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Who Needs Fertile Ground

Recently I was at a wine tasting event and I heard an interesting tidbit: the worse the soil, the better the grapes and the more delicious the wine. This may seem contradictory until you dig deeper. It takes a lot more effort for grapes to grow in poor soil than in rich soil, so when they do they’re much stronger and have more character.

This got me thinking about how this concept is true in our own lives. The harder we have to work for something, the greater we will be rewarded in the end.

In sales, we encounter many difficult situations that, when conquered, make us stronger and give us more character. The top three that come to mind are:

  1. We don’t feel well and we have a whole day of sales presentations ahead of us.
  2. We have what may be considered as a difficult client (an engineer for example, or an unqualified prospect).
  3. We get a stream of objections from the beginning of the presentation.

The key to our success is to develop strategies and techniques to push through anyway. So let’s discuss them one by one.

We don’t feel well: My mentor once told me, “Anyone can sell when the conditions are perfect; it’s the superstar that can do it when they’re not.” You’ve got to be there for 90 minutes anyway so treat every customer as though they were your last customers. Do not take short cuts.

Difficult Client: Most salespeople find analytical prospects challenging. We need to learn how to speak their language. With this customer, use more facts and make sure to offer them “baby” negatives so they’ll trust you. Tell them what the product won’t do so they’ll believe what it will do.

Objections: I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “no questions, no objections, and no sale.” Welcome the objections but, most importantly, do not let them get to you. Encourage the customer to tell you more. Agree with them, tell them it may not work for them but they’re sure to have a good time. Make certain your tonality is easygoing and non-combative. Then after your Discovery build the emotion, isolate the objections and overcome them one by one.

Welcome the difficult situations. There’s no question: “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,”(Friedrich Nietzsche), and that “we acquire the strength we have overcome,”(Ralph Waldo Emerson).

This doesn’t mean I’m advocating that you intentionally create or stay in an adverse situation to grow stronger. That’s called masochism. Grapes don’t choose the soil in which they grow. You, on the other hand, will bear more fruit by choosing your surroundings wisely and digging deeper when you’re not in fertile ground.

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