Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Play #9 Analyze Your "Moves"


A long, long time ago. In a training room far, far away; I studied under a Jedi Master who taught me something I will never forget.

There we were, 25 of the most arrogant Sales Managers who had ever walked the face of the earth. We were good at what we did, so good we saw the training we were asked to attend as a punishment. As we sat there, counting the minutes until the first break, we were greeted by the man himself. He didn’t greet us a with a good morning, or a sorry to take you from your money for this “rah, rah” corporate Kool-Aid pouring love fest. He greeted us with a magical question . . .

“Anyone want to take a guess at how many moves your average champion chess player has memorized?”

I remember thinking “Ah yes, the force is strong with this yokel!

To get the show on the road, we circled our wagons and tossed a few bs stabs at his query. Finally, (at the pace at which grass grows under careful observation) he arrived at the answer . . . which I really can’t remember for the life of me! I think it was something like 30,000 but truth be told, I simply made a mental note to give a shit. Moments later the rebirth of Castain was initiated with the Jedi Master’s simple, but effective follow up question.

“How many moves do you think the average sales professional has memorized? Better yet let’s see” He approached the first Sales Manager and said “You call someone and they tell you that they aren’t interested” The Sales Manager returned fire with a good, solid rebuttal. Game on, bitch! The Jedi Master then asked for another answer to that same objection. After a little hesitation, he had his second rebuttal. A little weak, but a rebuttal nonetheless. Then, the death blow was delivered when he asked for a third rebuttal. I say “death blow” because I’m not quite sure what the sales manager said in response because it had all the charm of a death rattle.

School was now in session! In fact I felt like Danielson when he finally grasped Miyagi's whole "wax on, wax off" thing but I digress.

Of course, someone needed to reverse the challenge to see what this guy was made of. We went several rounds with him and I was completely amazed at his ability to respond with such precision!

He went on to explain to us that in sales, we know that certain “stock” situations will occur such as:


Someone says they aren’t interested
Someone asks us to tell them a little about our company
We are asked to explain the difference between our company and a competitor
Someone asks us if we can sharpen our pencil on a price

Where most of us fail is in our preparedness to respond to that which is commonplace!

In my next post I will give you some powerful tips on how you can build your repertoire of sales “moves”.

Action item:

What are the stock scenarios in your business? What questions are you typically asked?

Today’s Reflection: How many moves do you have in your repertoire? How would you do if you had to offer as many different responses as you could muster?
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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul ctstrainer@yahoo.com. This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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