Wouldn't it be nice if we could go into a sales situation clearly knowing who is going to make the decision and how they're going to make it? Even better, what if we could come up with that perfect question that elicits the ideal response that positions us for the proverbial "layup?"
Okay, now WAKE UP!
Selling can best be characterized as living life in the "ambiguity zone." When I'm asked about the attributes that enable a salesperson to excel in today's world, I liken it to the life of an investigative reporter. I think you'll agree that their lives have an awful lot in common:
- They never have all of the information needed.
- No one tells the truth, partially because no one knows the truth.
- They’re always – ALWAYS – one question away from “the truth.”
- The ability to listen and ask great questions based upon what they are hearing and what they aren’t hearing is critical.
- They often make the people they are dealing with uncomfortable with their probing questions, but despite that they have an innate ability to get people to like and trust them.
- They spend their days taking all of the information they have and use that information to put together puzzles.
- A natural danger of their job is they may begin chasing the wrong scent, so to become successful, they learn how to switch gears and directions instantaneously.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
It’s the nature of the world we live in today. To be successful, salespeople (and selling organizations) need to develop the abilities that enable them to create certainty and act with certainty in inherently ambiguous situations.