Frank Belzer wrote an interesting challenge in one of his older posts that I stumbled back upon in my archive for sales management. After having been in the executive search field for more than 25 years, one of the things I’m very proud of is a constantly evolving understanding of hiring top talent and sharing that with our clients. We’ve never been stuck in the same approach the vast majority of recruiters use:
- We have a better rolodex
- We’re experts in this field
- We have lots of candidates in our database
That was the mantra 25 years ago and it’s tired and worn out today. Most managers and executives get weary of hearing recruiters pitch the same old story over and over.
History provides us with many examples of change and of methods becoming outdated. When the Greek armies conquered the world in 300BC under Alexander the Macedonian Phalanx was cutting edge technology. Five hundred years later at the battle of Cynoscephalae – it was not. The new Roman formation was more mobile and was able to outflank and crush the Greek Army.
Last week I had an opportunity to do a lot of sales training, far more than normal and it was pretty clear to me that so many times as sales professionals we revert back to old methods that although comfortable, often allow the prospects to outflank us resulting in a lack of clarity or a lost deal.
Chances are if you have been using the same methods for too long a few things have happened.
prospects are wise to your strategy – they are in control
you are just going through the motions – no passion
the method you are using is a combination of softened styles that cater to your weaknesses
Part of staying sharp and successful as a sales person involves looking for new ways to say things, new methods to reach people, new questions to ask and just continuing to grow and develop. If the Macedonians had done that at Cynoscephalae then the formation and methods that the Roman army faced would have been quite different as perhaps would have been the outcome.
When you interview sales candidates or sales managers, do you probe for how they keep their stories, pitches, turnarounds, handling of objections, and presentations fresh and interesting? If you look at your own sales organization, how much do you challenge that group to be fresh, have latest information, and provide a “differentiated” set of data to your clients? Or are your sales candidates still pretending like it’s 1970 and what worked then will work now?
To read Frank Belzer’s full article, click the link below: