September 28, 2006

News & Opinion: Ask questions....lots and lots of them

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:14 PM – Filed under: Big Ideas & New Perspectives

I asked Johnny about the sales environment. He said, like anywhere, a lot of tension between sales and marketing, and sales and development. Everyone thinks youre always selling them something. He reminded me of a phrase Mahan Khalsa once wrote, Sales is the second oldest profession, often confused with the first.
I think I am offended by this. If the world didnt have sales professionals the economy would probably come to a halt. Think about it, if every American didnt buy any goods or services for a week, the economy would fall apart. In fact the world economy would likely crash too. It is critical to your success as a sales professional to shift the paradigm from the negative connotation of sales person, to one of trusted advisor or consultative sales professional. How? It is not that difficult really.
Learn to do your homework up front use tools like their Annual report or 10K, or sign up for Harris InfoSearch, Jigsaw, or First Research to get a better understanding of your prospect. Then ask questionslots and lots of questions. My father always told meGod gave you one mouth and two ears, use them in that proportion!

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.