Selling is a Game Rather than a War
Sales is really just a game rather than a war. If we look at sales as a game, maybe we could enjoy the process more, increase our morale, and find more success than ever before. Let’s take a look at the differences of selling as a game rather than a war.
First, as a War someone dies! This is not a good thing. If selling is a war then who dies? Do the Generals know that they are sending off the troops with a high casualty count? If war is a young person’s battle, then are only young people allowed to sell? What happens to the older sales people?
I know that sales (and Marketing) are treated as a war like subject. In fact, one of the best marketing book series was written by a Japanese consultant that actually used a process created by a British genius to show how to win a battle. His theories are still used in the War Colleges in the USA and Great Britain. Using these theories, Japanese used them to take over market after market from the US and other countries in major industries.
Sales training has been treated as a war strategy for years. Thus the need to “handle and overcome objections,” to get around the gatekeeper, to out flank and kill the competition, to use “intel” to learn about your customer’s activities as well as the competitor’s actions, to counter the opposition and finally to negotiate terms and peace – er – price.
Well, my take on this warfare stuff is to convert it into a game. Games are meant to played. There are still winners and losers – but no one dies! Sure emotion is a big part of a game environment – as are paying attention to details, learning about the opponents strengths and weaknesses, developing a game plan, executing the game plan, modifying the game plan as new information is learned, practicing fundamentals and execution of the game plan, going the extra mile to become the favorite, and learning the most effective methods to improve all communication with a customer.
Preparing for a “game” requires some practice time, study time and mental time. Practice is invaluable as it prepares both the experienced and the inexperienced individuals for what could occur in a sales situation. Learning how to be effective before the “game” is much better than a “trail and error” method in the customer’s presence. Getting your “game face” on is the same as mentally preparing to win particularly a close game where dealing with adversity and winning go hand in hand.
Having a game plan developed for major accounts is very important. Knowing the objectives of the calls, how to advance the call, how to best communicate with each individual, and knowing the limits of terms and conditions for the sale to occur are equally important. Having an excellent game plan allows the sales person to follow a process, execute the plan, flex or adapt the plan with advanced thought rather than the standard “wing it” approach, and be able to forecast sales with a high level of accuracy.
Most importantly, when sales is treated as a game, people can enjoy the process rather than fear for their lives. Being relaxed and confident are critical factors in the success of each sales person. Knowing that each “game” leads to another “game” allows the sales person to learn, grow, and experience opportunity and growth. Managers that recognize this factor will create an environment that assists in motivation, team spirit and the “winner’s edge” for sales success.