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What is the most difficult aspect of selling?
While all of these represent a challenge of one sort or another, the most difficult aspect of selling isn’t included in the list.
After you analyze your market, develop a territory plan, develop and rehearse your prospecting pitch, formulate your qualifying questions, prepare responses to anticipated questions, and set some ambitious goals... you must take action.
And that’s where so many salespeople falter. They fail to take action — to implement their plans in a timely fashion. Some never get their plans off the ground.
The most likely reason is procrastination. Not the overt "I'll do it tomorrow" type of procrastination, but procrastination in the guise of "fine-tuning" activities—tweaking the plan to get it "just right." Double-checking territory figures. Rewriting scripts and questions. Recalculating numbers. The more tweaking they do, the more time they buy for themselves before they have to face the real-world challenges the plans address.
Not all "fine-tuning" activities are driven by procrastination. Some people have a need for perfection. They're not ready to take action until everything is perfect... every contingency has been identified... every twist and turn predicted and appropriate actions planned. They put off implementation until everything is perfect. But it never is. So, the planning continues and the "doing" never begins.
Another reason salespeople put off implementing their selling plans is that planning and preparation are intellectual - "safe" - activities. The results of their efforts are predictable... and they have complete control over the process. But once the planning and preparation is complete and they have to engage and interact with prospects, they no longer have complete control. The process now encompasses an emotional component - the potential for rejection. They put themselves in vulnerable positions where they have to deal with frustration, disappointment, and short-term failures. The process is no longer "safe."
Selling success is the result of knowing what to do... and doing what you know. It requires action. It doesn't require having a "perfect" plan, asking "perfect" questions, or giving "perfect" answers. Most often, "good enough" is, in fact, good enough. Putting yourself "in the line of fire" is what counts. Sometimes, things will go as planned; sometimes they won't. But, as long as you're in action, you're in a position to make corrections when needed... and to succeed.
Read Previous Tactics
Can Asking Questions Be the Answer to Closing More Sales?
If you examine the day-to-day conversations that take place in the business arena (or almost any setting), you'll discover examples of miscommunication and non-communication occurring in varying degrees. Conversations will contain distortions, deletions, and generalizations.
Logic or Procrastination?
On Monday morning, you look at your calendar for the week, and there it is, with a big red circle around it - a reminder that your territory expansion plan is due on the sales manager's desk by Friday morning. You've completed much of the preliminary work. But, you still have a dozen or so customers to contact, some figures to compile, and a spreadsheet analysis to prepare.
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