Recently a firm whose name escapes me now wanted me to teach their sales reps how to handle objections and close sales. That’s all they wanted. All about themselves. Not a thought for the customer whom they claim is the lifeblood of their business.
While contemplating the request my mind went back to Edward Kellog Strong Jr. whose doctoral research and dissertation in 1911 was on the benefits of commercial advertising. He studied vocational interests, trained life insurance salespeople and wrote the book, The Psychology of Selling Life Insurance in 1923. Strong supported “personality selling” and the model of making a pitch, a trial close, handling objections and then closing the sale.
But that was selling in the 1920s. No television, no computers, no Internet, no Websites, no tablets, no smartphones, and mostly uninformed customers. A salesman was in those days a walking, talking brochure whose job was mostly about persuading people to buy a product or service whether they needed it or not.
But selling and buying are one coin, and today with almost every toss of that coin the customer side faces up. And another pushy salesman bites the dust.
Seriously though; this sales manager needs help. How shall I guide him?