Thursday, October 25, 2012

To Challenge, Teach and Tailor.

Selling is one of the least understood activities, even by those doing it. The most commonly taught sales methods focus on building a strong relationship with customers and helping them find solutions to their problems. However, most decision makers feel this process is simply a waste of their time.

Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson have identified a more powerful way to build business in The Challenger Sale. The most effective salespeople are those who understand their client's business well enough to challenge decision makers with problems and opportunities they didn't even know they had. Sales people with the insight and communication skills to help their clients see things in a new way are valued and welcomed by those clients.

Communicating new insights requires the ability to teach and the ability to tailor the message to the interests of each individual. Most complex decisions impact people from many parts of an organization. People from finance, engineering and manufacturing will have different points of view and different concerns. The effective sales person addresses the needs of each person and tailors the message so that it resonates with each person.

While the focus of The Challenger Sale is on sales technique, I believe it has value to anyone who works with other people to get things done. The ability to identify and communicate new insight is valuable in any field.

Are you a challenger or a relationship builder?

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