6 of the Biggest Sales Myths Debunked
May 19, 2021 Comment off
There are plenty of common perceptions and stereotypes still attached to salespeople. It’s one of the biggest barriers to building trust and strong relationships. Some people simply hang up the phone if they pick up the scent that it’s a sales call. Others scream expletives. Regardless, a lot of it comes down to some common myths and misperceptions that have attached themselves over the years to the role of sales.
Here are 10 of the biggest sales myths and what the truth actually is. How many do you relate to?
Myth: Sales is all about money
Truth: Money is, of course, a massive part of sales. It is a financial driver – most salespeople are on commission based roles, and it is a key motivator to hit targets. However, it’s not the only thing salespeople care about. Salespeople aren’t simply money-hungry backstabbers who will do anything for a few quid. They want to be respected and trusted by prospects, and they want to be able to provide solutions to problems. Money is a key part of the equation, but not the only part. Strong relationships, growth (both from a personal and business perspective), trust, value and problem solving all form part of the sales ambition.
Myth: To succeed in sales you need to be selfish and a backstabber
Truth: One of the most common myths or stereotypes about salespeople is the dog-eat-dog persona associated with them. Like salespeople are all backstabbers out for themselves. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Salespeople aren’t criminals looking to pull the wool over the prospect’s eyes. In fact, the best really do have expertise in their field and know the industry and product inside out. Plus, sales are often about team chemistry and teamwork. Yes, there can be a healthy level of competition and rivalry, but, ultimately, the best salespeople work together and learn from each other.
Myth: Sales scripts mean salespeople are basically just robots
Truth: You’ve probably come across this one a few times and have heard: ‘Sales is easy because it’s just reading a script’, or. ‘Salespeople are just monotonous robots reading a script’. In reality, the best salespeople use sales scripts to structure their conversations and deal with objections. They don’t want to be caught out and they want to have the best-practice things to say in front of them. So, if anything, being underprepared makes you sound worse. It causes nervousness and anxiety, and comes off to the prospect as ill-informed. So scripts are in fact a very useful training and educational tool, as well as the perfect guide to a conversation.
Myth: Sales is only for outgoing extroverts
Truth: While some successful salespeople are very outgoing, the most important personality trait of a salesperson isn’t being an extrovert. It’s listening and the desire to help. You can be the most outgoing salesperson in the world, but if you can’t listen then you aren’t going to have much joy. Listening gives the salesperson the underlying problems and pain points to solve. Some of the best salespeople are, in fact, introverts with much stronger softer skills.
Myth: Salespeople are ALWAYS closing
Truth: Today, sales isn’t all about just closing. The shift in recent years has moved to provide value and guidance throughout the buyer journey. It’s not wise to always just go straight for the kill, into the sales pitch, and missing the key point or prospect pain. There are lots of steps to take before the close.
Myth: Salespeople just have the ‘gift of the gab’
Truth: There is nothing more frustrating than this one. The myth that salespeople are just failed marketers, or other professionals, but simply have a natural talent for talking a lot. Sales is a highly-skilled, highly trained profession. Modern sales include a lot of elements from other departments – being able to write good emails, understanding commercial numbers, researching prospect companies and industries, psychological skills. Salespeople aren’t just those who have good ‘banter’. They are smart, agile, persuasive, prepared and skilled.
Avoiding the myths
We’ve mentioned this before on our blog, but the best salespeople see selling as an art. They take pride in it. They understand that to exceed targets, they need to provide value and build relationships.
Unfortunately, bad salespeople who are intrusive and underprepared give Sales a bad name. But the barriers are easy to overcome. Make prospects relate to you by building rapport. Don’t tell lies about your product or service. Be a source of truth and value. If a prospect asks you to email them instead of calling them, email them as the next action. Selling isn’t about being the bad guy. It’s about giving something to someone you think needs it – it should be highly targeted, personalised and relevant.