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About This Episode
You’ve mastered your pitch but what about active listening or taking the focus off yourself?
We’ve all experienced cringeworthy sales behavior. And many, if we’re honest, are guilty of it.
Cringe-inducing tactics make prospects want to get away. And the salespeople who practice them get burned out. Why? Well for one, they don’t understand their “why”.
And as Amy Volas joined us on this episode of the Sales Engagement Podcast to point out, many sellers commit 3 highly destructive sales mistakes.
Amy is the Founder and CEO of Avenue Talent Partners, a zero-cringe recruiting company dedicated to helping businesses hire proven sales performers.
Sales has always been Amy’s first love, and there is no one better to highlight the traits that make the meaningful connections needed to close deals.
The 3 Sales Behaviors that Destroy the Chance of a Deal
1. No upfront work to understand the prospect
It’s very obvious to a buyer when you have not done any work up front to understand why you’re coming to them.
First and foremost, you need to understand who your buyer is. Do some homework to connect the dots between where they are and what you’re selling. You don’t have to have a full report on the person, but the best sellers at least stay on top of the overall marketplace their buyers are in.
Amy recommends using LinkedIn, Navigator, Nudge, and tools like DiscoverOrg to learn about your prospects before getting into the tactical outreach.
2. It’s all about you and nothing about them
It’s so clear to a buyer when you couldn’t care less about anything happening in their world and you just want to get them through your process. The best salespeople are naturally curious about what’s happening in their buyer’s world.
3. You don’t listen to what they are telling you
When what they’re telling you is going in one ear and out the other, when you’re just going through your pitch script, you’ve lost the amazing opportunity to make a meaningful connection.
Trait #1: Empathy
Empathy plays a huge part in avoiding all of these sales mistakes. It’s all about making connections. Technology is very helpful but it is no replacement for human connection. The easiest way to have empathy is to keep in mind you are dealing with another human (with whom you really want to do business).
It goes back to the foundation of why you are doing sales in the first place. Do you believe in what you are doing? That’s how you’re able to exude that you care. You need to want to understand the how’s, why’s, and what’s of your prospect. It’s not always about their pain points; sometimes it’s just about what’s important to them.
Quick Side Note: How to Make Empathy Scalable?
This all sounds great for enterprise sales when you have time to spend on each prospect and lots of research available. But what about smaller startups? How do you make empathy scalable when you have high numbers to hit?
Amy says it goes back to the way a sales team is set up and incentivized. When the pressure is put on activities that promote the icky behaviors, empathy is easily squeezed out of the process.
It can be more about what’s happening in their market. You can ask, “Is this a priority for you? This is what’s happening in your market, and here’s how we’re helping solve it.”
You should try to personalize as much as possible, but a chat as simple as that can be put into a cadence.
Trait #2: Integrity
This is fairly straightforward. You either have a moral compass or you don’t.
There are two key concepts Amy holds to when it comes to integrity:
1. The golden rule
It’s about reverse engineering. If you were on the other side what would give you the cringe factor? Do you want to be that person? How would you want to be treated instead? What would that person look like?
You ask those questions, figure out who that person is, what he or she looks like and model yourself after that person. There are lots of people that take shortcuts and, eventually, shady behavior always comes back to bite you.
2. Don’t do the things that will haunt you
Let everything you do be informed by how you’ll feel when you go to bed at night. You can even be “hardcore” as Amy says when it truly comes from a loving place. When you truly want to do the right thing, and you lead with that foot, success always follows.
Bonus: 3 Ways a Sales Applicant Shows They’re a Great Candidate
Lastly, Amy nailed down 3 things salespeople can do to make themselves stand out as successful, trustworthy candidates.
1. Being able to tell your story
It’s not enough to connect the dots between yourself and the job; you need to know your story well enough to communicate it succinctly and dynamically.
2. Applying what you hear
Really pay attention to the person interviewing you. Weave in the information they share with you as you explain why you’re interested in the position.
3. Treat the interviewer how you’d treat a prospect
This is Amy’s number one piece of advice. At no point in the interview is the interviewer not asking:
- “Do I like this person?”
- “Would I want them on the team?”
- “Do I feel comfortable putting them in front of my customers?”
Regardless of how comfortable the interviewer makes you feel, don’t say or do anything that you wouldn’t say or do with their clients.
The best way to get in touch with Amy is through her website AvenueTalentPartners.com or via LinkedIn by searching Amy Volas.
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