled sales executive ‘hopes’ to get lucky on the next call. The unskilled sales executive typically doesn’t enjoy the job as much as the skilled ones.
Assumption is probably the most dangerous state of a sales mind. ‘I assumed I had that order in the bag’. ‘I assumed they’d return my call’. ‘I assumed they would stick with us and not switch supplier’.
All three scenarios are symptomatic of sales skills gaps. When you ever ‘assume’ in sales, chances are that you’ve missed something in the sales cycle. Chances are that you have a sales competency that’s not firing on all cylinders.
I’m not saying that being likeable, working hard, and lady luck is of no use. What I am saying is never neglect your skills levels. Just because you’ve been in sales for 20 years and hit every target does not mean you are skilled. Have a skills check-up every year and throw yourself back into a training course or read a new development book.
The fact of the matter is, if you’re doing well AND have sales skills gaps – congratulations! Imagine how even better you’ll be doing with a quick ‘skills polish’.