I had a conversation the other day with Steve Von Hoene, principal of Journey Learning and sales trainer extraordinaire. Way too many salespeople, he says, still succumb to the temptation to transfer as much information as possible from their brain into the buyer’s ears.
This practice goes by several different names, Steve reminded me, including:
- Heavin’ and leavin’
- Show up and throw up
- Sprayin’ and prayin’
The images running through my mind right now are pretty vivid. So is it any wonder that many buyers instinctively wince when a salesperson wants to stop by their office for a chat?
I think most salespeople were raised better than that. They know it’s rude to dump all that information on poor defenseless buyers and expect them to clean up the mess. So why does it keep happening?
One reason, I think, is because salespeople are experts. They know their products and services inside out. Every feature. Every benefit. Every application. They even know what that little red button on the bottom is for – long after the engineers who designed it forgot.
It’s hard not to share all you know with a prospect. But the true mark of an expert is in knowing what to hold back. We rely on experts to sift through big piles of information and tell us what matters.
That’s the rare quality that allows a Nobel laureate physicist to get a class of freshmen excited about quarks and string theory, or what allows a top economist to evaluate global economic data and tell us whether gas prices will go up or down. And that’s what elevates a mere salesperson into a trusted advisor.
So to all you experts out there: Clean up your mess.
(P.S.: If you know other colorful sales terms like these, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below. But keep ’em G-rated.)
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