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MOTIVATION


How to Fire Up Complacent Salespeople BY SELLING POWER EDITORS


Happy that he had just landed a lucrative sale, Bill Harland, an experienced construction equip- ment salesman, grinned with pride as he thanked his customer for the order.


“How will your new loading equip- ment fit my new trucks?” the cus- tomer asked. Bill’s jaw went slack, the smile faded


from view, and amazement replaced his owner-of-the-world grin. “What trucks?” he asked. “Why, the four new ones we added to our fleet just last week. I assume you people don’t have a truck line, right?” Bill gasped. “Well, I guess we never had a chance to talk about this. I assumed you had a fairly new fleet.


We’ve carried trucks for over a year... but it never occurred to me you’d be needing additional capacity. I thought I’d tell you about our truck line when it came time to replace some of the older ones...”


A LOST OPPORTUNITY Although he was an experienced salesman, at this point Bill Harland realized he had miscalculated the customer’s needs and lost the oppor- tunity to make a much larger sale.


24 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 SELLING POWER © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


This sales story is true. His account of one of his biggest mistakes reveals how salespeople become complacent – how they become victims of assump- tions about their customer’s business. You must counteract the natural tendency to make assumptions that can cost you sales. Here’s what you can do to help salespeople become more task oriented. Let’s begin by looking at the two most common assumptions salespeo- ple tend to make about buyers. Assumption No. 1: “I know the


buyer, so I can take some shortcuts in my sales presentation.” Salespeople who claim to know their buyer have stopped learning about selling. When you hear one of your salespeople say, “I know my cus-


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